ARTICLE: Stop asking me to do my job for free: a guide to being a decent friend to a photographer


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Raise your hand if you have a friend who is a photographer.  Now, raise your hand if you’ve ever asked that friend to do their job for free.  No seriously.  RAISE YOUR HAND. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU.  Because you’ve all done it.  How do I know?  Because I have a lot of friends and way too many of you have invited me to parties and told me to bring my camera or told me about this cool project idea you have that you’re certain I would love to be a part of.

Here’s the deal.  I MIGHT love to be a part of it.  AND, if I would, I’ll volunteer.  BUT STOP ASKING ME TO DO IT FOR FREE!  Ask to hire me.  THIS IS MY JOB!

Stay tuned long enough and I’ll give you the script for exactly how TO get us to do our job for free, because it IS possible.

Do you invite your accountant to the party and ask him to do your taxes in the corner?  Do you tell your dentist you have this bad ass cavity he should practice drilling for his portfolio and then tell him if he does a great job cleaning  your teeth you’ll tell all your friends about him? (You know, all your other friends who also don’t want to pay him to clean their teeth.)

Regardless of what you may feel about about the investment level of entering into the field of photography vs. becoming a dentist, paying back student loans and business expenses aren’t the only thing that go into setting my prices. Here’s a basic rule of thumb:

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