What often even photographers tend to forget

Hungarion version

HirePhotographer-useImagesThe well-worn argument of photographers as to why they cannot work for free has been circulating on the web in yet another new form.

A reader of my blog sent it to me and once I write about this topic (too) so often, I quickly translated it to let it spread in my native language Hungarian as well. One colleague puts it in teh following way: these were the rules of our photography trade twenty years ago and they remain the same – even if many people forget about it. It’s a rephrasing of a position photographers repeat almost ad infinitum, see this one  like a media hack, or a kind open letter, but, really,  it cannot be repeated enough.

At the same time it is worth adding that it is unfortunately not enough to merely repeat these facts to colleagues and potential customers. We have to get people to fundamentally understand why the work of a professional photographer costs as much as it does. In itself this list of expenses won’t win you any new customers. You also of course need to need to value your own work and then do a great job that satisfies the customer and gets him or her to value your work.

In case you run out of reasons you always have the option I mentioned earlier on the blog: I know a photographer who works for next to nothing…..

Text on the image:

Hiring a photographer or wanting to use their images?

What you think you’re paying for:

  • Someone to take photos for a period of time.

What you are actually paying for:

  • Someone to take photos for a period of time.
  • Camera & lenses.
  • Flash & Lighting Equipment.
  • Memory cards or film.
  • The amount of money & time spent on training & practice.
  • Travelling to the shoot.
  • Cost & time involved with processing the images.
  • Promotional & website cost.
  • Phone & other expenses spent arranging the shoot.
  • The percentage that goes to the taxman.
  • Insurance.

Not to mention…

  • The payment also has to cover food, housing, bills & all other living expenses.

Still think that offering “exposure” and experience is a fair price?

You wouldn’t expect a plumber, carpenter, hairdresser, doctor, dentist, optician, electrician, chef, mechanic, dressmaker or shop owner to work for free would you?

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