Why you should never work for free as a photographer

How many times have you been asked for giving your work for free? With the promise "hey, you´ll get a lot of exposure!"? Well, let me tell you that with EXPOSURE you cannot pay BILLS. It´s as simple as that. I´ve been contacted several times by media/content producers asking me to give them my work for FREE. I would then be mentioned somewhere in the text below, "so people/readers would get to know my name and then they would search for me and buy my pictures..." WTF? How many time have you seen a great picture or an imagery which really impressed you and have you taken out a pencil in order to note the name of the photographer? Because "´cause of technical reasons we cannot publish your fully homepage, but we´ll post your surname!". What if your surname is SMITH?
Photographers, specially the young generation, should take advice about this strange (perverse!) behaviour which has penetrated wide areas of the media producers minds: never, ever give your work away for free! Learn to valuate your work, learn to valuate the advantages the OTHER ones are going to get from your work.

Here is a good post of John Harrington in the Black Star Rising Blog about this topic and here is another rant at Lighting Essentials. But if you wanna see a fantastic rant about artists giving their work for free watch this video of Harlan Ellison:

So, keep in mind: the world is only going to valuate your work as far as you´re going to valuate it yourself.

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