Photographer looks for people who’ll work for free on Craigslist
posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 10:54 AM EDT
It's a situation that many a professional photographer has faced at least once in their career: the offer to work for free, with experience and exposure quoted as compensation. While those that are just starting their careers might still fall for this trick, a seasoned photographer will be wise to decline, pointing out that in no field of work it is common to work for free, or just for the gain of experience and exposure.
It seems as though the general public views photography as less of a profession and more of a hobby, something that people do for fun and not to make a living from. After all, anyone can take great pictures if only they own a professional camera, right? Actually, this couldn't be further from the truth, as those who pay a bit of attention to what professional photographers actually do will easily figure out. Taking beautiful wedding pictures consists of much more than just pointing your lens at the couple and hitting away at the shutter button.
For example, you need a lot of training and learn about how to work with light, how to frame pictures, how to approach people. Then there's the gear that you need to pay for, and that's not only a single camera most of the time. You need at least one backup body, a couple of lenses and accessories, a compurter for retouching work and so on. You need to get to the place you're supposed to take pictures, so you might need a car. And who pays for your home and food?
People asking for free photographs seem to forget about the fact that photography is a craft just like any other, and that photographers need to be able to make a living from their work. One photographer apparently got so annoyed by requests for free work that they decided to turn the tables and ask for "all types of people to do all types of jobs" on Craigslist. We're not entirely sure whether he received any replies at all, but at least he made it clear to everyone what it feels like for a photographer to be asked to work for free.
Sometimes, empathy only works when you force people to think themselves into your situation.