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Old 06-03-2008, 06:42 PM
Wutang Crane Wutang Crane is offline
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Doing Free Jobs...Is it Helping our Friends or Killing the Market?

Was chit-chatting with my buddy over Yahoo Messenger today and decided to share our conversation with you guys as photographers. Your thoughts and comments, good or bad, are very much appreciated.

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WuTang Crane: Susan's bunch changed their mind
SeaBiscuit: o..
SeaBiscuit: what do they want now?
WuTang Crane: they want to try Cameron or Sekinchan
SeaBiscuit: aha
SeaBiscuit: fine
SeaBiscuit: let them choose
SeaBiscuit: just make sure they come and fetch us
WuTang Crane: I am not driving
SeaBiscuit: me too
WuTang Crane: she told me you are not game for it
SeaBiscuit: especially to Cameron
SeaBiscuit: i might be changing job
SeaBiscuit: i cant promise her
WuTang Crane: you still remember the way to Sekinchan?
SeaBiscuit: honestly no
SeaBiscuit: i assume Susan's friends know?
WuTang Crane: i doubt
SeaBiscuit: great....
WuTang Crane: give them a map
SeaBiscuit: hard to find one
WuTang Crane: now I officially hate the word "FREE"
WuTang Crane: especially at the expense of "friends"
SeaBiscuit: i don mind the free, just the driving
WuTang Crane: why, just because we know each other rightfully equates to free services!?
SeaBiscuit: that is kinda usually how things works......
WuTang Crane: by the way, if they decide to go with Cameron, they are not planning on spending a night there
SeaBiscuit: what! day trip
SeaBiscuit: are they crazy
WuTang Crane: that's what they say in the name of "cut-cost"
SeaBiscuit: much would that really cost
WuTang Crane: well.... they said they just want to take 3-4 shots...
SeaBiscuit: ....
SeaBiscuit: 3-4
SeaBiscuit: wow
SeaBiscuit: then why do they even bother
SeaBiscuit: if that is the case i am not doing it
WuTang Crane: they are being naive
SeaBiscuit: if i were to do a shoot in cameron, it will have to be at least 2 days there
WuTang Crane: i will explain to the couple when we have a chance to meet... there is no use talking to the rest coz they are not getting married
SeaBiscuit: u will meet the couple?
WuTang Crane: they are just like us, doing a favour for the couple.... i don't know how their presence is going to help anyway.... but, i am not going to pass any judgement until I personally meet up with the couple
SeaBiscuit: they are doin a favour? what favour? stand there like an idiot?
WuTang Crane: that's the reason why i need to qualify a few things ... what is their purpose of being there?
SeaBiscuit: Susan told me its for group shot
WuTang Crane: if it is a pre-wedding shoot... i want it to look like one... if it is a groupie get-together thingy, then i might have to re-assess the feasibility of taking this job
WuTang Crane: ..... if you still se it as a "job"
SeaBiscuit: agree
WuTang Crane: a free job is not worth doing if we can't have a chance to do it properly without any disturbances.
WuTang Crane: and i heard from Susan that the bride wants to address certain thing to us about posting their pictures on our website.
SeaBiscuit: aha
WuTang Crane: it is still unclear to me as of now if she's okay or not
SeaBiscuit: what thing?
SeaBiscuit: for a free job there sure is a lot of conditions
WuTang Crane: i'm not sure. royalty is my guess.
SeaBiscuit: royalty?
SeaBiscuit: serious?
WuTang Crane: are you freaking out?
SeaBiscuit: while i AM flattered that they think so highly of us to the point that they assume there might be royalty
SeaBiscuit: this is ridiculus
SeaBiscuit: what royalty? we hav to pay them everytime someone looks at their photo?
WuTang Crane: i'll let them figure that part out.
SeaBiscuit: the bride looks like miss universe......????
WuTang Crane: so what if she does. i don't know.
SeaBiscuit: so wat
SeaBiscuit: i don really care
WuTang Crane: you know if we take this job, we are doing damage to the market as well.... just like how newcomers would to us
WuTang Crane: are we helping ourselves or killing the market?
SeaBiscuit: we might help ourselves if its really a proper pre-wed shoot
SeaBiscuit: if not then we will be killing our selves
SeaBiscuit: ppl tend to not get tired of free jobs
WuTang Crane: if it is a genuine pre-wed, it is still free
WuTang Crane: I will do this for free for the last time.
SeaBiscuit: if we do for free, their friends like it then we will be stuck with the free job status
WuTang Crane: what if people who paid us gets to know that we're doing this for free, how'd they feel?
SeaBiscuit: ppl will keep coming to us for free jobs
WuTang Crane: are we killing ourselves?
SeaBiscuit: if we do too much
SeaBiscuit: i am only doing for free because its our first
SeaBiscuit: or until we have some thing more solid
SeaBiscuit: i don think we are killing ourselves yet
SeaBiscuit: just as long as we don keep doing free jobs
WuTang Crane: what about the time, effort, sleeping hours, .... aren't not these valuable to us to consider charging a minimum amount.
WuTang Crane: I feel guilty for myself
SeaBiscuit: i feel we need to sacrifice at the beginning
SeaBiscuit: build a rapport
WuTang Crane: after this "job" is over, do you think they will remember us?
SeaBiscuit: nope
SeaBiscuit: but my 3 friends will
SeaBiscuit: but Susan's friends might
SeaBiscuit: hard to say now
WuTang Crane: did I tell you that they have initially found a photographer-friend to do this for them?
SeaBiscuit: what happen?
SeaBiscuit: so we are backup?
WuTang Crane: when Susan asked me if i know of any place they can go to take interesting pre-wed pictures, she didn't know that we're actually doing this too.
WuTang Crane: i offered my services and she said they've already got someone
WuTang Crane: ...another friend
WuTang Crane: so, i said if they wanna look for actual day photography, go look up our website.
WuTang Crane: so, they saw our work in Sekinchan and fell in love with it... enough to checnge their mind now
WuTang Crane: i guess
SeaBiscuit: aha
WuTang Crane: so i don't know what happened to their initial plan, i guess either they ditched the other photog or got ditched by him....
WuTang Crane: but i was lucky to not promise them anything, coz i don't want to get both of us in a bind. so I said i can do it without charge IF i am free
SeaBiscuit: i told her something similiar
WuTang Crane: She has made it VERY clearly several times that the couple has zero budget.
WuTang Crane: and that we can work for food if we want to.
WuTang Crane:
WuTang Crane: this is a part where I just can't get over with....
SeaBiscuit: one thing i don like about Susan
SeaBiscuit: she has this tendency to use her friends
SeaBiscuit: when she was back last time she keep asking me to send her here and there
SeaBiscuit: but i didnt
WuTang Crane: keep your friends close to you... keep your enemies closer.
SeaBiscuit: like i am her freaking bf or someting
WuTang Crane: people in general, think that everyone and anyone is capable of snapping photos. but what we actually do is just like what hired killers do. anyone is capable of killing. but, can they do it? No. They don't kill for a living. So that's why they need to pay hired killers. and, they are not cheap.
WuTang Crane: but, like i said, people in general thinks they can pick up a gun a shoot someone's head and walk away like nothing happened.
SeaBiscuit: well, just let them learn it the hard way
SeaBiscuit: half of the ppl i know somehow think that photog are a rip off
SeaBiscuit: they don say it out load out of being polite
SeaBiscuit: but u can tell from the way they speak about it
SeaBiscuit: they think how hard can it be just to turn the dail to Auto, point and shoot
SeaBiscuit: even their mum can do it
WuTang Crane: so, why is it suddenly our mission to educate these people the value of hiring a pro?
WuTang Crane: if you become a surgeon, do you have to tell your patients to stop cutting themselves up and let the pro's handle it?
SeaBiscuit: because unlike in overseas, ppl here don know the value of a professional
SeaBiscuit: taking pic is different is compared to a surgeon
SeaBiscuit: most ppl think its just pressing a few buttons
WuTang Crane: maybe we should blog about all these in our website and maybe they'll understand
WuTang Crane: i'll copy the text above and paste it on our website
SeaBiscuit: which part?
WuTang Crane: the whole damn thing!!
SeaBiscuit: the conversation?
WuTang Crane: hell... post it on Shutter Asia...
WuTang Crane: i think it will definitely touch a lot of photographers out there
SeaBiscuit: result is simple, either we get flamed or we dont
WuTang Crane: i don't care...
WuTang Crane: let’s find out…
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Old 06-03-2008, 06:47 PM
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ShaolinTiger ShaolinTiger is offline
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Free jobs are ok, but not doing stuff for low price.

Either free or expensive that's the way to go.

But screw them if they won't let you post the pics online, then there's no point you doing it as you can't strengthen your portfolio.

The reason photographers take free jobs is for:
  • Exposure/Branding
  • Practice
  • Expand/Improve Portfolio
  • Extend Network
If you are already good, you don't need to practice...if they aren't famous you don't get exposure or branding. So is only the last 2 points you gain.

If that's worth doing in trade for the job it's your call.

Last edited by Freaky; 06-03-2008 at 07:11 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 06-03-2008, 07:06 PM
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noordin noordin is offline
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I agree with ST. Either you do it as a favour for free or you charge market rates. If it is free then they cannot dictate what you do with the images.
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Old 06-03-2008, 07:15 PM
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Freaky Freaky is offline
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ST is correct...

another thing is set a rate and stick to it... Know how much you are worth and sell your services at that price. So long as you can deliver at that price. If client wants cheaper, send them elsewhere... they will have to live with the fact that they might not get what they want.
Life's More Fun With Freaky

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Old 06-03-2008, 07:19 PM
damonlbs damonlbs is offline
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yup yup either free(good friend) or paid job(client)

anything in between u asking for trouble
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Old 06-03-2008, 08:30 PM
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desaintlights desaintlights is offline
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I still vote for ST's comment. He is right !

but if u want, i will add in a bit more for you.... if they want free shooting, yes u can do free shooting for them. but when they ask u for photos, u can start charging them like RM100/photo.... just to cover ur cost.

Of course, the above said are ONLY meant to those bustard who bully and press down hard on the photogs... DO NOT use it unless it is ur last resort to take revenge.

Well, I must say that it works well when I used it. Teach them a damn good lesson, so next time they know that they will have to pay for decent photograph. Otherwise, get a camera and join SA.

DeSaint Lights
I am a NOOB. Please don't shoot me.

My photos at SMUGMUG.
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Old 06-03-2008, 08:31 PM
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noruazumi noruazumi is offline
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i'm not a good photographer, so i don't know about charging. but i do know about courtesy or returning the favor. if do a free job as a friend, at least treat you as a friend also. at least in return, accommodate you with a nice room to rest one night, give u a treat or something.

charging cheap is killing the market. i've seen a group of photographers charging RM300 for my friend's engagement ceremony. and yes, as i expected, the photos were really bad. not that i want to look down on other people, but come on. there were 5 photogs that day, and i assumed that they took the engagement ceremony as practice ground. and again, as i expected, the photos have "i shoot you - you shoot me" shots. meaning, in most photos, there were at least one photog in the shot. really "potong stim".

oh, i've been way off-topic now. again, it is all about courtesy when it comes to free job. remember that.
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Old 06-03-2008, 10:19 PM
EdwinTan EdwinTan is offline
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i may be new in this photography field...but i don't really like it when ur helping ur friend to take picture for their big day or any event, and in return they didn't even treat u a dinner or return ur favor.

I've been in this situation before, i helped a friend to cover her annual dinner, and yes in the first place, i told her.. i'm still new, and don't really know how 2 mess with flash.. so don't expect any nice picture...and of course i require at least 1-2 week to finish process the picture.

And guess what?? After the shooting, she just tell me to pass her the pic, in 2 days time..WTF least give me time to photoshop..or edit the picture.

And so i got real fed-up, don't even bother to edit any pic i just give it to her and she complained. All the picture not nice !! lightning to harsh..some underexpose..too dark and etc..

i'm like wtf.. i doing it free for her and yet still complaint >.>

so, it's up to u for ur judgement... heck, there are a few event which i cover.. for free and i get better treatment...nice free dinner... some tips, pocket ride..
and stuff... some even offer to buy the picture..
I dare not to post sub-standard photo, people will say I'm trying to increase post count &
i'm very un pro cause I photo edit my pictures
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Old 06-04-2008, 07:53 AM
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desaintlights desaintlights is offline
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ET and Zumi ~> This is the downside of doing free jobs......... i mean, what's the point right ? being under treated and kena complain some more....... my stands with you guys !

that's probably why i dun do free job in the first place.... nothing good for myself, and it's bad for the market. if all the photogs can understand..........
DeSaint Lights
I am a NOOB. Please don't shoot me.

My photos at SMUGMUG.
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Old 06-04-2008, 08:40 AM
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jayhan jayhan is offline
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agree with ST 101%
for me im taking it pretty much on a simpler terms.
i sometimes do free jobs - if and only if i find the couple value my work and my presence as a friend. i do not even mind giving them all the pics. reason for this : just for the fun of it. I guess every single shutter clickers have their own means of justification to dive into this. i do not think its killing the market... if the fulltime pros are threatened by such occasional throw of price, or in this case - to an extend of free... then i guess they have to just buck up and get real with their stuffs. its a world of survival of the fittest. the rest are bullcrap really. LOL

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i dont need to produce great photos to call myself an artist.
i just need to produce blur photos to praise myself as one.

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