I told myself that 2020 was the year I put out into the beauty community. This was the year that I start giving out business secrets and information to help further my co-creatives. There is a lot of information for smoky eyes on Youtube. Consumers are getting savvier (or so they think) by the video. What else is left? With my heart in education, I felt like this was the best way to give back to the community. Pushing myself to do better while pushing my co-creatives.
First things first, stop working for free.
I've listed reasons when you should not accept free work
(or how to shift the conversation).
1. You already have that style of work in your portfolio
No reasons to keep doing boudoir shoots or wedding shoots if you want to showcase editorial. No reason to keep using blonde models if you don't have anyone as a brunette. Make sure if you take TFP or models that you are always challenging yourself, using it as a portfolio booster or speaking to your diversity.
*TFP trade for print/photography
2. You deserve to get paid.
I do one TFP shoot a month. This could be a friend, me and a camera, this could be a photoshoot with a photographer I enjoy or something else. I limit myself to one a month, as a creative outlet, because I deserve to make money with my skillset.
3. Free work isn't always great work
Sometimes it just isn't worth your time. Point blank.
4. It disrupts the entire industry
I am all about collaborations. But, if they know you will work for free, they think I'll work for free, and my co-creator will work for free. Even worse, they will think you will work for free NEXT time.
5. There IS a budget.
On most shoots or at most events, there is ALWAYS a budget. The budget just isn't designed for those that they think will do it for exposure. Your landlord does not accept rent in exposure. Your doctor does not accept payment in exposure. There comes a time in your career and for most events where neither should you. Ask for their budget or send your rates. Nothing bad can happen. You can always negotiate. If it falls into a category that makes sense for you to do for exposure, for charity or for your portfolio -- that's fine. Make it clear what your rates are for additional events.
(Makeup by Me
Photos taken by Samantha.mariephotography)