Why Should I Pay for That? No Thanks!

You may ask yourself what exactly I am talking about. Let me explain by providing you a situation. A photographer takes a photograph and shares it on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and every other social media. Then what happens is a major cooperation see's the photo and asks if they can use it without any sort of compensation. Yes this happens everyday. 

Here is the issue with this. Major cooperation's have tens of millions of dollars for their advertising budget, yet still feel that a photographer should just give away their product for nothing more than a mention that you were the photographer that took the photo. While their are some out there that are more than happy to do this, it's usually not the ones that are trying to make a living and pay their bills with their unique skills. 

I have a large issue with this. What do you think that company would say if I called them and said the following "hey I really like your product, do you think I could have it and I will give you credit when I use it or post about it?" That company would typically hang up on you before you got any further. So why is it that they do that to a photographer? I can tell you exactly why it is. The reason is that their are a million people out there with a cell phone that will take a picture and just give it away. 

What happens when all these people start giving photos away to people that should be paying for them is that it devalues the real quality work for one, and it lowers the expectation of the company, in turn they think they should owe nothing and if I won't give it away they will find someone that does. Now don't get me wrong, not all big business does this, but it is more common than you would think. It's not just businesses either, there are magazines, website, marketing firms, etc. that all practice this. 

What I would love is for photographers to ban together and put an end to this practice of giving quality work away. Yeah it's great to get a few new followers because of something, but when you give it away, how much do you value your own work, time, & talent? Are you worth more than $0? If so why are you giving work away? Will Nikon or Canon or Sony give you equipment for free because you like it? The answer is no. So why provide your end product to someone for nothing? 

It doesn't matter if you are an amateur  or a professional photographer, you work is still worth more than nothing, so stop treating it like it's worth nothing and put a true value on your work!