Monday, 28 July 2014

Self employment. The never ending cry.

Ye gods and little fishes....................

I don't like to complain.
Sometimes my not complaining makes me too wound up though, and I do do something. The safest way to "let off steam" is to write here...........


As any working photographer knows, it takes years to be even acceptable in photography. Now you may think that this is a stupid thing to say, after all, modern cameras are "auto everything" and can take all the skill and hard work out of the craft, yes?
Well, let's consider this:

1/ You're in a dimly lit venue. Flash is prohibited and time is limited.  Your subject will appear, (maybe on stage, for example), for 20 seconds to receive an award, (or some such thing). Do you KNOW that you can do it?

2/ The light is harsh, yet a balanced exposure revealing texture is required. Time is limited. Do you KNOW that you can do it?

3/ An average sunny street event turns into a torrential downpour. The stalwarts manning the event continue.  Do you? Can you?

4/ The product image has a very specific colour. The client needs the photo to be correct. Do you KNOW that you can do it?

5/ The product needs retouching invisibly. Do you KNOW that you can do it?

6/ The client is a well respected and moderately famous person. Do you know how to treat him/her?

7/ Your camera jams.  Do you have a back up, or do you just let your client down?

8/ You're involved in a minor accident at a venue. Are you insured for Public Liability?

9/ Your computer back at base breaks down. Can you find a back up computer RIGHT NOW?

10/ Your files on your cameras card are corrupted. Whilst there may be no hope here, do you have the means to attempt repairs?

11/ Do you have enough money to replace gear and still eat/pay bills?

How is this a rant?  Simple!  Here we have expensive, stressful, time-consuming, artistic, technical and social issues. Whilst no one is perfect, a photographer will, (I hope), at least TRY to cover most of these bases.

So why do I keep getting asked for freebies? 

This very day, a major tourism agency asked for images, but added, "we have no budget for this kind of work, please send us something small............."  

Another favourite is "we will credit you on the image but won't pay"  Great, if you are National Geographic, the Times, Time magazine or the BBC, then yes. Otherwise, erm..... no.

Oh dear, sorry readers.......... Guess I'm tired or something.

I'd LOVE to work for free, really. I'd love to give images away and just enjoy meeting people and challenging myself, but there's NO FREE LUNCH.