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Don Dudenbostel
27-Sep-2013, 18:50
It's not like this hasn't happened before but it hasn't happened in over forty years. Here's a little background, I'm not a young kid with a digital rebel. I've been in the commercial photo business for over forty six years and have shot for Life, Esquire, New York Times, Parade and many many fortune 500 companies including catalogs for Philips Electronics, Annual Reports for Exxon, catalog and ads for John Deere, ads for Union Carbide, Philips petroleum, Johnson and Johnson, McDonald's and on and on . I'm also a PPofA Master photographer since 1985. I'm not a beginner.

I pitched a potential ad agency client this week and got a call from the creative director today. He goes into the details of the shoot and as we're discussing it he says, "There's no budget". I said, "What, no budget as you want it for free?" That's exactly what they wanted. Anyway this agency has never assigned a job either pay or free to me and they're calling me to get a full day free for something they are making money on. It's not even a charity. I told the creative director that if they had been a good client and assigned work over time I would take care of something like this as a favor but not on the first assignment. These folks know my work and don't need to do a test with me. I also said if it would lead to other pay jobs I might consider it. No such promise was the response.

What do you think, Tacky?

I had a similar thing about three years ago. I did a freebie for three days for the United Way. I directed the lighting for a series of TV commercials and did the still photos for the ads. All of the crew did it for free and we didn't even get a thanks. No thanks at all! The real kicker was the agency that asked all of us including the writer to do this for free got paid by the United Way.

Enough is enough!!!!

Ari
27-Sep-2013, 19:10
Shameful, but, unfortunately, all too common in this day and age.

Kirk Gittings
27-Sep-2013, 19:11
Been there, made that mistake. Fully agree with

I told the creative director that if they had been a good client and assigned work over time I would take care of something like this as a favor but not on the first assignment.

photobymike
27-Sep-2013, 19:23
i feel ya

Don Dudenbostel
27-Sep-2013, 19:28
It just burns me that companies are that bold. Thinking about it I've had a handfull of companies assign work they never intended to pay for from the beginning. One of them was known for that and unfortunate I didn't know. That one I took to court and had the owners Mercedes impounded. Got my money! At least this group warned me up front.

Don Dudenbostel
27-Sep-2013, 19:35
The upside to this is I'm retiring late next year. I love my work but I'm exhausted with business. It's been a fantastic career and I want to leave it while I can walk out on my own terms. I have a great art photo business and will continue that but no more commercial. You get spoiled when you worked in the golden era of the business. It's tough to see the industry reduced to this.

Jody_S
27-Sep-2013, 19:53
You get spoiled when you worked in the golden era of the business. It's tough to see the industry reduced to this.

Sadly, it's not just the photography business that has been so reduced and dumbed down. There is a corporate mentality that views talent as an unnecessary expense, not as an asset.

ScottPhotoCo
27-Sep-2013, 20:02
Honestly, beyond tacky. Bullshit if you ask me. I've been a creative director with some of the biggest agencies in the world for a long time now and left the big agency world to start my own agency several years ago.

If I had ever asked a quality photographer to shoot for us at even half their rate, let alone free, I would have fully expected them to tell me where I could go. If they didn't, I would have wondered how good they were anyway. Working for free hurts everyone, including the people getting the free work as the people doing it likely don't have any vested interest in a quality outcome. A sad state of the advertising business indeed.

My rule is if I work for free then it is a cause or project I believe strongly in, and you have no right to dictate what I do or how I do it. If you pay, you pay my rate and we work as partners to execute a shared vision. Either way I'll give 110%. The difference is the process. For me, there is no middle ground.

I say stick to your guns unless extenuating circumstances dictate otherwise. Good agencies take care of quality people.

Tim

Don Dudenbostel
27-Sep-2013, 20:05
There is a new corporate mentality. I have a good friend that was terminated from his job last November. It was a producer for a fairly major tv production company. He'd been in the business for almost thirty years. His shows were major network series. He was booted out because he was making too much money and replaced by the owner of the business brother in law. It didn't matter that he produced and developed more successful shows than any other producer in the company. His Tallent just wasn't valued.

It's great to be 65 and about to retire.

photobymike
27-Sep-2013, 20:37
Do you know why they want free work? Because they can and will get a hungry photographer anxious to make his bones

polyglot
27-Sep-2013, 20:47
Rank opportunism. They do it, of course, because they get away with it most of the time.

There are plenty of mugs willing to be taken advantage of, and with camera gear being so cheap, there isn't even a shortage of mostly-skilled mugs. Sure they're not masters, but advertising agencies arguably don't need masters. There is no way in hell I would consider becoming a commercial photographer.

Kirk Gittings
27-Sep-2013, 22:06
This is not new. I've seen it many times in my 35 years in the biz.


There is a new corporate mentality. I have a good friend that was terminated from his job last November. It was a producer for a fairly major tv production company. He'd been in the business for almost thirty years. His shows were major network series. He was booted out because he was making too much money and replaced by the owner of the business brother in law. It didn't matter that he produced and developed more successful shows than any other producer in the company. His Tallent just wasn't valued.

It's great to be 65 and about to retire.

AtlantaTerry
28-Sep-2013, 01:08
I call it "Craigslist Logic".

I only work for free for my church and a couple local social organizations. Anyone else gets a commercial rate quote.

brighamr
28-Sep-2013, 01:40
working for free is not commercial photography
saying no is the only way
you really have nothing to loose
the agency would not work for you for free or expect a free coffee at Starbucks
or a free car from a dealer

just say no and respect yourself and others
and gently educate people who can't see why

there are situations when I work for free but commercial work is not one of them

rant over ...

Ron Stowell
28-Sep-2013, 05:02
It's not just photography; it is all business.
It seems to be the norm now days.
If there is no budget for the work, then don't bother asking.

Jac@stafford.net
28-Sep-2013, 05:12
I might reply to the company, "Let's try it my way: you pay me and I do nothing. Get it?"

Will Whitaker
28-Sep-2013, 06:09
Not even. Just hang up and walk away. They don't deserve the courtesy of a reply.

Everybody wants somethin' for nuthin'. Ain't new, but it always sucks.

Don Dudenbostel
28-Sep-2013, 20:19
I finally think I'm over my rant now. I did the right thing and was polite when I said no. I always try to keep doors open for future pay work which I think is unlikely. Like I told them if they were a good paying client I'd bend over backward for them. I have several long term clients I'd do free work for if they needed it because they've taken care of me for years.

Thanks all for your support and listening to my rant.

C. D. Keth
28-Sep-2013, 23:05
Extremely tacky and, in my opinion, rude to even ask of somebody they don't have a solid relationship with already.

Don Dudenbostel
29-Sep-2013, 05:14
http://www.catherinedeveny.com/columns/2013/6/13/equal-not.html

This woman's reply to an outfit who wanted her time and endorsement for nothing is a way to handle stuff like this.

She nailed it on the head.

I'm afraid there are plenty of people that will work for only a byline as I was promised. Like I and Catherine said it wint buy groceries.

I see it on this and other forums where folks will work for free just for recognition. Some of this might be in the hopes they'll be discovered and eventually get pay jobs. Let me tell you it doesn't work like that.

I suspect what happened in my case was the person that was going to do it free bailed at the last minute. The call I received was at 5:00pm on Friday afternoon. The event started mid afternoon Saturday which was less than 24 hours away. This was a huge event, baloon fest, and costs tens of thousands of dollars to put on. Ifcsomeonechadnt bailed why would they wait till the evening before to line up a photographer to shoot the magazine article? All I can say is that's what you get with amateurs , freebies and they deserve it. You hire a professional that's been in the biz for decades and you get quality, dependability and everything you expect from a pro.

Thanks for the link and hats off to her.

Len Middleton
29-Sep-2013, 07:44
In my business practice advising clients, I find they often value the advise based upon that they pay for it. Therefore free advise is given little value...

I suspect it is not much different in other areas of business...

Jac@stafford.net
29-Sep-2013, 08:08
I see it on this and other forums where folks will work for free just for recognition. Some of this might be in the hopes they'll be discovered and eventually get pay jobs. Let me tell you it doesn't work like that.

It certainly doesn't. Could you share your experience with how it really does work?

I found that clients hired based upon qualities of reliability, talent, personality (cooperative, pleasant), and fee. I am no longer a pro, thankfully retired, and could not be pro due to health issues - the reliability concern, and quite possibly not talented enough today.

Oh, welcome to retirement. Don't let it drive you crazy. :)

Don Dudenbostel
29-Sep-2013, 09:01
If you give work away you will always be known for giving it away. It's correct you'll never get respect like those of us that charge a fee. Understand I'm always willing to work on a budget if my client has been with me for awhile but first timers for free, no way.

Retiring for me is redirecting. I do a lot of X-ray art and have galleries across the eastern US and that keeps my spare time occupied. I'm expanding that business and have my documentary and a book we did selling quite well. Im also introducing my collodion work now and that's gaining traction. Were moving to Southern AZ to an art community as well. I have several lifetimes of things I want to do.

Thanks!

Jac@stafford.net
29-Sep-2013, 15:19
I should have added one more thing regarding getting work, at least in photojournalistic day-rate assignments: so very often it did not matter how successful the name photographer had been in satisfying the clients' dreams. The client only wanted to capitalize upon his name even when the readership could only utter, WTF is this?

Ari
30-Sep-2013, 07:42
http://www.catherinedeveny.com/columns/2013/6/13/equal-not.html

This woman's reply to an outfit who wanted her time and endorsement for nothing is a way to handle stuff like this.

Being able to reply that way to yet another lowball/insulting work offer is a dream for many of us; she handled it very well, as did (surprisingly) the lady who made the initial offer.

I'm nowhere near retirement, but I am on a self-imposed hiatus from commercial photography, as these kinds of offers, and attitudes, were quickly becoming the norm when I called it a day.

mdarnton
30-Sep-2013, 09:27
Almost 40 years ago I had a local electrical power company approach me to do free work for their annual report. At the time, I was working on a daily paper that covered four counties, and as the only staff photographer had about five photos a day in the paper, six days a week, had won a few statewide journalism awards, knew hundreds or perhaps thousands of people in the community, through my paper work, and was well known by sight (I was easy to spot--that was the 70s) by the people I didn't personally know. The power co rep offered that their annual report would be great exposure for me. I laughed. And I had to explain it to her. Some people are just beyond dense. :-)

Before that I had worked in a commercial studio for a few years. The owner had a very enlightened policy: if he personally was sufficiently into your cause or your friendship, he didn't charge, but everyone else, friend or foe, got the same price. He was involved in several community organizations and often sent me out to shoot their stuff; even though he didn't get paid, I did, from him.

It really helps to not get too personally wrapped up in taking yourself too seriously. That allows you a lot of latitude to just shrug and walk away from things you don't want to get involved in.

Drew Wiley
30-Sep-2013, 10:33
I'd simply reply, "Do you work for free?"

Mark Sawyer
30-Sep-2013, 11:01
I had a similar thing about three years ago. I did a freebie for three days for the United Way. I directed the lighting for a series of TV commercials and did the still photos for the ads. All of the crew did it for free and we didn't even get a thanks. No thanks at all! The real kicker was the agency that asked all of us including the writer to do this for free got paid by the United Way.

The head of United Way has a salary right around a million a year...

http://www.charitywatch.org/hottopics/Top25.html

BarryS
30-Sep-2013, 11:44
The head of United Way has a salary right around a million a year...

http://www.charitywatch.org/hottopics/Top25.html

United Way probably had no idea the agency was begging for handouts. You can bet the agency had a sufficient budget and they figured they could pocket the difference by playing the charity card and getting free labor.

ghostcount
30-Sep-2013, 12:27
Quinn Jacobson also recently experienced an unprofessional solicitation by Lame-ography.

http://collodion.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=10327&title=lomography-petzval-lens (http://collodion.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=10327&title=lomography-petzval-lens)

Don Dudenbostel
30-Sep-2013, 14:00
I'm afraid this is becoming more common. One major greeting card company has contests and the winner gets their design printed. I don't think the winner gets and money and if they do it isn't much because they only pay $50 for a card design from freelancers. I saw a contest a couple of years ago where the company made baby clothing or accessories. They got mommies to send in pix of their babies with the companies clothes. The prize was the photo the mommy took would be used in ads and such. Free models and photography. This is where it's going unfortunately. We've not even brought up the enthusiasts that will shoot for nothing to get a byline.

Mark Sawyer
30-Sep-2013, 21:29
I'm holding a contest too! Send me your lenses, and whichever ones I like, I'll keep! Enter as often as you like, and good luck everyone... :rolleyes:

Robert Oliver
30-Sep-2013, 21:45
They will have photographer's lined up willing to do it for free... I jumped ship awhile ago.

Hard to compete with free!

MrFujicaman
30-Sep-2013, 21:52
Don, this goes on in every industry. I sold security equipment in the NJ/PA/DE area for years and saw this kind of BS often. I had a major Atlantic City casino that we'd called on several times (with never an order) call up one afternoon and ask to "borrow" a $4500 time lapse recorder. Yeah,right.... I had another casino pull similar crap about a year later.

The photo "contests" where they use your photo without paying you ? I saw one were EVERY photo entered became their property to use as they saw fit. How cute...for the price of a magazine ad you get thousands of photo's to use for your company or to sell for others to use. People like that are scum.

Don Dudenbostel
1-Oct-2013, 02:42
The photo "contests" where they use your photo without paying you ? I saw one were EVERY photo entered became their property to use as they saw fit. How cute...for the price of a magazine ad you get thousands of photo's to use for your company or to sell for others to use. People like that are scum.

I've seen those too where the company has rights to use all entries. The good part is 99% of the entries are crap.

The upside, unlike some "clients" that assign work with no intent to pay, we at least have warning and can say no. It saves the legal costs and time for us.

Don Dudenbostel
1-Oct-2013, 02:59
I totally forgot an incident that happened three years ago. One of my regular clients that spent quite a bit with me each year assigned a job shooting a marathon the sponser. I'm not an event shooter but I make exceptions for some clients. I shot the race and everyone was happy. It took most of the day do do all the secondary things they wanted shot. The next year they didn't assign it and had a contest to get people to shoot it and the best photos would be published in their ads. Ok I'm not shooting it this year and they call me to see if I would shoot it free and enter the contest and if my photos are good enough they would publish them in their ads. I guess they thought I'd get excited about the prospect of getting my work printed in their ads. I can't even guess how many thousand images I've had in ads, annual reports and etc. no I wasn't excited and I didn't waste a day for nothing.

I guess they didn't get any winners because I never saw any of the images published. Well the following year they hired another guy that almost gives his work away and I know for a fact that he has done that just to get jobs even though it's a break even job.

My client has lowered their standards to get cheap work. I did their work for over twenty five years and earlier this year the pulled most of my work away from me and gave it to the other guy. I hated that for obvious reasons but looking at their ads that he shoots they are very amateur looking and absolute garbage.

It hardly matters now since I'm retiring next year. I just hate to see what's happening to the industry.

Mark Sawyer, I'm moving to southern AZ when I retire and hope to meet you and some of the other AZ members of the forum.

Struan Gray
1-Oct-2013, 03:00
I am approached two or three times a year by people wanting to use one of my STM micrographs in a fact sheet or textbook. *None* of the large textbook manufacturers (and I use that word advisedly) has ever been prepared to pay even minimal usage fees. They will pay for a generic image of kids in a classroom, but not for good illustrations of the science they are purporting to teach.

In addition, *none* of the not-for-profit educational charities I have occasionally allowed to use an image has ever sent me the complementary copy they promised. I have *always* had to nag them.

This is not just a lack of courtesy on the part of individuals. It is systematic exploitation, and it's endemic to the technical publishing trade. It is one of the major reasons I quickly run away from any dreams I may have of making a living from scientific illustration and photography.

Like others here, I allow images to be used by people or organisations which whom I have a connection. Everyone else gets a polite, but firm, indication of how much I wish to be paid. Most vanish.

Racer X 69
2-Oct-2013, 07:34
There is a new corporate mentality. I have a good friend that was terminated from his job last November. It was a producer for a fairly major tv production company. He'd been in the business for almost thirty years. His shows were major network series. He was booted out because he was making too much money and replaced by the owner of the business brother in law. It didn't matter that he produced and developed more successful shows than any other producer in the company. His Tallent just wasn't valued.

I worked for 30 years as a journeyman mechanic after serving a 4 year state indentured apprenticeship (the original 4 year degree). I was trained in every aspect of the trade, including steel and aluminum fabrication. I worked on all manner of vehicles and equipment including cars, medium and heavy duty trucks, off road equipment, aerial buckets, digger derricks and cranes. I specialized in mobile fluid power (hydraulic systems), and held ASE automotive and truck master certifications (one of only 2,000 technicians in the world to do so).

I also worked on the side at a shop behind my home.

Everyone wanted me to work on their cars for free, or for very little. Many would call me, describe the problem, and then want me to tell them how to fix it.



It's great to be 65 and about to retire.

I retired a few years ago figuring 30 years of turning wrenches was enough, but Mrs. Racer told me I wasn't sitting at home doing nothing while she went to work each day.

I have had a CDL since 1979, so I went to work driving trucks for a flatbed company that (mostly) moves loads for a certain major aircraft manufacturer that competes with Airbus. I move everything from raw materials (aluminum and titanium to finished components (jet engine inlet cowlings and thrust reversers, landing gear, wing and fuselage components, etc.) Million dollar loads are the norm (price titanium sometime, then multiply the price per pound by 44,000). I moved 3 UAV's last November, complete with launch an recovery equipment, and ground support gear, valued at more than 3 million dollars.

If a light was out or there was an air leak I wold fix it, rather than try to get into a shop and have to wait, and of course it saves the company money, because they don't have to pay labor and markup, and the load keeps moving.

Last year I was near Little Rock, AR and a CAC (charge air cooler) clamp broke. This leaves the compressed intake air from the turbocharger blowing back to the atmosphere, rather than being forced into the engine to make power.

Suddenly a 500 horsepower engine with 1,500 foot pounds of torque has less motive energy than a Geo Metro, which is useless for moving 80,000lbs of truck, trailer and load.

I called the shop.

They wanted me to see if I could fix it up well enough to be able to drive to a repair shop so they wold not have to pay $500 or so for a roadside service call.

So trying to be a nice guy and tow the company line I fixed it up, then drove 20 or so miles out of route to a repair shop.

The guy at the repair shop said they were too busy and could not even "look" at it for two days.

What?

It only needs a new clamp.

So I bought a clamp and put it on myself.

I saved the company about $600.

When I got back home I asked the owner to toss a couple hundred bucks my way for saving his company some money, and keeping the load on schedule for delivery.

His reply?

"I hired you to drive a truck, not to fix it".

So I told him that in four and a half years I had saved him literally thousands of dollars in repairs on the road. And he had not ever even said thank you for my efforts.

I also told him that I do not work for free, just like the mechanics in his shop do not work for free, and the mechanics in the shops that are scattered all over the country do not work for free.

I made it clear that from that point forward I would do nothing more than what my obligations as a driver are. I check the oil, fluids, tires, lights, load securement, etc. each day during the pre trip inspection that is required by the FMCSA.

And if there s a light out I will call the shop and they can send someone out to fix them, as it is illegal to operate a commercial motor vehicle with any defect, including lighting.

They are not happy about this.

It cost them $65 the other day to have a guy replace the headlight in the truck I am driving. The bulb can be had at a parts store for about $8, the repair shop marked it up to $25.

And it delayed my progress that day about 3 hours. In 3 hours I can cover about 150 miles.

I would have popped a new one in for what the repair shop marked the bulb up to.

And it would have taken about5 minutes.

No problem.

But I won't work for free, and I refuse to be taken advantage of.

Mark Sawyer
2-Oct-2013, 10:59
Mark Sawyer, I'm moving to southern AZ when I retire and hope to meet you and some of the other AZ members of the forum.

It's always good to have another inmate in the asylum! Let me know when you get here and settled in... :)

welly
2-Oct-2013, 15:40
I worked for 30 years as a journeyman mechanic after serving a 4 year state indentured apprenticeship (the original 4 year degree). I was trained in every aspect of the trade, including steel and aluminum fabrication. I worked on all manner of vehicles and equipment including cars, medium and heavy duty trucks, off road equipment, aerial buckets, digger derricks and cranes. I specialized in mobile fluid power (hydraulic systems), and held ASE automotive and truck master certifications (one of only 2,000 technicians in the world to do so).

I also worked on the side at a shop behind my home.

Everyone wanted me to work on their cars for free, or for very little. Many would call me, describe the problem, and then want me to tell them how to fix it.




I retired a few years ago figuring 30 years of turning wrenches was enough, but Mrs. Racer told me I wasn't sitting at home doing nothing while she went to work each day.

I have had a CDL since 1979, so I went to work driving trucks for a flatbed company that (mostly) moves loads for a certain major aircraft manufacturer that competes with Airbus. I move everything from raw materials (aluminum and titanium to finished components (jet engine inlet cowlings and thrust reversers, landing gear, wing and fuselage components, etc.) Million dollar loads are the norm (price titanium sometime, then multiply the price per pound by 44,000). I moved 3 UAV's last November, complete with launch an recovery equipment, and ground support gear, valued at more than 3 million dollars.

If a light was out or there was an air leak I wold fix it, rather than try to get into a shop and have to wait, and of course it saves the company money, because they don't have to pay labor and markup, and the load keeps moving.

Last year I was near Little Rock, AR and a CAC (charge air cooler) clamp broke. This leaves the compressed intake air from the turbocharger blowing back to the atmosphere, rather than being forced into the engine to make power.

Suddenly a 500 horsepower engine with 1,500 foot pounds of torque has less motive energy than a Geo Metro, which is useless for moving 80,000lbs of truck, trailer and load.

I called the shop.

They wanted me to see if I could fix it up well enough to be able to drive to a repair shop so they wold not have to pay $500 or so for a roadside service call.

So trying to be a nice guy and tow the company line I fixed it up, then drove 20 or so miles out of route to a repair shop.

The guy at the repair shop said they were too busy and could not even "look" at it for two days.

What?

It only needs a new clamp.

So I bought a clamp and put it on myself.

I saved the company about $600.

When I got back home I asked the owner to toss a couple hundred bucks my way for saving his company some money, and keeping the load on schedule for delivery.

His reply?

"I hired you to drive a truck, not to fix it".

So I told him that in four and a half years I had saved him literally thousands of dollars in repairs on the road. And he had not ever even said thank you for my efforts.

I also told him that I do not work for free, just like the mechanics in his shop do not work for free, and the mechanics in the shops that are scattered all over the country do not work for free.

I made it clear that from that point forward I would do nothing more than what my obligations as a driver are. I check the oil, fluids, tires, lights, load securement, etc. each day during the pre trip inspection that is required by the FMCSA.

And if there s a light out I will call the shop and they can send someone out to fix them, as it is illegal to operate a commercial motor vehicle with any defect, including lighting.

They are not happy about this.

It cost them $65 the other day to have a guy replace the headlight in the truck I am driving. The bulb can be had at a parts store for about $8, the repair shop marked it up to $25.

And it delayed my progress that day about 3 hours. In 3 hours I can cover about 150 miles.

I would have popped a new one in for what the repair shop marked the bulb up to.

And it would have taken about5 minutes.

No problem.

But I won't work for free, and I refuse to be taken advantage of.

Good on you! Feck 'em.

Don Dudenbostel
2-Oct-2013, 18:34
It's always good to have another inmate in the asylum! Let me know when you get here and settled in... :)

I'm at the point I can hardly wait to retire. We're putting our house on the market in early March. I'm in Knoxville Tn in the better part of town and homes have risen quite a bit even in the past 5 years. Homes have fortunately been selling well and at record highs. As soon as it sells we're shutting the business down and headed to AZ to buy a house.

My wife and I are artists and have a good business going that we will continue and expand. Retirement is really redirecting for me. My wife has been a full time fine artist for the past 18 years and has been quite successful. We wanted to be in an art community and looked at Tubac, Jerome and Bisbee. Bisbee is the place we've decided on. Weve gone there for years to vacation and made three trips out to look at houses. Like I said, as soon as our house sells we're out of here.

Tucson isn't far to drive so I'm sure we'll be getting together. I think there are several LF members there and want to meet all of you. I also have a very good friend from Knoxville that retired in Phoenix. My friend was a commercial photographer too and retired about 7 years ago. We've been close friends since 1972.

I think the wait is one of the hardest things I've ever done.

Hope to see you soon.

Don Dudenbostel
2-Oct-2013, 18:45
When I think back there have been plenty of people wanting a freebie.

I shoot documentary work too and have some images that have earned substantial money. There was a local lawyer a few years ago that came to me wanting to use one of these images for the cover of a book he was publishing. He's making money on it but wanted the image for free. I had never met the guy and never actuall talked to him. All communication was through his secretary. Guess what my answer was. NO! You're making money on this and selling my work is how I make my living. NO!

A good friend from high school and college invited me to his wedding. He said also bring your camera. I was young and did so. I shot several rolls of color neg with my Rollei and later had proofs made and gave them as a gift to the couple along with the negs. Let's just say the couple got pissed because I didn't do an album full of 8x10's. That's the last time he spoke to me.

The think that killed me was my friend was an electrical and drive a new Porsche 911. I was making a fraction of what he did at the time.

Racer X 69
2-Oct-2013, 23:05
One I 'like' is the church group who asked if I could come to the Christmas party they were putting on and take portraits of all who attended. "Will be great advertising" is what I was told. So, I told the pastor I would get back to him after checking the date to see if I had any conflicts.

I knew I would not do it but didn't think a simple NO would be appreciated.

A couple days later I told him I would do it with a few conditions. Two of the congregation were Lawyers, one a CPA and three were mechanics. I would be happy to take the portraits(did I mention he expected me to stand the printing costs also?) and give each person or family an 8x10 as long as the Attorneys set up tables and did free Wills for everyone who came, the CPA gave coupons for free Tax preparation for them and the auto mechanics did tune ups in the parking lot for all who drove to the meeting.

He told me I couldn't expect those folks to do that as it was their livelihood and then got this funny look as it hit him - Photography is a business for me and the portrait deal for Christmas would mean giving away at least $4,000 worth of sittings and prints - most of it to people who already knew who I was and what I did and had never called me for photo work before.



But, but, it can be in lieu of your "tithe"!

http://i64.photobucket.com/albums/h194/racerx6948/Forum%20How%20To/big-cheesy-grincopy.png

Racer X 69
2-Oct-2013, 23:08
Good on you! Feck 'em.

Thank you!

Jac@stafford.net
3-Oct-2013, 06:53
Sit down for a coffee in almost any Berlin cafe. Then watch the waitress or even the owner demonstrate that its too much trouble to provide good service

Waitress? Waiter? Coffee houses here are largely self-service and they think it is so hip!

Struan Gray
3-Oct-2013, 08:25
Sit down for a coffee in almost any Berlin cafe. Then watch the waitress or even the owner demonstrate that its too much trouble to provide good service or even the coffee.

Berliners take their coffee black. Even I learned to adapt.

Berlin rudeness is an artform, and a culture all of its own. They get worse once you're established as a regular customer. Actually quite fun for a self-deprecating Brit., but I can see how distressing it would be if you are used to the pearly smiles and instant best-friends-forever style of service.

I'm not sure how the disgusting taste of coffee creamer relates to the creeping exploitation of white collar classes, but somehow I suspect you can tell me more. Much more.

Peter De Smidt
3-Oct-2013, 08:33
Berlin rudeness is an artform, and a culture all of its own. They get worse once you're established as a regular customer. Actually quite fun for a self-deprecating Brit., but I can see how distressing it would be if you are used to the pearly smiles and instant best-friends-forever style of service.


Perhaps there are other service style alternatives?

Struan Gray
3-Oct-2013, 08:49
Perhaps there are other service style alternatives?

Indeed: here (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g551814-d2205457-Reviews-Achiltibuie_Piping_School_Cafe-Achiltibuie_Ross_and_Cromarty_Scottish_Highlands_S.html), for example.

Racer X 69
3-Oct-2013, 10:33
Indeed: here (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g551814-d2205457-Reviews-Achiltibuie_Piping_School_Cafe-Achiltibuie_Ross_and_Cromarty_Scottish_Highlands_S.html), for example.

I'm of Scottish descent, but the bagpipes annoy me. They make some of the most awful noise ever heard.

http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/02/8f/3e/b6/achiltibuie-piping-school.jpg
Achiltibuie Piping School Cafe is courtesy of TripAdvisor

goamules
3-Oct-2013, 10:47
Hey Don, early welcome to AZ, from me too! Bisbee is a nice, funky little town. I've been out west for 23 years, in Las Cruces NM and now Tucson, but I'm thinking of moving back east, perhaps to TN or my old state NC! We should compare notes!

On working for free, I have a lot of input. My daughter worked at the Tucson Sonoran Desert museum as a volunteer for 6 years. Every saturday, all year long, giving nature talks to the paying museum goers. For free. Great experience, but not a penny to pay for a car, a soda, anything. Just like the museum, the San Diego state beach I camped at last weekend was totally staffed by volunteers, mostly older retirees. They manned the booth at the entrance ($50/day to camp), walked the grounds, etc. So working for free is very much expected in "nature jobs."

Most writers also now must work for free. Most magazines and webzines will NOT pay a cent for articles. I know, I work with a lot of writers, and have been published in several magazines myself. Even an often mentioned Large Format magazine, the pay is nada, zilch, zero. After a writer does it a few times, they move on to another role or place they can make a living for their skill and BA degrees. Technical writers get paid, "other" writers don't.

Photographers - we all know about that. Work for free. But as an example, a couple weeks ago I volunteered to take some wetplate portraits at a mountain retreat. I knew it was free, I was happy to do it. But I jokingly mentioned "passing the hat" for my expenses, setting up the darktent, gas, chems, etc. Not one person in the 50 that had their portrait made any move to help. Afterwards, I was given a hand written list of all their email addresses - so I could send them all a scan of the plate. I did that too, but mentioned in my email that I will do portraits on commission. No response, not even a thank you. My wetplate events have all been a bust, no one in AZ will pay even $15 to have a plate made. I quit doing them.

Finally, my niece just graduated from college, and got an internship in Los Angeles. She did PR work, for a big media company. They "couldn't pay" but did offer a small stipend of about $1000 a month for the 3 mo. internship. They loved her and as she was finishing, asked if she wanted to stay and convert to a full time job. Sure, she said, what's the offer? They offered her $20,000 a year. In LA, schmoozing clients for large Hollywood promotions. She was living 2 hours away, in a tiny room with no kitchen. So 4 hours commute a day for below poverty level pay. She declined, and I helped her pack and move back to NC last weekend.

Drew Wiley
3-Oct-2013, 11:02
I've got nuthin' against volunteering. Just so it's not me. Lots of people seem to enjoy it. And as for coffee, I bring my own on the road, along with my propane stove. But coffee creamer is for sissies. But if you insist on real milk, there are cattle everywhere. Just bring along your own roping horse (or mule if that is to your preference). Nobody who has ever worked around a dairy farm can stand the thought of milk anyway. Heading for Maui soon with an empty suitcase ... time for another return trip with it filled with real Kona beans.

Corran
3-Oct-2013, 11:16
All creative endeavors seem to be equally maligned.

Several times a month I have students or faculty at the university I work for ask me to do audio tech work for free. I'm the "Facility Coordinator" and do audio tech work for the college as needed but not for individuals and their personal projects, obviously. The ridiculous part is after they hear my extremely reasonable rate of $75/hr they usually go out and buy one of the handheld recorder doohickeys (think bargain DSLR, it's the equivalent in audio) for $400, plus accessories. Then the day before their project/recording needs to be sent somewhere they come to me freaking out because they don't even know how to get their files (that sound terrible anyway) off the device and onto a CD.

Photography is doing better than audio for me now...it seems there are enough really bad amateurs picking up the freebies that only the serious folks contact me. I've doubled my rates since last year and get more jobs than ever.

But big companies doing this kinda thing...ridiculous.

JMB
4-Oct-2013, 09:31
Berlin rudeness is an artform, and a culture all of its own. They get worse once you're established as a regular customer. Actually quite fun for a self-deprecating Brit., but I can see how distressing it would be if you are used to the pearly smiles and instant best-friends-forever style of service.

I'm not sure how the disgusting taste of coffee creamer relates to the creeping exploitation of white collar classes, but somehow I suspect you can tell me more. Much more.

Right brother. The post was just a primer. I'd love to add more, but, you see, one very confused moderator thinks that it's okay to talk about a problem, but it's wrong to analyze the source of it. So the next time that I step on a nail, I am going to scream like hell, but just leave the nail in my foot.

Strange. Freedom of expression leads to real solutions to problems because it helps us to get to the real causes of problems by comparing thoughts and ideas. The founders of our county never put anything in the Bill of Rights to protect us from private censors because they were worried about authoritarian government rule, and they assume that every private citizen prized free expression equally. But, you see, the founders never dreamed that a wimpy moderator would fail to understand the importance of freedom of expression to his own well being and instead think himself a king.

Drew:

In any case, I like your style Drew, and when I get back to the states I will make a photo tour in my heaterless VW Bus with a Coleman stove--and no cream in my coffee unless I rope my own cow. My girlfriend insists that you right about milk by the way.

Struan Gray
4-Oct-2013, 12:56
I'm of Scottish descent, but the bagpipes annoy me. They make some of the most awful noise ever heard.

They're better outdoors :-)

And worse on recordings (too many high harmonics).

If you want an even odder noise, try the Northumbrian version.


JMB: I admire your ability to perceive eternity in a grain of sand.

jp
4-Oct-2013, 13:28
I worked for 30 years as a journeyman mechanic after serving a 4 year state indentured apprenticeship (the original 4 year degree). I was trained in every aspect of the trade, including steel and aluminum fabrication. I worked on all manner of vehicles and equipment including cars, medium and heavy duty trucks, off road equipment, aerial buckets, digger derricks and cranes. I specialized in mobile fluid power (hydraulic systems), and held ASE automotive and truck master certifications (one of only 2,000 technicians in the world to do so).

I also worked on the side at a shop behind my home.

Everyone wanted me to work on their cars for free, or for very little. Many would call me, describe the problem, and then want me to tell them how to fix it.




I retired a few years ago figuring 30 years of turning wrenches was enough, but Mrs. Racer told me I wasn't sitting at home doing nothing while she went to work each day.

I have had a CDL since 1979, so I went to work driving trucks for a flatbed company that (mostly) moves loads for a certain major aircraft manufacturer that competes with Airbus. I move everything from raw materials (aluminum and titanium to finished components (jet engine inlet cowlings and thrust reversers, landing gear, wing and fuselage components, etc.) Million dollar loads are the norm (price titanium sometime, then multiply the price per pound by 44,000). I moved 3 UAV's last November, complete with launch an recovery equipment, and ground support gear, valued at more than 3 million dollars.

If a light was out or there was an air leak I wold fix it, rather than try to get into a shop and have to wait, and of course it saves the company money, because they don't have to pay labor and markup, and the load keeps moving.

Last year I was near Little Rock, AR and a CAC (charge air cooler) clamp broke. This leaves the compressed intake air from the turbocharger blowing back to the atmosphere, rather than being forced into the engine to make power.

Suddenly a 500 horsepower engine with 1,500 foot pounds of torque has less motive energy than a Geo Metro, which is useless for moving 80,000lbs of truck, trailer and load.

I called the shop.

They wanted me to see if I could fix it up well enough to be able to drive to a repair shop so they wold not have to pay $500 or so for a roadside service call.

So trying to be a nice guy and tow the company line I fixed it up, then drove 20 or so miles out of route to a repair shop.

The guy at the repair shop said they were too busy and could not even "look" at it for two days.

What?

It only needs a new clamp.

So I bought a clamp and put it on myself.

I saved the company about $600.

When I got back home I asked the owner to toss a couple hundred bucks my way for saving his company some money, and keeping the load on schedule for delivery.

His reply?

"I hired you to drive a truck, not to fix it".

So I told him that in four and a half years I had saved him literally thousands of dollars in repairs on the road. And he had not ever even said thank you for my efforts.

I also told him that I do not work for free, just like the mechanics in his shop do not work for free, and the mechanics in the shops that are scattered all over the country do not work for free.

I made it clear that from that point forward I would do nothing more than what my obligations as a driver are. I check the oil, fluids, tires, lights, load securement, etc. each day during the pre trip inspection that is required by the FMCSA.

And if there s a light out I will call the shop and they can send someone out to fix them, as it is illegal to operate a commercial motor vehicle with any defect, including lighting.

They are not happy about this.

It cost them $65 the other day to have a guy replace the headlight in the truck I am driving. The bulb can be had at a parts store for about $8, the repair shop marked it up to $25.

And it delayed my progress that day about 3 hours. In 3 hours I can cover about 150 miles.

I would have popped a new one in for what the repair shop marked the bulb up to.

And it would have taken about5 minutes.

No problem.

But I won't work for free, and I refuse to be taken advantage of.

In my cars, I keep a spare headlight bulb or two in the glove box. They never fail when it's convenient. My Saab won't even stay running if I pop a turbo air hose/pipe; it really confuses the computers about air metering.



I feel for ya. But I also own a business and have some additional perspective.

A business can't just throw a couple hundred your way; well, a mom & pop biz might, but most businesses won't send money without an invoice. Perhaps a different sort of reward could be extracted easier than an unplanned/unbudgeted request for money, like asking the boss to buy you lunch or something. Particularly, money going to individuals for random reasons and tasks without invoices could be tax problems or the appearance of misappropriation especially if you are friends with the person making financial decisions.

Expect business people to be businesslike (tight) and not creative in resolving this. Better would be to let the biz owner/manager know you can save them a bunch (as you have proven) with simple mechanic tasks, and provide an alternative schedule of what you'd want for $ for those tasks. Then they can decide between paying you or a more expensive stranger, and everyone should be happy they are saving money and you are making money. Expect some safeguards to be implemented so parts are needlessly replaced. They may not want some driver to start needlessly changing headlight bulbs every week to pay for his cigarettes for example.

JMB
4-Oct-2013, 14:53
Rock on Struan Gray. What's photography without free, intense expression?

And who can understand "the new corporate mentality" and a disappearing decency and quality of life [the topics of this thread] without understanding neo-liberalism?

Drew Wiley
4-Oct-2013, 16:11
What the heck is "neo-liberalism"? Is that your slang for artificial coffee creamer? And why would it be any different from "neo-conservatism"? (which I don't know
the meaning of either - maybe a tea additive vs coffee, like uh, trieth...amide (TEA). Stop using big words. Either someone is fair or is a scrooge. The latter get
what they pay for (or don't pay for). Kinda like these cheap new CFL fluorescent bulbs that don't last two weeks.

Racer X 69
4-Oct-2013, 16:46
.... I'd love to add more, but, you see, one very confused moderator thinks that it's okay to talk about a problem, but it's wrong to analyze the source of it. So the next time that I step on a nail, I am going to scream like hell, but just leave the nail in my foot.

Strange. Freedom of expression leads to real solutions to problems because it helps us to get to the real causes of problems by comparing thoughts and ideas. The founders of our county never put anything in the Bill of Rights to protect us from private censors because they were worried about authoritarian government rule, and they assume that every private citizen prized free expression equally. But, you see, the founders never dreamed that a wimpy moderator would fail to understand the importance of freedom of expression to his own well being and instead think himself a king.



Keep in mind this is a privately owned and run forum. Although we are generally allowed freeform discussion, the admin and moderating staff always have the right to regulate the content.

Racer X 69
4-Oct-2013, 16:50
They're better outdoors :-)

And worse on recordings (too many high harmonics).

If you want an even odder noise, try the Northumbrian version.



Oh yes, on all three points. I find that the farther away I am from them the more tolerable they are. :cool:

JMB
4-Oct-2013, 20:18
Keep in mind this is a privately owned and run forum. Although we are generally allowed freeform discussion, the admin and moderating staff always have the right to regulate the content.

My note plainly keeps your point in mind and even addresses it.

And it is also worth keeping in mind that when an individual ventures out from his private space to involve and entangle himself in public space, then his actions are judged by a higher social standard. He can do mostly what he pleases in his living room, but not in public. An owner of the forum, of course, does not own the Internet. Hence, if the forum owner does not respect the rights of free expression of the broader public culture that uses the Internet, then he casts a shadow over his own right to be involved in the Internet in the first place. The situation is roughly analogous to the bar keep who insists that because he owns his bar he can control it in any manner that he sees fit. But the public holds him to a higher standard and rejects his right to absolute control of his private space if he maintains practices harmful to the broader culture. For example, the private owner might insist that only the members of one race enter his private bar that is otherwise open to the public.

We always have to consider whether an individual exercises his private property rights (in this case his intellectual property rights) in such a way that is not harmful to the broader culture that he seeks to engage for private purposes. I believe that the moderator has a shallow understanding of the issue that he seeks to moderate and of the importance of free expression on the Internet and in American culture.

Racer X 69
4-Oct-2013, 20:27
In my cars, I keep a spare headlight bulb or two in the glove box. They never fail when it's convenient.


Me too!


My Saab won't even stay running if I pop a turbo air hose/pipe; it really confuses the computers about air metering.

A big truck will barely move when the turbo boost is lost.


I feel for ya. But I also own a business and have some additional perspective.

A business can't just throw a couple hundred your way; well, a mom & pop biz might, but most businesses won't send money without an invoice. Perhaps a different sort of reward could be extracted easier than an unplanned/unbudgeted request for money, like asking the boss to buy you lunch or something. Particularly, money going to individuals for random reasons and tasks without invoices could be tax problems or the appearance of misappropriation especially if you are friends with the person making financial decisions.

Expect business people to be businesslike (tight) and not creative in resolving this. Better would be to let the biz owner/manager know you can save them a bunch (as you have proven) with simple mechanic tasks, and provide an alternative schedule of what you'd want for $ for those tasks. Then they can decide between paying you or a more expensive stranger, and everyone should be happy they are saving money and you are making money.

Thank you for the perspective. For sure I have looked at this situation form that angle too.


Expect some safeguards to be implemented so parts are needlessly replaced. They may not want some driver to start needlessly changing headlight bulbs every week to pay for his cigarettes for example.

In the case of replaced lighting I have always returned to the main hub with the old parts, and exchanged them for new ones in the shop.

I don't smoke (nasty habit), and although I may have an occasional Barley Pop with dinner (only when I am done driving for the day, of course!), I won't carry any in the truck's refrigerator.

Again, thanks for the comments jp, they are certainly appreciated.

goamules
5-Oct-2013, 08:40
My note plainly keeps your point in mind and even addresses it.

And it is also worth keeping in mind that when an individual ventures out from his private space to involve and entangle himself in public space, then his actions are judged by a higher social standard. He can do mostly what he pleases in his living room, but not in public. An owner of the forum, of course, does not own the Internet. Hence, if the forum owner does not respect the rights of free expression of the broader public culture that uses the Internet, then he casts a shadow over his own right to be involved in the Internet in the first place. The situation is roughly analogous to the bar keep who insists that because he owns his bar he can control it in any manner that he sees fit. But the public holds him to a higher standard and rejects his right to absolute control of his private space if he maintains practices harmful to the broader culture. For example, the private owner might insist that only the members of one race enter his private bar that is otherwise open to the public.

We always have to consider whether an individual exercises his private property rights (in this case his intellectual property rights) in such a way that is not harmful to the broader culture that he seeks to engage for private purposes. I believe that the moderator has a shallow understanding of the issue that he seeks to moderate and of the importance of free expression on the Internet and in American culture.

Easy rule. Keep politics out of posts in our photography forum. You want to debate politics, find a political forum. You're barking up the wrong tree trying to change the rule here.

dap
6-Oct-2013, 12:11
Nobody who has ever worked around a dairy farm can stand the thought of milk anyway.

Not true - the majority take a lot of pride in what they produce. What they can't stand is the watered down stuff that passes for milk in the store :rolleyes:

...in any case, it doesn't belong anywhere near a cup of coffee

redisburning
6-Oct-2013, 13:51
at least SOME people still value you because of your experience and rep OP.

trying being a young guy and trying to convince people to pay you. at this point in my life I honestly, 100% wish I could give back my master's and BA (both in quant field lmao) and just have no debt. then I could get a job at an ice cream parlor or a best buy and use my free time to take photos and play video games. I can turn around a solid factor analysis in a night that conveniently says exactly what it needs to say and you know what my reward is? My same pathetic hourly rate I've had for 2 years with a tiny weekly cap.

I wish I could boycott but even though they aren't going to get someone who can do what I do for anything even close to what I work for, they'd just go without. Meanwhile 70 grand gets dropped on boat rides for asshats who dont intend to buy anything.

I feel truly sorry for my peers trying to enter photography as a profession. I would rather do some dumb risky **** like trying to play video games professionally; at least that seems to have some future.

JMB
7-Oct-2013, 07:54
Easy rule. Keep politics out of posts in our photography forum. You want to debate politics, find a political forum. You're barking up the wrong tree trying to change the rule here.


Better cut the whole thread then. My point at bottom is actually a point as much about reason as it is about politics. Logical and rational expression are okay, right?