Should photographers work for free?

The short answer is yes, I do think creatives should work for free. Do I think it should creatives should work for “exposure” or work for free all the time? No, that’s not sustainable.

I’ve done free photoshoots before and I still do it to this day. I see nothing wrong with shooting for free in some special cases like passion projects/ creative projects! Being strategic and knowing when it’s a good time or when a project is worth it and can add to your portfolio to bring in more potential clients is important! Working for exposure could be working or building your portfolio to get in front of the eyes of more people. It’s kind of like networking, in a way.

Starting off, I did photoshoots for free i.e called up friends just to start and to learn. I also do test shoots with models that are for free- it’s like a tit for tat thing. If you want to read about how I got into doing this, you can read more about it in this blog post. After I gained a little experience, I charged for photoshoots but it was very inexpensive. I think I charged $65 an hour and then I worked my way up from there. As I learned more, put more time and money in, gained more knowledge not only about my camera, but the profession and the business side of photography, I charged more.

I found a few flyers from when I started to charge for my services! At this point in time, I never booked more than one hour for a photoshoot. I also used a self-portrait for my first flyer for whatever reason 😂 i have no clue.

Canva was used to create both flyers.