Grateful to Have Found Out a Better Way to Turn Down Requests for Free Photo Publication or Work

Day 52 of 365 grateful days project:

"I'm grateful to have found out this link that lines out why photographers can't work for free."

I'm not a big time photographer. The business started at a very slow pace and although I got tons of requests for photography quotes in the beginning of it, not many were actually meaning to spend much money (or even little) for their event/business or whatsoever. Some even got the guts to ask me to do work for free because we were "friends." And suddenly I've got more people whom I'd never spoken to more than three years claimed to be my "friends" for the free shots. I appreciate clients who try to negotiate my price, but not those who want free work. How could a photographer make a living if everyone wants services for free? Do you go to a dentist, ask him to fix your teeth, thank him for doing it for free then walk away?

This was one of the causes that made me struggle to build a photography business, despite the fact that there are abundant so-called photographers who perhaps have better photography equipments than mine but use merely Auto function most of the time and spend more post work on the computer. This was one of the causes that sadly put me down and forced me to find another way to make money - writing and graphic designing - to actually make a living. Not that I don't like doing those two, but I just much prefer photography.

And if you go to Indonesian photography online groups and forums like fotografer.net, you'll see why this trend emerges. Many, many beginners are willing to shoot for free, which is naturally fine, I guess, for their learning process. But you get what you pay for. And clients should stick with them if they don't want to spend money. The thing is when you ask someone who earns their living solely on photography to work for nothing for you, that's just mean selfish.

Anyway, people can only try, right? If you can get things for free, why not just try? But you see, the problem I was having as the person asked to donate my photos was how I could turn down these requests without sounding rude and ruining my reputation? Well, the link I provided above puts all my thoughts perfectly without trying to overwhelm a potential client. The author, Tony Wu, makes it available for free to use for photographers and also for other creative workers like graphic designers, programmers, musicians, writers (did I tell you that my articles were stolen too?), painters, etc. after they make their own adjustment.

If you find this useful, you can take it too and provide a link back to it as the original source.

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