My dear friends: if you would please take some time to read this I would greatly appreciate it, as it regards something that has plagued me a lot over the last couple years and concerns all of you who wish to acquire my services, be they photo, design, or type-related.
I am changing the way I do things. I have gotten to a point where this is beyond necessary. Every day, I have people coming to me asking if I can photograph this for them, or design that for them, or write these letters for them. For a long time I've had trouble saying no, but I am going to have to start. Friends, I did my pro-bono time. I worked for a long time, produced a lot of great things for my community and the people around me, and never asked for a dime. As a result, there is a good chunk of my work out there, floating around and making people money, that neglects to give me credit where it is due or provide me with any sort of compensation.
I am so honored that so many of you want my skills for your projects, your bands, your boards, etc. I'm so glad you like my work, and you all have helped me grow so much as a photographer, designer, and typographer! But some things need to change. I am a busy lady and don't have time to take on every project, not to mention some of them I am just flat-out completely uninterested in. Just because you think your new magic trick is the cat's pajamas, or your cheddar & olive quiche is worthy of a food-porn award, or your dog does this really cute thing when you smack him in the face, doesn't mean I am going to drop everything I'm doing to document it. So here is what changes:•
I do not work for free. Period
. Been there, done that, did my time. I'm sorry to all of you who figure that just because we are close friends means that you don't have to pay me or that I will cut you a deal. Cutting deals not only leaves me underpaid, but makes charging other people full price in the future more difficult.•
I do believe in the barter system, firmly
. BUT I will not photograph you or your band or your anything for BEER
. I get enough free beer from my boards and I have foodstamps, not to mention I am a socially awkward person and the thought of sitting in an acquaintance's house while they awkwardly cook me dinner and I struggle for small talk to make gives me a panic attack and kind of makes me want to die. These offerings are of no help to me. Beer does not pay my rent. Unfortunately. You can't pay your mechanic or your hair dresser or your carpenter or your gynecologist in beer, so you can't pay your photographer in beer either. Don't let the common knowledge that I am a lush make you think otherwise. Honestly folks, the only thing that pays my rent is cold hard cash, and that is, ideally, the form of payment I want. I have busted camera parts and a flash that needs repairing, bike tires that are worn to almost nothing, and let's not forget that nice signage requires nice markers and those bad boys ain't cheap. I love a case of PBR as much as the next guy, but it does not pay for repairs to my equipment or the supplies that I need in order to do the work I do.•
From now on, I require payment in one of two methods, either fully up front BEFORE
we work together, or on a contract that WILL
state that if I do not receive payment within two weeks of completing my work for you, I WILL CHARGE YOU A LATE FEE
. I am sick to death of waiting for a month after a project is done to finally see any payout. There is a handful of you out there who still owe me money for projects I did for you nearly two months ago.•
No more "can you send me that picture you took of me last year at that thing?" No
. One gig I just had paid me $150 for one file. Yeah- one full-res file. That is how much these things go for, people. So think again before you ask me to give it to you for free. If you want it for your facebook or your archives, find it on my website and feel free to grab the small version of it that I post there. Giving you a full-res photograph of you makes it possible for you to use it in the future to promote yourself, which is what you are supposed to be paying your photographer for. It's easy: you're not just paying me for the file, you're paying me for the rights to use the photograph however you please.
I consider my rates fairly decent and am always willing to work with what people have, especially for my community. I obviously still get involved in projects that I am interested in and donate my work and/or services to certain causes, but seriously, people, it seems like you don't realize how inconsiderate it is to just flat-out ask me to do something for you and offer no compensation or even imply that it's crossed your mind. If you're unwilling to pay someone for these kinds of things, I suggest you buy your own equipment and start teaching yourself.Thanks for reading.
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