Due to the alarming number of people/clients contacting me for photos or photo shoots, offering only *exposure or *credit (in the form of mentioning my name) in return, I felt it was time to write something both diplomatic and informative about the topic.
I’ll start with an analogy: Would you go into your local supermarket, take 20 loafs of bread off the shelf and tell the cashiers on the way out that you don’t have any budget, but that you’ll mention their name and tell everyone that you got the bread from them? That should do it right? I mean that exposure will 100% definitely lead to others going there and paying full price for their bread, going forward. The equipment, ingredients, human resource, time resource, running costs and insurance to run that equipment (and the list goes on) surely costs nothing right...
If the answer to the above analogy is NO, then why would you feel any different towards my product? Should the answer to the above analogy be YES, well, then its safe to say we won’t be a good fit in terms of doing business.
To produce photos of a professional grade, takes more than just aiming a point-n-shoot camera or mobile phone at something random and pressing the trigger. Professional grade camera bodies and lenses costs a lot to obtain initially, and it requires ongoing servicing and maintenance to keep working like it should - just like a motor vehicle. This is especially true in the case of outdoor, sport and action photography where the elements take its toll, and equipment is pushed to its absolute limits.
Add to this, peripheral equipment such as expensive memory cards, tripods and backpacks.
Add to this, expensive computing equipment and software for editing and delivering the images.
Add to this, the monthly insurance on all of the above and travelling expenses.
Add to this, the years of experience and fine tuning the process of producing top level images.
Add to this, the ability to plan, setup and execute a shoot that best displays your brand/product/event.
I’m also a firm believer in quality over quantity. If other photographers offer you a thousand images, and quantity is simply what you’re after, then you’re better of going with those photographers. Producing a smaller batch of varied, high quality images, all of which can be used as magazine covers or banners in a store, is worth way more than 10 times that amount of below-average images. This does not equal laziness or an inferior work ethic. On the contrary, taking care with images in terms of subject matter, composition, foreground elements, background elements, emotion, and most importantly light, requires exponentially more work and effort than the spray-and-pray approach. The rates I quote are based on all of the above factors, and is regularly adjusted to *stay current, and in many cases *open for discussion within reason. Though simply taking my number and cutting it in half is not considered within reason.
I hope this sheds some light on why I won’t and can’t shoot or provide my images free of charge.