Deciding to turn the tables, one Atlanta photographer has posted an ad to the talent gigs section of Craigslist looking for people to do their jobs for him for free. “I am a photographer and since people are always looking for free shoots I assume that they must also do their job, or provide their services, for free,” the post reads. “Just think, you will gain more experience, and I will put the word out for you and let everyone know what wonderful work you do.” Here’s the full ad.
Very amusing, and very true. It can be tempting as a freelancer, whether you’re a photographer, writer, or designer, especially when you first get started, to work for free in order to build up your reputation and good will. Don’t do it. Know your real market value and charge accordingly. You might give away a few golden eggs, a few samples or examples as a marketing tactic, but don’t give up the whole goose without getting some coin.