Photography related issues brought to my attention again recently that I feel compelled to address:
Who feels like getting lectured? Here we go…
1. If a photographer provides you with an image, give them a photographer’s credit. This means everywhere (including online publications, FB, IG, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.) and especially in printed publications. This is particularly applicable if the photographer generously provides the image for free. Even if you commission the photo, and the image is of you, it is still not your property.
2. Don’t ask a professional photographer to work for free, or for credit. We don’t go into your place of employment and ask you to provide your services and products for free. If you can’t afford to have photos made professionally, then save up your money. Or, ask a good friend to take them with their iPhone.
3. If you are a professional photographer, do not ever work for free. If you don’t value your work and your self worth, then who will? You are a bad example to the world as a representative of the photographic community, and you are undermining yourself and the rest of us. This excludes personal projects, which ARE self commissioned.
4. Why are professional photographs so expensive? A photographers rate includes a service fee for the time spent photographing, plus the multiple hours or days it takes to edit the photographs. Also included, is the amount it takes to buy and maintain the thousands of dollars in equipment and software that making a professional photograph requires. Should you want the quality of actual film, there will be expenses that the photographer cannot provide for you out of pocket. More often than not, the photographer is also responsible for art directing, location scouting, and coordinating the shoot. In some cases, the photographer has invested into a college degree that certifies they have completed and passed the courses that train them to technically and conceptually execute a photo shoot. If a photographer has rent, bills, food, gas to pay for…this is how they pay for the cost of living.
5. If you are a photographer, support and befriend other photographers, especially those whose work you admire. This is a highly competitive occupation that demands professionalism in the way you conduct yourself in your community. Don’t put one another down, or be insecure or jealous of someone when they succeed. If you are dedicating all of your time and energy into creating beautiful images, your time of success will eventually come. In life, and in many professions, there will always be those who try to hold you back from your potential. To them, I say, “Fuck off.”
6. Lastly, don’t ever ask a professional photographer to “snap some pics” or casually suggest they “bring a camera” to your event. All though making photographs seems like such a fun time (and sometimes it is) it’s also very, very hard work.
***I want to acknowledge and give credit to the many other photographers who have spoken up and stood up for themselves by addressing the exact same issues above.
Images from a sequel series to “Gilding the Lily” with Charm School Vintage…Full set coming soon…