In the current creative industry, there has always been a surface of strong opposition to the expectation that some somewhere they see us as professionals working for free. fees, they give promises of future work, or bring back that old classic.
THE PROBLEM IS NOT WITH YOU
It’s an old-fashioned problem for every profession, especially for the photographer (and I specifically refer to the long-time graphic designer) who is frequently visited by friends, acquaintances, Small business owners and friends of acquaintances who want to be small business owners ask, to deliver their best work, and demand all the time and expense, for invisible, mystical benefits.
The problem, of course, is that in most cases these benefits rarely pay off. They are definitely not paying the bill. I know from personal experience that in some cases the results of these ‘requests’ can be exasperating, even offensive in tone, so I wanted to clarify something for anyone. who go through this early in their career; The problem is with them, not with you.
Most small business people have a good vision of what they believe in, and in many cases their capital is small. They may be annoyed that they want your skills to enhance their own projects, but they simply don’t have the resources to hire you. So sometimes you feel offended by inquirers because your calculated fees are too high, remember that you are not charging high fees, they simply have too little funding. Don’t be disheartened if this happens to you, I’ve found on many occasions a photographer or business to have told me ‘when we have more money in our budget we’ll be back. !’
Sometimes IT REALLY PAYS A BIG PRICE
So where do we as photo editors stand in all of this? The truth is, our corner of the creative industry is a little different than most people’s, and when chosen wisely, that free work, those intangible benefits can really pay off. great price. The reason is here; In commercial photography, we work as a team. While an illustrator is solely responsible for their drawings, a good or fashion/editorial photo is built through the hard work of the photographer, model, artist, and photographer. make-up artist and stylist, assistant and retoucher. Without those people there is no art, no footage, no product.
Building a portfolio just as a photo editor requires experimentation with photographers and their teams, and while this doesn’t pay for it, don’t think of it as ‘work. for free’, it’s an investment.
In the early days of your career, split your time between the unpaid tests and those that earn a small fee you’ll receive along the way.
The truth is that at the beginning of your journey to learn, practice, connect and grow, the financial rewards can be very small. If you are approached by a photographer with a story that you know will raise your profile, feel free to negotiate your fee reduction to fit their budget. Salary is an even higher goal and it doesn’t come immediately.
Your first goal should be to build a portfolio and network of contacts.
As your portfolio and editing skills improve, you’ll find the quality of work available to you increases and suddenly there’s actually even a generous editing budget being discussed; Your input has become a valuable asset. There are many well-paying commercial jobs available to qualified professionals.
Your time will be less to spend on ‘free time’ work, but especially with the tight fashion editorial budget today, don’t be afraid to experiment or trade your time on a project truly enhance your portfolio at any stage of your career. You won’t sacrifice your ethics or underestimate yourself if the team understands that you’re investing with them.
People often talk about saturation of the market, that ‘everyone is a retoucher now’ and driving fees down, that it’s hard to compete in that environment. The trick is not to. While thousands of people scramble for the apple under the tree, step back from the melee and build a ladder.
Sure, you won’t get apples from the ground, but the best fruit is still on the branches anyway.