Monday, March 22, 2010

Just Because I Love My Job Doesn't Mean I'll Work For FREE!

I'll admit it...this is a bit of a rant so if you're not in the mood for a little ranting don't read on lol. Basically, I'm just sick and tired of ppl thinking just because I love my job that means I'll do it for FREE! A Doctor or Lawyer can LOVE what they do that doesn't mean they don't expect payment for their services. Sometimes I'm worried about this industry and my place in the industry. Everyone wants stuff for free. I don't know when ppl stopped respecting and valuing their craft and giving their talents away but it really has hurt EVERYONE in the biz...esp. Newer's really sad :( Even artists undervalue themselves and undercut b/c they think I love what I do so much I'd do it for nothing. It's wonderful that we love what we do but that doesn't mean we don't deserve payment for our services.

Anyway, you may be wondering where is this coming from...I mean it's not like I haven't been witness to this undercutting and undervaluing before. Well late last night I got a text from a photographer saying that their Hair & Makeup Artists canceled and they need someone to fill in for a job tomorrow (today) and was I available.

Right away I thought this was a bit weird b/c 1. I have only ever worked w/ this photographer once and it was like 7-8 mths ago 2. Why not just call me? But I figured I didn't have anything planned beside the gym I might as well call the photographer and see what the deal was. So I called and asked about the details of the shoot. Right away the photographer asked if I was available and I said well I need some info before I decide that. So I'm told the shoot is for a new designer (a friend of theirs)- the designer's Look Book and Campaign. It will be 2 models - clean hair and makeup. Shoot 8-4:30. Okay that's great but I think we're missing ONE BIG DETAIL HERE. So then I go okay...what's the rate? The photographer then had the nerve to say it's Tip Based!...LMAO TIP BASED (WTF is THAT!)...and some clothes if I want. LOL...Um hold on let me see if my Land Lady will accept clothes as PAYMENT for RENT! I almost laughed on the's not like I haven't seen or even had crappy offers like this before but I guess I was just shocked that a Professional Photographer would have the NERVE to contact me late on a SUNDAY NIGHT to work a full day for CLOTHES!

It's bad enough when regular folk think it's okay to offer crap money for these kind of services...sometimes it's not even their fault b/c they don't know better and they've seen ppl giving it away BUT for a PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER to undervalue my skills and talent is just plain insulting to OUR WHOLE PROFESSION! We (Photographers, Stylists, MUAs etc.) are in this TOGETHER. If WE don't VALUE one another and the skills WE bring to the table we're all SCREWED!

FYI New Makeup Artists - If someone is going to potentially make MONEY off of something you worked on then YOU should be getting PAID for your services! This is a RULE everyone should live by...NEVER do Headshots, Look Books, Campaigns etc. for free w/ promises of exposure or credit b/c guess what it doesn't mean SHIT and it won't get you anywhere!

Okay end of Rant...Happy Times Now :)


Aeni said...

I so wish people would give us all the information up front. Whenever I do a cast or crew call I give it all up front and it significantly reduces the BS.

Car Audio Speakers said...

I like the way of yours as your title describe yourself. Thanks!

Daniel Robb said...

your post is spot-on, it's important to value the work we do as professional artists.

although your experience sounds pretty questionable (tip-based is seriously wtf) and you probably would have gotten a single $60 sweater, barter situations can work out positively. i have done photography in exchange for photography equipment, furniture store credit, guitar and vocal lessons, cake-making services, and more.

it's actually pretty fun to see what kind of valuable stuff you can get in exchange for your services.


Yisell said...

Girrrrrl, I was just at David (Klasfeld's) Studio and we were JUST talking about this I swear! It's like you read our minds! I was gonna come home and rant on my blog as well but you did it first haha! Love this post. Thank you!

KrystynJ said...

Towards the beginning of my career, I did a beauty "test" shoot with a photographer. At the time I was still actively participating and posting pictures on Myspace. I received a random comment from a girl who lives in LONDON (I live in Chicago by the way) and she said that she say the picture plastered all over the subway stations and on the sides of buses! She even took a picture of one of the billboards for me as initially I didn't believe her! Apparently the photographer was selling the pictures from our "test shoot" as stock photography! This obviously has to do with the end of your rant where you were discussing about if the photographer is getting paid then you should be getting paid as well. Didn't see a penny! BIG learning lesson for me! Great post! I RT this on Twitter!

Vanessa Dawn said...

I hear ya hon! I got the same thing from a photographer who was shooting (get this) a freaking bridal catalog, with three models, all for free. "It'll be great tears and exposure, and you will get credit."

As if ANYONE actually goes hunting in a catalog for the name of the MUA! PSHHT! And this, coming from a pro photographer who was probably getting PAID for the job, nonetheless. I canceled on him two days before the shoot, and hoped to god that it put him in a tight spot and caused him some problems because of his cheapness.

James Makeup said...

I have had this same rant and conversation with students, new artist and established artists. I restrict tf.

I have no issue with tf IF its not put up for sale or commercial use, however to many people will try and make money off your efforts.

this is an increasing problem here in Scotland becasue the collges don't teach the students how to run their business effectively, what to expect and how to behave.

Their is a marked sense of "you should be grateful" here in Scotland. No I am grateful for the money, for the fact I cna pay my bills, not for a photo that really I can't use.

I have had serious arguments over this because there are to many wanabbes out there who don't understand that this is a business and don't do their research.