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Thread started 25 Oct 2010 (Monday) 17:08
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Serious question - who has earned addl business from "exposure" gigs

 
The ­ Stig
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Oct 25, 2010 17:08 |  #1

There's currently a thread going on in this section about a Craigslist ad offering "exposure" in exchange for basically free photog work, and the OP asking who still falls for this.

What my question is, has anyone ever done one of these gigs and then actually received recognition from it and future work that could be traced back to that "exposure".

When people have asked me lately to do work and tell me how much "exposure" and "credit" I'll get, I ask them if they have made this deal with other photographers before. They always say yes. So I follow up with "And what future business did they receive from the 'exposure'". Of course they can't answer it. Now I'll grant you they probably truly don't know, but the question shuts them up real quick.

So, anyone have any concrete experience either way?


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Oct 25, 2010 17:57 |  #2

I'm not sure if this really applys as I'm located in a really small town 5000 ish. I did a wedding for some friends for 350 and the exposure I got has been amazing. I've sense been booked for 2 more weddings here, 1 in minnesota, and quite a few senior photos. Granted it wasn't "free" but a weddign for that price is basically free.




  
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The ­ Stig
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Oct 25, 2010 18:30 |  #3

Yeah that's a little different than what I was referring to. We've all done gigs like that and sometimes we get other things from it.

I'm specifically referring to professional companies and/or charities and non-profits that can or would normally be expected to pay some kind of compensation. They make all these grandiose promises about "exposure" and "getting your name out there" in exchange for your images. I am truly curious to see if anyone has ever gotten anything substantial from doing a job like that.


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Christopher ­ Steven ­ b
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Oct 25, 2010 19:02 |  #4

I haven't. But it must also be pointed out that so-called exposure gigs bring with them additional benefits particularly for those starting out. Would I do work simply for the promise of exposure presently ? Not unless I'm extraordinarily bored. My usual response for businesses seeking work for nothing and offering exposure is to tell them that the exposure is fabulous, but that I nonetheless expect to be paid.



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Oct 25, 2010 20:26 |  #5

It seems to me the only one who benefits in that kind of arrangement is the company because they get free work. What benefits does the photographer get? If it's just practice, that can be done without giving work away.


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Christopher ­ Steven ­ b
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Oct 25, 2010 22:21 |  #6

^ I disagree. When I was starting out I would have leapt at possibilities to shoot 'for exposure'--not because I expect for that to amount to future jobs directly, but because the work would mean I could have an expectations-reduced venue to flex my photographic knowledge, discover what the challenges are, and build all sorts of skills one needs to work professionally. In short, photographing 100-200 people at an event is something that not all people have such easy access to. If you're already confident in your work--ie. if you're a pro--then obviously that kind of gig ain't for you.

I should also add that there is indeed a hell of a lot of grotesque business practices regarding the hiring of photogs. I'm glad I'm at the point at which I don't need to participate in it.



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Oct 26, 2010 00:25 |  #7

Places that can truly provide exposure for a photographer are turning away photographers, not seeking them out.


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Oct 26, 2010 01:07 |  #8

cdifoto wrote in post #11165769 (external link)
Places that can truly provide exposure for a photographer are turning away photographers, not seeking them out.

Just came here to post this


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Oct 26, 2010 02:41 as a reply to  @ mikekelley's post |  #9

This exposure question is the same sort of question as those that say they gave an image away so that they could get the photo credit which would get them more business. Certainly when someone sees a picture that they like they go through the normal oohs and aahs. Ask them a week later who took the picture and they wouldn't have a clue. I've never given an event away though I have shot on spec but knew ahead of the shoot that I would have enough sales to make it worth it. Growing up photographically in the film era was different. People weren't quite so keen to jump into this and you could basically name your price for alot of events. The one proviso is that I will do work for a favorable price for causes which I believe in. An example of this would be I did some work for the Alzheimer's local chapter as my mother suffered from this. It had nothing to do with gaining exposure but doing something that was near and dear to me.

I am not saying that all free events are bad. If you work it right and get some exposure beyond the taking of the images then it could be ok, not great , but ok. You just can't give it away carte blanche. You have to barter with the organizers to get something back, advertising, guarantee a certain amount of sales, etc. Those that simply give it away thinking it will pay dividends are largely fooling themselves though some will pan out. In most cases the people getting the work done for them will disappear into the woodwork and next year they will be knocking on your competitions door doing the same thing.


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Knockout05
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Oct 26, 2010 03:41 |  #10

My only thing is trust with this. Its kind of hard to tell if the company is a legit company. Especially from a craigslist ad. Maybe Im looking at it wrong, Idk.


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Oct 26, 2010 06:06 |  #11

cdifoto wrote in post #11165769 (external link)
Places that can truly provide exposure for a photographer are turning away photographers, not seeking them out.

Exposure that will truly earn additional business.


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josh5k
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Oct 27, 2010 12:43 |  #12

Exposure that will truly help is hard to come by. Most events are just looking for cheap/free photogs by enticing them with 'exposure'. One of my better experiences was an event I shot for the company I work for, but that has really pushed the exposure and contacts in the field for me. A good exchange for half a day at work.


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The ­ Stig
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Oct 27, 2010 17:15 |  #13

ssim wrote in post #11166205 (external link)
This exposure question is the same sort of question as those that say they gave an image away so that they could get the photo credit which would get them more business. Certainly when someone sees a picture that they like they go through the normal oohs and aahs. Ask them a week later who took the picture and they wouldn't have a clue. I've never given an event away though I have shot on spec but knew ahead of the shoot that I would have enough sales to make it worth it. Growing up photographically in the film era was different. People weren't quite so keen to jump into this and you could basically name your price for alot of events. The one proviso is that I will do work for a favorable price for causes which I believe in. An example of this would be I did some work for the Alzheimer's local chapter as my mother suffered from this. It had nothing to do with gaining exposure but doing something that was near and dear to me.

I am not saying that all free events are bad. If you work it right and get some exposure beyond the taking of the images then it could be ok, not great , but ok. You just can't give it away carte blanche. You have to barter with the organizers to get something back, advertising, guarantee a certain amount of sales, etc. Those that simply give it away thinking it will pay dividends are largely fooling themselves though some will pan out. In most cases the people getting the work done for them will disappear into the woodwork and next year they will be knocking on your competitions door doing the same thing.

Very similar to my conclusions as well. It needs to be for a true personal cause or there should be other tangible benefits. Guess I had one too many requests this week for "exposure only" that led me to this rant :-) Thanks all.


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Oct 27, 2010 19:56 |  #14

Exposure is the wrong thing to be looking for. Its all about the opertunity the gig might be able to provide. Exposure is just " Hey look its that guy" -- then they move on. Opertunity is "Lets get that guy for our..." The difference is subtle but distinct. And it can be hard to tell appart.


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Oct 27, 2010 20:20 |  #15

Ive had success for shooting for exposure. I shoot nightlife photography. I started off by doing a few shows at no cost to the promoter. The partons of the clubs and parties loved my work and wanted me to become a regular. Other promotion companies also caught on to my work. Recently I shot a charity party for one of the bigger promoters in the city at no cost to them, I just got a call today saying they will pay my rate going forward in the future. I'm now working with the 4 biggest electronica event promoters in Calgary, making on average of $200 in prints a week and have promo shoots with DJ's/Musicians for weeks to come.

Obviously my success story is a one off, it won't happen to everyone. I seemed to have found people and companies that do believe in quality over quanity as there are tons of emerging event photogs drooling at the chance of stealing my contacts with these promoters, but every single one of the promoters have said they will never use someone else until I either stop doing what I'm doing or I move out of the city.


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Serious question - who has earned addl business from "exposure" gigs
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