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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 26 Mar 2014 (Wednesday) 21:32
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Where to draw the line

 
huntersdad
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Mar 26, 2014 21:32 |  #1

I work for a non-profit that deals with organ donation. About a year ago, I was approached to do some freebie work for the company - take a couple shots of some family members who have received or given to organ donation. No problem, I obliged.

Few months later, we were putting together a new training DVD. Again asked to do some work for the video and again obliged. For my part, I treat it like any other shoot and do the best I can. Thus far, the pics have made their way to billboards, pamphlets, donation material and are part of the center piece of our on-going core values program. All, with very little thanks or recognition.

I have been asked to do another shoot for the company. Despite there being 2 other photographers in the company, I have specifically been requested as my work is, and I quote, "much higher quality than their's", so those requesting see the value. However, again, it will be no pay, no free marketing and little to no thanks/recognition.

I'm curious as to how some of you would approach this. There's little to nothing in it for me, other than a possible brief break from my desk. The likelihood of gaining a new client is pretty low since there's nothing stating I took the images. Definitely no extra pay, but my equipment, knowledge and time in post.

Where do you draw the line when working with your employer? Do you make them pony up for a shoot just like any other client? Do you politely say "No" and walk away? Do you hop at the opportunity? Anyone got anything creative they do?


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Mar 26, 2014 21:39 |  #2

Have them purchase equipment for you (gear could be a write off for them) or in the very least give you credit on each and every piece. If not, say no.


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memoriesoftomorrow
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Mar 26, 2014 21:41 |  #3

I always drew the line by sticking to doing the job role I was employed to do. If they wanted additional skill sets they'd have to pay me a raise accordingly to reflect that.


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cdifoto
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Mar 26, 2014 21:48 |  #4

Yeah I'm with Peter here and if I'm not hired to do photography, I don't do photography. You can politely decline to help any further...it's not as if you lose anything even if they get mad at you. My employer would get exactly what's in my job description and they'd have to hire my business if they want photographic services. They'd also have to have it done when I'm not "on the clock" so as not to confuse the two roles. They would get an invoice and contract and everything a regular client would. It would be a business to business transaction and not an employer-employee relationship.


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roodig
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Mar 26, 2014 22:15 as a reply to  @ cdifoto's post |  #5

I do shoot for the company I work for (and it is a construction company). I shoot for project development, project portfolio, company use commercially and for my own personal stock and personal portfolio. There may be some that cringe at this, and I can understand why. In my position for my FT job though, I get paid very well for what they pay me to do (not photography).

So the deal I struck with them to shoot for company marketing is:

    If I see a need for smaller items on a company shoot, I get to buy them on company money, use them and keep them. Like memory cards, reflectors, similar price range stuff.

    I will rent bigger and longer lenses and bodies for some company shoots (with company money) and then of course I might need that 300mm to shoot a personal sport event on the weekend before I send it back monday, so I play it to my advantage and convenience.

This works well for me, because I don't need to run out and unload tons of money out of my account to buy the big toys I want. The payoff I am starting to see is, other companies are asking who shoots my companies images and obviously they direct them to me, that's where I kick in with my personal charges, and commercial usage fees. So, it's a mini win win for me.

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cdifoto
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Mar 26, 2014 22:16 |  #6

roodig wrote in post #16789341 (external link)
I do shoot for the company I work for (and it is a construction company). I shoot for project development, project portfolio, company use commercially and for my own personal stock and personal portfolio. There may be some that cringe at this, and I can understand why. In my position for my FT job though, I get paid very well for what they pay me to do (not photography).

So the deal I struck with them to shoot for company marketing is:
    If I see a need for smaller items on a company shoot, I get to buy them on company money, use them and keep them. Like memory cards, reflectors, similar price range stuff.

    I will rent bigger and longer lenses and bodies for some company shoots (with company money) and then of course I might need that 300mm to shoot a personal sport event on the weekend before I send it back monday, so I play it to my advantage and convenience.

This works well for me, because I don't need to run out and unload tons of money out of my account to buy the big toys I want. The payoff I am starting to see is, other companies are asking who shoots my companies images and obviously they direct them to me, that's where I kick in with my personal charges, and commercial usage fees. So, it's a mini win win for me.

That's not quite the same as being used. Non-profits are notorious for bleeding the volunteers dry and milking everything they can out of their "lower" employees while overflowing the top pockets with cash.


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roodig
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Mar 26, 2014 22:20 |  #7

Only because I worked the deal to be be fair if not to my advantage. Theres a deal to be made from the OP to his company, if they are prepared to understand what they really could be charged for what they are asking for.

OP, you draw the line where you want, but what shouldn't happen is you feel pressured to do something that doesn't benefit you as well.


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Mar 26, 2014 22:24 |  #8

I think you need to sit down with them & talk it out, keeping in mind that the people running the non-profit are being paid for the work they do.
Do you have a photography business, or do you consider yourself a hobbyist? I get the feeling that you might be willing to settle for "a little thanks or recognition."
Are you able to network & make connections with possible future clients?

FarmerTed1971 wrote in post #16789269 (external link)
Have them purchase equipment for you (gear could be a write off for them) or in the very least give you credit on each and every piece. If not, say no.

These might be viable options.


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texkam
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Mar 26, 2014 23:30 |  #9

I have specifically been requested as my work is, and I quote, "much higher quality than their's", so those requesting see the value.

If they know they are receiving value then ask for a raise, or at the least, to be paid extra for these services outside your job description that they know they are benefiting from. Explain that you feel you should be appropriately compensated for the higher level work that is providing additional value to the company. If they refuse you have some decisions to make, all of which involve consequenses. Of course they also know if they refuse they risk losing a good employee and this additional windfall you are providing.




  
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cdifoto
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Mar 27, 2014 00:12 |  #10

texkam wrote in post #16789468 (external link)
Of course they also know if they they refuse they risk losing a good employee and this additional windfall you are providing.

Um. He doesn't have to quit nor can they legally fire him since the photography is extra. He isn't refusing to do is actual job.


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Alveric
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Mar 27, 2014 00:18 |  #11
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huntersdad, you are being ripped off.


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huntersdad
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Mar 27, 2014 07:16 |  #12

Thanks guys. Guess I have some thinking to do.

I already have the equipment and all the "little" things, so picking those up on company dime really isn't a discussion point. Neither is renting gear.

I think the issue really comes up in that I feel it is not appreciated. Several weeks ago, we did a renewal of some materials for a department in the company and they, fortunately hired a photographer. So I kinda step back and question why I can't be hired, outside of work, in a business to business transaction. I wouldn't mind just a thank you but they get done in passing almost like it's a forced issue.

I'll be checking in to see what other comments come up, but thanks for those already made.


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Fernando
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Mar 27, 2014 07:32 |  #13

cdifoto wrote in post #16789509 (external link)
Um. He doesn't have to quit nor can they legally fire him since the photography is extra. He isn't refusing to do is actual job.

Sorry, you're usually dead on but in this case you're wrong. North Carolina is an at-will state. As long as they aren't violating any federal laws in the firing, they can do as they wish. As long as they pay him for the hours he's working, including overtime if it comes into play, the employer decides what is or is not his job.

If it's a union shop (extremely unlikely for a non-profit) then all bets are off and everything is governed by the CBA.

I was in a similar position some years ago and I simply told them I was not going to shoot for free. Everything was fine until they used one of my images for a marketing piece. At that point we called that a "bonus" and I got paid for that work.


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Mar 27, 2014 07:38 |  #14

huntersdad wrote in post #16789863 (external link)
Thanks guys. Guess I have some thinking to do.

I already have the equipment and all the "little" things, so picking those up on company dime really isn't a discussion point. Neither is renting gear.

I think the issue really comes up in that I feel it is not appreciated. Several weeks ago, we did a renewal of some materials for a department in the company and they, fortunately hired a photographer. So I kinda step back and question why I can't be hired, outside of work, in a business to business transaction. I wouldn't mind just a thank you but they get done in passing almost like it's a forced issue.

I'll be checking in to see what other comments come up, but thanks for those already made.

Obviously this shows you can be hired if they were willing to hire an outside photographer. I would use this to your advantage next time they ask you for a "favor", reminding them of their recent hire and how you would like to also receive compensation for your time and talents.


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Hogloff
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Mar 27, 2014 07:49 |  #15
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I would look for compensation for using your own equipment for the shots. Other than thst, I don't see what your problem is. You are hired by this company and they are asking you to do some work for them. They are paying your salary are they not?

I see it as you just making yourself more valuable to the company and down the road this value will be recognized in your salary reviews. An employee with multi skills in the company is more valuable than one that just does one thing day in day out.

Playing the card that you weren't hired into the company to take photos will quickly put a label onto your back and your advancements in this company will be very limited. I think the time to talk about compensation would be during your salary review by reenforcing your multiple skills in the company and those skills being used throughout the year.




  
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Where to draw the line
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