urbanfreestyle wrote in post #18217450
yeah i guess i was kind of hoping for some gratitude from the people i worked with and i got nothing.
feeling very unappreciated at the moment.
I know i should be shooting for myself but when my own passion has faded where do i go from there?
Photography will always be a hobby first for me, but I do take on quite a bit of paid work.
Shooting for money has its ups and downs with regards to the passion of photography. On one side, shooting for money often gives you the opportunity to shoot things you otherwise wouldn't, which challenges you, helps your grow as a photographer, adds to your portfolio etc etc...and to get paid on top of all of that is great! On the other end, getting paid to shoot very often does not involve shooting something challenging, sexy, interesting, etc etc, so you're committing time to shoot something that doesn't necessarily feed the passion of photography, but is a necessary part of a relationship business.
And this is where things get frustrating. Shooting something that doesn't feed the passion of photography is a necessary part of this business, and it will feel like work. If you aren't adequately compensated for your work/time, you will never be happy. So the key is to be consciously aware of what your time is worth and to price yourself accordingly.
With regards to the fact that there are those willing to shoot for next to nothing.....no one experienced will charge peanuts to shoot forever, because again, any decent photographer will want to be compensated fairly for their time eventually. As such, there is a 'you get what you pay for' element to hiring a photographer, and there will always be people who are willing to pay more for a higher quality product.
Obviously to charge at a higher level you do need to deliver a higher caliber product/service, but you also need to be careful how you brand yourself, and because this is a relationship business, who you target as clients. You want to do business with people who value your time and talent. PERIOD.
If you try to land business by being the cheap photographer, you will have trouble shedding the cheap photographer brand (people will refer you because you are cheap). If you do decide to shoot something at a discounted rate or for free (and I do this from time to time for various reasons), make sure they know that you gave them a discount, and let them know what your standard rate would have been, particularly if they refer someone to you. No matter what you charge a client, always protect the brand!
Edit: I don't do this for the money at all. The reason I continue to shoot for money is because even if it isn't always fun, the fact that I'm shooting at all means I'm constantly learning and growing as a photographer, and because every so often (pretty frequently actually) I get assigned to something truly fun to shoot.