Craigslist Rant: Don't Undervalue Your Photography

Some of you reading this blog may get your gigs off of Craigslist in addition to referrals and usual clients. Take a look at this one posting. It’s been copied above for you as a screenshot so you can click it and read even when it dies. Analysis after the jump.

The posting, which will only compensate the photographer with photos and networking says,

“I’m a luxury designer with a shoot scheduled for Tuesday with a major international supermodel. The model is such a global name that we are looking for a photographer, make up artist and hair person on 1/4 @ noon.

Please send links to your work for consideration, this will be a product shoot and we have a stunning art gallery to shoot in however if the photographer has a studio we are open to that as well. Please note this is to build your book or possibly submit as a story to a magazine , the model is a international campaign girl. We need people with a very high taste level along with a vintage quality.

I look forward to hearing from you and Happy New Year!”

So what’s wrong with this?

1. If you have the budget for an “international supermodel” then you can more than afford to pay a photographer supermodel prices. No one with lighting, good DSLRs, strobes and software is going to do this just for networking purposes and to build a portfolio.

2. International campaign girls are paid very well. Did I mention that already?

3. Possibly selling the story to a magazine won’t necessarily compensate you for your expenses, time or efforts.

4. This is basically the equivalent of someone saying, “I’ll pay you in free drinks.” Free drinks unfortunately won’t pay my bills. Additionally, I’ve met photographers that don’t drink because of their religion.

5. Product photography is very, very specific and requires fine skills and editing.

6. Your make-up artist and hair people should also be well compensated to work with a supermodel.

7. College students won’t give you the quality you need nor can they usually afford the cameras required for a gig like this.

There is tons wrong with this ad and there are lots of scammers and lowballers on craigslist that do this. Recently, photographers have been outcrying about this.

Bottom line: Don’t undervalue yourself. You worked hard to get where you are and to learn what you did.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.