Giving Your Images Away for Free is the Stupidest Thing a Photographer Can Do

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Samsung 50-150mm f2.8 OIS review product images (9 of 10)ISO 4001-40 sec at f - 4.0

The other day, I posted a Facebook status about large companies pinging us wanting to use images for large campaigns with big budgets, and it turned into an argument about why you should license your images instead of giving them away for free. In essence, what you’re doing is hurting the pro market because of the fact that many people actually produce images for a living–not just for pure sport.

Now before you go on I want you to think about that and I’m going to break it down for you specifically in terms of how it relates to my personal life. Before you read any further I’m using myself as an example because while most of my income comes from this site, part of it comes from actually shooting photos. But even then, the site is about photography and part of the job description requires me to shoot photos.

Are you ready?

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Don’t Promise Photographers Exposure, Promise Them Cash

julius motal the phoblographer lomo'instant image-7

Nothing is more defeating than hearing you won’t get paid, that your work isn’t worth money or that there isn’t room in the budget for a photographer. It’s doubly defeating when you’re vaguely promised exposure, a murky intangible thing that would really only work if they sent a memo to every single one of their clients saying, “Hire this photographer.” That doesn’t happen. Exposure won’t put clothes on our backs, nor will it put food on our plates.

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