KLC fotos | Photographers/Resources: Don't Shoot for Free

When I first started out, I was "hungry" and took whatever assignment I could for whatever price I was being offered. When I couldn't shoot a gig for $350 and I asked a photographer friend if he could cover for me, he responded "sorry but that's too low for me" I was confused/upset because I knew this photographer had taken gigs for less, but later appreciated his direct response because it helped me realize photography isn't just charging for your time but for the client's use of images. Images shared internally are a lot different than public images on a billboard.

 

Last week a KLC fotos photographer accepted a gig from a KLC fotos client, coordinating without KLC fotos involved, $100 for posed portraits of a staff and team. This same company had previously paid me $2,000 for a shoot that was less involved and time consuming. When the photographer had to change plans, the client came back to me asking if I could find someone, saying $100 was their budget and it wasn't negotiable. If photographers take gigs for $100, the client starts to value their work at that price point and it's very difficult to bring them back because they'll always find someone who will do it for that price. Don't try to be that someone.

 

Keep in mind, KLC fotos takes a 20% overhead on gigs we assign, this is both because it's often a KLC fotos client that we are referring to you (like a finder's fee) and because we float the money to you while we wait for invoices to be processed and paid out. It's easier for the client, one less 1099 they have to send, one less website to learn how to download from, one less point-of-contact when they are looking for images from an event 5 years ago. If I'm assigning you a $200 gig, the client paid $250. If the client is paying less than $200, I do not take a cut and I have you manage the billing directly. Clients who pay less than $200 are not clients I want KLC fotos to maintain working relationships with.

 

You might think, on a $250 assignment, where you were paid $200, it would best serve all parties for you to work with them directly and offer to shoot it for $225. They save $25 and you earn an extra $25. The problem is, you've now told them the value of your work is worth $25 less... and KLC fotos will not send you on any more gigs.