Post 17: Will I work for free?
By now, I'm probably beating a dead horse, but for sake of the new blog and the new FAQ section, here's yet another post on why I won't work for free.
First and foremost, working for free doesn't pay the bills. In order to be successful, a business must bring in money. If I'm not getting paid, I'm not bringing in money, and therefore I won't be successful.
Sometimes, people will try to get me to shoot for free and promise to "pay me next time." This won't work either. Chances are, I'll do the job for free, and then never hear from them again. They'll either find someone else who is willing to work for free, or they'll find someone who wants less than me.
Working for free also undervalues my work. This is somewhat related to the previous point, but if I work for free the first time, it's incredibly hard, if not impossible, to get that client to pay me next time. Working for free suggests that my work is worth nothing, and the client will continue thinking that. This is also why I'm fairly reluctant to budge on my quotes. If the client doesn't want to pay me what I think is fair, I usually offer less photos, or work out some other type of arrangement. I'll never accept less than I think my work is worth, though. If I work for someone, and they tell their friends, coworkers, family, etc., they'll probably also tell them how much they paid. If I remained firm on my quote, or if I lowered my price and took whatever they threw at me, whoever they tell will almost certainly find out. I'd rather have a reputation of "he charges too much" or "he charges a lot" than the reputation of "he'll take whatever you offer, so lowball him."
I also won't work for free or lower my price to "use the photos in my portfolio." Not only do I have a section in my contract granting me permission to use the photos how I want, but under copyright law, the photos I take belong to me and are my property. I can use the photos however I want as long as I'm not selling them without permission.
Working for free and working with someone or an organization for some type of mutual benefit isn't the same thing. For instance, if someone doesn't want to pay me full price and they offer me a product or service for compensation.
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Dan Pomykalski (PAWM-I-KALS-kee) is a portrait photographer based in Madison, WI. Dan works with both individual clients and larger organizations, such as the Wisconsin Alumni Foundation, the Janesville Jets, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and the University of Wisconsin-Rock County. Dan was also the photo editor for the student-run newspaper at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, the Royal Purple, for the 2013 Spring and 2013 Fall semesters. Although Dan's clients are mostly from the Dane County area, he is more than happy to travel wherever necessary.
Although Dan is primarily a portrait photographer, he has ample amounts of experience in other types of photography such as weddings, events, product photography, real estate, and sport photography.
In 2016, expertise.com ranked Dan Pomykalski Photography the 2nd best portrait photographer in Madison, WI out of 204 others in the area.
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