I get asked regularly to work “for credit” because the magazine or publication or event is “unable” to pay for photographers.
This image of Peter Appleyard, a large jazz festival wanted it. Large meaning hundreds of thousands of dollars in budget. Tickets cost $100 each. Supported by all levels of government. But when I asked for compensation, they said “oh no, we are unable to pay for photography”.. and they did not use it.
Here, that image again, this time stolen by a site called All About Jazz (click on the image to see it there):
Two things. First, “credit” has never led to any work by anyone for anyone. It’s nice to add to your portfolio, and I would not mind having a Guardian, NYT, or NatGeo byline, but it never actually leads to money.
And money is what I need to eat, and to learn, and to buy tens of thousands of dollars of equipment, and for gas to put in the car to get to shoots, and to buy memory cards, and to buy a new hard drive every few months, and to buy computers, and… you get it.
A post that puts it very well, so I do not have to repeat it, is here:
You should probably read that the next time you want to use a “free” photographer.