At the moment I’m doing a collaboration with two other small businesses in my area.
It’s quite a time consuming project, and if I were to charge for the whole thing, the invoice could be shocking. However, I’ve decided not to charge either of these other businesses. And neither of them are charging me, even though their expertise plays a huge part in the final images.
We all benefit from each other’s work, and I’m actually going to save money by doing this project with them. It would cost me a lot to create these kind of images from scratch, so I’m lucky to be involved.
Another way of looking at this is to read about photographer Shantanu Starick, who has traveled the world taking photos for food and accommodation. Of course, this is a very extreme way of doing photography without involving money, but for some it’s an interesting option.
Have you done something similar? Feel free to share in the comments below!
Photography For The Small Business
It often happens that small companies and clients won’t have the money to pay you. And by “having the money” I mean exactly that, the cash (or lack thereof).
I’ve been in that situation more than once, but luckily it’s occurred only rarely for me. So just to reassure you, this is not terribly common!
Smaller companies often struggle with cash flow, and this is especially true of developing countries. However, that doesn’t mean that they can’t pay you. If you do a good bargain, you can trade your services as a photographer for other services (or goods) which will benefit you.
Yes, being paid in cash (or wire transfer, whatever) gives you the most flexibility in managing your finances. On the other hand, with an “equal exchange” deal, you often get more value in items or services since the client knows that they are paying for the inconvenience as well.
Instead of working for recommendations, which is basically working for free, try convincing the clients into an exchange that would be somewhat beneficial to you. There are better chances that they will comply to something like that instead of paying you directly.
Even if the goods aren’t something you directly need, you can resell them if you know their value and you’re are willing to go through the process. Of course, if you are agreeing on a deal like that, make sure the client knows that the items you’ll get in exchange for your service will be valued at a resale value since that is the real value to you.
How To Get Started In Photography – Top Takeaways
- Approaching very small businesses can (more than) often work in your favor! They have little cash flow but may offer some incentives equally as good if not better than the cash fee you initiated.
- Becoming known as a “flexible” photographer enables you to build an honest and reputable history, get recommended, potential get new gear upgrades – it’s all too convincing, that’s because it’s how the real world works, you’ve just got to locate the work (it’s not as hard as you think – just get talking, shooting and networking)
- Now you’ve got an awesome portfolio of your best work, a piece of upgraded glass/tripod…whatever; and now when you approach the bigger players, you can showcase your stuff. Plus you’ll have developed excellent negotiating and social skills. Impressed with yourself?
Source: Light Stalking