Free wedding photography request gone wrong

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by hectorroldan, Feb 3, 2020.

  1. A couple asked for a FREE weeding photographic coverage in exchange of some "exposure" for the photographer on FB and among the guests. The email proposal went viral, you can read about it here:

    Some bad stories: I remember being offered amazing deals of doing some free work in exchange of "having the benefit and luxury of getting involved with some brand". Amazing, offending? yes, silly? yes. Funny? sometimes hilarious. Same happened with some open heart offers to cover a wedding because I was a trusted close loved friend and they didn't want anyone else to do it. Oh yes, sounds lovely but while everybody would be eating and dancing I would be working for free, sounds amazing huh? I refused wedding photo invitations and business proposals that were this absurd.

    Some positive stories: had interesting invitations to document and get to know some private touristic or historic locations for free (exclusive places you can't just walk in, even paying), or places where -no photos are allowed-. I would take the pictures for free and had my stay at the place fully paid enjoying a privileged kind treatment, oh yes that's fun and very much appreciated.

    There are times where doing work for free isn't exactly free because you can get some positive benefits that you just can't buy. But anyway the article brought some memories.
    mikemorrell likes this.
  2. This is one of my major peeves! I'm both a musician and a photographer - I'm the house band leader at a local music club and have played major events in our region for the last 50 years. So I get hit up for music "favors" more often than photographic effort. We retired to a condo apartment a few years ago, and I was asked through my wife to play the guitar at a building event within weeks of moving in. She knows very well how I feel about this - I will not take a job from another musician (or photographer) by undercutting their price. If someone wants me, they have to want me enough to pay me what they'd pay anyone else for the same work. But for some strange reason she told the condo council president that I'd be glad to do it (!) without asking me.

    She argued with me repeatedly that I should just be nice and play - so I went against my better judgment and did it. And since then, I've been asked to play 3 or 4 more such events and treated like hired help at each one. At the last one, I was asked to set up in the lobby, then moved into the social room, then shifted from one location to another - and I ended up playing in a corner behind the service bar while (as you so aptly put it) everybody else was eating and I was working free. I was not happy, and I expressed my concerns to both the council president and the treasurer.

    Last week a notice went up on the bulletin boards about a spring party on March 15, at which we could "enjoy the music of" a local musician I've known for years. So I asked the council members if they were paying him - and, of course, they are. ;)
  3. It's complicated. Many areas of work are filled with stories on how "they are actually doing you a favor getting you there for free for exposure" when that's not the case. Singers, musicians and bands are on top of the list.

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