Tag Archives: photography

Giving It Away

10 Feb

I want to address something that is probably not going to be a popular opinion. But this is my blog and it’s my opinion and I’m going to state it. So there.

There has been a lot of talk lately about “giving it away” or working for free. Yes, photography is a profession. People get paid to take pictures. I get it. So do I. I like getting paid, just like everyone else. It pays the bills, buys new equipment and keeps my husband from strangling me some days.

Photography is a business. Let me restate that. Photography IS a business. But, Photography is not JUST business. Photography is my passion. I’d like to think I have a little talent for it and I LOVE doing it. But the money is not the only reason for doing it. For me, it’s not even the major reason for doing it.

My other passion is giving back. I love to help people. At this moment in my life, money is not the most effective way for me to do that. I wish I could write a big fat check to all of the organizations I care about. To all of the people I care about. But I just can’t. What I CAN do is leverage my time and what little talent the Good Lord gave me and use them to benefit the cause.

 I do volunteer work for several organizations and most of the time, that volunteering means taking and donating photos. Some photographers don’t see the value in this. But here’s the secret. I don’t do it to GAIN value. I do it to GIVE value. *Gasp!* I know, right? Not everything I do with my camera is a marketing ploy, a business venture, a means to gain exposure for my business. Sometimes I take give pictures, just because I WANT TO.

Does it benefit my business? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. But when I agree to provide photography for a charity event, or take OpLove photos of a deploying soldier’s family, it’s not a business decision for me. It’s a heart decision. It makes me feel good. I like to feel good. Feeling good rocks.

I realize the photography profession is flooded these days with the onset of digital photography. There is a lot more competition than there used to be and people are grabbing for their share of an oversaturated market. But the truth of the matter is, I bought my camera. I own my time. I own my talent. They are mine to share as I please, or not to. The decision is mine to make. I volunteer and donate to the causes that are important to me just as I would if I were giving money, or food, or clothing, or any other resource. And I don’t judge others based on what they give or don’t give of themselves, or who they give or don’t give it to.

The funny thing to me is, if I went out, made a million bucks shooting photos and gave every cent away, I would be a hero. But, if I went out and did a million bucks worth of photography for free, I would be a pariah amongst some other photographers. Where is the logic in that?

*Hopping down off my soapbox and ducking for cover*