The “should I work for free?” question is one of the more controversial topics in photography these days and is right up there with the “Canon vs. Nikon” and “prime vs. zoom” debates.
Ted Forbes, the man behind The Art of Photography YouTube Channel addresses the question that comes up at some point in every photographer’s career in this 8-minute video.
Right off the Forbes says he “hates the idea” and doesn’t work for free, and then goes on to give an in-depth explanation as to why he is so opposed to it and why you should be too.
Forbes raises a few good points in the video, and although the example he provides is of a specific incident and is not always the case, it is a solid argument.
On the other hand, many will contend that working for free is a valid marketing strategy and essential at times to gain experience and get your name out there.
As Forbes says everybody’s career path is different, and while he’s got a very strong opinion on the matter, I think this question is a tough one to answer without reviewing the specifics of each case.
What’s your opinion on pro bono work? If you do it, what are your criteria for it?