I was sitting in my office wondering what to write for a blog this time since I haven't blogged much in 2018 yet. My friend and fellow photographer Amber Garibay told me to write about this subject and I believe that it's a very good topic to discuss There's so many ways I want to attack this subject, however I'll just jump into it with a couple of examples that I've experienced personally. Sooooooooooo.....here we go!
First let's ask the question, what is money? Definition: "Money".
First scenario: Since beginning this photography journey I've had to push networking my business with lots of people and other businesses and I noticed one major thing; they used my photos to help push their brand and marketing. Most of them still do regardless of the relationship. Their brand is important to them and they found true value in using quality images to represent who they are and what they're doing. Admittedly, I wasn't charging what I'm truly worth, however that was then, and this is now. I had a lot of people ask me to shoot their clothing lines, gyms, and other stuff and a majority of them came at me with empty pockets, and big dreams of getting high quality work. I then quickly learned that I had to add value to my work and my time. Most of these businesses, and individuals just didn't believe in paying me what I was worth. They offered me "exposure" and "networking opportunities", however I found quickly that they were empty promises, and weren't paying my bills. It made me feel like I wasn't getting anywhere that I wanted to be.
Second Scenario: Someone once asked me if I, 'shoot for free to promote models', my response is always the same, 'No, I shoot to promote my great clients'.
That's what I'm supposed to do!
Needless to say, they still haven't contacted me about shooting. It's my "Tribe" man. Win or lose, we are in this together. I try keeping up with them and their lives and we make magic. We invest in each other.
I've learned that most people that are looking for free and discounts are the same people who will never appreciate all that you do. Most times they're complaining about everything and you end up regretting even working with them. A majority of them have unfriended, or blocked me on social media, and I'm grateful for that, because it's a business, not a charity.
I value my people as they value me as well!
Mike Conley @mikeconphoto