Sometimes I am just baffled by people who still don’t think being an artist, photographer, videographer or designer deserves compensation, that the jobs that we get should be for “exposure” because it’s just a “hobby”.
Today our Program Director came up to me (the resident Lead Designer) and asked me if I knew any students/interns in art or photography that would come to our Meetups downtown Chicago and take photos and videos for us.
Me: “Like for internship credit?”
Him: “No, not interns. Students that like to take photos and video. It would be like a hobby. [Our Company] would not pay them.”
Me: “But you’d have to pay them. Even interns get paid these days. And if you want them to come downtown to Chicago, there’s parking expenses, train ride expenses. Plus no one would do it for free.”
He gives me this blank look. “These students wouldn’t even do it because they like it? Because it’s a hobby?”
Me: “Nobody, not a student or anybody, is going to do photography or videography for free. At least an intern should get minimum wage.”
He looked completely baffled that we would pay someone to come to our events in Chicago, whether by train, bus, or car of their own expense, let them take photos and video of our speakers, and not pay them a single thing.
I’m kind of livid, as an artist, you know? Like it’s unreal.
No, artists do not do things for free. We do not do things for trade. We have these skills, hone them, and use them for money so we can eat, put a roof over our heads, and clothe ourselves and our family.
Don’t let anyone try to persuade you to do things for exposure either. Work = $$$. Bottom line.