Toronto advertising agency Zulu Alpha Kilo created this video to demonstrate how absurd it is for people to ask for the advertising industry to do spec work in hopes of getting more business. As described by AdWeek, “a guy approaches real men and women (not actors) in other businesses and asks them to provide him with a product or service for free, to see if he likes it before committing to more.”
While they are talking about advertising gigs, this 100% applies to other creative industries as well – including photographers.
We’ve seen similar ideas tossed around about working for “exposure” or building your portfolio. A couple even recently tried to leverage their 17k followers on Instagram to get photographers to shoot their wedding for free.
I love the personal trainer’s final bit in the video when he asks the man if he does what he does for free. The guy responds “no” and then the personal trainer replies, “So, why do you want me to?”
Update: I sat down with a couple local photographers to talk about some of the issues relating to working for free and how to deal with them. You can watch the conversation here.