‘Time For’ – Priority Or Just An Afterthought?

Is it right that the results from a TF shoot take such low priority over paid work? Obviously money is a great incentive to getting projects to completion and we all have bills to pay, but if people have given up their time, effort and in many cases actual money to get a shoot to successful fruition is it ok that the results have no deadline?

Often it’s not that the photographs are any less superior. But it certainly makes you feel inferior if someone can’t be bothered to complete because you’re not as important as another client. It can be crushing to your self confidence and damaging to your business.

If you don’t think it’s worth the effort, don’t take on the work!

I’m talking specifically in this case about photographers who don’t deliver final images and either leave you with a bunch of low res unedited rushes or worse still nothing at all.

It’s a frustrating end after so much work. And you’re powerless to get your hands on the images to get them edited by someone else because rarely does TF involve a contract.

I read a post on the Model Mayhem forum last year from a model who had worked a TF and six months down the line had only had a couple of images despite doing several clothing changes. Typically the attitude of the respondees was ‘well if it’s TF and you didn’t draw up a contract it serves you right’. Well no actually it doesn’t! Everyone has to start somewhere and early on your jobs will inevitable include ‘freebies’. But physical results are just as important as the experience.

You see, I have this blanket attitude to photoshoots. You treat every one as if they were paying you a grand to do your job. The reason is simple. If, like me, you value your profession and your industry contacts, you treat every job and every team member like the professional they may ultimately become or very possibly already are. Your next TF could after all one day turn into paying collaborations and you don’t want a poor reputation.

For me, as a designer, clarity on work styles is important. If I have to wait six months or a year for results, they are probably going to be irrelevant to my flow of work. It confuses my followers if I suddenly offer them something a year old when my work styles have moved on.

I know this industry is full of amateurs and wannabes, low standards and tacky stereotypes and they are making it harder for real talent to find work. But if you have talent, don’t waste it by failing everyone at the last hurdle just because there isn’t a monetary value against it.

I have a little black book of companies and individuals I won’t work with again. It’s sad that I have to add talented people to this list but I know there are others out there waiting to fill their boots and now that I am moving onwards and upwards I don’t need to put up with sloppy work ethics.


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