What is a photographers time really worth?

Some months ago a friend told me about an award winning model that had been let down by a photographer and was looking for someone last minute to save totally wasting the day. I contacted her and she told me she had paid for a studio, spent a fortune on props and outfits, MUA and hairstylist but her photographer had let her down last minute. After chatting on Facebook I said I was interested and agreed to work on a content share basis… I couldn’t believe my luck! – Work with a top model absolutely free and I get all the images to use as I please!

The shoot went exceptionally well, so well in fact she asked me back to shoot again. Same scenario .. She paid for everything! – The studio, refreshments, new outfits, new props! Fanbloody tastic.. We both started posting the shots on Social Media and websites and everyone agreed how good they were. (we both actually got extra bookings from the shots.)

I shot with her again a 3rd time, then on the 4th time she asked if I would shoot 3 or 4 of her friends at the same time. Well why not? She was paying for everything .. God knows how much time and money she had spend organizing the shoot, even more props and new outfits etc? — Everyone thought the shots were brilliant and were using them in their own portfolios to attract more work. Happy days, this is what content share is all about. ps – If you don’t know what content share is click this link

So lets move forward a couple of months. My Mrs suddenly decides she doesn’t like any of the pics of the model I took and told me I should message her to take all images down of the Internet. Off her website, off her blogs, off her social media sites..Oh and to contact all the other models  in the group shoot and tell them to remove all my pictures too. Just pretend the shoot never happened… She replied I had no right to do that and if I wished that to happen I would need to compensate her for all her expenses and lost time….

Like hell I do!  — I told her because I didn’t pay her for the shoot, she invited me I had full rights to demand she removes all the pictures, and those of her and her friends completely off the net.

weep… I guess by now you have established the above story is completely fictitious. But just imagine the situation was reversed. Imagine you were the photographer. Imagine you had paid for everything. Imagine you had spent hours editing and uploading pics and promoting the model only to receive a text like this: “Hi Mark, it’s XXXX. I’m in a relationship now and my partner and I both agree we don’t want any images of me on the net anymore. Please take them ALL down immediately”.

I have loved working with hundreds of models over the years but every now and then something like this leaves a really sour taste in my mouth… and people ask why am I giving up shooting for free?Ps – I took all the photos down because I am actually a really decent chap!

Feel free to comment.

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