Capturing special moments, unscripted, unposed, for clients who want more, putting them at ease in front of the lens and helping them stay in that happy place so that together we can make art that is personal: one-of-a-kind. 

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Why do photographers charge for their images? Why can’t my client simply share with anyone they wish? But your photos are on the internet, so I shouldn’t have to pay to use them, right? These are the questions that every photographer gets on a daily basis. Finding the balance between running a business, promoting your work, and sharing your art is anything but simple. What we need to get through our heads, is that photography isn’t free.

“Can I have one image for my website and I’ll give you credit?” Sounds like a fair trade to those not in the art services world. But would you consider not paying for a haircut in exchange for your word-of-mouth advertising? Photography is a service and images are a product of that service. People pay for services all the time. Haircuts. Oil Changes. Drycleaning. People think that photo visibility on social media and websites equates to guaranteed business for the photographer. That is so not the case.

Trades don’t pay bills. Visibility doesn’t pay bills.

Maybe we need to blame Google or Bill Gates for creating the illusion that if it’s on the internet, it must be free and require no labor. But the reality is that everything that I put online and into my business costs labor, time, and money. And a simple tag credit on Instagram isn’t going to catapult my business into the six figures overnight. I am grateful for the businesses that have hired me to acquire photos the right way. They value my time, my skill, and my art.

What is the moral of this story? Artists are not disposable. Small business owners deserve to run a business just like anyone else. The barter system doesn’t build a business, it only keeps the status quo. Let’s change the standard for artists and our industry. Demand what you are worth.

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