How low should an assignment photographer go? Freelancers gotta eat, but at what point does your willingness to accept cut-rate assignments become self-destructive? Check out the animated discussion
at the APhotoEditor blog. Some excerpts:
"I’m not widely known, nor have I been in the industry for decades with a
client list that stretches for miles, but I know the sooner I learn to value my own work and the sooner I learn to value the industry in which I work, the better my business will be, and the sooner those big jobs will start rolling in."
"I simply cannot afford to turn down the $200 gigs and continue to work
as a professional."
"...[W]e can only do so much to educate ourselves and other working
professionals in our market, but not only is it extremely difficult to regulate pricing...it is extremely difficult to eradicate the '$200' market when so many photographers, hobbyists and the like are willing to do it for free."
"The key is learning from each negotiation and being very conscious of
why you decide to accept a job that’s below your standards, whether it’s to keep the electricity on, or for the connection, or the tear sheet, or the creative opportunity, or you’re helping a nonprofit, etc... We all choose to sign the occasional bad contract or take the $200 gig, because it’s a choice that’s more complicated than the bottom line. There are simply no absolutes in the real world, no matter how true to ourselves and our industry we strive to be."