Friday, June 15, 2007

Saying No to Pro Bono...

At some point in your career as a Professional Photographer, you will be asked by some Art Director, PR Firm, Charity etc... to shoot Pro- Bono ( Freebie ) for their latest sad-sack cause. "Run for Glaucoma", "Restless Leg Syndrome Foundation", "Feed the Seals!", "Citizens for Carbon Offsets" or some such do-gooder cause. Let me help you with the proper response to such commonly occurring enquiries from the well meaning advertising braniacs who call you to get your free help on their latest project.

Response 1) No

Response 2) Have I got the guy for you! ( Give them another Photographer's name, preferably a close friend. This way he can call you up and curse you later.)

Response 3) Are you ( Art Director, Charity Pimp ) being paid for your services? How about the Printing Company responsible for the Ad, Poster et cetera, are they being paid for their time?

Response 4) Not this week, I'm still a little shaken up by Al Gore's Movie "An Inconvenient Truth" !

The last one will score you points with the caring set and let them know that your Globally Conscious :)

PS. No one ever asks a plumber to come and root drains for "Jerry's kids". I guess if every one took up pipe fitting as a national hobby that people would be asking plumbers to do their jobs for free! You Know........for the exposure...."Think of all the work it will bring in!"

Yeah........more Pro Bono work!

5 comments:
Lisa said...

I agree. It's been my experience that people value something more if they pay for it. When too many are willing to work for free, it lowers the perceived value of the service you're providing.

EDWIN MORGAN said...

Once you give it away, they never call you back for the big jobs. They can't justify paying you an acceptable fee when you were giving it away the week before.

n1x0n said...

"Once you give it away, they never call you back for the big jobs."

Actually, "pro bono" work is a very prestigious way to advertise your business.

And they will call back, because to most art directors compassion still weights more than cheap cynicism.

EDWIN MORGAN said...

I knew this one would stir the pot!

n1x0n wrote " Actually, "pro bono" work is a very prestigious way to advertise your business.

And they will call back, because to most art directors compassion still weights more than cheap cynicism."

Actually my rant has more to do with specific Art Directors in my area. If your experience has been positive....so noted. However,my compassion extends first to my family and the necessity to pay my bills. Also, I have never called anyone and asked them to perform their services without compensation. It seems to be a habit with some of these folks. Generally, after they (Art Dir.) have made a name for themselves at Joe Schmo agency doing Pro Bono, they move on to bigger agencies and forget you.But, I concede that it has worked for some photographers.

By the way. Thank you for your comments! I look forward to reading your post's anytime. I'm sure I will peeve you again sometime in the future :)

Dr. Pimento said...

Ed, I assume you are referring to Sonny Bono, who along with wife Cher performed as the duo "Sonny and Cher". Yes, he was in every sense of the word a "pro". He died tragically in 1997. Thanks for remembering him.

Dr. Pimento