Photographers Should Never Give Their Work Away

One of the most popular questions for a photographer that has a photography business and wants to sells his or her work is, what should I charge? I have to admit, it is an important question and there is really no correct answer to the question. However, I believe that as photographers we should never give our images away for free. The sad thing is I see that happen all the time.

I see so many photographers that will spend many hours traveling to distant locations for photo shoots, spend a lot of money on expenses and supplies to capture a great image and then practically give the image away for free. The question I have for photographers is how much is your talent worth? Is your time, money and expertise worth nothing and that is why you give your photos away? Giving away your images or charging very little tells everyone that you think your image is worth very little or even worse you think it is worth nothing. That is not good. 

So, why not charge what you are worth? That doesn't mean you can charge anything you want. Photographers need to do a little research and find out what an image like theirs would be worth and be competitive in what they charge. If an image is a great image, real serious customers and clients will buy a great image no matter what the cost. There will always be those that tell photographers they love their photos and they want to buy a photo one day but they never do. I suggest photographers stay away from those people. Those types of people tend to waste your time and you could be using that additional time to create more great images and selling them to the serious clients and customers. 

My advice for photographers is do your research, charge what you are worth and don't give your work away for free. Create an aggressive marketing plan, create a great website to showcase your work and let everyone know you have some great work to sell.  If someone does not want to pay what you know your image is worth don't get upset. Real and loyal customers will be glad to buy your image not matter what the cost.  Find and work with those customer. Just remember the golden rule, don't give your images away. You are worth more than that.

- Roger Younce