A Personal Statement: Should you work for free?
Recently members of Photowalkers were asked for selected photos to be republished on a media company’s website and FB feed. The members of Photowalkers range from amateurs using mobile phones to professionals with high-end cameras; but we all enjoy photography and sharing our time, knowledge and photographs.
Organisers devote time and energy for no financial gain whatsoever, so that Photowalkers events can happen. We get a kick out of what we do! You enjoy taking photographs, whether done in your time or on Photowalks; doubtless you share them on your website, social media accounts, either publicly or privately. I believe you should value the photographs that you take, in whatever terms value means to you.
I also believe that photographers should not be exploited by demands for free content from profit-making organisations. Whatever status a photographer you are, your photographs are yours. You own the rights to those works you have created. At some point, you will be asked if you’d like to contribute your works for publication for exposure only. You do not have to consent to these requests, if you don’t want to. If you do consent, you should make sure that you agree to an equitable set of terms first.
Not everyone is a photographer for the same reasons, so having your work featured in a publication/website without payment is ultimately your own choice. Should you feel that is appropriate for you, then I say do it! But don’t feel obliged to do it. That is your choice!
Photowalkers Group is not a marketplace for free photography for organisations to exploit; there are plenty of sites on the Internet doing that already. Photowalkers Group is our place for planning events, getting together, having photowalks, networking, making friendships and learning from each other. That is our raison d’etre. So we warmly welcome all photographers to join us on any of our events or walks.