I've started to realize as I've become a much wiser adult that doing "free" anything is usually not going to end well for you. I have concluded that after about two more obligations I have to fulfill, I will no longer be participating in TFP (AKA shoots you don't get paid for). Once you realize all the hours of planning, Commuting and post production it slowly becomes more of a burden and an added stress. On top of this because people are getting your work for free they kinda don't care as much and don't see you as a professional. Then there are the people that are straight up ungrateful and entitled. I shall explain...
So after you've gotten everyone's schedule to match up after two weeks of trying, then you have to conceptualize makeup hair and style of the shoot. Then your driving around for looks and other materials needed to shoot, plus the time it takes you to set everything up and then get everyone else set up Because at this point you're essentially a host too. So once you're all set up there are things to consider while hair and makeup are getting done. First, you are looking at light and taking test shots. Then, you may want to do some BTS (behind the scenes) for your social media. After all that fun its time to shoot and direct the model (we are already past 8 hours of work for you I'm sure). Yay! the shoot is over and everyone is done... Except for you the photographer. You still have to break everything down and then retouch the images using complex software that took you years to learn how to do(Retouching like it's for a magazine). Now if you're as passionate as I am, this first half doesn't phase me. I love what I do truly, Photography means the world to me and I plan on doing it for a very long time.
What does phase me...?
People who have eyes but cannot see...
I've thought long and hard about this decision to stop with the TFP because I can see that my blood, sweat, and tears are not recognized as such. Some people feel entitled to your services when there is no charge but expect to be paid themselves. I put love into my work that is why I am willing to create at the quality that I do but don't think for a second its free for me. I pay for these shoots with my money, my love, my passion, my time , and my life and to do it for free is a dishonor to my self-worth and I can longer allow my self to be subjected to unworthy company. It's hard, I know, to just stop doing collabs, but you can now use your spare time and fill it with people that want to pay you what your worth and believe in what you do. Obviously, it's a lesson to be learned that some people will stick there hand out and not say thank you and then ask for more and that's okay... But only if they are paying you. Maybe its just me but I do expect something when I do something for someone else... GRATITUDE or a paycheck.
So since you can't determine the kind of people your working with just charge them and it eliminates the issue entirely. If someone wants you to spend hours on them they should pay you for the hours. Which leads to a point I briefly spoke of in the beginning paragraph, when you give your services away for free (and that's in any industry) once you tell your prospect now you have to pay even though they were just getting these high-quality services for free, they wont want to pay because they already had it and they got it for free. It's hard for them to process that the trial is over. It's like when your dating and you give it up on the first date so your second date ends up being at his house watching Netflix because he knows he doesn't have to try no more (Not that that's how I roll... It's just a good analogy). So I say F*ck that, He's taking me to a five-star restaurant and he's paying too. Know your worth and don't give it up so easily.
So to conclude my TFPslut days are over and it feels great!
A photo of a blue Orchid I saw in whole foods because I did'nt know what other photo to put.