Wednesday, 28 November 2007

To sell or to give away photos - that's a difficult question

Recently I've done a shoot at the Perth's Biggest Office Party, a not for profit event that is run each year in the Perth CBD. Several thousand people turned up for music, fashion and of course beer to help support this years charities Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre and The Greater Good Foundation. The highlight of the night was the fashion show showcasing fashion and jewelery from around Perth.

With all these interesting things happening, it was relatively easy to get some really great shots of the event, the models in the fashion parade and as well as the performers.

Two beautiesHunk with spiky hairSparkersBreath taking dancers

Now, here comes the big question... when I am being approached by the subjects who ask me for the photos, do I just give them freely or do I actually charge them a fee? The argument goes both ways. We can argue that I should give them freely as it was actually a non commissioned shoot. I was given a free press pass. Like many photographers there, I had access to many places which allowed me to capture some really amazing shots. As an amateur who is starting to go into freelance photography work, this was like serving my apprenticeship. So naturally, I would love to market myself and my service. Giving out free high resolution photos does seem to make sense.

Then again, I was told by my peers (other photographers, both professional and amateurs) by giving out free hi-res photos, I am actually responsible to help destroy the market. I can also see the logic to this side of the argument.

I really don't know which way I'll end up going, but right now, I feel that I should charge for the hi-res photos even if it mean just charging for a really small and nominal sum.

I will love to hear any comments from you readers about your views and opinion on this subject matter.


Saelle said...

Hi there - this is Sabrina.

If you feel conflicted - perhaps you could come to a compromise: offer a watermarked image for free or sell them cheaply?

Personally... I've only really been photographing since September and feel that my images are nowhere near as high quality as a lot of other people's (including your own). Therefore I don't feel that I am destroying the market by giving them out for free.

In fact, I would feel almost guilty charging somebody any decent amount of money for any photo of mine... (I'm sure this mindset will slowly change over time as I gain more skills and confidence)

Autumn Leaf said...

Saelle, I think your shots are pretty good. I don't know about mine being better than yours. I think that people will pay for your photos too. Seriously.

Yeah, I was thinking about watermarking images like what JPix does his. I have offered my images to be used for website for free as long as it is taken from Flickr and the users will have to give me the credit and link those photos back to my Flickr images.

Oh, not to mention, now I have to obtain a signed model release form from the model just so that I can release her image.... :)