Professional Photography and “Spec” Work

It’s all too common for people to ask professional creatives to do work on “spec” – provide me with free samples and if I like them, I’ll pay you in “credits” or something else, or maybe never. This video does a brilliant job of satirizing a very serious problem for creative professionals.

The original article I found it from is on Petapixel, another great photography website and well worth your read. Despite the sound of their name, Petapixel is actually not strictly digitally obsessed and does run articles, including positive ones, about analog photography.

Petapixel – Creatives and Spec Work – by Michael Zhang

In short, if you’re a creative professional, you’re probably asked on a regular basis to provide not just a portfolio in advance of a contract signing, but actually asked to do the work first. Just say NO to this kind of work – it hurts all of us because it builds the expectation that clients can get creatives to work for free. Would you expect to go into the bakery and get to eat an entire loaf of bread before deciding if you liked it enough to pay for it or not?

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