To start for those unfamiliar with the term TF means ” Time For ”. Basically it means that I give you my time in exchange for a service or I offer my services to deepen my learning or test new material. The TF has its good side and it is very useful in some situations. Unfortunately, there are too many people who abuse or use them for the wrong reasons. It has its place for those who do non-commercial photography for their pleasure, for study projects, to test new equipment, to learn a new technique or to help an NPO.
TF should never be used for commercial or for-profit projects. I find it very difficult to understand the mentality of some people who feel they are allowed to ask someone to work for free and then use the result of our work to promote their products and services in order to make more sales or paying contracts. Give to the next it does not mean that people have to give you so you can, in the end, put you money in your pockets or in your purse.
There is the particular case of mannequins. Those who start and who want to put up their portfolio. Anyone starting out must be able to invest in his own career or business. Not asking a person to sacrifice an income, so that afterwards you will be able to find you paying contracts. I already hear the comments of the kind we also invest by keeping in shape, we buy linen, etc. Are you asking for free yoga classes as you are bought a carpet, sets and sneakers? I do not believe.
The other point that annoys me is when I see novices dare to come and ask me for a session in TF. The example I often give, when I am approached in this way, is as follows. A chef can decide to taste his dishes for free to have people’s opinion for his new restaurant or new dishes. But I know very few people who would dare to settle down at a table and dare to tell the chef … ” I wish I could eat for free at your restaurant! ”. It would take a nerve, for that reason most will not dare, but there are people who dare to ask a photographer, a make-up artist, a hairdresser or someone else working in this world of photography. And most of them do not even have the gratitude to take 30 seconds of their time to identify the photographs they publish and the name of the photographer and others who offered their services free of charge.
There is also this famous visibility that one imagines to offer as if we were offered a gold bullion. First, what do you offer in return? You are more often than not people starting out in your career or a new business starting up in business. You can not offer visibility. You are strangers with some ” Likes ” on your photos and some people who follow you. Secondly, nobody pays attention to the name that is indicated at the bottom of the photo or page.
The person responsible for this situation is also the one who made it possible to make the photographer’s work easier … digital. It made the stains so easy that many started out as a photographer. I am referring to those famous “Sunday Photographers”, those who have a good, well-paying job, those who are retired and receive a generous pension, or those who still live with their parents. They are the ones who kill the market by offering their service at ridiculous prices or free of charge. They do not need that income. So for them it does not matter. Moreover it is wrong to believe that people are willing to pay for quality because most are much more interested in knowing your price than to see the quality of your work. The first question is always …. How much is it ?
Montreal is truly special and it is made the TF’s world capital. And so long as we do not have a genuine corporation to protect us from its abuses, the situation will not change. Without a true corporation and a code of ethics, the word professional has no value. We need strong tags where only photographers who live only from photography can bid on and work on commercial and lucrative projects. And it is not the CAPIC that will remedy it with its laxity while most of its members prefer to keep the status quo and that nothing changes to thus keep their acquired. They have the big part of the cake so they are happy to see the others fighting for the remaining crumbs.