On Getting Gigs

While we are on the topic of fruits, vegetables and non-profits, I thought I'd mention another event I'll be contributing to in October. It's called Walk For Farm Animals, hosted by Farm Sanctuary, whose mission is to "end cruelty to farm animals and promotes compassionate living through rescue, education and advocacy".

I responded to an ad posted on Craigslist Creative Gigs for a photographer willing to donate time to photograph this event. I like to volunteer-photograph a few times a year, and I admit I was first attracted to this gig because of the prospect of photographing farm animals, but actually I don't believe there will be any farm animals (they are all in the Sanctuary, I suppose). The organizer contacted me, saying she liked my portfolio. She filled me in on the event, adding that there will be people holding Against Animal Cruelty signs, and would I be OK with that? I mentioned that I am vegetarian and a rescue dog mom, and she was happy to have a photographer on board with overlapping values. The event is in fact, a Vegan event. What makes an event a Vegan event? It looks like the organizers and members of Farm Sanctuary are vegan, and the companies sponsoring the event are vegan friendly, including V-Dog, a vegan dog food company.

I, and 10,000 other people in the Bay Area, check Craigslist Creative Gigs every 30 minutes for new job opps. Often there are posts asking for photography services, in exchange for "experience" or "building your portfolio". Sometimes posters point out how good looking they think they are. Good looking or not, asking for free photography makes Bay Area photographers really mad. They will post and tell other photographers not to accept Zero pay. Yet I'm sure, photographers do offer to work for free. I'm lucky to be in the comfortable situation of having a strong family photos portfolio. Originally I built my portfolio on willing friends and their babies that didn't have a choice. But some people (who don't have friends to photograph?) fall victim to exploitation. Sometimes I see ads that ask for (a) an online portfolio (b) pro equipment (c) rights to photos (d) the kitchen sink, in exchange for, granted permission to use pics in portfolio. No money. It's abominable really, what some people will ask for.

However, there is exception made for non-profits. No-one gets mad at non-profits for asking for photographer help.

When ever there is a post that offers pay, the person will be inundated by responses. Posts are taken down after a few hours because posters receive so many emails. I am pleased to report, that I have won the business of some clients via this method. It's tough competition though - I respond to such ads without any expectation of hearing back.