Monday, May 28, 2012

I Will Not Work For Free!

"Looking for Makeup Artist to shoot for amazing clothing line.  TFP (no pay) but you'll get photos for your portfolio, great exposure and you get to work with amazing people.  You'll only be needed for 2 hours.  If we like you and this does well, we'll pay you for future work.  Check out our site [website link here]."

Wait what?!

Let me share with you a little story.  Let me start by saying that anything I write on here advice wise is because I have gone through it personally.  It has happened to me, I have witnessed it.

When I first started as an artist, I was so eager to shoot and took pretty much anything that came my way because I needed the practice and experience.  I also took the "TFP we just need you for 2 hours and great for exposure" jobs and I know for a fact that they will NEVER call you again and will NEVER "pay you later if it does well".

TFP (Time For Prints) is when no one at all gets paid but walks away with some pretty good (or even amazing) photos.

This ad wants you to do a shoot where they will eventually make money selling their clothing but the team that helped put their awesome ad / lookbook / whatever together gets nothing.  How is that fair?  Also, that whole "we'll hire you again if we like your work" line is crap.  They obviously hired the artist because they like their work.  Why does the artist have to suddenly prove themselves?

These type of job ads are taking advantage of our newer artist who don't know any better.  New artists who will see this as an actual really good opportunity when it isn't.

We need to stand together and put a stop to ads like this.  It's because of artists that keep taking "jobs" like these that people will continue taking advantage.  This is why our industry is suffering and why many artists no longer get paid what we used to.  Negotiating and completely getting robbed are two totally different things! You want us to work?  Pay us!  Simple as that!


  1. this is something I have been saying for alot of years and it really doesn't get home to the people of Scotland.

    Sad to say but it doesn't.

  2. Preach this. So sick and bloody tired when I see these type of ads. If I was not trying to get God back into my life I definitely would tell them where to sick it.

  3. Copying, pasting, tweeting, sending out smoke signals, etc.

  4. You said it honey! Hook, line, and motherf*cking sinker!!! I actually had someone ask me if I did partial tfp for her clothing line, plus five faces, for an all day shoot -_-....

  5. How would you respond if a company sent you an email like that? What do you say?

  6. This is a good one Yisell and I absolutely agree. I would rather have no jobs than work for free. It is a total disregard of my work, my knowledge, personal training and my experience.

  7. Yep. I wrote an article like this for Makeup To Go last November (even used the same opening photo) and my most recent MTG post was a continuation of the topic. I think it's important for more experienced artists to keep bringing this up because newer artists need to understand how detrimental these types of "jobs" are for our profession as a whole.

  8. I am with you and everyone else who replied on this one. I am always open to negotiate but i find it incredibly insulting when people take advantage. If i wasn't so busy working and negotiating a decent rate in addition to being a wife, mother etc.... I'd start a blog and post this too!!! def repost to my fb tho. thanks Yisell for the great post and the very informative blog. ps we just recently worked with the same red headed model Kate :)xo

  9. So very true. I absolutely agree and appreciate your post.