Someone on Tumblr raised the concern that now that I am working towards turning my reenactment photography into a profitable business, that I’m going to start “charging what looks to be friends for something that [I] did before for free”. While that is a valid concern, it is an incorrect one, and it’s also something that I would like to clear up from the start.
So, here is what will and will not change, in regards to my reenactment photography, once I start booking sessions:
- I will still be taking photos at reenactments, regardless of whether or not I’m being paid to do so.
- I will still “shadow” units that I belong to for free. Consider it a perk of having me as a unit member, as some of my units do.
- All shots that I take on my own, outside of an established, scheduled sitting/session/shadowing, will still be free to download. Prints of those photos will still cost money, just as they do now, and will still be at my “reenactor price”, just as they are now.
- If reenactors or units (that I don’t belong to) want my dedicated time and attention, they have to pay for it. This has always been the case, I’ve just never had a formal system set up for it.
- Reenactors and units will still be able to use my photography for free on unit websites, Facebook, etc, including shots of them that I was not specifically hired to take.
What will change:
- Reenactors will now be able to schedule sessions with me through a formal system, something that has been requested of me by many, many people.
- I will now be able to turn something I love doing into something that also helps me pay my bills.
- Units will now be able to formally hire me to shadow them at an event, allowing them to get much higher quality shots of the units, rather than hoping that I grab a few random shots of them at an event.
- I will start being more proactive about making it known that I do this for a living, not just for fun.
- Reenactors will now have a structured way to get even higher quality shots from me than I have gotten of them in the past, to be used at home, for unit PR, etc.
Also, I should note that any “friends” who would take issue with me trying to make some money doing what I have been formally trained to do are not exactly the type that I would count among my friends. If you wouldn’t ask a carpenter or doctor to work for free just because they’ve occasionally done so in the past and because they enjoy their work, then don’t think that it’s acceptable to ask me to work for free either. If I want to work for free, I will offer, and I often do, but I can’t do it all the time.