Over the years and especially while I had my studio, I would get on average 3 requests per week to donate a session, prints or even my time and talent for some sort of benefit. Whether it be the local fire department dance, a cancer benefit, house fire benefit etc.
Donating your time and such is always a good thing to do, but you have to pick and choose which ones. You can’t do them all and you cannot feel bad for not doing some of them, you have to watch your bottom line or you are the one that a benefit is going to have to be done for.
I would get some pretty dirty looks or even people yelling at me to the point of having to escort them out of my office. Emotions can run high as people are doing their best to try and help out a loved one and they sometimes cannot see why someone wouldn’t help them out. Believe me, I wish I could do them all sometimes, but there just isn’t enough time. I only have so many weekends free that I am not shooting seniors, weddings and families, most of these events happen on a Saturday or Sunday, and possibly on that one weekend that you have off in 3 months.
BUT, when I do have the opportunity to help, I am very choosy as to when I donate that time. It has to be a good cause, in my heart, nobody elses. Family, Friends or just a worthy cause that may have affected me or someone that I love. These are the reasons to donate your time and energy.
This is also a great way to “GET THE WORD OUT” “SPREAD YOUR NAME” etc. Better yet, this is an excellent opportunity to continue to build your skills. I have done photography for 25 years, I have donated thousands of hours of my time, but in that time, I have built my skills, developed different efficiencies and I know what works and doesn’t work in most cases. This has also led me to booking additional clients. They see the work I do, business cards get passed out, the photos and album get shared all over social media with a watermark in the lower corner and it just keeps my name on top of the mind of people when they finally decide they need a photographer. They have already heard of me, met me or seen my work.
So whether you are a photographer reading this, or a potential client or person seeking to request my services, take note on the points in this article and use the information as you see fit.