There is something extremely special about the ability to freeze a moment in time and capture it forever. For a long time I lost sight of the power of photography and the impact that it can have on our lives. However, working at CreativeLive was an incredible opportunity to rediscover why I love photography. It also motivated me to pickup my camera again and start shooting.
Over the past year I have been building my photo portfolio. This has meant doing a LOT of free/test shoots to hone my craft and become a better photographer. I don’t mind working for free when starting out because I had to do the same thing when I created my video reel. The same mentality is now being applied to photography portfolio.
However, there is a catch. While I am happy to work for free on projects that I believe in and ones that will build my photography portfolio; I am not happy about the idea of being taken advantage of.
Shortly after graduating from college I did a project for a local winery. Their manager promised me the opportunity to create some work that I could add to my portfolio and showcase what I was capable of making as a filmmaker. This soon became the project from hell with countless changes.
This experience and several others have changed how I approach pro bono projects. It taught me that I need to do a better job of protecting myself from being taken advantage of. A few months ago I attended a workshop on pricing. Towards the end of the workshop we were shown a contract for pro bono projects. I have never thought about using a contract for pro bono work, but after reading this contract I knew it was something that I wanted to use in my work.
1. Portfolio Quality: Richard does this work for two specific reasons: A) to help you out because he believes in what you do; B) to create work for his portfolio.
2. Concepting Meeting: You will take Richard out for a nice meal or drink while we discuss the creative direction for your shoot.
3. Fee: Richard doesn’t charge a monetary fee to do this work (see 1); The fee he does charge is a bottle of nice whiskey, payable on the day of photography, or on delivery of final images.
4. Crew: Our crew gets paid, this is non-negotiable: the rates are variable, and we do our best to negotiate a fee that is fair to them, and budget conscious for you. You will pay them directly, in cash, on day of shoot.
5. The Day Of: It’s good to note that even if you’re coming in to shoot for a couple of hours, Richard and his crew probably have been there all day getting things dialed in, or packing to go on location. They have been working hard on your behalf. Once the shoot is over, sets need be struck, vans need to be packed—their day isn’t over yet.
6. Styling: We insist you use professional hair and/or makeup stylists. They are so worth it—ask your friends who’ve worked with us. Depending on the job and the number of people, a lot of product (makeup, fake scars, hairspray, etc.) can get used, so a kit fee may be charged in order to pay for this product. You will pay this person on the day of the shoot, in cash.
7. Food: Please be prepared to provide a substantial meal, and snacks. Richard went to grad school on the East Coast and if pizza is your thing, make sure you bring a quality pie.
8. Editing & Retouching: Making picks takes time, especially on larger shoots. You will not be walking away with a final image on the day of the shoot. Richard does basic retouching to make you look good. This takes time to do correctly. This is also why he doesn’t just give your everything that gets shot. He gives you only the best.
9. Deadlines: We need to know these! If you know what day your show opens, you know what day you want to start promoting, and you know when your designer is going to deliver your final poster, and you know when your designer is going to want to start working on that poster, so now you know when Andy needs to deliver a final image by.
10. Design: We love to see the work out in the world — it could be an actual printed poster or a blast on Instagram. We also love to see the final product in our poster gallery. We highly suggest working with a good designer. IF you don’t have one, we do know a bunch of really great designers.
11. Final Poster Art: You will provide final pdfs of all poster art execution to my studio for use in our promotional channels.
12. Credit: All poster art will have a credit line that reads photo by Richard Lutz - www.richardlutz.com
13. Social Media: All social media posting must follow these guidelines:
13.1. do not alter the images in any way
13.2. do not crop
13.3. do not remove watermarks
13.4. do not use or add filters
13.5. always use #richardlutz in your captions
13.6. always tag the image properly
13.7. @richardlutz Instagram
13.8. @richardlutzcontentcreative Facebook
13.9. @richard_lutz Twitter