If you request free work from other people, or you tend to do work for free yourself, this is for you.
It is not a rare occurrence for someone to contact me requesting an image for free. Often these are companies that expect me to give up my work for free for their commercial gain. I am sure this happens to other artists as well – I know graphic designers are also plagued by those seeking images for free. Occasionally I have turned some of these opportunities into situations where I was paid adequately for my work. Most often though when I request payment they suggest “we will give you credit” and “this will be great exposure” in lieu of monetary compensation. Or they claim they simply have “no budget for photography”. I try to respond to this nonsense as politely as possible though sometimes the return response is hostile. I even had someone request a free print this year (of the image in this post). Sorry, NO.
So I was quite pleased yesterday to see that Tony Wu had written a document to help us respond to these free requests: http://photoprofessionals.wordpress.com/. Many photographers have constant free demands for their work, and I am sure all are tired of it. I know I will be referring people to this article in the future, hopefully it will help educate.