Work for Free! (Guest post on ASMP strictly business) 

 January 6, 2014

By  Pascal Depuhl

Work for Free Guest blog post Picture your dream job, the image you’ve been dying to create, the gig you’d do anything to get. Got it? Great. Did you shoot it this past year? No? How about the year before?

Does your work challenge and fulfill you? If it does, congratulations, you don’t need to go on reading this post.  But, if you want help in how to push yourself and keep on the cutting edge read on.

Find a project that gets you excited (I mean, like, really excited).

Make a list of a couple (still or motion) projects that contain something you’ve always wanted to do or a place you’ve wanted to visit or an assignment that’ll challenge you – something that you don’t think you can pull off … Now find an organization, that would benefit from one of these projects, the documentary short or a photo essay or some prints

Commit to making the best project you can.

Once you find your project, go and pour your heart and soul into it. Push yourself hard, lose sleep, get uncomfortable. Then turn around and deliver the best project you’ve ever made (that’s why it’s so important to find something, that really gets you fired up.)

Step 1 OK.” you say “A project, that gets me excited. Check.

Step 2Organization that could use it. Check.”

Great – you’re almost there.

Step 3 Now go an produce it for free. “Alright. Work for free. Che…wait, what?

Work for … what?

Ok, I know what your thinking: “How will working for free, make me do better in 2014?” My contention is that you won’t become challenged and fulfilled in your job if you don’t.

Let me clarify: when I say work for free, I don’t mean, that you pay for whatever project will cost to produce (that’s why important you find a client who can use what you’re going to create), but you’re gonna have to put in some serious time and sweat equity into it.

Lastly – show it off.

You know that you shoot what you show. So show your pet project. Hype it up! Talk about it. Send it to your clients: “Hey look what I did!”

Are you ready to shoot your dream job in 2014? Tell us in the comments what you are dying to shoot and remember, the bigger your dream, the better the opportunity!


This post was first published on Strictly Business – the blog of the American Society of Media Photographers.

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Pascal Depuhl

Miami product photographer, video producer, cinematographer and chief mindchanger at Photography by Depuhl I love to share the knowledge I've gained over the past two decades. Catching light in motion.