Photography with Meaning – What Do You Do for Exposure?

If you’ve been in photography long enough you’ll get a request from someone to use your pictures in exchange for ‘exposure’. What that means is they want the benefits of your fine photos but don’t want to pay you. Having the privilege of them publishing your photo is reward enough… or so they say. The funny thing is whenever we get these requests they are usually from large multi-national corporations with deep pockets… and a big advertising budget… and yet they won’t pay for quality images. The promise of them exposing your work to a wide audience is often hard to resist but we have found from experience that such exposure always falls flat.

Exposure - Is it worth it!

Exposure – Is it worth it!

On the other hand, when it comes to small community groups with no budget for photography they will often bend over backwards to try and pay you and give exposure that is respectful and meaningful. These groups need great visuals and they know the value of the image. Samantha and I love working with local groups who have causes we believe in because they offer the best kind of exposure. We get to meet real people, develop friendships and feel like we make a difference in the community. And of course we are happy to provide our services for free because we feel great helping them do good work. And feeling great charges up our creative juices and we get excited about photography all over again! Now that is the best kind of exposure!

What do you do in for ‘exposure’ and how has it worked out for you? We love to hear about it!

Chef Darren MacLean at rooftop veggie garden, Calgary, Alberta

Chef Darren MacLean at rooftop veggie garden, Calgary, Alberta

Portraits of local musicians

Portraits of local musicians

Passive solar tiny home - Hereabouts B+B, Cochrane, AB

Passive solar tiny home – Hereabouts B+B, Cochrane, AB

Local CSA farm portraits

Local CSA farm portraits – Seeds to Greens

Permaculture 'permablitz' in Calgary, Alberta

Permaculture ‘permablitz’ in Calgary, Alberta

Local organic farming practices

Local organic farming practices

©Darwin Wiggett - oopoomoo.com

Portraits at the local humane society

Humane Society dog portrait

Humane Society dog portrait

About the Author

I am a Canadian landscape and outdoor photographer who loves long hikes in the woods, yummy food, hairy dogs, good company and a good guitar jam.

3 Comments

  1. klausand rikapeters
    January 28, 2017

    rika and i attended a work who in gp now in winfield loveoopoomoo klaus i get your posts on f boo k

    Reply
  2. Marty Prentice
    January 29, 2017

    As a mediocre amateur photographer, my greatest pleasure is not so much the capture of a satisfying image but the sharing of that image with family, friends and, to a lesser degree, my small town community. Having had conversations from time to time with some professionals, I really appreciate the concerns expressed by Darwin about outright expatiation by media and the corporate world. If we want to continue to enjoy the art produced by professional photographers, we have to support their ability to earn a reasonable living from their art.

    Although I enter from time to time the various photo contests conducted by various national NGO’s and environmental organizations like Nature Canada and National Geographic, some have suggested to me that is exploitation as well. Do they take advantage of the amateur to avoid having to pay the pros for their images? I give these organizations he benefit of the doubt.

    I regularly put on photo shows (mostly travel) for our two local seniors’ “lodges” and other local groups, and donate images to local fundraisers. Recently, I donated a limited 10 edition series of 10 of my favourite Canadian images to our Community Foundation as a fund raiser. I hope I am not infringing on the many wonderful professionals that I have come to know, and got mentored by, over the past years. I am not presumptuous enough to consider marketting my images for any financial consideration or outside my community.

    I apologize for the length of my ramble. I could never be a blogger.

    Reply
  3. Marty Prentice
    January 29, 2017

    I meant to add a PS to my last comment: I could never expose myself the way Darwin did in his almost bare-all photo. He looks pretty good; I could only hope to look that good when I reach 70.

    Reply

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