There is an ongoing debate in the photography industry (and probably the same as in any other arts-based industry) about whether or not photographers should 'work for free'. Established photographers maintain that this behaviour undermines the industry, devaluing the work we do. Photographers just starting out claim that this is the only way to get a foot in the door, and build exposure and their portfolio. I'm not gonna get into that debate here, if you feel like firing up on either side of the fence then there's plenty of places online to do it :).
I've got bills to pay, so I generally avoid working for free. But every now and then an opportunity arises, whereby taking an hour two out of my day (in which I didn't have any paying jobs anyway) to do a shoot can work out nicely for everyone. Don't you just love a warm and fuzzy ending???
So recently I was asked to take some portrait shots of the Berry Showgirls. Each year, a half-dozen or so local girls enter into the Berry Showgirl competition at the annual Berry Show (held on 30-31 January this year). The winning girl will head to a regional competition, then eventually to the Royal Easter Show in Sydney for the finals. I haven't done a lot of portrait work, so this was an opportunity for me to sharpen up my skills in an area I needed more practice in, as well as get a nice bit of free advertising of my business in the local area. All this cost me was a couple of hours of my time, and the Berry Show Society got their lovely portraits of the ladies for the year. Win win.
And you know what? I'm pretty happy with how my shots turned out... what do you reckon?
You can see a lovely window display of the girls' portraits in the window of the Berry Pharmacy if you're in town, otherwise come along to the Berry Show on 30-31 January. Best of luck ladies!!!