In A Perfect World…

It’s sort of entertaining to me that every time I write a post urging freelancers to get paid for their writing or photography, it gets people riled up. There was the 6 page hate thread on the message boards, and the latest post about it indirectly encouraged much discussion on other blogs after some personal interaction between the mags and the contributors (weird, right?) So why is getting paid for services rendered such a hot button issue these days? Well, I figure it has to be that society doesn’t see value in writing or shooting action sports. These jobs are so great, we should be begging to do them for free, right?

Well by that logic, I have a new idea. Any job with any personal benefits should be done for free. Here are some examples.

Ski/Snowboard Instructor: You are spending the entire day riding. I can’t believe anyone has ever gotten paid for this one!

Chef: I’ve seen Top Chef. You people really seem to enjoy cooking. You should just be stoked people like your food.

Rock Star: So you play music for huge audiences and are adored by millions. I think instead of making more money as you get more popular, you should get docked for every new fan you make. Their adoration is your payment!

Pilot: Seriously, you get to fly a giant airplane. People DREAM about being able to fly. You are so lucky just to get the opportunity!

Doctor: You save people’s lives. This career path is sort of like being a god. And hey, if the bank wants your mortgage or car payment, just explain to them that instead, you will some day save their lives!

This way, we can all work jobs that make us totally miserable, and society will make sense again!

  1. Your blog was great…it’s subtly linked up there in the first paragraph too.

  2. Nice one Brooke. I was going to post the following reply on but they’ve locked the thread. Hopefully some of them read it here!

    I had a read through the WS forum & what struck me was that most of the people hating on your comments seemed to be zit-popping teenagers who wouldn’t have a clue about making a living… ‘I dooo ittt for the lovvee mannnn’ is all well and good, but they’ll be in for a rude shock the first time they have to pay their own bills.

    What they don’t understand is that we spend many tens of thousands of dollars acquiring and continually upgrading our equipment, we devote a huge amount of our lives to hone our craft & we work really really damn hard to make the photos they plaster to their walls. The companies & magazines are making money from our photos, why do these kids deem it so unfair for us to expect compensation? It is more than a full time job & while we love it, we actually need to eat too.

  3. bored

    boring. if you have talent you’ll get paid. if not … you’ll blog and bitch.

  4. Thanks Josh. Those were my thoughts exactly, and it seems they’ve all moved on to some other mass conspiracy now. But having a thread about me locked was definitely a big moment in my career.

  5. Yeah Brooke. Seems like I’ve been reading about this topic nonstop the past few, whether it be about photo, video or writing. All are in the same boat right now, I think. How does a new kid make a buck? How are there even people on the other side of this debate? How ridiculous would it be to be a doctor and have a patient walk in and say ‘This exam is going to be free, right? No? Guess I’ll find some place where it will be…’ Not acceptable in any scenario.

    On a semi-related front, I read this article by Juan Cole today. It’s more about newspapers, but it applies to magazines and the web as well.

  6. Zim

    Well bored, my guess is that since you weren’t working you had time to bitch ABOUT a blog. That’s kind of the same thing, right?

  7. Hey Graham. I don’t envy someone trying to get their foot in the door at this point at all! But I think you are doing it right. Publish yourself, show everyone what you can do, so that when you do run into “the right person” you have something to show them. Yeah, there are a million people trying to write or shoot snowboarding right now, but most of them are terrible at it and don’t come through on their promises. I do believe the cream will rise to the top and you are fully responsible for your own success (or lack there of.) I’ve been lucky to do the things I’ve done and find the success I have, but most of that “luck” is directly related to working really hard.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *