Which brings me to my main point, which is that it only takes one person to drive down rates and lower the bar. So instead of the chamber of commerce budgeting properly for this event next year, they will once again assume they can get free images.
There may be times when it makes sense to do a job for free, although I’m hard pressed to think of any. Perhaps it’s any opportunity for access you could never get otherwise, and you think there’s a way to sell the images as stock afterwards. Or perhaps you are trying to break into a new specialty and need the practice and exposure.
But if you take a photography job without pay, or below market rates, you had better have your reasons, and they had better be damn good. And make sure you think long and hard about how your actions affect the industry as a whole, as well as the other photographers in your community.
Unless you decide to be part of the bigger picture.
Instead of a footnote in the history of nothing.