How to Assess Your Value

September 2, 2013 § 2 Comments

Photography books that have helped.

Photography books that have helped. (Photo credit: Greh Fox)

Continuing on with our series of Free Doesn’t Always Mean Free, the first thing you have to do is determine just what this word means to you. Does it mean you are giving things away with no price tag attached? Does it equate to the net worth of your photography business? Is it a value you assign to your individual self?

When you assign the word free to a monetary value you will always feel your worth is less than what to think it should be. But try looking at it from a different perspective. For the most part you can successfully network, engage, and build your brand through social media without paying a dime. Does that mean the social media companies are worthless, or do we assess their value by the number of people utilizing their services on a daily basis? Publicity through press releases, flyers, and post cards placed in random locations cost nothing, even more so when you are producing them yourself. Does that mean these opportunities lack the benefit of expansion and brand awareness?

In five months I have photographed a number of runway shows, launched a full art focused magazine, provided a full photo shoot on the set of a video recording, been invited to many private launch parties, asked to cover concerts, gained a freelance spot with a fashion magazine, and began building partnerships with entertainment companies, fashion designers, and talk shows. Does that mean that the value of my company is zero because I’ve technically only made less than $500 so far since my opening. Absolutely not!

Fame, and definitely fortune for not happen over night. Free must then be defined by the actions you take to get yourself to the next level. The first few events I photographed for free were because I didn’t have the strong portfolio needed to present myself in the fashion arena as being an available photographer; I had not proven my ability to successfully produce according to the demands of the industry. Thankfully I am no longer in that situation but please believe I still cover events free of charge. What’s different now is my motives. I have a strong portfolio that will continue to evolve as my photography does. However, now it is about the networks. If I have the ability to obtain a press pass for a high fashion event that will bring out the best involved in my area, absolutely I am taking that press pass and providing free photography to the host company. The reason is while I may not be getting paid in the financial sense, I am connecting with individuals in an area and manner for those opportunities to flourish.

I place great value to my Photography by Akili company in its current state. And while it will be difficult to move in higher directions without the money, I cannot take for granted or brush aside the many accomplishments I have already made. For you to do so is to say that all the hard work you have already put forth was for nothing.

 

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