What is the value of a photograph? What is the right price for an hour of your work? Those are questions we tackle on a daily basis. Each of us has a different pricing structure depending on the type of job, overhead costs, difficulty, length and reputation. Two years ago, photographer Shantanu Starick decided to abandon the idea of money as a form of compensation and went with the unique concept of shooting for trade, and made/spent no money since. Instead of asking for X-amount of money for each job, all he asks for is a place to sleep, something to eat, and transportation.
For over two years Shantanu has traveled the world trading his services as a photographer. In a recent article, we shared some of his unique images spanning the globe. One day he shoots for a startup company in Los Angeles and the next day he shoots a wedding in Ireland. All without making any money, but also without spending any. All transportation is covered by the clients, who also take care of any food and shelter needs while he shoots the project. Once in a while Shantanu trades his services for additional personal necessities such as shoes and clothing.
What Shantanu realized on his journey was that once he removed money from the equation, the clients were more open for ideas, less stressed about the work, and the whole work environment changed. What used to be a contractor versus a client became a friend helping a friend.
Have you ever traded your services as a photographer/videographer/retoucher/editor for something that is not money? Tell us about the experience in the comments below.