Friday, December 5, 2008

Free Photography - Does it Pay? Part Deux

So, yesterday, the fateful day for the free commercial shoot at a large Limerick hotel, arrived (see Free Photography Does it Pay for the background story).

Armed with a newly-found stylist, and warding off all thoughts that the person whom I had originally asked to work as a stylist on the free shoot might have a point - I turned up to shoot the conference room. Actually, that's not true. The previous day (Tuesday) the stylist and I went to view the conference room - I took some light readings, and she looked at the available furniture and decorations.

We did that for 20 minutes, and then the general manager (a true gentleman) approached us with another manager, and asked if they could take us to see the Bridal Suite, as they felt it was in need a styling and shooting for a new brochure. We looked at it, agreed that it could do with making "more romantic" and there and then the stylist was asked to do the job - and a budget (quite a hefty one in my mind) was agreed on the spot. I will be shooting it for the brochure when the re-style is finished.

One the way back into the lobby, the general manager asked the stylist if she could "do something about the Christmas Tree decorations" as he felt they also needed a face lift and he also wanted to shoot them, for a new brochure. That job was quickly agreed, and then the manager telephone his counterpart at the "sister" hotel (a 5 star hotel, part of a famous world-wide chain) and arranged for the stylist to visit, to see if she could do something about their decorations too. (I drove her over, later and that job was agreed, too.)

As we were standing in the lobby, the manager pointed outside to a water feature in the garden, saying that he wanted to encourage brides to use it more for wedding photographs. Within 5 minutes, I had agreed to photograph it, with a model bride - with styling, of course.

That adds up to 3 jobs for me, and 4 for the stylist, and we hadn't even photographed the conference room at that point. Not to mention the additional promised 7 conference rooms, should that shoot go well.

We shot the conference room the following day. it took over 5 hours to set up, style and shoot, and then we shot half of the Christmas decorations - the tree will be styled next week and I'll go back and shoot it then. I'll not post the room shot because it hasn't been seen and approved. But here's a glimpse of one of the Christmas decoration shots - a gingerbread house specially made by the hotel kitchen for the shoot.

So, it looks like free work might pay after all. I'll keep you posted.


  1. Great post, and a very encouraging report. I hope these jobs work out well and lead to many more.
    I imagine you read these blogs already, but both David Hobby and Chase Jarvis have just written articles on the topic of working for free:

    Sounds to me like you're ahead of them, and proving their points!


    Very exciting & encouraging, indeed! I'll have to try and not be so naturally skeptical from now on and consider similar offers/opportunities. Shows great foresight on your part. I hope they work out well and lead to more to come! :)


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