A Word About Non-Profit Image Pricing

Howdy folks! I’ve just returned to the Yukon from a few days in Vancouver where I spent some time catching up with friends and running a few errands to pick up items that you simply can’t get up North.

Just as an example, I’m unable to order any Li-ion batteries from Amazon and have them shipped to my home in the Yukon. That’s kind of a pain in the ass when your business revolves battery-powered devices. The reason for this is that for the most part, shipping companies don’t do road transportation up here, they fly things up on commercial flights and Li-ion batteries, even one single tiny camera battery, cause “Dangerous Goods” issues. *sigh* It is what it is.

Just needed some Wasabi Power LP-E17 batteries for my new Canon EOS RP mirrorless camera that will be here next week. Canon’s own LP-E17 batteries cost about 4x the price of the Wasabi Power ones and I’ve had success with Wasabi batteries in the past.

Non-Profit Image Pricing

I was recently having what I will loosely call a “spirited discussion” with someone about giving away images for free, and how it’s only screwing over the people that make a living from photography.

The person I was discussing this with decided that their best defence for their actions – they were asking for free images – was to say that the images were for a non-profit organization.

I’ve heard this argument before from editors, and I’ve also heard photographers try to justify their own actions by saying it was “just for a non-profit”.

Unfortunately many people do not consider non-profits to be businesses, but simple fact is that being a non-profit does not mean that you don’t make any money. For example, the head of the Canadian Red Cross took home a salary of $321,299 in 2016. I believe that is actually more than the VP of the United States gets as a salary!

Now if you want to make a monetary donation to a non-profit organization, that is for you to decide. But my suggestion is that you get paid for your hard work, just as other non-profit employees do. After that, feel free to donate your earnings back to the non-profit in cash and get yourself a tax deductible donation receipt.

Every time you simply give your work to a non-profit for free, you are making it harder for professionals to do their job, feed their families and put a roof over their heads. There are many photographers out there that specialize in humanitarian work and wildlife work for non-profit organizations and it’s a job for them, just like it’s a job for a wedding photographer to shoot weddings. Get paid for your photography! If someone wants it, it has value to them.

Photo of author

Dan Carr

Founder of Shutter Muse, full time photographer and creative educator. Dan lives in the Canadian Yukon, but his wanderlust often sends him in search of images all around the world to meet the needs of clients and readers alike.

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