Pay You Next Tuesday

(WordPress is ignoring paragraph spacing at the moment.)

From Nice Lady to Blaze

“Hey Blaze,

Its Nice Lady from WWW.WWW.www…

Do you remember me ?

I have a question and thought maybe you would be interested ?!

The company I work for, ZZZZZ Couture, is looking for a photographer to shoot for their catalog and website. This is a celebrity brand part of the “Well-known Fashion Company” Company.

There is no compensation, but you would receive in return “Well-known Fashion Company” clothes, gear. etc…… : )

Also, there is a possibility for nationwide exposure and future hiring jobs….

I have 3 models booked from my agency, and if you are interested, I would be happy to send you their photos….

We are looking to shoot next weekend at the store on <Earth>…..

Let me know : )

Nice Lady

Lime Magenta Account

ZZZZZ couture

69 W. Bubbles Blvd #68

West Monkeyburn CA 96869

Office: 310-111-1111

Cell: 310-111-1112

Nice Lady actually is to all known accounts a nice lady so my inclusion of this correspondence is not meant to burn her as much as illustrate what might be lessor known to a newer photographer: Even big companies can be skanky. I learned from publishing magazines that pursuing corporations for ads seemed to mean less headache and larger return in roughly the same amount of time that it took to squeeze a nickel out of a smaller business or an individual. Exceptions to the rule exist, of course, but most business sales and service solicitations seem similar. Still, con game is a con no matter how stiff the collar might be.

3-card Monty and shell games:

Senior year in High School I was on a city bus with a Junior guard on our basketball team as a hustler was “losing” a couple of dollars to some random rider and happened to flash a wad of cash. One of the cards had a bent tip that seemed to go unnoticed by the hustler. Long story short, the kid lost his money then his walkman to the hustler.

So, first “the set up” exists where the hustler tries to peek your interest; “Celebrity”, “looking for a photographer” and “catalogue and website” build up the anticipation. The twist is that it’s no pay and the lube for the sucker move is that there “is a possibility” of future gigs with your national exposure to being a free ho. Within days of receiving this opportunity, I saw 1 sheets, sell sheets, ads in local and national periodicals, the showroom and 2 of their offices in my casual day to day movements. I’m certain if I were to contact the printers, the lessors, the periodicals that none of them were paid for their products and services in T-shirts, jeans or promises of payment next Tuesday for a hamburger today.

There are numerous times where barter, trade, but in such scenarios those situations rarely turned to paid gigs down the line. Plus, it’s not pro bono if you’re volunteering your time explicitly for the company to make money off of your efforts. General rule, if money is made you want your cut. Once you get known as the “free photographer” that stigma is hard to shake. Now had the above offered a guaranteed contract for future work… well, things are negotiable, you know?

I recall getting a club calling me up out of the blue asking if my band wanted to play their venue. Nice spot, so I said, “We can do that”. I was then presented with the opportunity to sell a minimum 15 tickets and then I couldn’t hear over my derisive laughter. Now I’m certain this nice lady’s daily retinue helps puppies cross the street and gets old ladies’ out of trees (or something like that) but I think I’d gotten a bit fatigued out of everyone trying to game me. So I asked her that after the first 15 drinks are sold how much is my cut of the alcohol? Or am I supposed to sell tickets, write the music, practice, commute, play the music, then iron her f**king shoes also. What’s her promotional staff supposed to do and since apparently she wanted me to do their jobs I should get their paychecks?

That club is still in existence and putting musicians on the corner to salaciously ask the occasional driver going by, “Hey man, wanna party”? That Well-Known Fashion Company still has multiple L.A. offices and promotions. Nice ladies are still nice while flashing the bent card. Now when I see their print collateral I’m wondering how many T-shirts did that photographer get before receiving exposure as being a sucker.

I gots all kinds of sh*t ta sell ya! Operators are standing by!!

I gots all kinds of sh*t ta sell ya! Operators are standing by!!

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