This is the Gervais St. Bridge Dinner. It was a project I knew I wanted to be involved in. I never asked for payment, and we never talked about it. What a cool thing to be involved in.

I see this topic come up a lot. Charge what you’re worth. As creatives we can’t undervalue our work. Well, I take a little different view of this. To be honest, those times in my business where I’ve seen the most growth are when I forget what I’m being paid and just go do good videos. I try to always keep my eye out for those times where a video could be of good use for someone who maybe hasn’t budgeted for video or hasn’t thought about it. There’s almost always something I’m working on that isn’t standard rate or there’s no rate at all. What I find is that the more I work, the more I get work. If there’s no one out there to pay, I just go do what needs to be done. There are three things to keep in mind when you’re offering up your creative work for no pay.

  • First, when you’re not included in the budget, you generally get a lot more creative control. You can be more true to the essence of the project. People are generally more respectful of your timeline, and you can use these projects to grow or experiment with new techniques and take chances that you normally wouldn’t take.
  • Second is that I have always met great people through free projects that lead to other projects where there is a budget. I will find those groups that I want to work with and get in touch. “I would love to make a video about you” is a good way in the door.
  • Third, I’ll use video as a way into an event that’s sold out or I can’t otherwise pay for. I’ve seen great concerts, I’ve had some great dinners, and met some great people through filming events. I always keep the video simple and it’s becomes an even trade.

Now, don’t get me wrong, It’s important to get paid for your work. It should also always be up to you as to whether you get paid or not. But, I find that it can be great to break into new markets and a great way to do cool things if maybe sometimes you’re not paid…