Unless you've been living under a rock, I've changed quite a bit in the past year. In the past, I was always going along to get along and doing favors for people with nothing being returned. When I finally explained to myself that I deserved better and should charge for all my services, there was a great deal of push back rather than understanding.
I am an artist. This does not mean I will work for free, I have bills just like you. Thank you for understanding.
When it comes to my photography, I've traveled with clients, listened to their life stories, and even edited quite a bit. However, now I'm going to ask for a deposit upfront because when I release the edited photos, depending on the number of photos requested, then there will be an additional fee for the package released. A small commitment device is not asking for much.
People need to understand that I do not have unlimited time and means to do favors for people without any sort of compensation in return. People also need to understand that if I did everything for free, then I wouldn't be able to finance my artistry. Every business starts at the bottom and strives to come up in the world. Some people would rather keep me at the bottom, which is not okay.
Art is subjective and those that have benefited without paying may think that this is okay; however, would never think it was okay if the tables were turned. Furthermore, I've worked as a personal assistant, consultant, web designer, and singer as well as actor for free. As I mature and work more in the industry and in any profession, I now realize the importance of getting paid what I deserve. I will no longer do non-union work as an actor, model, or singer. I will no longer pick up the phone unless the person on the other end has something tangible to provide monetarily. I will no longer design sites for people, family, or friends without expecting payment for my services. As I prepare to launch my websites, video blog, book, and jewelry as well as clothing line it's crucial that I count every penny. In order to excel in business, I must be a wise steward of my limited time and resources.
Moreover, the time that I have spent developing my non-profit organization pales in comparison to the number of times I have worked for others without payment. The days of assuming people would come through for me as I have come through for them repeatedly are over. I cannot expect reciprocal business from non-paying customers. In terms of the friends, family, and people that have used me...it's now water under the bridge. Today, I finally woke up and realized that I had allowed other people to dictate my worth without even fighting the suggestion that I was worth more than gold.
In the next few posts, I will explain every project that I plan to release and update this site more frequently. I apologize to myself and my supporters for not writing, reading, and contributing more. Sometimes, it takes a bunch of mistakes to improve our decision-making. I have worked endlessly to take care of others and make them happy all the while neglecting the person that I have to live with forever, me.
Thanks for taking the time to visit and read. The best has been inside me for quite a while, however, it took a number of people devaluing the best to reintroduce me to myself.