Working with Non-profits Doesn't Mean Working for Free

One of the worst pieces of business advice I ever received early in my photography career was that I should donate my time and talent to non-profits or charities as a way to get my name out there and start developing relationships.

Image of a coyote crossing a snow-covered road in Yellowstone National
Photo editors love when you provide them with images that have plenty of negative space around the subject. They can easily overly text on the left side of this photo or crop the image if they need a vertical layout for a cover photo. Photo by Annalise Kaylor

When you make photography your full-time, part-time, or sometimes job, you will spend more time building and running your business than you will behind your camera. Much of the business of photography is about developing relationships with photo editors and other potential clients. It’s a part of the job that never ends; you can never know too many people or develop too many relationships.

One of the worst pieces of business advice I ever received early in my photography career was that I should donate my time and talent to non-profits or charities as a way to get my name out there and start developing relationships. Do you know how many future assignments and connections I made while doing some of that work?