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You're A dragon, be a Dragon
by Adam Lew

In the creative industry, you have to value yourself or nobody else will

As a photographer starting out, everybody tells you “do work for free”.  And while free work can sometimes open doors for you, frankly, it’s overrated.  I’m here to tell you: don’t do it for free.  Value yourself. If you don’t value yourself, nobody else will.  Just because it’s in the creative industry and people view it as a “hobby” does not mean you should not be paid for it.  

Creatives should not get sucked into the “Oh man, I would pay you if I could”.  Everybody has some money to spare, and if they don’t, they should not be asking for your service.  If they are not paying you, the bottom line is that they do not value you.   In my experience I’ve had the most trouble with clients who do not value my work (and hence did not pay well).  

Olenna Tyrell, one of my favorite characters from the HBO series Game of Thrones, told Daenery Targarean “You’re a dragon, be a dragon.”  I challenge all the people in this creative industry to say no to people that do not value your work.  Who cares if the veterans of your profession “had to pay their dues” and feel that you have to be just as miserable as they were when they were first starting out.  Times are different now.

To make it, you have to do things differently.  Do not listen to what others say.  You are you for a reason.