One photographer’s response for a $12,000,000 renovation asking for free prints


We love Tim Wallace. We love him for his stellar, high-end photography (check it out). We also love him for his wit, and for fighting the war-of-value fo the photography industry.

Take this email for example. Tim got an email from a  ‘high-end interior designer’ based in California asking, not only for free prints but actually asking for the high-res source files.  Tim’s response is nothing but priceless, and should be rewad by all photographers that are promised “exposure for work”.

Here is the email, followed by Tim’s wonderful response.

Hi I have a very important client that I am currently working with to remodel their $12m coastal retreat home, they love your classic car work and would like to have **** print for their hallway as you enter their home. They unfortunately don’t really have any budget for this however so I was wondering if you’d be interested in sending us the high resolution files if we did the printing so that there is no cost to yourself?

As I said, Tim’s response has a very strong sense of value. I believe that it is a well-deserved response. I also believe that while asking for freebies is not a wrong thing in this day and age, asking for a freebie while flaunting a $12,000,000 budget is inherently sassy:

Hi, oh wow that’s so cool and thank you so much for the kind feedback regarding my work. It’s such a tempting offer to supply them with my work for absolutely no benefit to my business what so ever and it’s hard to know what to say.

I think the fact that they have the revenue to purchase a $12m second ‘coastal retreat’ home would suggest that they are the type of people who feel that they deserve the very best but shouldn’t have to pay for it. Unfortunately I don’t really do business with cheap people and your offer clearly shows me that whilst they love my work they do not respect the hard work that goes in to creating that. Therefore I will have to respectfully suggest that you stick some of that overpriced drift wood art that you interior designers are always so good at knocking out on the wall instead. I’m assuming that you are getting paid or do ‘they love your work too’ ?
Lucky you, it’s such a fabulous project and your so lucky to be in their presence.
Good luck with it all”

Tim Wallace

Have you ever been offered to give your work for free? I would love to hear your stories.


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