Yesterday I saw an advertisement for a college student looking to paint houses as their summer job. I, needing a fresh look for my house, contacted them. They responded letting me know they could provide me with an estimate for the work.

I responded, “Oh, I didn’t realize this was a paid thing. I’ve never paid before.”

A bit ridiculous of me right? This student is obviously advertising their business in hopes to raise money for their services which I’m assuming they put towards tuition. It seems odd and very out of place for me to expect them to work for me and not be compensated.

Now – let’s compare this to a real story. A modeling talent sees an advertisement I put out for my photo services and contacts me earlier this week. We talk about what she wants to do ad her goals – then I bring up the budget ranges.

She responds quickly with “Oh, I didn’t realize this was a paid shoot. I’ve never paid anyone before.”

How are these two scenarios different? Both involved a consumer approaching a business (not the other way around) and responding in awe when they discovered there’d be a fee for the services rendered.

Imagine doing that to your landscaper, your doctor, your lawyer, your graphic designer, or your contractor.

Now, it is one thing to approach someone (like an artist) and propose some form of collaboration – but to assume a professional will provide you with free work is another.

Oh, I didn’t realize.

James Patrick
@jpatrickphoto on Instagram