Over the past year or so, I have begun to shoot more for clients and brands, large or small. Throughout that time, I have had to remind myself to “KNOW MY WORTH.” Most of the “start-up” brands that reach out to me via Instagram or email me, tend to always gravitate towards sending me free gear in in return for content. While this is “nice” and seems like a good offer, and in some instances it might be, if you want to grow and make photography a career, rather than just a hobby or a way to get free stuff, then you need to KNOW YOUR WORTH. By this I mean, what is your craft worth to you? How much time shooting and editing will go into the content that you are going to or might be creating for this company take? Once you know this, then you can begin approaching brands or replying to their messages with what YOU can do for them and what it will cost them and WHY you believe your work is worth what you are asking. If they shut you down….MOVE ON. There are more opportunities out there for you to take advantage of. One piece of advice I took from a close friend of mine is if you want something bad enough go after it, they will not just come to you. You have to grind, hustle, and put in hours of work to get that ONE brand to finally say YES! You might email 1-20 brands and get one yes or maybe not a single yes/reply. DO NOT let that discourage you from obtaining your goals. There are SO many brands that I would love to work for and trust me…I have emailed them and done what I can, but still have gotten shut down, but I will continue to reach out to them periodically to hopefully get that YES one day! If you take one thing away from this it is to always know that your work is worth more than free gear or “features” on their account. It might sound enticing to you, but look at the bigger picture. If you are wanting to be a full time photographer, whether you shoot brands, portraits, weddings, etc……KNOW YOUR WORTH and NEVER give up! You will not regret it in the end!