I can across this short article by Andrew Buchanan, he talks about some important facts that young artists should keep in mind.
You can’t eat exposure.
As a working photographer, you’ll always be under pressure to provide your creative services for less. Every month or more, you’ll hear potential clients trying to haggle your fees downward with promises like, “think of all the exposure you’ll get,” or, “this will be seen by thousands of people… “ Especially early in your career, the trade-off of reduced or free photography services in return for exposure can seem promising, and may even seem like the ONLY way you’ll ever get published. But remember, while exposure, tearsheets, and name recognition do have value for helping you advance your career, you can’t eat them.
You are in this to make a living, that is the definition of “professional”, so you need to make decisions based on staying in business for the long term. It might be exciting to be paid to do what you love to do, but don’t let the elation of getting published cloud your responsibilities to yourself, to your business, and to your client. We should never be so vain or so desperate to simply get published that we forget that the goal of getting published is to make a living.
As valuable as exposure and name recognition may be, and there’s no doubt that getting your name and work out there is crucial, we can’t eat exposure nor can we spend it on rent, or camera gear, or insurance. Exposure and name recognition are a means to the end of financial security, not the end themselves. Think carefully about whether or not the promised exposure will really help you, and learn to politely decline any opportunity to work for less than you’re worth.