Choosy Beggar Demands Pay After Being Offered a Free Photoshoot

Robin Zlotnick - Author

Aug. 25 2020, Updated 2:37 p.m. ET

featured choosy beggar model
Source: iStock Photo / Reddit

Here's the thing: Photographers and models both expect to be paid for their work. And they should. But if you are the one hiring, you should expect to pay. 

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More specifically, if you message a photographer about hiring them to shoot you, you should expect to pay them for their photography services. The person in this post on Reddit's Choosing Beggars doesn't quite understand that. In fact, they for some reason think they deserve not just a free photoshoot but to actually be paid for their time...for photos they asked for. It's hard to believe it until you see it.

In this very first little exchange, it's already clear that this woman doesn't want to pay for photos. Her agenda is to get free photos. And she's using the sneaky idea of a "collaboration" to try to get those free photos. To the photographer's credit, they offer her a compromise.

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The photographer came up with a seemingly great solution! They get to test out their camera and the backdrop they want to use, and the model will get the photos she wants, for free! That should be it, right? A totally fair trade and everyone benefits from the agreement. 

But I think you can probably see where this is going. You're a smart cookie. You probably understand that this cannot possibly be where the story ends. And you are correct. The model came back with the following response. Keep in mind that she was the one who reached out to the photographer to hire him in the first place!

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She claims that this "test" shoot would be something that the photographer would pay a model for. Yeah, maybe if he had reached out to one! But he didn't. She reached out to him. So this is a way that they could both get something they would normally pay for but for free. I don't understand how this is hard to understand.

Once she brought up the photographer paying for her clothes too, I knew this interaction was totally doomed. It's so clear that she only wants her ideal photoshoot but for free.

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The photographer tries to clarify the situation right away. She's not doing him a favor by offering her modeling services. He's not about to give her whatever she wants for free. He offered this one possibility to help her out. He doesn't need her at all. At this point it's surprising that he hasn't stepped away from the project.

And now, suddenly, she's calling the photographer demanding for not agreeing to pay her for a photoshoot he never asked for in the first place. Just incredible. She also goes back to her original request and suggests putting aside the "test" shoot and just giving her whatever pictures she wants for free. The verbal gymnastics are almost impressive. Almost. But the photographer isn't falling for it.

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It's surprising that it took this long for the photographer to back out of the project, but I guess you don't expect people to bristle and complain so much about being offered free photos. Maybe the model finally understood? Maybe she came to her senses and realized how horrible she was being? 

Nope! Of course not. The sentence, "I need these pictures and you should help me" really says it all. Why? Why should this random photographer that you contacted out of nowhere help you? He didn't even know you existed before you messaged him! He doesn't need you or have any incentive to help you. 

Clearly, he has a thriving business of people who are willing to pay for his work, and he in no way needs this nonsense from a demanding model. I truly hope no one agreed to give this person photos for free. 

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