Working for Exposure
by: Lisa A. Leitl
When you get a request to work for EXPOSURE, that is a nice way of asking “Will you work FREE?”
Professional artists refuse to participate because they understand what they create has value and they should be compensated accordingly.
In all my years as a professional vocalist, I never did a performance for the “exposure.” I suppose I would have made an exception if I was asked to tour and open for my favorite artist or had been invited to perform on a popular late night talk show. Like all fairy tales that surprisingly never came true. Unless you are the lucky lottery winner the correct response should be, “Thank you, but it is apparent that I have enough exposure since you found me and contacted me.”
Let’s face it, if you are an artist or entrepreneur you are already doing a lot of work free to promote your services. Some of us have dedicated our life’s work to our art and the business aspect. We now have a mountain of information to share, but still have normal life expenses to deal with. In other words, like the 9-5 person, we need to be paid in order to live and pay for food and housing.
The bottom line is this –
I have yet to find an example where this has ever paid off for a professional artist. Below I have included a couple of recent responses from other professionals who were asked to do work for the “EXPOSURE” or lets just call it what it is “WORK FREE”.
Article by: David Griner in Adweek interviewing Dan Cassaro wrote:
“To ask professionals to compete against each other for potential ‘exposure’ is completely different. It’s demeaning, and it lowers the value of everyone’s work.”
An article posted in Deadline Detroit: Bill Schwab, fine arts photographer says:
“Sorry, I don’t work for people that don’t pay their contributors. No one should. You’re only cutting your own throat and those of your fellow creatives. I’ve been at this a long time and never once has free exposure lead to a paying job. It only marks you as a sucker.”
At the end of the day it’s your life, your art and your time. Go live it, own it and get paid for it!
Lisa A. Leitl, Musician, Mentor and Songwriter
Create and Live Life Out Loud!