Friday, February 13, 2009

To be a successful freelancer, don't play games

Every now and then I get a request to use a photo that a prospective client has.

Great! I say.... but tell me... where did you get this photo?

Oh.. I found it on the internet.


The last thing that you, as a freelancer, want to do is play a form of legal/illegal Russian Roulette.

Many people don't understand that just because you can grab a photo from the internet, you can't use it. First it's illegal. You can get into trouble, your client can get into trouble... then you are spending more time and money trying to get yourself out of a jam that could have been avoided for anywheres between $1 and $5 dollars!

Yes.. there are stock photo houses that will sell you great images for just a few bucks (contact me and I'll send you a few addresses).

Play it straight... don't do anyone a favor by using an illegally found image. It's bad for them and even worse for you and your reputation. I lost a few projects because of this issue, but my feeling is if they were ok with ripping someone else off they would probably not think twice about ripping me off.

And if they were NOT ok with spending an extra $5 they will probably give me a hard time when it comes to me charging them a fair and reasonable fee for my services.

Bottom line: get a good night's sleep and do everything legal. Make sure you collect and pay sales tax. Honesty is the best policy.

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