I'm Devendra Kulkarni

Photographer . Web Developer . Influencer . Plane Spotter

Monday, November 12, 2018

How bloggers are using photographers for FREE
Updated : May 2019

It's been quite a while since I am coming across photographers who've been facing similar issues but no one took the initiative to speak or to share their thoughts on what's really happening in Fashion Photography sector in Pune. 

Why all those who really have the passion and skills to capture the best out of nothing fail to showcase their talent. Over the course of 3 years into fashion photography and combined over 10 years into photography, I've seen many come and go and for most of them the reason to leave fashion photography. 


Photography is not just grabbing the fancy camera, lenses and capturing photos. It's about skills, technical knowledge, and passion to capture something unique than other photographers are doing and as they said
"One Picture Worth Ten Thousand Words"
while looking for the perfect picture we often shift our focus on something which leads to many photographers to make the shift from fashion photography to something else. 

But today, the same picture is worth nothing, due to higher supply & willing to get everything for free, because 
"Nothing is cheaper than free!"

Shooting for FREE:

FREE...a word which attracts everyone and it's a new trend in Pune which is also called or referred as "Collaboration", where female bloggers (most of the time) asks photographers for collaboration shoots which attracts many new young guys to jump into this field. 

However, these shoots works as the bloggers gets their photographed captured from a photographer for free which he can use on his/her profile so that he can show his portfolio to the public. However, these shoots often are loss-making shoots for the photographers only gets photos to post on their profile and nothing more than that.

Shooting for bloggers usually takes around 2-3 hours where they didn't even ask for water; all the blogger wants is good photos for her profile so that new brands can also collaborate with them.

These shoots usually include product shoots and in-return bloggers usually get paid by brands and gets their products for free. Products ranging from makeup accessories, clothing, shoes to electronics, etc.

The Problem:

Many of the photographers who are doing these shoots for free or under the name of collaboration should understand the value of their equipment and their time which they're putting to shoot content for someone else who has no care about who you are, how you capture photos, what equipments you use. All they want is free photos from you.

For all those who are not aware of this fact, "EACH SHUTTERS COUNTS!"
Check this article out: Click Here 

So giving out free shoot where we (photographers) do all the efforts, spends our own money to get equipment, traveling and sometimes arranging shoot location and in return we get all the raw photos from the shoot which are mostly featuring other brand products, and picture credits by the uploader that too at the end of the post.

For most of the time, watermarks are removed while posting the photos on their profiles, sometimes photos are even posted without credits and that's what makes passionate photographers unhappy. 

So by doing such shoots, bloggers get free photos, free products, free content, more followers, more collaborations with brands & it's really beneficial for brands to give away their products to bloggers as they do free advertisement of their products and therefore they save thousands or lakhs on marketing.

They also get paid these days on the basis of per post ranging from Rs. 1000/- To 5000/- easily. Which means both the bloggers and companies are in great benefit (saving tons on advertising) while its only photographers and videographers who use their equipment for free of charge and gets nothing out of it as the end of the day, you cannot earn anything out of those photos. They're just sitting duck on your hard drive.

What We Can Do:

Unite Photographers - 
Firstly, we (photographers) should understand the issue and think on it as we spend thousands or lakhs on the camera, lenses and equipment like flashes, reflectors, etc.

While doing research for this article, I discovered that there is blogger engagement group of Pune based fashion/lifestyle blogger where all the internal communication takes place, while on another side; photographers are in a race to make their feed looking good by capturing whomever they came across.

Hence there is no unity among photographers and bloggers are taking really great advantage of this and we need to realize this before its too late for you. 

Charge for photos/shoot - 
Until & unless we won't start charging for photoshoots, they'll not understand the value of photographer and photography which they assume its just a hobby while our hobby is used for someone else's profit. We've recently asked several bloggers to pay at least 1000/- bucks for the shoot per outfit, and most of them replied: "I'll let you know in a while".

We all have to say no to free shoot, together we can change the current situation which is currently only limited to Pune.

They don't hesitate to showoff iPhone X but when it comes to respect, value of work (pay for the shoot) then these people messages another photographer for a collaboration. I've been doing such shoots for long period of time and spending money from my pocket and later I realize that we've only been used for someone's good, to make someone's feed look great.

*If you're a blogger & reading this, we spend hours on your shoot just to ensure your feed look great with several outfits.


If you're doing the same and thinking that you're getting good content for your profile, then think on the above one time! Your profile isn't worth anything if you don't have your camera with you which has its own life and maintenance.

If you really wanted to help someone with your skills then help those who really deserve it, help those who cannot afford to get their portfolio done and not helping someone who does not care about your passion, hobby, and work. They can have parties & dinner at one of the finest hotels in town or have foreign trips but can't pay for photoshoots, just because they don't value our work, they have plenty of photographers lined up who are willing to shoot for free. 

Alongside there are some really great fashion bloggers who support always keep supporting photographers & always remember they'll call you, message you until you have their photos, next day they'll message someone else for the shoot.

 The decision is yours! 

If you agree with me, leave a comment down below what do you think on this and don't forget to share this article. I also invite you to join our WhatsApp group - simply DM us on Instagram (@pixelpune)

“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.” - Dorothea Lange

Thank you & Warm Regards,
- Devendra Kulkarni

Fashion | Lifestyle | Portrait | Celebrity | Aerial | Wedding Photogrpaher based in Pune

Crazy about planes & flying machines, exploring new things over different domains such as Tech. Space. Aviation. Travel. Adventure. and many more.


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