Photo trades

It’s #TravelTuesday again and I, Dave Williams, am in Iceland! It’s my absolute favourite place on the planet, so I’m very, very happy. I have a sneaking suspicion that I may live here one day. Anyhow, I’m here to talk about photography, so let’s do that!

Today I want to talk about gifting and trading photography. As photographers we’re all aware of the intricacies of our industry surrounding ‘free photos.’ There are people who believe quite strongly that we should never give away images and that we should afford ourselves and our work value, fiscally. Well I don’t think we should always charge. Don’t shoot me down just yet! Hear me out…

In order to develop or strengthen our photographic education, and to broaden our horizons, make people happy, or simply for fun, we should consider gifting or trading our photography. That’s exactly what I did on Sunday.

Beside me here is Alex, a Search and Rescue hero from Iceland. I met him about six years ago when I was photographing arctic foxes in the Westfjords. We got on and stayed in touch, and on this trip I ‘cashed in’ on an offer to go check out a newly discovered ice cave. Being with Search and Rescue for the trip was absolutely amazing. Check out these toys: –

So my offer in exchange was photography. It’s something I can do for them, and something that would otherwise incur them an expense. The trade comes into play because if I’d gone to the cave with a tour operator or a guide I would have incurred expenses myself, so I was more than happy to take some photos for them, like this one: –

In the end I had a bunch of cool photos of the team and their equipment, and a bunch of ice cave photos for myself. Trading our photography skills is valuable and, in fact, it can sometimes be more valuable than money. No amount of money can buy you a tour with a Search and Rescue team. Consider what value your photography can bring to others and how you can gift your photography. It’ll be worth every penny!

Much love


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