Can you photograph my charity event for free wine, nibbles and publicity?

Anne JohnstonBehind the lensLeave a Comment

Charity event photography

I get inundated with requests to photograph charity events for free in Forfar, Arbroath, Dundee and beyond and as much as I would love to support all of you with my time, I can’t. But there is another way. Let’s get to the bottom of it.

Can you photograph my charity event for free wine, nibbles and publicity?

I donate money to charities that are close to my heart (literally) for personal reasons. I support British Heart Foundation because I had life-saving heart surgery as a baby and Cancer Research UK because I’ve watched my Mum fight her way back from the brink of death and I want to do what I can to give back.

I’m not being unsupportive when I say no to giving up my time to support your event. I see so many charities doing amazing things and would truly love to be able to help you all. I can’t do this with my time but there are other ways I am able to help.

Please help us

When I get asked to photograph a charity event for free it usually hits my inbox or Facebook messages looking something like this. Ok, so I’m paraphrasing but it does sum up most requests:


We’re raising money for (a charity) and we’re holding a (fashion show/charity ball/disco).

It would be nice if you could take pictures of our event. It would only be for a couple of hours. We would love you to do this for free or little cost. Anything we pay you would be money not going to the charity.

We can give you some nibbles and wine and you’ll get free publicity.

Do you have the time and can you support us?”
Nice charity person

What you’re really asking for

I want you to understand that when you’re asking me to work for free, I’m not just giving up my time on the night to photograph your event.

If I spend a couple of hours taking photos I will then spend at least that amount of time again, if not double or triple the amount of time editing the photos before I give them to you. So what you think is just a couple of hours then turns into a whole working day.

Unfortunately I’m busy running my business and I can’t donate that amount of time. There are other things that I can do, though.

How I can support you

I know that to raise as much money as you can you’re going to need to sell tickets to your event, get people through the door, bums on seats, that kind of thing. You’ll find me all over social media daily, particularly on Twitter so tweet me and I’ll happily share details of your event. I do like to attend and support local charity events too so you might even see me there.

I also reserve a number of my Scottish landscape calendars for charities to raffle off in the run up to Christmas so if you’re in the Angus area let me know and I might be able to send you one.

Good luck with your event!