‘Exposure’ Now Legal Tender For Photographers

A change in the law will allow photographers to pay rent on their homes & studios with ‘exposure’ instead of money. They will also be able to buy coffee, shampoo and other essentials, by mentioning to the checkout assistant that they did a big job last week for nothing, and are hoping it will bring them some paying clients.


Landlords and supermarkets are protesting this move, on the grounds that “Well what the hell am I supposed to do with ‘exposure’? I can’t pay my bills with fresh bloody air! Why can’t you just give me money like every bugger else?”

The controversial new change will allow photographers to pay for their homes and studios by doing freebies for people that want pictures of their spoiled daughter at her expensive Sweet Sixteen party, pictures of their hair-brained new business idea, or a range of merchandise they plan to sell on EBay.

The owner of an online sausage website said:

“This is a very good deal, and I can’t understand what you’re all moaning about. I own a big sausage factory, and when people see that you have photographed my famous sausages, you’ll be beating off paying clients with a mucky stick. Everybody knows that’s how it works. If you think about it, I’m actually doing you a favor by letting you photograph my sausages,”

Photographers themselves claim that they don’t really give a shit how famous your sausages are, or how many wealthy parents will be at your daughter’s swanky party that cost a grand to put on.

“The old saying went – if you pay peanuts you get monkeys,”

Said a professional photographer from Leeds.

“It used to be that if you planned to pay in imaginary benefits, good luck with your imaginary professional photographer, and the top notch professional service that you won’t be receiving. They’ll probably throw in imaginary re-touching and shoot it on a fictional Hasselblad as well,

“But with this new change in the law, I can actually pay the rent on my studio by spending the whole afternoon photographing someone’s annoying children for nothing. I can even get a free coffee in Starbucks by whipping out my portfolio and showing them all the many hours of retouching I did on some bright orange teenager whose mum told her she could be a model. This has revolutionized the field of photography, and I couldn’t be more delighted,”

A spokesperson for the National Landlords Association said:

“This is absolutely outrageous. How can anyone in their right minds hope to pay for goods and services with ‘exposure’? If we’re forced to accept the promise of future work in lieu of actual money, we’re all going to go bankrupt!”


  1. I can see that this is going to lead to trouble, as everybody has a cell phone or a mini cam will be calling themselves photographers. It is only just. Which party sponsored this legislation?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think we’ll just blame Cameron for this!


    • If *anyone* (it’s not just about photographers) exchanges “exposure” for monetary goods, they must pay tax on those goods as though it were income.

      Don’t be stupid. This is an effort, by the tax man, to tax people who are bartering their services.

      There is nothing in the law that states that you must accept an offer of goods/services in trade for “exposure”. The law simply states that you are no legally *allowed* to accept it and it has real monetary value.

      This is about the tax man getting his unfair share if you try to barter your time/services for gain – it has nothing to do with photographers (or anyone else) getting wages.

      They are closing a tax loophole.

      C’mon people, you’re not angsty teenagers anymore – use your heads.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s okay. We should then be able to pay the government in exposure too, as it’s legal tender.

        Why should this be limited to photographers. We editors and authors are asked to do stuff “for exposure” all the time.

        People die of exposure.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I have a keyboard, I demand exposure until I’m recognized as the next Hemingway! I’ll tweet the next Hamlet!


  2. Reblogged this on A Damsel in This Dress and commented:
    priceless… but what about models, designers and MUAs? we are often offered being paid in exposure, cannot we do the same for us please? life would be so easier… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As I mainly shoot for ‘the experience’ where does this leave me. Will I have to use separate forms when applying for shoots or will there be parts of the form to delete if applicable.
    It leaves me confused and makes me want to bin my iPhone and give it all up 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am pretty sure the difference between amateur and professional is the exchange of money. Amateur will do it for free, a professional is somebody who gets paid for it. Just because you label yourself as a “professional photographer ” does not make you some photographer guru specialist… It just means you get paid for your work.


  4. Reblogged this on Oxford School of Photography and commented:
    Our school gets at least one message a week from cheapskates who want us to recommend students to undertake photography work for free because it will be good experience for the, get them exposure and improve their portfolio. Yeah right and paying the bills?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Cary McDonald – South Carolina Photography and commented:
    Wow, funny.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. George Kluber says:

    Will double exposure bring two items?

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Graphic designers need “exposure” too, I hope the law is also changed in our favor. (On a similar note the oldie but goodie “designer robots” video offers an amusing take on the “foot in the door” concept of professional barter/exchange – the language may offend some: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfprIxNfCjk)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Its great to hear. Photographers pay their bills simply by doing what they love while the cash they earn from other gigs can be invested into something good.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. no unless you want me to shoot some film xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It always disgusts me to see amateurs holding themselves out as professional photographers and charging people money. They post a few pictures the camera got lucky on, their friends patronize them, and people get screwed.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Just tell the IRS you only work for exposure and see what kind of response you get! Seriously, this sort of undermining of artist’s wages has been taking place for many years. Many people don’t appreciate the work that is involved. Now that we’ve reached the age where the average person can take a better picture with their phone than they ever could with a film camera, that lack of respect will not be reversed. So let these people go to craigslist and find a wannabee photographer for “exposure”. Or better yet, tell the next person who wants to hire you for “exposure” that you will do it right after they find a grocery store that will give them food in exchange for that person walking around the neighborhood carrying a sign saying “this grocery store rocks” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It’s amazing to me how many of the commenters seem to think this is real. Don’t you realize that you’re reading a made-up story on a satirical website?!?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Kelly vb says:

    Only a democrat could come up with a STUPID idea like this. Probably President OVomit’s idea or Hilary clinton

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It reminds me of the time when I was a plumbing and heating engineer. And I was called to a photographer’s studio where the combi-boiler was not working. And he had a big job coming up where scantily clad models would not appreciate hanging about in the cold, (nor he retouching the goosebumps)… and “I need it done right now, but I want a price below cost, but my brother-in-law has got several rental properties, and there could be lots of work coming your way if you…….”
    You know, sometimes we all need to take a closer look at how we behave. Photographers are no better than their clients at times.
    I’m reminded of the studio where I was sent by my employers, who were owed three months rent.
    I was told to make it clear that the business owners had to either hand me a cheque, there and then, or make an immediate appointment to see my company’s managing director, or bailiffs would be coming to lock them out and put a lien on all the property in the premises.
    Only the assistants were present.. “Oh no, they’re in Cuba on holiday, and then they’re going to Las Vegas for a work thing….”.
    So there was money, just that a holiday came before paying their debts?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard! If I have a tenant that thinks he or she is getting free rent just because they CHOSE not to charge someone else for services, they will find themselves out on the street and in court for CHOOSING to violate a signed monetary contract which they CHOSE to sign. Business owners cannot legally be forced to give away goods and services at no cost. Nice try, but not going to happen.


  16. Most of you people are idiots.


  17. The problem is that there are photographers that accept this work and do quality work in the name of ‘exposure.’ I blame the Huffington Post, because they’ve made this practice popular for writers, photographers, video editors, etc.


  18. Interesting. For real? Can’t believe it.

    When will it come to pass? I’d like to get access to the actual draft law.


  19. … I think some people should look up the word “satire” … 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  20. You made my day:)

    Liked by 1 person

  21. This is PATENTLY UNFAIR to musicians! Musicians need exposure just as much as Photographers. I might also add artists. They certainly can use exposure. We must lobby for expanded use of Exposure as a means of payment for skilled trades as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. This is great! Now if we could only get paid for blogging, too… hmmm… the opportunities abound! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Reblogged this on rooftophoto.


  24. Totally agree with article. Photographers just shouldn’t sign anymore for free work and hopefully there will be some changes about that.


  25. I don’t get it? I’ve been a photographer and studio owner for 35 years and I never had anyone expect I shoot for free? Is that what this is implying? I can see this today because everyone with a camera has a website and a says they’re a pro. Yet they have no training, poor skill, and would not be able to do the job with film… Digital allowed them to because they can see their exposure errors and correct until right. Since 99.9% of photographers today have no time, training or investment other than some cheap equipment. I can understand why people ask them to shoot something for free. YOU GET PAID WHAT YOU WORK IS WORTH people. If you’re asked to shoot for nothing – look at your work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right, you don’t get it. This has nothing to do with ‘togs working for “free”. It has everything to do with recognizing exposure/adverting as a valued currency that – guess what- can be taxed.

      Photographers are now able to be taxed on their time that they give away in trade for compensation.

      If a company sells camera gear, the photographer can say, “Tell you what, I’ll give you X amount of exposure (advertising) in exchange for that EOS 1D.”

      If the store agrees, the camera store pays tax on the camera “sale” for the market value of the camera. The photographer then pays income tax on the market value of the camera (or, presumably, the advertised price of the camera at the time of sale).

      What used to happen was the store would write off camera as “defective” and take a tax cut on the lost product. The photographer would do the advertising/exposure and a new camera would magically appear in his kit bag.

      It’s basically making “bartering” or shadow economies illegal. It’s closing a tax loophole. So if the tax man does an audit on a photographer and finds that EOS1D in his kit bag without a receipt of purchase, he’s going to get nailed to the wall for tax evasion.


  26. jjstudio1 says:

    Yeah, I’m calling BS on this lol.



  1. […] ‘Exposure’ Now Legal Tender For Photographers. […]


  2. […] original article appeared here and has been republished from The Beezly Street Gazette with […]


  3. […] About the author: The Beezly Street Gazette is a satirical UK news blog, that publishes spoof articles on photography and other creative industries. You can read all of the satirical photography articles here. This article originally appeared here. […]


  4. […] About the author: The Beezly Street Gazette is a satirical UK news blog, that publishes spoof articles on photography and other creative industries. You can read all of the satirical photography articles here. This article originally appeared here. […]

    Liked by 1 person

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