Patreon Is Making My Shoots Better

Patreon Is Making My Shoots Better

I know that some of you, especially photographers, probably get tired of hearing me talk about Patreon. While thinking about this it occurred to me that I don’t often mention the potential benefits to photographers. So I wanted to talk about that.

Why I Have Patreon

Not too long ago I was really struggling with the financial aspect of my modeling and feeling pretty crummy about it. I live in Detroit which has a beautiful artistic community. That community, sadly, cannot support my career as a model. Specifically, there is not enough paid work here to sustain me, much less allow me to grow. However, there is a wonderful abundance of photographers who are willing to shoot trade with me.

Trade (aka TF or TFP) is a useful arrangement for building a portfolio, but given the lack of paid work available here it doesn’t directly contribute to my financial success in the sense of portfolio building. Of course, I would love to be able to say that money doesn’t matter and I’ll just keep doing it for the love of it, but that’s not practical if I want to grow. I have to earn an income and if I can’t do that via modeling, then I have to cut on my shoots. I’ve done that and it was putting me in a creative depression. I’d rather find a way to do more shoots.

So in order to maintain my creativity and to see it grow, I decided to find a way that I can make this financially scarce, but collaboratively rich situation work for me. That is where Patreon comes in. I call these shoots trade for content, though either of us would be able to use the photos for our portfolios/social media/etc as well.

How My Patreon Benefits Photographers

The income I earn from Patreon directly benefits photographers who shoot with me. First, it allows me to shoot trade more openly. My Patreon income goes to replenishing and upgrading my wardrobe which is quite an expense. Of course some of the income goes to my bills and some of it goes to maintaining my skincare, both very important things.

A photo in one of the wardrobe additions funded by my Patreon. Self Portrait.

So if you’re a photographer who has been on the fence about allowing me to post our trade shoot photos to Patreon or you’ve just been wondering how it might be good for you, I hope this has clarified things a little bit. If you’re still not comfortable with our photos going on Patreon, that’s okay. I would never share photos there without the photographer’s permission.

If we’ve shot in the past and haven’t talked about posting the photos to Patreon and you’d be okay with it, it would make my day if you would let me know. You will be credited, of course.

What This Means for My Future Shoots

Going forward, I will be focusing my trade shoots on those I will be able to share to Patreon. I’m not looking for any specific styles. My Patrons have told me over and over that they enjoy seeing different styles. And I enjoy shooting so many different styles. I will be selective in terms of quality, but otherwise, if you have an idea, let’s talk! Here is my page detailing a bit more about my trade availability.

And although I’ve linked it already, here is the URL for my Patreon:

A couple of side notes:

  • I am still happy to consider paid shoots.
  • I won’t reject a quality trade shoot offer just because you’re not comfortable with me sharing the photos on Patreon.
  • I do still need a certain level of quality for trade for content shoots. The usual guidelines and such will apply (such as my travel radius). You can read more about that here on my trade shoot info page.

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