I don't know about you, but being a creative is like drug. I love what I do! Absolutely love it! I obsess over editing, I dream up creative projects I can sink my teeth into, and most of all, I love working with new people and sharing my talent. BUT man the struggle. Yes I do love collaborating, but when did the word collaboration mean nobody is willing to invest in you? Yes I love exposure, but that doesn't always mean I am willing to do it all for free. You know, unless Justin Timberlake and Jessica need some family portraits. Always free for you JT. ALWAYS.
To be honest, there are times that I get so jazzed about a project that heck yeah I will work for free, because hey, I love what I do and taking on passion projects fills me up with all the little warm fuzzies. But warm fuzzies don't pay for equipment upkeep, or bills, or taxes. It took me a long time to value what I do correctly. Pricing yourself in a range that will make doing what you love even better. Because at that point you know you will be working with people who also value your work and your time. Those are the dream clients, those are the people you need to get psyched on, because they see your worth.
It's easy to get sucked into a world of collaboration and exposure projects. Trust me I have been there. And it's even harder to get out of it and start charging your worth. All I can say to that, is once you find your niche of client who is willing to pay, it feels SO DAMN GOOD. I love my work more. I love the vibe my business is developing. And those people will come back! And they will tell their friends! See how that works!? Its amazing! The minute I started charging my worth, it was scary as hell, but I would never go back. It has helped my business grow even!
And when in doubt I usually refer to THIS amazing diagram (No really go read it). I can admit that I do say "make it rain bitches!" in my head at least once a week. So choose your warm fuzzy projects wisely. Save time for things that REALLY get you excited and jazzed on life. Those are the kind of things that feed my creative soul when I am feeling burt out.