The question was raised in the forums as to whether-or-not folks you owe anything to the folks you worked with when you started modeling. It was phrased in a way that suggested that since these people may have taken a chance on me, I should return the favor down the road and “pay it back” by working with them again, even if it might be a step backwards. Here are my thoughts on the subject:
A few of the photographers I worked with early on I still work with. We often have a standing trade agreement, but also recommend each other for paying jobs, go to each other with paid assignments/ideas first, or recommend each other to others. It works out well between these individuals and I, and we often really challenge ourselves creatively and have a great time shooting. Some of them I’ve even become really good friends with
I worked a lot with newer photographers when I started modeling. Some of them have grown in leaps and bounds, and have even outgrown working with me at this point. I’m excited for them and often keep an eye on their work, and congratulate them on milestones. While I’d jump at the chance to work with them again, I’d likely have to pay them (which I have no problems with) instead of working trade.
Some of the other new photographers I worked with early on haven’t grown, and are still shooting the same type of stuff. Working with these kinds of folks would likely be a huge step down for me. I don’t feel I owe them anything, and don’t feel it would make sense to work trade with them if I wasn’t going to get anything out of it. I might offer a discounted rate, but I’d send rates regardless.