Why you need to work for free

 Models: Josephine Lee & Bradley Solieau | Styling: Jess Turner | Makeup by me

Models: Josephine Lee & Bradley Solieau | Styling: Jess Turner | Makeup by me

This was my second campaign for the brand Rose In Good Faith. They have super dope clothes and the team has always been amazing. This capsule collection called "Ultra-Violence" is so badass. The owners, Akiva and David, are so talented and hardworking and I am honored that they like my work enough to keep asking me back.

I didn't want to write this to show-off the work I'm doing but I wanted to talk about why, as a creative, you have to do things for free. You have to do test shoots, you have to work for less than you charge, you have to wake up early after working late the night before, and you have to stay humble. I did not do this shoot for free, but doing a lot of free work is what got me here. 

I met Akiva and David through David's girlfriend Jess. She's an amazing stylist I met on a test shoot years ago. We met through my friend Rouge who is a model whose makeup I've done for free many, many times. Why you may ask? Because she is not only a cool person but she's someone who has connected me to so many other creatives and garners me great content on top of that. After meeting Jess on that shoot with Rouge, Jess hit me up to do other test shoots. For free. I said yes because I loved her work and the content that we were able to create together.  

A few test shoots later, I gained both her friendship and her trust in my work. After which she connected me to the Rose In Good Faith team where I am now not only paid for my work in actual money but I gained a lot of publicity for my brand which can sometimes be even more valuable. From great photos for my website and instagram, to getting published in Nylon Magazine , Refinery 29, Hypebeast, and beyond. This led to having other brands hit me up to work on their campaigns as well which turned into more actual money. 


The moral of the story is that even when you're working for "free" you're actually gaining more than you may think. Maybe you're not getting paid in money but you're making connections and getting experience, and you never know where that's going to take you. 

Good luck out there,


Ashley Tani