I’ve always interested in marketing and business trends, both inside and outside of the photography business, which leads me to craigslist every now and again. Being free and only slightly moderated, Craigslist is truly a jungle of opportunistic scammers, legit job seekers, perverts, and pretty much else everyone under the sun. My only request to photographers using craigslist is to stop working for free!
I don’t care how inexperienced you are and how small your portfolio is, your time/effort/and equipment are worth some sort of compensation!! A “great opportunity” to meet new clients &network is not compensation; if you had the requisite networking skills in place, you would not be using craigslist to find unpaid photography gigs. Additionally, I’d argue that it bad marketing to do unpaid work as a photographer because the people at the event that you are networking with will most likely be able to find out how much your services costs—AKA zero. If someone wants to hire a professional photographer, do you think that they are going to choose you?? You’ve already publicized that you are not skilled enough to get paid to take photographs. If you want to become a professional, you have to get paid something tangible; if you deliver a good value for your client’s $$, word will get around about you.