This is a great thread, guys! I've wanted to talk about this for some time.
Aside from the issue of charging standard rates (which always is proceeded by the question, "What are standard rates?"), there is another element that sets apart shooters: courtesy. At the last couple of DEMAs, Eli (co-editor at Wetpixel Quarterly), Matt and I were accosted rudely by two well-known individuals in the industry who had nothing good to say about what we were doing. After taking (free) copies of Wetpixel Quarterly, they proceeded to pry into financials and fee standards, which are none of their business anyway. In particular, they talked about the OWU/DEEP contest issues, and said that we were taking advantage of photographers by publishing their images (didn't matter that the images end up in more than 50 publications worldwide, all tied to the contest announcement). But everyone who was published as a winner of those contests won prizes with values far exceeding what a low-circulation magazine would pay. Compensation isn't the issue, though. The issue is that we state up front that we can publish winners to announce, celebrate or promote the magazine (and we certainly don't have rights to use them in any other way). But it's right there in the rules, and it's easy to just not participate if you disagree.
In any case, the negative people are few (and you can believe that I won't ever have anything to do with them in the future). I'm sure there are many others who disagree with us about our policies, but at least they are polite about it (e.g. they just don't participate). The fact is that we are a struggling magazine in a field where no other magazine like this has ever survived more than a few years. I am unashamed about asking friends for favors to make this work, as we are all making tremendous sacrifices for the product.
So having been on the publishing side, I am suddenly much more understanding. I still get requests every day for free imagery, but the tone of my responses has changed a lot. And during the rare instances that I give something away, I sometimes even get something for it. The last time I gave out images for free, the company was so impressed with the images that they took me on as a photographer for stock. Now, I get checks from them every quarter.
Aside from creating a union, there isn't much you can do about an eager, young photographer or videographer wanting to get published to get experience or to create a portfolio. All you can do is to outshoot them and be more consistent as a resource. Those organizations that rely on free work get all the baggage that comes along with it -- they are more likely to get shoddy, inconsistent work. If their products aren't designed to take advantage of that, they will suffer over time, along with the success of their business. It's capitalism at work!
I realize that this is a discussion about video, but all of this applies to commercial media in general. Just exchange "image" for "second of footage."
Very well said Eric. There really isn't much we can do about others undercutting just to get a credit name. However, for the large number of contributers on this forum there can be a sense of 'That's something I won't do'. While I have met in person very few of all those here, I really do feel a fiduciary obligation to keep my end of the bargain and not just be a sucker for a credit. Sure, I've donated footage to schools and a couple of charities but that is another story and really not the issue at hand.
I have worked as an unpaid reviewer for the editing websites since 2002. Most all hardware and software is sent to me free of charge, however, in no way am I obligated to provide either positive or negative evaluations. Any suggestions I make regarding products are a result of my own, completely, personal opinions and experiences with said products.