The best things in life aren't always free...
I have to disagree with Coco Chanel - which is a tough thing to do - but I have come across a couple of situations recently when people have asked for creative services for free. That's not cool!
First there was the Facebook post from a well-known local blogger who was on one-hand celebrating how she had grown her blog and YouTube followers to a stunning number (high five girl!) but on the other asking for a videographer to work with her to film more footage for said successful blog but 'ideally I would not want to pay so if you were up-and-coming and needed the exposure then great'. Erm no - not great, not cool.
Then there are the emails and calls I get now and again asking for a 'quick press release' or 'short list of journalists'... but oh by the way we don't actually have a budget so would you do it as a favour and we'll think of you when we next pitch, again very not cool. That's my bread and butter, my USP and my skill. Please don't devalue it or the role I do. The same can be said for all creative businesses - don't ask an illustrator for a quick sketch pro bono or tell a graphic designer it would be great for their portfolio.
We are skilled people who continually invest in our professional development. If you agree a skill swap or come to an agreement to shout someone lunch or a crate of beer and it is a collaborative decision then great go right ahead but don't put someone on the spot and suggest that if you don't have a skill to swap and it was an ask rather than a mutual decision.
Look at it this way; would you call a brick layer and ask them to just throw a wall up for free or would you ask a dentist to fix a filling to get experience? No? Sure? Then please don't ask it of creatives.