It happens all the time. But not just photographer, but any trade or skilled work is a target. Mechanics and plumbers come to mind. And if they are not asked to do the actual work, their tools are forever the target of "friends" that don't realise that the tools are what these tradesmen make their living with. And doctors and lawyers are constantly hounded for fee advice. Probably politicians are immune from the problem. Who would bother to ask someone who has to have a committee to choose the color of Kleenex for the office for their advice on anything? Don
You're lucky you weren't a mechanic. Everybody has a car, and half of them are too cheap to get it fixed, so guess who gets asked to come over and take a look at some poor unmaintained piece of junk. ( 99% of the time, I refused).
That answering statement from the producers was a bit of typical corporate mumbo-jumbo, the kind they spout when they get caught out.
I'm glad that artist not only refused, but gave them a good, public telling-off.
Probably some poor sap at a desk being leaned on by his superiors to prove his worth to the company by getting something for nothing. Media companies are grim, immoral, intellectually sterile businesses who hide their predatory instincts beneath a cool and egalitarian front. In my experience they're much less likely to pay up and smile than your typical nut and bolt factory.
Even at work between management and employees this happens a lot.
I recently applied for a managers job where I work. One of the interviewers concerns was that I hadn't built a reputation as someone who others looked to for leadership. (I built my management skills before I arrived here.)
He was a bit shocked when I told him that it was because I wasn't being paid as a manager and that I don't give my skills away for free.
I see this all the time around me too businesses asking for a little more here and a little more there and hanging some nebulous carrot out there that you never can quite reach. When I was young I thought that extra work would turn into something, it doesn't.
I have a motto now for my "making a living skills": You pay, I work; you don't, I don't.
Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin