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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Spelman chapter.

The act of C&C should become the newest and coolest trend. It should become so thoughtlessly done that it is ingrained in you while doing business. What does it mean to C&C you ask? Drumroll please….credit and compensate! 


Oh, the joys of being a creative, some of the most needed but underappreciated people. I am here to tell you about the struggles of being a creative. My mission is that this article challenges you to think about these things the next time you work with or need a creative in your life. 


My creative expression comes out through photography. I started doing photography when I was a sophomore in high school. In the beginning, it was solely for the purpose of having memories of family events and travel. I didn’t start doing any type of portrait photography until around my senior year. I was then being booked for senior portraits, weddings, proms, etc. I realized that this was more than what I originally thought it was. I was so enthralled with the idea and fact that I could capture one moment, and tell an entire story in one shutter. When I came to Spelman, I decided to expand my craft. Photography began to pay some good extra money for me, so I built a website, portfolio, Instagram, clientele, and business began booming! 


My freshman year of college was the first time I had ever been called a “creative.” I thought what I did was just a hobby that I was good at. However, after being surrounded and motivated by so many other creatives I realized that what I did was more than a hobby, but a protected art that not everyone possesses and there is beauty and value in that. There is no business that can thrive today without creatives. From corporate companies all the way down, you NEED creatives somewhere for it to be successful. We build and enhance brands and people. Because I was new to this “creative” world, I think I was quite naïve to the processes of it. I would get booked but not paid. I would get paid but not credited. Sometimes, if I was REALLY lucky, I would not get either paid or credited! I like to avoid conflict, so I did not know how to approach such situations at first and I thought I was the only one going through it. I talked to my creative friends and guess what…NOT ALONE! The sheer amount of instances of creatives being completely pushed over or taken advantage of for their work was quite appalling. They told me when and how they started putting their foot down for their ability and work but, I still do not know why this is such an epidemic for creatives. 


It is quite annoying to know that many creatives run into the same problems when it comes to the compensation and crediting of their work. We love what we do. The joy of being a creative is being able to engage in such an imaginative expression of art for others to see, cherish and admire. Nothing brings me more happiness than when someone uses my work as their profile picture, lock screen, website header, etc. However, contrary to what some people think, what we do is very much so work. Even beyond just work, it is a technique, it is time, it is a skill, and it is an eye and perspective for things that others would have never seen or thought about. Speaking from a photographers standpoint, equipment is not cheap, photoshoots take a lot of time, and the process of editing is incredibly tedious. We do not request pre-deposits because we are struggling for money. We do not ask that you tag us in the post and comments because we have no clientele. These are the basics for anyone working hard at what they do, and it should not be questioned just because our expression of the work is a creative outlet. It is still work and work that needs way more credit than it is getting. 


I hope this is an awareness that challenges and stops the narrative of “asking for the hookup” from your friends. The next time you need a flyer done, a headshot, a promo video, a logo, etc. think about it as work that you are not doing that someone else has perfected for you. And to my creatives, PUT THAT FOOT DOWN! Let this be your sign to make a contract discussing all of your guidelines, to start requesting pre-deposits, to make your watermark bigger, and to appreciate your art as a whole. What creatives do is work and it is time we see that and start the C&C party!  


Follow my IG: @eliza___photography

My name is Gabrielle Darko and I am currently a credit junior at the one and only Spelman College. I am majoring in International Studies/Economics and minoring in Spanish. I have a grand heart for other people and human rights so I plan to go into diplomacy as well as run my own international business. I would most definitely say that I was born a creative. Ever since I can remember, I was writing my own novels, composing my own music, and then making my own art with photography. I truly believe creativity is a natural unifying tool in society. Everybody whether realized or not has some sense of creativeness inside of them; the key is discovering what it is! You can follow my own creative stem @eliza___photography!
Kimani Leftridge is currently an Anthropology and Sociology major at Spelman College. Kimani loves writing and talking about politics, they have aspirations of becoming a college professor and continuing to work in the field of journalism. If they are not writing, they can be found organizing, involved in political discourse, reading or painting. In addition to being a writer, Kimani is also a visual artist who's pieces often have the same subject matter as their writings. You can follow them on Instagram @angstyblkartist.