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Thread: Here's another reason why you should not charge too cheap... in case this happens 2u

  1. #101

    Default Re: Here's another reason why you should not charge too cheap... in case this happens

    Lancey, we the pros are actual trying to do the impossible. That is to try to educate the newbies (some of whom actual want to go pro) on their blind side. The business aspect of the wedding industry. Most newbie shooter have a day job, from what we can see most of them do not work in finance. It is one thing to shoot, most photographers have a problem with asking for a fair price for what they do. A pro who produces a quality product will spend about the same amount of time editing, post processing as in shooting; some may be more in case of high DI images. That is to get high quality images. Most newbies may spend up to 2 times shoot time, doing saves in PS/LR and then more time to enhance the selects; say it is around 3 to 4 times the shoot time. Yes they will probably need around a month or more to deliver. Now we come to the business part of things. A pro has a firm understanding as to his costs, what he needs to carrying on working, how many weddings they can do per year - it is most definitely not 365 or 260. Remember wedding season is only about 8 to 9 months per year. Most newbies do not know this. Their thinking is as long as I have a salary, any money I get from a job is 100% profit. Things like depreciation, repairs, maintaince cost, replacement cost, new purchase slip by them.

    Pros know they cannot stop newbies coming in. What we can do is get to point them in the right direction business wise. Most pros are moving to create and keep creating unique niches - it could be a particular way, a look, a feel. The market is MTV hype speed fixed and a constant newness is a must have. Old is soo not cool, move ahead be a constant new or be a L. What most pros are also seeing is that some client segments are beginning to show a need for cheap cheap but want every dam thing they see. This is a concern for when there is an apparent loss of value, its like rot it thens to spread and it would be very difficult to change back once it takes hold. When it does spread too far then the industry will fail. Issue here is that lovely venue used, the food good or bad, the flowers how every nice will not be viewable in a year, 2 years or 10 years time. Photos are memories made physical. How well these memories are transformed depends on the artistic and technical skill and abilities of the photographer. Results can range from bad photocopies, to identical copies or artistic copies of the what was happening. Without great, and good photographers the best a couple can hope for a xerox copy of what was happening - they could get a lot worse. If there are no more pros cause it is not possible to do this full time then also expect a more jarring range of quality differences.

    Your hope of free consultancy services on how to overcome technical difficulties is well strange. Do you spend a lot of time teach all and sundry how to go about doing your day job. Or let me be more specific - are you conducting sharing session to PR's to teach them how they can do your job better and cheaper than you? A surprise to you this may be, we the pros do have our own networks, and we do share and exchange info, advise, solutions for **** hit the fan situations. We just do not do this with any tom, dick or hairy (yes I mean hairy). Smile you have not worked out that most people do not value free advice ? Need to pay, and suddenly what you have just gotten as a value and you take it seriously.
    Last edited by ellery; 7th August 2012 at 04:49 PM.

  2. #102

    Default Re: Here's another reason why you should not charge too cheap... in case this happens

    Quote Originally Posted by foxtwo View Post
    , but at least a foundation has been set. Better to have started than not at all.
    let's hope it's a righteous and solid foundation and not one based on a pricetag. Better not start than to have a corrupted wobbly base filled with greedy worms and bugs.

  3. #103

    Default Re: Here's another reason why you should not charge too cheap... in case this happens

    Thx for the info Ellery....LTNS. You are one of the few rational and well-balanced(not figure) figures around. Always good to hear your side of the story.



    Now tell me what u really think..

  4. #104
    Member losheng's Avatar
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    Default Re: Here's another reason why you should not charge too cheap... in case this happens

    Well, guys, a long thread indeed, but the video itself has nothing to do with how a photographer should charge his clients. Frivolous law suits are very common in the US, because lawyers are allowed to launch a suit for free, in exchange for part taking a portion of the winnings. This is strictly disallowed in Singapore, for very good reasons. It's common for businesses in the US to deal with this sort of pay-me-to-go-away kind of extortion. Very often this tactic works, because even without going to court, the lawyer's fees needed to deal with the guy will exceed what the guy is asking for. From the bandit's perspective, this is a free gamble - what's not to like it? This partially explains all the disclaimers that comes with every product packaging and even TV and radio commercials in the US. If there's a deeper issue to be discussed in this particular video, it would have to be this problematic aspects of the US justice system, and what you have to deal with if you want to do business in the US.
    Last edited by losheng; 8th August 2012 at 05:46 PM.

  5. #105

    Default Re: Here's another reason why you should not charge too cheap... in case this happens

    A long, long thread that turned entertaining in the end.

    But, yes, America is a very litigious country. If anyone remember a few years ago in Washing DC, Judge Pearson sueing an elderly Korean couple, the owners of a humble laundry shop, for $67 million. $67 ****ing millions and a judge, supposedly a person of high moral virtue, would do this?

    Thus our US offices have higher legal expenditures than our Singapore and Philipines branches, just to make sure we are properly covered. It is money necessary spent.

  6. #106

    Default Re: Here's another reason why you should not charge too cheap... in case this happens

    Quote Originally Posted by lancey View Post
    I didn't know one could attack a thread. You can attack hypocripsy, ill-logic,arrogance,greed,misinformation,deceit. But how do u attack a thread? Keep digging my friend, and watch the bobee.

    Btw, negativity/positivity are relative. Good meat to me may mean shyt to u. Hypocripsy to me may mean correctness to you. But i bet you can't tell the difference. keep digging.
    I don't care for the squabbles between you professionals and amateurs though its quite funny to read but I must say there is no hypocrisy in business or one's livelihood, businessmen always aim to profit as much as they go home with. And the people supporting the high pricing theory did not say they are for some noble purposes. In contrast, if there is any hypocrites on this thread, you will be the number one candidate for no one really knows the real intention behind your seemingly persistent and conceited 'noble and high' views. Who knows if you are operating an agency hiring cheap photographers and your own market is affected by the proponents of high pricing?

  7. #107

    Default Re: Here's another reason why you should not charge too cheap... in case this happens

    Quote Originally Posted by ALFREDC View Post
    I don't care for the squabbles between you professionals and amateurs though its quite funny to read but I must say there is no hypocrisy in business or one's livelihood, businessmen always aim to profit as much as they go home with. And the people supporting the high pricing theory did not say they are for some noble purposes. In contrast, if there is any hypocrites on this thread, you will be the number one candidate for no one really knows the real intention behind your seemingly persistent and conceited 'noble and high' views. Who knows if you are operating an agency hiring cheap photographers and your own market is affected by the proponents of high pricing?
    if theres no hypocripsy in business liked u said, then how am I a hypocrite if I was in this business?(which im not btw). Maybe check the word hypocripsy before making silly comments. Besides, I never tell others what to charge, but only had a problem with the hypocrites here who do...which is fine btw, but they do it to protect themselves using "sharing", "education" as reasons for imparting such knowledge(if u could call it that)...in essence not really wanting others to charge higher as the ultimate outcome but to narrow their own market share and gain back some of their lost clients, thus the hypocripsy...i.e doing/saying one thing but actually wanting another outcome.

    Realising one's business aim is fine, by all means charge higher and broaden your fields of expertise, at the end of the day, who doesn't want one's business to grow?

    But to go around calling cheapo newbies as "invaders" and "spoilers of market" and then educate them to charge higher so they would less likely be employed because they are new and less experienced, with the sole aim of protecting one's own turf? That is not business.
    Maybe you would rip people off to make some money and called it legitimate business, and that is probably the difference between u and me.
    If you are really into business, who in their right mind would ask his/her competitor to charge higher and at the same time instilling them knowledge to achieve that, for free somemore!?
    Either you are sincerely charitable or a hypocrite, no two ways about it. And since some of them here have already shunned at the notion of being charitable(see previous posts for evidence), the only logical conclusion is that most of them here are hypocrites. You only need to see that most photography "sharing" classes here are not free to know that there's not much charity going aorund here. U need to freaking pay before the guy teaches you how to charge more. Nothing wrong with that actually, education is afterall not free. But call it business, not charity. I have yet to find a photo business class in this forum for free. Hey, fine with people who wants to learn the ropes. But leave the cheapo newbies alone. They are not invaders just like the market is not yours alone.

    Now you may ask, what's wrong with being a hypocrite? Nothing's wrong. Nothing wrong with me pointing it out either.
    Last edited by lancey; 13th August 2012 at 11:53 AM.

  8. #108

    Default Re: Here's another reason why you should not charge too cheap... in case this happens

    Hello guys,

    It's been very informative reading through the pages of information. I hope I can share a bit of my experience with you. So if you can bear with me for a while, do hear me out. 6 years ago, I wrote a blog post with regards to the same situation that we have been facing since digital photography (professional grade) kicked in about 2002. The article is a huge wall of text but basically states the same issues as the industry (in Singapore at least) is facing today. In short, it basically states that since the start of photography, the industry has ALWAYS operated under economic principles and hence very Darwinian in its evolution. The article is listed below:

    Economics 101 (or Don’t Blame the Freelancers) Professional Photography in Singapore

    As of today, I think the situation has changed slightly. In fact I think there's a turning point of sorts. I did a survey over the last few months and clients on the whole are getting more informed about what's good in photography. You might think it's a simple thing, that clients know what is good and bad but in general most clients are very cost driven and will not really care about quality nor artistic sensibility of photography.

    Through my survey, I think that is changing (albeit slowly). Due to the large influx of both pros and freelancers (almost 1000 times more since 2002, yes I am serious) clients are still cost conscious BUT because of the huge number of photographers more and more are looking for quality work. (This topic itself is very interesting because it's really about how the human mind really wants to simplify things when faced with a obscenely large amount of information, there are many studies on this.) They might not be able to tell how well technically the image has been taken or processed BUT they can appreciate artistic sensibility.

    To cut a long story short, clients can see what a photographer is REALLY good at. They will seek out photographers who can specialize and they will pay a reasonable premium for that specialty. Please note this doesn't mean that you market "I specialize in wedding, car, food, kids, etc". The time is really ripe for great photography to emerge, for swiss army knife photography to evolve into katana style photography. I strongly urge photographers seeking a career to seriously consider what they REALLY want to shoot and focus their bulk of energy on it. That will be key for success.

    Disclaimer: Of course you will need to find out if your area of specialty is marketable. For example if you have a hardcore toenail fetish for photography you might want to keep photography as a part time thing if the market cannot support your specialty.

    Best
    Wesley
    Last edited by wesley; 13th August 2012 at 10:29 AM.

  9. #109

    Default Re: Here's another reason why you should not charge too cheap... in case this happens

    Quote Originally Posted by losheng View Post
    but the video itself has nothing to do with how a photographer should charge his clients.
    Exactly!

    but the proponents of that video would use every opportunity to distort market practices. Either genuinely naive or genuinely shrewd.
    Last edited by lancey; 13th August 2012 at 12:02 PM.

  10. #110

    Default Re: Here's another reason why you should not charge too cheap... in case this happens

    Quote Originally Posted by lancey View Post
    if theres no hypocripsy in business liked u said, then how am I a hypocrite if I was in this business?(which im not btw).
    Not in the photo business but strangely, SO interested in how photographers build their prices.

    Wow.

    Yeah.

  11. #111

    Default Re: Here's another reason why you should not charge too cheap... in case this happens

    In USA, doctors and many professional buy insurance to protect themselves against lawsuit (black mail by lawyers).

    If you are taking wedding photos in USA, you should include the insurance fees in the expenses and charge the client accordingly.

    But whether or not you want to do it in Singapore is up to you. The money will go to the insurance company and not into your pocket.
    I eats, shoots & leaves

  12. #112
    Senior Member sinned79's Avatar
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    Default Re: Here's another reason why you should not charge too cheap... in case this happens

    Quote Originally Posted by Yutaka Go View Post
    In USA, doctors and many professional buy insurance to protect themselves against lawsuit (black mail by lawyers).

    If you are taking wedding photos in USA, you should include the insurance fees in the expenses and charge the client accordingly.

    But whether or not you want to do it in Singapore is up to you. The money will go to the insurance company and not into your pocket.
    hence if you charge too cheap, you can forget about insurance cos after this cost you got not much left! Insurance in a way either you pay to the insurance company or you keep your insurance money aside for such cases should it happens.

    dats the message I am getting across. but too bad, lancey just dun get it. he is only narrow minded enough to THINK that there is a hidden agenda to ask newbies to charge higher but did not consider carefully deeper what is the hidden message I am getting across.

    in a way he is exactly asking to be spoonfed. when i teach people stuffs, i try to tinker their minds and make them think. that's how u learn faster then spoonfeeding (thats not learning!)

    dats is probably why i said he belong to the strawberry (soft) generation
    - asking to be spoonfeed for knowledge when google is powerful enough to get all answers
    - want people to give start up cost (spoonfeed again!)
    - want referrals without any shed of hardwork put in (another spoonfeed!)

    so in short, just a sad wimpy fella asking to be noticed.

    if starting your own biz is so simple and smooth sailing as lancey described, everyone in Singapore can be their own boss already! why still work for companies?!

    true? how many agree with me?
    Last edited by sinned79; 13th August 2012 at 05:03 PM.

  13. #113

    Default Re: Here's another reason why you should not charge too cheap... in case this happens

    The hidden message is to buy insurance. I already said that 2000 posts ago. Applies to all trades. What's so new or deep about it that makes it a hidden message. Whether u want to pass it on to your clients is up to the individual. ALso, whether u have money left to buy insurance is based on your risk apetite. If u wanna cut cost, don't buy. If u are not confident and wanna earn less, buy.
    You should just say all photographers should buy insurance, and not "this is why u should charge higher". Buying insurance doesn't necessarily mean charging higher. ANd charging higher doesn't necessarily mean you are covered on all grounds be it financially or otherwise.
    But still, why would u care if anyone buys insurance? Afterall, you said it yourself some posts ago, "why be so charitable?!"
    Last edited by lancey; 13th August 2012 at 07:15 PM.

  14. #114

    Default Re: Here's another reason why you should not charge too cheap... in case this happens

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonB View Post
    Not in the photo business but strangely, SO interested in how photographers build their prices.

    Wow.

    Yeah.
    i don't really care how photographers build or unbuild their prices. That is exactly the point all along. WHy would you care how one builds or unbuilds one's prices? WHy would u care how much one should charge? Unless, of course, you're a hypocrite. Does it matter if Im a road sweeper? I call it as i see it. Why would i care why would u care how much one charges? Because that's just me.
    Last edited by lancey; 13th August 2012 at 07:26 PM.

  15. #115
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Here's another reason why you should not charge too cheap... in case this happens

    Quote Originally Posted by lancey View Post
    Did i ask for them? Learn to read in context.

    I said there's high probablity that you guys won't help someone to start up and that you guys won't pass contacts either. You guys just talk about educating and helping but that's about it. Typical no action talk only.
    Don't worry la, nobody will ask you for money and contacts, knowing how uncharitable and hypocrital some of you are.

    This is Photo Biz section, I hope you can engage discussion on a rational and constructive way.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  16. #116
    Moderator ed9119's Avatar
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    Default Re: Here's another reason why you should not charge too cheap... in case this happens

    the NEXT off topic comment and/or flame is going to get smacked down .... from EITHER side ... thanks for keeping the discussion mature
    shaddap and just shoot .... up close
    Walkeast

  17. #117

    Default Re: Here's another reason why you should not charge too cheap... in case this happens

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonB View Post
    Not in the photo business but strangely, SO interested in how photographers build their prices.

    Wow.

    Yeah.
    IMHO, I think Sinned79 had advised well and precise in that one should not charge too cheap, I believe his intention is to address the unhealthy prices we are seeing around that make no business senses.

    Also I do not think by charging cheaper you are 'safer' or will be 'getting jobs', as suggested by the proponents of cheap pricing. They are so many people offering their services for free or cheap but yet nobody interested.

    All in all, we also do not know each person's definite of cheap or expensive.

    Lancey's definition might be different from Sinned79, JasonB's definition may be different from Catchlights, so on and so forth...

    Also, I would also take those advice coming from someone who is not in the photo business, with a few good pinches of salt.

    Last edited by sjackal; 14th August 2012 at 12:30 AM.
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  18. #118

    Default Re: Here's another reason why you should not charge too cheap... in case this happens

    Quote Originally Posted by sjackal View Post
    one should not charge too cheap, I believe his intention is to address the unhealthy prices we are seeing around that make no business senses.
    I think if the low charger feels it's unhealthy, he/she will stop charging that low, don't you think? As and when they feel they can/should charge higher, they will, don't you think? These people are not small little children, don't you think?
    Apparently many managed with $500-1000 per wedding just starting out. Makes no sense to you maybe, but perfectly legitimate for someone starting out getting exposure. What is making no sense is people trying to tell others how to run their business, all off the internet...by a non-regulated, non-sanctioned group of individuals. I think for that, you need more salt than a pinch to follow their advise.
    Last edited by lancey; 14th August 2012 at 12:06 PM.

  19. #119

    Default Re: Here's another reason why you should not charge too cheap... in case this happens

    Quote Originally Posted by sjackal View Post
    I They are so many people offering their services for free or cheap but yet nobody interested.

    A
    There are many offering expensive packages with half past six work which attract little work too.

  20. #120

    Default Re: Here's another reason why you should not charge too cheap... in case this happens

    Quote Originally Posted by ed9119 View Post
    the NEXT off topic comment and/or flame is going to get smacked down .... from EITHER side ... thanks for keeping the discussion mature
    we will try to keep it on topic. Thx for the reminder.

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