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Thread: Free/Cheap labour from school photography clubs

  1. #1
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    Default Free/Cheap labour from school photography clubs

    Just wanted to share that it has come to my attention that event companies are looking at school photography clubs for free photographers, and it has been becoming a new source for such companies to find photographers for free or really cheap. I was once from a photography club myself before and I admit that I also have fallen victim to such companies. Most of them use the excuse of giving opportunities to the club members to learn, some even saying for it to be pro bono when the event its not even a charity event. Not only event photography, some companies want free photoshoot also, and some schools have the right equipment for the job.

    Most clubs would jump on it right away, as they never had the chance to cover such events before, and for someone who has never charged a client for service, they don't even bother about it either. If there's monetary terms, even $30 for 10 photographers for a 5 hour event, its something amazing to these clubs. Some of these club members are actually quite highly skilled although they don't do photography professionally which is quite a good deal I must say.

    I guess times are getting real tough for event photographers who actually rely on this industry to survive when there's so much competition from young enthusiasts who doesn't know they are being exploited. On the other hand, school clubs are not supposed to run as a business also, thus they cant be charging clients here and there, and some schools have rules against doing jobs for external parties though, however its hard to control. I guess proper education on this industry is the only way to preserve the value of the service.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Free/Cheap labour from school photography clubs

    I get the feeling that the event companies are more on the losing end. We're talking about students who probably only had a few lessons on basic photography, armed with entry level cameras and kit lenses, highly dependent on P mode and still confused over the difference between A and S modes. For the students, it is probably no different from taking the weekend out to shoot at a park or shoot for a school event. Unlike real commercial/event photographers, they don't need to guaranty the quality/consistency of the images and I doubt the events company can make them either. The company is the one going to have a hard time sorting through 4-5 photographers' images looking for the few usable shots; it really looking for a needle in a haystack. If I were the company, it will be too risky and a hassle for me really.

    As for the really outstanding members, they may get "duped" like you mentioned, but probably only 2 or 3 times. Once they know they can do it, they will realize that doing for free is not a very smart idea when you can get paid for it. If they are smart enough, they will look for a photography film to join as an assistant or junior photographer. Also, I suspect the more savvy ones will already be on CS reading your post, so no worries there . But I agree that education is a possible option.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Free/Cheap labour from school photography clubs

    An issue of morals.

    If you do something for your own enjoyment, knowing in full fact that you will be hurting others, yet you proceeded on to do it, it is just immoral for it hurt others. A selfish person without morals, or without social grace, or do not believe self restraint against cheap thrills, are the same type of people who goes onto the mrt train, sit on the reserved seats right in front of an elderly person who really needs it, thinking "I paid for the train ride it is my right, it is not illegal and perfectly alright to take the reserved seat, I can even put my bag on another seat so what? So fark that miserable old man with one leg sawed off, he can stand one side the whole trip I don't care." A bit exagerated, but happens everyday on the train right?

    Translate to photography; photography clubs and associations and their presidents, being an honorable body, must take an conscious effort to assess, are they behaving righteously? Is their act contributing to the detrimental of the creative industry?

    Temptations from events companies are always present, afterall these are profit making companies, (though their methods are less than honorable). Such offers may give hobbyists a playground to enjoy their hobby, chance of exposure, or chance of photographing people or events they otherwise would not be able to, but is in moderation and is this for a good cause? Clubs and associations on a group level, or hobbyists on an individual level, must ownself decide.

    Everyday, we meet as-wholes in some form or another, we ourselves are often one. If everyone can strive to make the world a better place.
    Last edited by JasonB; 22nd October 2013 at 11:18 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Free/Cheap labour from school photography clubs

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonB View Post
    An issue of morals.

    If you do something for your own enjoyment, knowing in full fact that you will be hurting others, yet you proceeded on to do it, it is just immoral for it hurt others. A selfish person without morals, or without social grace, or do not believe self restraint against cheap thrills, are the same type of people who goes onto the mrt train, sit on the reserved seats right in front of an elderly person who really needs it, thinking "I paid for the train ride it is my right, it is not illegal and perfectly alright to take the reserved seat, I can even put my bag on another seat so what? So fark that miserable old man with one leg sawed off, he can stand one side the whole trip I don't care." A bit exagerated, but happens everyday on the train right?

    Translate to photography; photography clubs and associations and their presidents, being an honorable body, must take an conscious effort to assess, are they behaving righteously? Is their act contributing to the detrimental of the creative industry?

    Temptations from events companies are always present, afterall these are profit making companies, (though their methods are less than honorable). Such offers may give hobbyists a playground to enjoy their hobby, chance of exposure, or chance of photographing people or events they otherwise would not be able to, but is in moderation and is this for a good cause? Clubs and associations on a group level, or hobbyists on an individual level, must ownself decide.

    Everyday, we meet as-wholes in some form or another, we ourselves are often one. If everyone can strive to make the world a better place.
    Man... thats deep but true haha

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Free/Cheap labour from school photography clubs

    Being from a school photography club myself, I thought I would like to chip in with my POV.

    We do get asked for photography services from time to time, but we don't do it on a club basis, basically because of the issue of apportioning the remuneration between club and photographer. Besides, we do get low-balled (or no-balled) too. How to split half a meal between two people? In any case, those who ask for lowball tend to get a very poor response for our people.

    At a committee level, we do try to filter through before we respond to any job or sponsorships to sieve out cases of exploitation (believe me; some can be downright obvious). I know there is a lot of talk about the local market being saturated by GWCs, but just like to say that not all school photographic clubs contribute to this trend. Most of the time, its more beneficial and worthwhile for us to focus on promoting photography in general rather than getting exploited by such companies anyway

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