View Poll Results: Uprising of people shooting for free. Do you think its spoiling the industry ?

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    32 27.35%
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    52 44.44%
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Thread: Uprising of free labour. Time to step UP against it!

  1. #81
    Senior Member jOhO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Uprising of free labour. Time to step UP against it!

    Quote Originally Posted by overdodo
    In my opinion, the "uprising" of such "free labour" can be a good thing for the industry.

    A competitive market is good for consumers. With the existance of "free labour", people who can't afford to pay a full time photographer, or who wishes to reduce costs can do so. Of course, one wonders if "free labour" = "inferior quality", but this is the problem of the consumer who wants to cut cost.

    Then there'll be more discerning customers who wants better images, and upon comparision of "free labour" with so called "pro" photographers, decides that "free labour" quality is crap, and decides to choose "pro" photographers all the way.

    "pro" photographers will also be pushed to work harder to improve on their work to get a bigger piece of the pie.

    These "free labour" and their customers are willing parties, with time to spend, portfolios to build... it doesn't even matter what their reasons are. They are willing, what ever risks are borne by them, so why bother ?

    If of course you are a "pro" photographer who are in it for the money, and totally have no passion about photography, don't care about improving yourself and neglect marketing your work, then this "free labour" competition is bad for you.

    (the last paragraph is not directed to anyone in particular. just my view on competition)

    cheers
    what happens to customers who only have one chance to get their photos right? where there won't be a next time to get a "pro" becos their free photog sucked the last time? one good example is a wedding. but not even weddings, say the queen of england came to singapore (she did!!) and a sucky photographer shot her, how to show her the shots if you are the one organising her visit and the photographer? next time she comes u will know better, but when would the next time be?

    it's not a product where u can claim warranty like a hard disk spoil, next time don't use that brand, but a more reputed brand, and u will have less/no data loss.

    i don't have a big problem with customers/consumers going for free/cheap photography. i have a problem about the amount of crying over spilt milk.

    as for the market, well, spilt milk feeds no one, so.. yes, it's bad for the industry (both consumer and photographer), contrary to your opinion.

    i think we need to remember that while "competition" is generally a good thing, it's not fruits and vegetables that we're dealing with here. that said, an apple is so cheap, yet u wouldn't usually get it free, would you?

    the only reason why "free" photography is good, is that it gives a chance for young photographers to experience how it's like in the field. if they don't do it free, they won't, or perhaps, have less chance to build a portfolio. but in no way are these pple helping the industry. once they have their portfolio, they should charge accordingly.

    just right now, there's a thread where a cheap ROM photographer got bashed by consumers on another forum because of poor work. u call that good for the industry? (customers dissatisfied, photographer bad named, everyone LOSE). had the consumer paid more for someone more experienced and/or proficient, i'm confident this bashing wouldn't occur. OR, if the consumers understood that if they paid less, a less experienced/qualified photographer would not produce work of extremely high standard.

  2. #82
    Senior Member GENO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Uprising of free labour. Time to step UP against it!

    Quote Originally Posted by glennyong
    recently there seems to be alot of freeloaders coming into CS to ask for FREE photographers to work for them and to use these works as their portfolio.

    and they will be "paid" by giving them free lunch and drinks and prolly food/transport allowance.

    this is spoilling the industry.

    i now strongly dis-encourage pple to work for free. its outrageous. i really hope someone steps forward and make these people wake up their ideas...

    i believe theres alot out there who share similar views.
    pls lah...some people will only shoot when they are PAID, some people will shoot for free...

    Tis is the world, what can we do??? if it affecting the business, its means one thing only, those that are PAID to shoot have to buckle up, learn a new trade..
    Take both its legs down first, then cuts its tail, next is shoot between its eyes:devil:

  3. #83
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Uprising of free labour. Time to step UP against it!

    Quote Originally Posted by GENO
    pls lah...some people will only shoot when they are PAID, some people will shoot for free...

    Tis is the world, what can we do??? if it affecting the business, its means one thing only, those that are PAID to shoot have to buckle up, learn a new trade..
    Interesting,

    what if one day you walk into office, your boss tell you this:
    You don't have come in office tomorrow, I have this young man, can work better and harder than you, and the best part is, he is willing to work for free!!

    You tell your boss: But I have many years experience!! I know how the company run!! I have good relation with all our vendors, and all our customers trust me!!

    Boss replied: Well, since you so loyal to this company, from now on the company only paying you 50% of of current salary, if you want to stay, take it or leave it.


    What will you think?



    I see, just saw your profile says you only 19, so this will not happen so soon, maybe another 20 years for you.


    never mind, you will have many years to prepare for this, so this day may never come, if you work hard enough, or you kill all the potential competitors before they become one.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  4. #84

    Default Re: Uprising of free labour. Time to step UP against it!

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights
    Interesting,

    what if one day you walk into office, your boss tell you this:
    You don't have come in office tomorrow, I have this young man, can work better and harder than you, and the best part is, he is willing to work for free!!

    You tell your boss: But I have many years experience!! I know how the company run!! I have good relation with all our vendors, and all our customers trust me!!

    Boss replied: Well, since you so loyal to this company, from now on the company only paying you 50% of of current salary, if you want to stay, take it or leave it.


    What will you think?

    haha, the question is directed to GENO, but I just want to voice my own opinion. If I am caught in such a position, I will leave that company without any hesitation. If I am good, I am confident of my skill and trade, it will only be a loss to the company; but a gain to me to leave such a heartless company! Young guys are more enthusiastic and energetic, but do they have the skill to deliver whatever that is required? They are free, so what? What matters is whether you can deliver what you promise, free but delivering crap results is as good as you deliver nothing, or even worse than that.
    Last edited by barracuda; 30th July 2006 at 01:06 AM.

  5. #85
    Senior Member Cheesecake's Avatar
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    Default Re: Uprising of free labour. Time to step UP against it!

    Quote Originally Posted by GENO
    pls lah...some people will only shoot when they are PAID, some people will shoot for free...

    Tis is the world, what can we do??? if it affecting the business, its means one thing only, those that are PAID to shoot have to buckle up, learn a new trade..
    the top tier ppl will never be affected becos their reputation and ability is there for all to see. it is those who are struggling to break into the market that will be severely tested and strained.

    indeed, one mux always seek to further improve oneself.
    You'll Never Walk Alone! - i have the best job in the world!

  6. #86

    Default Re: Uprising of free labour. Time to step UP against it!

    I didn't go through the thread so here's my thought

    Why does Free photographers don't hurt the industry.
    Reason being Pros are still pros. There are reasons why people hire pros. E.G. alot of couples are still going for $1k wedding photographers. why? It's importatnt that they get it right the first time round.

    Unless you have a pro doing free work. then i have nothing to say.

    Consumers who do not wish to pay look for free photographers. or else they would rather not shoot a event or item at all, or alternativly they would take the photos themselves. So there is NO loss in the insdustry.

    Of course there are businesses or individuals who do look for free or cheap photograhpers, only because they can sacrifice quality for price. These consumers being small time businesses or induviduals who are on their own who are not that financially stable.
    But having these free photos taken might only IMPROVE his business stimulating the growth of small businesses and indivuduals. And once them bloom, there is a chance that he might turn to pro photographers. Reason being they will no longer be able to tolerate mistakes.

    And in turn the free or low priced photographer benifits from experience, and who knows in the future also turns pro.

    This is the kind of developement that simulates a industry by leaps and bounds. Example, windows and linux. Linux is free.

    That's my 2 cents Cheers!
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  7. #87

    Default Re: Uprising of free labour. Time to step UP against it!

    i hear your point coming. i too as a computer engineer dip holder worry if soon i would be replaced in the industry in the near future. That's a reason why employees need to upgrade themselves. if not , get left behind. same for photographers, the first few to bring in story book wedding styles are the leaders and we the others are the followers.

    So who is the next to bring you the revolution of wedding photograhpy?

    izzit you catchlights?

    but i have to admit you are damm good at what you do. but would it get old this style you are doing? will people be bored of it, or something else would come up and make your style look obsolute?

    it's like windows 95 and windows 98 and so on.

    you are a pro for a reason. you will have to lead the pack. Bring on the revloution in the gerene of wedding photography.

    No offence just my 2 cents.

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights
    Interesting,

    what if one day you walk into office, your boss tell you this:
    You don't have come in office tomorrow, I have this young man, can work better and harder than you, and the best part is, he is willing to work for free!!

    You tell your boss: But I have many years experience!! I know how the company run!! I have good relation with all our vendors, and all our customers trust me!!

    Boss replied: Well, since you so loyal to this company, from now on the company only paying you 50% of of current salary, if you want to stay, take it or leave it.


    What will you think?



    I see, just saw your profile says you only 19, so this will not happen so soon, maybe another 20 years for you.


    never mind, you will have many years to prepare for this, so this day may never come, if you work hard enough, or you kill all the potential competitors before they become one.
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  8. #88

    Default Re: Uprising of free labour. Time to step UP against it!

    On another note. i just read the post by my idol joho( yes i look up to you!).
    He says free /low paid photographers produce lousy work.
    YES THEY DO! Example, me. of course compared to a pro.

    Actually to make the industry safer i would be better if pros take in free/lowpaid internship positions under their wings, this would prevent problematic photography issues and the pro might benifit from some help too.

    Buit this is only a suggestion, a pro might feel endangered in this position as the inter might one day take over his position.

    But then again if you are the pro then you should lead the revolution instead. and you will be safe.

    2 cents. Cheers.

    Hm.... it's been a long time since i posted so much text LOLx.
    Last edited by SianZronG; 30th July 2006 at 10:38 AM.
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  9. #89
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Uprising of free labour. Time to step UP against it!

    In this trade (photography), everyone (photographers) are talking about 实力!
    some are very good in photography skills,
    some are very creative,
    some are very good in public relation,
    some are very good in marketing skills,
    some are very good in adapting in changes

    everyone know that to survive in professional photography, need to know not just photography alone, else would not able to stay.

    a new kid need to spend three year to gain a foothold, anybody can stay in bussines for more than 5 years, he or she must have something special.

    I shoot wedding now, it does not mean I don't know how to shoot other things.

    Just to let people know, I start as an assistant 22 years ago, I start with products, industrial, interior photography, until a day I get sick of it, I shoot weddings, maybe one day in future, I will get sick of weddings, I will shoot something else, and yes, I can do that.

    So don't have to worry for me.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  10. #90
    Senior Member GENO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Uprising of free labour. Time to step UP against it!

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights
    Interesting,

    what if one day you walk into office, your boss tell you this:
    You don't have come in office tomorrow, I have this young man, can work better and harder than you, and the best part is, he is willing to work for free!!

    You tell your boss: But I have many years experience!! I know how the company run!! I have good relation with all our vendors, and all our customers trust me!!

    Boss replied: Well, since you so loyal to this company, from now on the company only paying you 50% of of current salary, if you want to stay, take it or leave it.


    What will you think?



    I see, just saw your profile says you only 19, so this will not happen so soon, maybe another 20 years for you.


    never mind, you will have many years to prepare for this, so this day may never come, if you work hard enough, or you kill all the potential competitors before they become one.
    dont worry, i will not get angry if someone can replace me to work for me.


    I will not be pay 50% of my salary and still stay there...just move on my friend, unless u r to stubborn to do so, always learn a new trick to stay alive...
    Take both its legs down first, then cuts its tail, next is shoot between its eyes:devil:

  11. #91
    Senior Member GENO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Uprising of free labour. Time to step UP against it!

    Quote Originally Posted by barracuda
    haha, the question is directed to GENO, but I just want to voice my own opinion. If I am caught in such a position, I will leave that company without any hesitation. If I am good, I am confident of my skill and trade, it will only be a loss to the company; but a gain to me to leave such a heartless company! Young guys are more enthusiastic and energetic, but do they have the skill to deliver whatever that is required? They are free, so what? What matters is whether you can deliver what you promise, free but delivering crap results is as good as you deliver nothing, or even worse than that.
    thats the way, work smart, not hard...unless its yr own business..
    Take both its legs down first, then cuts its tail, next is shoot between its eyes:devil:

  12. #92
    Senior Member GENO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Uprising of free labour. Time to step UP against it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesecake
    the top tier ppl will never be affected becos their reputation and ability is there for all to see. it is those who are struggling to break into the market that will be severely tested and strained.

    indeed, one mux always seek to further improve oneself.
    there is NO way at all someone will stay in the same company for a long time tis days, no matter how hard you work, yr boss will never say that yr're damm good..
    Take both its legs down first, then cuts its tail, next is shoot between its eyes:devil:

  13. #93
    Senior Member glennyong's Avatar
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    Default Re: Uprising of free labour. Time to step UP against it!

    Quote Originally Posted by GENO
    there is NO way at all someone will stay in the same company for a long time tis days, no matter how hard you work, yr boss will never say that yr're damm good..
    yr boss will say u are damn good when u work and produce 1000% - 2000% times your salary....

    for example ur salary is 3k, and i give him 300k worth of work and project value... he will say u are damn good and give u a 9k salary without saying...

    and if he dun give u pay raise.. wait for head hunters to come to you lo !!

    that is what i learn from AKLTG....

  14. #94
    Senior Member jOhO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Uprising of free labour. Time to step UP against it!

    Quote Originally Posted by SianZronG
    On another note. i just read the post by my idol joho( yes i look up to you!).
    He says free /low paid photographers produce lousy work.
    YES THEY DO! Example, me. of course compared to a pro.

    Actually to make the industry safer i would be better if pros take in free/lowpaid internship positions under their wings, this would prevent problematic photography issues and the pro might benifit from some help too.

    Buit this is only a suggestion, a pro might feel endangered in this position as the inter might one day take over his position.

    But then again if you are the pro then you should lead the revolution instead. and you will be safe.

    2 cents. Cheers.

    Hm.... it's been a long time since i posted so much text LOLx.
    wah lau.. stress... dun like dat leh.

    i never say ALL cheap photographers are lousy.. ehheh.. aiyoh.. wait i kena whack man..

    on the topic of internship and taking in young photographers... this is my brief view:

    i definitely am not worried of someone learning too much from me and "stealing my business" next time.

    i am, however, VERY worried about the lack of commitment and trustworthiness of many of such "aspriring" photographers nowadays. turn up late, flirt with the girls, day dreaming etc etc.. it's very disheartening when i see someone with potential "fail" becos of poor attitudes. i'm not saying all lar, but i do "judge" newcomers' attitudes with my own when i was a newbie, and many fall short. ATTITUDE, not quality of work. but anyway this is a different topic.

    thanx for your "idol" status.. but hor.. paiseh lehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

  15. #95

    Default Re: Uprising of free labour. Time to step UP against it!

    Talking will come to nought, lets do something about it. I propose a framework of accredited photographers which shall be made known to the public. The registered members shall have key deliverables that are GUARANTEED to the customers. Members shall be free to charge accordingly ABOVE a certain rate. The quality of the photographers work will be judged by the community in all fairness from which he shall be deemed worthy to be accredited. Members shall enjoy full IP protection from a named solicitor. Public education of photography standards and practices will be at the core of the framework so that the public knows the standard they can expect from a pro. The key here is differentiation between the pros and the amateurs. The public needs to be educated about quality standards when it comes to photography. We need to form a real entity that takes care of these issues instead of ranting about it here.

    Newbies doing free jobs will always exist, that is an undeniable fact. The newbies will be left to their own devices to improve their skill whereas accredited members can band together to share resources under a common umbrella that supports and protects them. Of course this accreditation needs to be disciplined as well to maintain the high professional standards that will differentiate us from the amatuers, hence we will need a system as well to delist offending pros who deliever poor results.

    If this is your rice bowl, step forward to do something about it and protect it. Its high time the pros get some respect.

    BTW I'm a noob photog , but I have faced similar problems in other industries and this is how some people took charge to improve the situation.

  16. #96

    Default Re: Uprising of free labour. Time to step UP against it!

    ADOPT THE HOLLYWOOD SYSTEM

    I'm all for a Union like the Hollywood system whereby clients who want to hire Unioned photographers/crew have to pay a minimium standard rate for a union member. This is to protect the professional's ricebowl. For example, Photographer A and B are union members and Photographer C is not.

    A and B are estabilished photographers in their own rights and have a comprehensive protfolio to prove. C is a newbie armed with passion and a DSLR.

    The client likes B's portfolio over A's and rejects C's. However, due to the industry 3 quote SOP (Standard Operation Procedure), he ask A, B & C for a quotation. A, B & C quoted without knowing they are favored or not.

    Quotation - Photographer's Fees only

    A quoted $2500 (min union rate is $2000 *EXAMPLE ONLY*)
    B quoted $5000
    C quoted $500

    This is when the client has to really decide. It a pure simple case of PREFERENCE vs MONEY

    If the client wants

    SIA First Class - Photographer B
    Silk Air Biz Class - A
    Tiger - C

    (With all due respect, they'll all bring you to the same destination safely, the only difference is the process)

    You may argue that B is over charging and C is spoiling market.

    But here's the catch: Tom Cruise is a union member. Union members have to charge a min of $100k (example only) for a lead role in a feature film.
    Tom Cruise asks for $30 million.
    Will Ferrell (union member) will do the same role for $150k.
    Li Nanxing (Non-union member) will do it for $10k.

    Morale of the story: You have to pay for what you want.

    Photographer B judges that the workload and the complexity of priciple photography warrants his $5K fee

    A thinks that it's $2,500.

    If the client do not have the budget but still wants a Union photograher, he still have to pay the min of $2k. Which ever photographer is chosen, at least he does not have to go hungry.

    The bottom line is, we must all have a certain market rate to fall back on. And with a union, clients have no choice but to abide by union's fees and rules if they want to hire union crew and photographers.

    This is the Hollywood system (to the best of my knowledge) and it will only work if everyone keeps to their promise and unioned photographers do not take up non-union assisgments and all the top photographers are in the union.

    Will explain more if the discussion furthers.

    Cheers!

    Norb

  17. #97
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Uprising of free labour. Time to step UP against it!

    the main problem is that the "free/cheap" photographers do not know their worth
    and devalue themselves, in the long run this will only spoil their future as photographers.

    this also makes the clients reduce their budget for a photographer.
    so in the long run everybody suffers.

  18. #98

    Default Re: Uprising of free labour. Time to step UP against it!

    Today 01:19 PMortegathe main problem is that the "free/cheap" photographers do not know their worth
    and devalue themselves, in the long run this will only spoil their future as photographers.

    this also makes the clients reduce their budget for a photographer.
    so in the long run everybody suffers.

    This is hardly a problem.

    Free/cheap photographers are generally newbies and hobbists. They do not need a rocket science MBA to be called a photographer. Any Ah Beng Ah Seng can call themselve a photographer.

    The challenge is to break into the professional arena, they must earn their stripes. The Union I would like the industry to adopt is to protect the professionals. They are the ones who needs the money as it is their ricebowl. Any fresh photographer can choose to join the said union but once they join they cannot accept jobs that are below the union standard. That is the purpose.

    Why do you see such a big difference between Hollywood films and indie films? In indie films, no matter how good the storyline is, you can see the difference as compared to Hollywood flicks. They have no budget for big car chase and explosions etc, but the storyline is still good, yet the Director and crew, being non-union, get paid for so much less. However, they still have a shot at the big time if their film is released commercially and they can fight for a spot in the box office with the big boys. They can still become famous and may probably join the Union and enjoy the protection and benifits of the Union after their big break.

    But after having said all this, I'm still sceptical that anyone will step forward and intiate a Union. We have a PPAS (Professional Photographers Association of Singapore) but it seems to be either really exclusive or really dead quiet. The last I checked, the website is pathetic.

    Until that day happens, this industry will continue to be a dog eat dog sunset industry.


  19. #99

    Default Re: Uprising of free labour. Time to step UP against it!

    I am not really concerned about free or low cost PGs affecting business or what.
    I am just pissed that there are always somebody out there looking out for cheap labour. Some guys can actually shoot quite ok - not to the pro level, but that does not mean they can ask what $300, $500 for 12 hrs, 6AM arrival, add in split day, and some more want collages, 2nd photographer to cover additional angles etc. And you have to add in travelling to and returning from couple's house time taken, and time taken to and fro banquet. Add in PP timing (for me its 3-6hrs), every shoot is like 18hrs more or less. That's a lot of hours. And yeah, don't forget the time taken to meetup with couples, each one is like 40 mins at least and max 1.5hrs for me, and the hit rate is not 100% dudes. It's not easy on the bottomline, but the couples don't care.

    I just saw a recent case in SGbrides happening, couple blasting the PG who happens to be here. The pix are actually ok what.... And so many collages, not easy ok!

    If you do not maintain a certain $$$ standard, couples will just mal-treat you continuously as they will always think "oh....this is a newbie, building portfolio, photos CMI, but nevermind i give chance since my budget $400 nia". Do not leave a chance, some couples are just plain ngeow.

    Most CSers are not high-end or what....but neither are you guys low-end. I know there are some MY photogs charging really low, but that's another story. Do you go compete directly with Indian IT programmers who are paid < 2K?
    Last edited by 2100; 31st July 2006 at 05:32 PM.

  20. #100
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Uprising of free labour. Time to step UP against it!

    ok there are two things to solve

    1. protecting the market from becoming a sunset industry and
    2. protecting the free/cheap photogs from being exploited

    actually 3 things
    3. stop the rumour that CS is the place for getting free/cheap photogs

    How do we do that?

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