View Poll Results: Do client's think that photographers are Art Directors or a

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  • Art Director - Responsible for creating fascinating imagery

    33 62.26%
  • Technician - Just to press the shutter, whats so difficult?

    20 37.74%
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Thread: Do client's think that photographers are Art Directors or a Technician?

  1. #21

    Default Re: Do client's think that photographers are Art Directors or a Technician?

    ok, i think the market has been indeed got affected by people who charge low. But if someone offers low rate and very good work, as a client, y not right? If you look at the other side, if the photographers that are charging low knows that they can charge high actually, why would they not do so?

    i believe it is not an easily solved problem but it takes effort and money to do so. Maybe CS might soncider rating the photographers and promote this rating to the market as a benchmark for pricing. Helps the photographers and clients also.

    Just my 2 cents of thoughts.
    Sean Seah
    Phokki - Arts for Everyone | Portal - www.phokki.com | Blog - blog.phokki.com

  2. #22

    Default Re: Do client's think that photographers are Art Directors or a Technician?

    i think this question is too "cheem" for clients and i doubt they generally think that deep. And i don't think many local wedding photographers honestly think about such issues consciously, though they often like to attract their clients by putting up nicely written descriptions about themselves using such terms as "art directors".

    At the end of the day, I don't think people really care. There are many photographers here. Clients choose you based on budget and the final product you deliver.

    But it's not fair to call those who charge cheaper "eager beavers". I don't understand why some pros seem to be contradicting by saying they don't care about these photographers who produce so-so results, yet at the same time, lament at their very existence. If as a pro you charge more and you think you can produce better results, why worry about these "eager beavers" who can't match your works?

    It's really the clients' choice on which photographer they pick. Not everyone is financially prepared to want to pay so much for what some pros are asking for. And they don't mind getting photographers who charge less and yet can produce decent results.

    Truthfully, not all those who charge less produce craps. And that, I suspect, make some pros feel threatened without wanting to admit openly.

    Coming back, art director or not, at the end of the day, what's important is you satisfy what the clients expect and justify to them what you are charging. If you paint a great description of yourself but the final product leaves much to be desired, I think that's a whole sham.
    Last edited by David; 1st December 2008 at 05:13 PM.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Do client's think that photographers are Art Directors or a Technician?

    Quote Originally Posted by lancey View Post
    Now i know why the local wedding scene is in a shamble. Squeeze them while u can eh?
    Sad to say, the squeezing goes both ways.

    The client wants to squeeze the photographer and the photographer wants to squeeze the client.
    But its a no-brainer seeing who's actually getting the shorter end of the stick for the amount of effort required.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Do client's think that photographers are Art Directors or a Technician?

    Quote Originally Posted by jsbn View Post
    Sad to say, the squeezing goes both ways.

    The client wants to squeeze the photographer and the photographer wants to squeeze the client.
    But its a no-brainer seeing who's actually getting the shorter end of the stick for the amount of effort required.
    welcome to the free market. What's so diff abt the photgrapher market as compared to other sales and services market? Competition is the name of the name and when margins are squeezed to the limit, only the fittest survive. A photographer providing photography services must, like any other business, adopt a strategy to survive and thrive. Be it thru' pricing or carving out a niche for itself thru' specialisation, it is all part of business. Whatever strategy he adopts, be warned that the consumer will always be on the lookout for quality and professionalism and cutting corners will only ensure short time survival.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Do client's think that photographers are Art Directors or a Technician?

    I think this question gives direction to aspiring photographers. I think, no matter what the clients think of you, you are responsible to deliver something that is uniquely you because it is how you want to be recognized. Respect must be earned. You do what you think is right, in the direction you want.

  6. #26

    Default Re: Do client's think that photographers are Art Directors or a Technician?

    Quote Originally Posted by David View Post
    i think this question is too "cheem" for clients and i doubt they generally think that deep. And i don't think many local wedding photographers honestly think about such issues consciously, though they often like to attract their clients by putting up nicely written descriptions about themselves using such terms as "art directors".

    At the end of the day, I don't think people really care. There are many photographers here. Clients choose you based on budget and the final product you deliver.

    But it's not fair to call those who charge cheaper "eager beavers". I don't understand why some pros seem to be contradicting by saying they don't care about these photographers who produce so-so results, yet at the same time, lament at their very existence. If as a pro you charge more and you think you can produce better results, why worry about these "eager beavers" who can't match your works?

    It's really the clients' choice on which photographer they pick. Not everyone is financially prepared to want to pay so much for what some pros are asking for. And they don't mind getting photographers who charge less and yet can produce decent results.

    Truthfully, not all those who charge less produce craps. And that, I suspect, make some pros feel threatened without wanting to admit openly.

    Coming back, art director or not, at the end of the day, what's important is you satisfy what the clients expect and justify to them what you are charging. If you paint a great description of yourself but the final product leaves much to be desired, I think that's a whole sham.

    Well said!
    Hiring a photographer is something like getting a caterer.
    Cooking can be... French Cook - Responsible for creating fascinating flavours
    or, Kitchen worker - Just stir fry, steam or bake, whats so difficult?

    For parties, you'd probably want a caterer, and a reliable one with good reviews from your relatives too. Some parties require "high end" catering with everything made exquisite and flowery, and some just wish for simple catering for a get-together like a small CNY celebration. The charges differ from service to service.

    You could cook, but is it a hassle because you may not have the ovens and such for cooking certain things like large meat items well, and therefore less choice for the party. Also, what about time? Do you have the time to shop for all the ingredients (both supermarket & wetmarket) and attend your other invitations from friends, as well as prepare a feast later on?
    If you were to go for the easy cincai way, you could ask around your friends or their relatives if anyone is interested in cooking stuff for a charge. You skip the fancypants presentation, risk a little on flavour but at least, get the job done. Could turn out worse, could turn out better.

    In a photographic sense, we may have good PnS cameras or even a lower end DSLR, but we may not have the know-how or fancy flashes with well-picked bounce cards/diffusers for the occasion, no professional Photoshop programs too. And what about time? You'll need a reliable photographer with a good portfolio for covering important events, not a substandard one.
    Last edited by xylestesins; 1st December 2008 at 08:26 PM.

  7. #27

    Default Re: Do client's think that photographers are Art Directors or a Technician?

    Quote Originally Posted by cecilkondo View Post
    I think this question gives direction to aspiring photographers. I think, no matter what the clients think of you, you are responsible to deliver something that is uniquely you because it is how you want to be recognized. Respect must be earned. You do what you think is right, in the direction you want.
    Couldn't agree with you more. To add to your point, I think the question also applies to "seasoned" photographers as a timely reminder for them to focus on the art of photography and their obligation to give high quality work to their clients instead of just from the monetary angle.

  8. #28

    Default Re: Do client's think that photographers are Art Directors or a Technician?

    In smaller setup, the photographer is the lens man (technician), art director, producer, etc while a more established setup will have specialized personnel running those roles.

    Of cos it varies from industries to industries, we do not see an art director on event /AD Wedding shoot, so the "artistry" is from the photographer.

    I feel that the photographer is a lens man with a point of view. While working closely with the art director to fulfill the "ultimate vision" (either requested by client or the art director). Just like how the film director directs the set/talents and the D.O.P composed and advised how to shoot the scene.

    I have seen clients who are "art directors" themselves, giving direction to the photographer what to do. In whichever case, it is up to you whether you have a point of view (to be also an art director) or a lens man.

    To answer the question, which most probably means that the client does not have an art director. Yes. The client thinks the photographer is an art director.

    When the ultimate product is your vision, I guess most of us would definitely love to be the art director too, right?

  9. #29

    Default Re: Do client's think that photographers are Art Directors or a Technician?

    I agree with flarebox.
    Seriously a photographer and art director are 2 different professionals both with different expertise. A photographer is a lens man capturing an image as best as he/she can but he may not know what the art director or company requires while the art director is specialized in art direction the flow and requirements of the work process. The art director may not understand how the camera works but he is able to direct an angle that he wants.

  10. #30

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  11. #31

    Default Re: Do client's think that photographers are Art Directors or a Technician?

    for a moment, i thought the fella above was gonna come up with some arcane analogy between sheep skin boots and the photography industry.... guess i was wrong. (although it may have been interesting)

  12. #32

    Default Re: Do client's think that photographers are Art Directors or a Technician?

    Neither. Some clients think photographers are tripod. They can't figure out how to use the self timer mode and need some one to hold the camera, so a photographer tripod comes in handy!

    Jokes aside, it really depends on who your clients are. To answer that question, ytou have to ask what kind of photographer you are. If your clients are people who value your ideas and creativity then you are an AD to them. If your clients are people who care about just getting the cheapest deal than you are probably not even a technician to them.... just a tripod.

    Having been on both sides, as AD an as photographer, I guess it really doesn't matter. As long as you are happy shooting, that's the whole point.

  13. #33

    Default Re: Do client's think that photographers are Art Directors or a Technician?

    Clients hire photographers only for 2 reasons.

    One, they believe that the photographer can help to create what they want to convey to their customers and that they dun think they can do a better job than you do.

    The second one is that they believe that they can take that photograph better than you do, but they still hire you becoz they have got more important things to do.

    The issue here is not if they treat you as Art Director or Technician, it is if they treat you as a partner in their project or as a odd job labourer to do something which they either have no time, no interest, or simply couldn't be bothered with. Eh this is in the context of corporate clients btw, esp on the advertising/markeitng industry.
    Last edited by evo-lution; 9th December 2008 at 01:39 PM.

  14. #34

    Default Re: Do client's think that photographers are Art Directors or a Technician?

    Whether your client thinks of you as an artist or technician doesn't really matter.

    What's important is a healthy dose of humility to go along with the assignment.

    The client is paying you, and like it or not, your next meal on the table depends on it. Therefore, be humble at all times. This does not mean condescending behaviour or agreeing to every illegal action that the client suggests.

    What it does mean is to behave like a matured person being paid to do a job. You can offer your advice, suggest your thoughts...but at all times the humble pie must be eaten to remember who's the final arbiter...the client themselves.

    From some of the answers in the thread and sprinkled throughout the forums, you would guess that there was a severe shortage of humble pies in the market.

    Remember that pride and ego does not feed you...real hard notes does.
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    Chupr: clipper

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