View Poll Results: Are we being taken advantage off?

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  • Yes we are killing ourselves.

    242 34.82%
  • No, this will benefit the newbies.

    142 20.43%
  • I dunno.

    42 6.04%
  • Its all part of the game.

    269 38.71%
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Thread: Has ClubSNAP become a sourcing spot for cheap photographers. Are we being taken adv?

  1. #281
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    Quote Originally Posted by benedium
    wah this thread still alive. It's common sense right? Some of the 'pros' here charge less than a thousand for a day's work... Would it be valid for the 'angmoh' photographer to blame us for charging such low prices? It's a free market. People who want monkeys pay peanuts. Others with higher budget can go and get the 'pros'. It's not our business.
    Agreed. Try buying a hokkien mee in Melbourne and you'll know the good quality and affordability in Singapore; all down to demand and supply.

    Basically, if you are in it as a profession, then you really can't blame amatures for bringing the price down. This happens in every industry. But just like an engineer, doctor or lawyer or any other skilled professional, you always have the option of bringing your skills elsewhere in the world. (To places they pay a pro 5k per shoot???)

  2. #282
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    Default The Other side of the coin....

    I read this thread with great interest and am glad many of your guys are proud of your work. I guess couples nowadays dont value their weddings as much and photos are always at the bottom of their wedding list.

  3. #283
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    Have not been replying nor posting in this thread, but I'm pretty sure now my answer is YES.

  4. #284

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    WOW! this thread last almost a year
    I would say it is all part of the game... sometimes we need some challenges to bring out the best in us as a professional. I am not a pro in photography but other field of work.
    It is like, you know, too much stress ---> bad for health...no stress ---> no life

  5. #285
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    Pretty ironic considering the thread immediately below this one was:

    http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthread.php?t=91679

  6. #286
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    Quote Originally Posted by r32
    Pretty ironic considering the thread immediately below this one was:

    http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthread.php?t=91679

    Ironic? Yeah.... but that's the whole point of CS.... people with opportunity for photoshoots, and people who want to do photoshoots... both dun want to incur costs.... so a happy marriage of objectives IMO....

  7. #287
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi2
    Well, DEFINITELY! This topic has been quite well-discussed. I would like to take a different perspective.

    I think technology has a big part to play in this. How come? See, film SLR cameras these days are packed with so many features. An entry level one has many features found in pro cameras. Think back to the mid-80s. Would there be so many freelance photograhers? I seriously doubt so. Cos cameras then were more difficult to operate. You might not have your AF (think Minolta was the first to formally introduce it back in 1985), you need to calculate the flash output manually, etc. And cameras aren't cheap then.

    As a Canon user, I'd like to give an eg. When the EOS650 and 620 first hit the market back in 1987, those were my dream camera bodies. They were darrrrn costly! Body alone would set you back some $2000, if not more. Today, these cameras are gathering dust. Used ones would probably be worth less than $400, if anyone is ever interested. With an EOS30/33 today, you get many more features. Bodies are so cheap even a student can own it and shoot on the spot without learning much about photography. With 7 point AF, 35 exposure areas, ultrafast USM lenses, E-TTL and what have you!!! Man, it's a matter of the camera asking the photographer: "Are you ready to press the shutter button? I'm ready whenever you are!!"

    I mean think about it... Just 3 years ago, owning a DSLR is a dream... At close to $5000 for a body, only the serious pros can own them. Now? Prices are dropping like crazy and more amateurs or complete beginners are rushing out to get mid-level DSLRs. Even the no-frills auntie next door might own a fairly sophisticated $600 compact digital camera.

    Another reason is that we now live in a century of "quick-fixes"... countless fast food joints, SMS, Internet explosion...Wedding photography is no different. You have the camera and a bit of experience, BOOM! Time to make some money by being a free-lance. It's so easy. And moreover, I personally find in Singapore, people don't appreciate photography as much as in the West. They'd rather spend a bigger sum on an extravagant 40-table wedding dinner than employ an experienced photographer.

    My take on the topic? It's unjustified to spoil the market by charging so low even for a freelance job. But no matter what we say, I think the harm is already done and... simply put, I think it's sad. It's as difficult as asking people not to rush onto MRT trains. Cheap photographers will continue to increase and it's become our culture here. Reputation of photographers here has gone down somewhat too (I know some consider them as "camera-man" and address them as "Where's the guy with the cam?), unless you're one of those well-known names.
    Totally agree as I'm face the same fate as my Wedding assignments has drop sharply this 2 years especially this year!

  8. #288

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    pardon me. No offfence. But i am wondering, is the line between the so called pro-photographer and amateur so clear cut.
    One question to the so called pro who charge higher price: do you become a pro OVERNIGHT ie one day you were an amateur and the next you charge $1200 for one wedding??? if not, there should be some kind of transition period right? Could you kindly explain the process of this transition ie how you get from charging $0 to charging $1200 ??? and roughly how long was this transition?

  9. #289
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    Simply put, a "pro" is a business photographer. He makes money, and deliver promises. To achieve that, he has redundant cameras and lenses, labs with fast production time, insurance in case the whole job blows and a business name and address which you can sue if you are dissatisfied. Of course, skills, talent, experience, awards and portfolio will naturally follow. He'll probably have shooting assistants for carrying gear, lighting set-ups, make-up, and even serve tea to the client. And many "pro"s actually go through photography school. You don't normally go "pro" overnight.

    On the other hand, the "amateur" can be a guy with a camera, and one who can take good shots. He may have talent, skills, awards adn portfolio, but certainly not a business.

    Considering the need to run a business, isn't obvious that cost will be very high, especially Singapore? The "pro" gives assurance or delivery and quality. If the "amateur" with one cemra set gets a camera malfunction during an important one-off shoot, what can he do?

    For me that's the difference between $500 and $1500. If anyone interested, I can shoot at $500. But I won't shoot at $250 as that's under-paying even for amateurs. There is always some talent and skill that we should appreciate. For those who wants assurance of quality, I recommend them the "pro"s at $1000 to $2000.

  10. #290

    Default interesting thread this

    Having read most all who gave feedback in this thread. I'll add my 2cents..
    in the early 80s when there were camera clubs n i joined a few outings to observe how things being organised n received feedback from ppl i met along my long journey thru this unique path known as Photography.. then being a self-taught hobbyist, i eventually became an assistant to a 'top name' professional photographer at that time n eventually striked out on my own..now that was 20years ago..

    Back then, very few 'Pros' were trained in school, perhaps could count only a handful.. most started out as assistant's to 1 or more top professionals n we had to take all that comes our way with pride, if you want to stay long enough to learn anything on the job.. most assistants had to have a class 2 license n a motorbike as a pre-requisite to b hired..

    Now, fast-forward to present.. those very assistants who worked their butts off for a pittance(they/we were paid less than production operators mind you)..are now some of the current 'top' pros you see today..

    I used to charge d sky for an actual-day wedding photography/commercial shoots but sinced the advent of Dslr's which I was slow in picking up,(only had my first Dslr last year)I've come to realised that photogs. like me seems to have been sidelined by newer photogs. whose pricing/packaging structure is so different from b4..

    But the most important factor, is still a solid foundation in Basic photography & a good grasp of understanding lighting(natural/artificial or both)..otherwise, the client will b short-changed by this free sphotographer..by now I should think most clients who have used free photogs. would have wised up n probably re-considering setting aside a budget for photography..

    I agree that too many have given free photography..I once had a confirmed job cancelled by my client a couple of days prior to shoot date as someone offered my client free photography with 2photogs. plus videography for a prestigious event..just for the portfolio...imagine my fury!!

    thanks for bearing with me for this long winded msg..

    just my 2 cents..

  11. #291

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    Quote Originally Posted by yowch
    Simply put, a "pro" is a business photographer. He makes money, and deliver promises. To achieve that, he has redundant cameras and lenses, labs with fast production time, insurance in case the whole job blows and a business name and address which you can sue if you are dissatisfied. Of course, skills, talent, experience, awards and portfolio will naturally follow. He'll probably have shooting assistants for carrying gear, lighting set-ups, make-up, and even serve tea to the client. And many "pro"s actually go through photography school. You don't normally go "pro" overnight.

    On the other hand, the "amateur" can be a guy with a camera, and one who can take good shots. He may have talent, skills, awards adn portfolio, but certainly not a business.

    Considering the need to run a business, isn't obvious that cost will be very high, especially Singapore? The "pro" gives assurance or delivery and quality. If the "amateur" with one cemra set gets a camera malfunction during an important one-off shoot, what can he do?

    For me that's the difference between $500 and $1500. If anyone interested, I can shoot at $500. But I won't shoot at $250 as that's under-paying even for amateurs. There is always some talent and skill that we should appreciate. For those who wants assurance of quality, I recommend them the "pro"s at $1000 to $2000.
    You still don't get the point, do you?

    If by your definition of a pro, I think most probably i could become one overnight too. I hv more than 3 cameras, a dslr, a prosumer cp5700, and 2 film slr, a pro-level scanner, a few pro-level lenses, well-versed in photoshop, some previous experience in running a business....and nowadays it is so easy to register a business, i can easily employ a few assistants....etc I have the cash...In summary, i can almost become a pro overnight if the registry of business can process my application within that time-frame. And with all these criteria fulfilled, I still hv the liberty of charging at even 25% of the market rate, why/how? because i am willing to dump in the money for all these equipments, official business setup etc and still treat it as a partial hobby the only one factor that is still not up to mark is my experience. But you don't gain experience overnight And i don't all the pro out there dare to claim they could too. So still back to the question: in between zero experience level to full experience level, how did all the pro charge their clients??????

  12. #292

  13. #293

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    Quote Originally Posted by newtoforums

    I agree that too many have given free photography..I once had a confirmed job cancelled by my client a couple of days prior to shoot date as someone offered my client free photography with 2photogs. plus videography for a prestigious event..just for the portfolio...imagine my fury!!

    thanks for bearing with me for this long winded msg..

    just my 2 cents..
    ask for deposit..
    no deposit no talk..

  14. #294
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    Quote Originally Posted by D2Hpeter
    You still don't get the point, do you?
    I surely hope I get it!

    I am an civil and structural engineer. I do bridges. You probably have driven on bridges that I have designed. I did the design work, my boss, the 'pro' signs it. When did he become a pro? When the Professional Engineers Board interviews him, tests him and says he is a pro. What happened, he became a pro overnight. I will be going pro soon, in the process of application.

    If there is a similar process for photographers, as in an accreditation agency or authority, fine, but for arts, it is pretty subjective and difficult to judge.

    To round up, if I have to design a steel bridge tomorrow, and for the past 6 years I have not done any steel, and I am already a pro, technically, my knowledge should be the same as a fresh grad, and with some memory problems. But I am an accredited pro, the public can trust me, and when I sign, I take up the responibility to deliver quality.

    That's the promise that I expect from a pro photographer. To deliver, and to deliver quality. And when he fails, there's insurance to pay the damages.

  15. #295

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    Quote Originally Posted by yowch
    I surely hope I get it!

    I am an civil and structural engineer. I do bridges. You probably have driven on bridges that I have designed. I did the design work, my boss, the 'pro' signs it. When did he become a pro?

    That's the promise that I expect from a pro photographer. To deliver, and to deliver quality. And when he fails, there's insurance to pay the damages.
    Same in my line. The Certified Public Accountant will signed the papers, but don't know nuts what's happening. They are there after years of experience.
    The lowly paid auditor do the nasty work.

  16. #296
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    its internet... what do u expect?

  17. #297

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    Quote Originally Posted by bwilly
    Same in my line. The Certified Public Accountant will signed the papers, but don't know nuts what's happening. They are there after years of experience.
    The lowly paid auditor do the nasty work.
    keep at it till you get your CPA. then, you can start to sign.

  18. #298

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    Quote Originally Posted by bwilly
    Refer.. this one fits the heading?

    http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthread.php?t=93506
    Come on, cut me some slack.....

    refering to your reply:

    Exploitation, almost like slavery..
    Token sum for own transport (to n fro), no makan at dinner time (see ppl eat n take photo), charging of batteries, wear n tear on equipment/batteries…??
    Not sure how you're able to just shoot some comment without even finding out facts first...... Anyhow, as for the chosen photographer, we have already agreed that....
    I will be Chauffeuring him to all destinations on that day, even on the briefing day OR rehersal day - and back to his home at the end of the day - How to find this kinda package right? Anyways... more....
    I'm not even getting paid for this too, just offered to help my colleague take their wedding photos - more like a wedding gift from me and the other photographer, to the couple. And I thought it would be swell for people who would like to venture into wedding photography to have a chance to do so.

    And of course they will be treated to the nice buffet at raffles hotel lawn... and whatever dinner that's installed..... and the photographer will be treated as a guest - what do you think this was? A thread for me to find myself a minion to do my bidding? Help me carry my camera bag and get tagged as a `photographer' in doing so? Ok, I'm not jumping into conclusions too but i get really heated up when i see a reply such as yours.

    And as for the other forumer who asked `I dun see how using a DSLR can minimize the missing of moments. Care to elaborate?'
    Ok, I'm not looking down on film users or digicam users and saying that their cams are not capable of getting the job done.
    but lets all be frank, dslrs are indeed more capable of getting `sudden-moment' shots than the other types of cameras i've highlighted.
    Firstly, being digital.... you wouldn't have to worry bout the cost of the film plus the fact that its a non-pay job.... the cost of the film will be bourne by the photographer and I didn't want that to happen - no way.
    And who can argue bout the fact that dslrs focus faster than digicams? Why I asked for dslr users was because I feel that I will be able to get more frames and choose from the whole lot for a nice collage.

    I'm not sure bout the rest of you but when I was starting out (as in doing freelance and doing assignments... not that I'm damn pro or lau-chiao) but I really do see chances/opportunities like these hard to come by and I did what I thought was NICE (to be giving others a chance which I seldom get before). Didn't know it would be intrepreted as slavery or even exploitation..... sheesh.

  19. #299

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    Also, I do understand that its unfair for pro-photographers that newbie photographers are offering to do jobs on `damn-low' pay or even free for building their portfolios. It can be really up-in-your-ass feeling... yeah, it sucks.

    It spoils the entire market.

    But please understand that the wedding photographer `job' I posted earlier on is NOT a paid job and the couple is NOT my client... and I most certainly am not spoiling any market.
    And if it wasn't for me, they wouldn't even be hiring a photographer for the day. As the couple prefer to have it captured on Video - yes, they hired a professional video guy.

    And They are not cheapo.... the female (my colleague) is a marketing executive and she is getting married to a german expat..... so please do not label them as cheapos.......

    *pro photogs please pardon my rantings..... gotta get some message across to some peeps who post without reasoning
    Last edited by tsystem; 27th September 2004 at 12:38 PM.

  20. #300
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    I oni wanna hammer you for not calling me along

    tsys tys Show show ur pics leh

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