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. #21
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    Part of the problem is also mainly due to the glut of freelancers around. Whenever there's an assignment up for grabs, there will be so many people eyeing the same one. Because there are so many freelancers, usually companies are unwilling to pay a premium price for your services especially if you are untested; they will be taking a risk in hiring you. Even having a portfolio doesn't help anymore since they know lotsa pictures can be achieved thru repetitive photo-taking.

    My advice is not to expect too much when you are seeking a photo assignment. You may be full of confidence with your own skills, but the important thing is your potential clients are not. Be willing to work for less the first few times, and if you really show promising results, they will be more willing to pay if you ask for a higher price next time. So far, this method has never failed me before and has the clients coming back to me more often, which is really the important part.
    If you just seeking one-off large payments, I'm afraid you wun go very far, especially in Singapore.

  2. #22

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    I won't call it exploiting, willing "asker", willing "responder".

    Doing free (or as they prefer to call it "pro bono") work is always part of the industry, even I do it at times. PLUG : I shot the poster for the recent Red Cross photo competition poster. But in this case, they looked for me, it's for the Red Cross anyway, so I did it.

    But when it is a case of a company looking for total strangers to do photo shoots and not willing to pay for it, it is still not wrong, but just........ weird.

    *5 mins passed... thinking*

    haiz... dunno what to say

    guess locals here view professional photographers vs amatuers as being not much different. Anyone can do the job, the person who can do it at the lowest cost gets it.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rueyloon
    I won't call it exploiting, willing "asker", willing "responder".

    Doing free (or as they prefer to call it "pro bono") work is always part of the industry, even I do it at times. PLUG : I shot the poster for the recent Red Cross photo competition poster. But in this case, they looked for me, it's for the Red Cross anyway, so I did it.

    But when it is a case of a company looking for total strangers to do photo shoots and not willing to pay for it, it is still not wrong, but just........ weird.

    *5 mins passed... thinking*

    haiz... dunno what to say

    guess locals here view professional photographers vs amatuers as being not much different. Anyone can do the job, the person who can do it at the lowest cost gets it.
    Agree.... it's that shitty... Singaporean's mentality.. sad

  4. #24

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    basically...
    volunteer for charitable organisations/causes.
    any requestor which does not seem to be
    not for profit or non profit organisations

    Pls ignore.

  5. #25
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    To jed and all, i must play devil's advocate to both sides in order to not try and influence the poll yah
    Off the record;and on a more personal note:
    I'm completely in agreement with you and the rest. I'm as worried as you and the others on the long term effects this will have on the market. Fortunately, its not going to be my market for very much longer.

  6. #26
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    Exclamation Yes killing us..........

    Yes the song "Killing Me Softly" would be the right tone! I guess selling yourself cheap is like an in-thing but as a working freelance photographer need not worry too much.

    If you are good, your clients will come back to you because of your quality. Selling yourself is ok if you can produce the results. Commanding $80-100/hour is still quite ok in the market if you can produce results too. Well that is what am i am charging anyway. GUIDELINE ONLY for daily shoot is :- 1/2 day(4 hours) is around $650.00-750.00 (really depends on what you shoot) and full day(8 hours) is around $1200.00 and above.

    I guess all of us just need to educate our clients and customers that there is no such thing as free meal. Everybody work for something($$$$). Let say if I am hiring you to clean my house, the first thing you will ask is how much will i be paying you, right?

    Charity?? Well unless you are super duper RICH with a multi million dollar parents, I have nothing much to say but try not to spoil the market for everyone sake in CS and Singapore market. We will give every bit of the opportunity for newbies to get some sideline job too. I was once a newbie, so of course I know what's like to be new in the market. NEWBIES out there, all of us are willing to help you all if you need to quote a price for your customers. Just let us know, and we will let you know what to charge them.

    Really appreciate if all of us could coorporate with one another and don't be selfish as there is no way you can take all the jobs in the Photography market. Thanks!

  7. #27
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    I believe ownership is with the photographer unless assigned otherwise.
    If one is doing it for charity, then a simple note about the rights to use the pictures (for publications / marketing efforts) and the credits due can be sufficient. So far I have no issues on this.

    Things could complicated if payment are made. Legal-speak: consideration has been made. Then would the commissioned works be the property of the client ? usually it is. UNLESS stated otherwise.

    Note: I am not a lawyer. Just another set of logical thinking at 5am


    Quote Originally Posted by Darren
    Something that I may not be 100% sure about is the issue of "ownership" of the photos - if someone has paid/commissioned you to take photos, the rightful "owner" (in my mind) for the those photos is the one who paid for it, and not necessarily the photographer.

  8. #28
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    What is so bad about amateurs offering free services? If he is good, then good for the company, newly-wed couple, etc.... if he screws up, they pay the price for getting free service... often, both sides benefit: The company or couple gets their photos free, the photographer gets some real-life practice.... and actually, unless I am pretty good, I won't offer my services... u can always be backup at wedding or at events, etc and get some practise first. But really nothing beats actual shooting at an actual event!

    I'm no pro, just an enthusiast... and I think I'll raise the hackles of the pros here but the way I look at it, pro photographers seem to very highly paid, overpaid even.... $1200 for 8 hours work? Photography requires skill, yes, and great skill deserves to be paid well... but $1200 or more for 8 hours? Some of my friends get quoted for $2000 - 5000 for a single day wedding shoot (i.e. from morning make-up to evening's dinner)... sorry I dun see the need to pay so much for my photographs.... some one who can do a decent job (A friend perhaps) would be fine...

    What I am expressing is the popular sentiment towards pro photographers.... there really isn't a need to (IMO and the opinion of others) spend so much on an event (wedding especially)...

    Dun flame me, just what I feel and what others feel..... so please dun feel too aggrieved.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverfrond
    this isnt only happenning in your industry but also in the entertainment / modelling industry.

    many actors work for little or no pay because they want credit for their portfolio and also to be seen and heard. they may score an interview/photoshoot with a popular entertainment mag/newspaper which is more valuable to them than some pay, cos in the end, they get hired again (and usually for better stuff)

    models agree to pose for free in magazines (and its not as if mags cant afford to pay them) because they want the credit and tear sheets for their portfolio and also for publicity.
    To a certain extent yes. But in all those scenarios you have described, the actors and models are ultimately trying to get into the industry full time. I have no quibble with would be full time snappers working for experience and exposure, everyone has to start somewhere.

    But the problem photography faces is that you get every Tom, Dick and Harry with a decent camera (and there are plenty in affluent Singapore), who have no intention of doing it properly in the long term, out to get a fast buck on a free weekend or weekday night.

  10. #30
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    If there are 2 willing parties, there you have it.

    Doing free work is part of the industry (here at least). Sometimes a client may ask for a freebie event shoot thrown in for giving the job to you. That's part of the business - in my market segment.

    But yes, there are market spoilers who charge ridiculous rates, but we cannot deny them that business. There are 2 willing parties here - one willing to do so cheapo, one willing to buy so cheapo. If cheapo price turns out good, lucky for the buyer. If not, good for the rest of us, as the buyer will look for someone else, hopefully us.

    I believe that it is how one chooses to market/position ourselves and to "educate" the client that he/she is a better buy (ie, a Pro). At the end of the day, if your (prospective) client believes in you, you can command a good price.

    Finally you have the question of newbies looking for a chance to make it into the market. Free or cheap shoots are perhaps an option to them. And as I mentioned at the beginning of this post - 2 willing parties. Internships is another option... though I doubt there are so many places for ALL of them (assuming we count 20% of CS' population... if that much).

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by TME

    I'm no pro, just an enthusiast... and I think I'll raise the hackles of the pros here but the way I look at it, pro photographers seem to very highly paid, overpaid even.... $1200 for 8 hours work? Photography requires skill, yes, and great skill deserves to be paid well... but $1200 or more for 8 hours?

    Hello, you get free albums?free processing??free printing???taxi fare to go to couples home sponsor by the taxi company????free breakfast from the market?????free films??????

    All these are the cost to the photographers, of course they will go to the best printers, use the better films and not something close to expire, get beautiful albums etc. all these need money do you know??? how about cameras, we need to send in for servicing and cleaning etc.

    I don't call this flaming, I call this the facts...

  12. #32
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    Think of the money PROs' spend on the cameras...it's not free you know....

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by vader
    Hello, you get free albums?free processing??free printing???taxi fare to go to couples home sponsor by the taxi company????free breakfast from the market?????free films??????

    All these are the cost to the photographers, of course they will go to the best printers, use the better films and not something close to expire, get beautiful albums etc. all these need money do you know??? how about cameras, we need to send in for servicing and cleaning etc.
    You left out the essence of chicken to keep your stamina up for dawn to night...

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by TME
    I'm no pro, just an enthusiast... and I think I'll raise the hackles of the pros here but the way I look at it, pro photographers seem to very highly paid, overpaid even.... $1200 for 8 hours work? Photography requires skill, yes, and great skill deserves to be paid well... but $1200 or more for 8 hours? Some of my friends get quoted for $2000 - 5000 for a single day wedding shoot (i.e. from morning make-up to evening's dinner)... sorry I dun see the need to pay so much for my photographs.... some one who can do a decent job (A friend perhaps) would be fine...
    It's not just the day's work. There're also the processing after everything's over, presentation in proper albums, quality assuarance, maintenance and servicing of equipment, etc.

  15. #35
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    Then again, could be TME doesn't really know the real complexities in the professional weddings and commerical photog circuit. To be fair to him and the pros. maybe someone can offer him to be assistant for a day?
    (of course free, lah. unless TME would like to pay to learn?)
    Alternatively, those enthusiasts (like me) who may think otherwise, care to share what makes you draw your conclusions? This way, I think will broaden everybody's perspective (I hope).

    Nothing antagonistic intended.

  16. #36

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    Clubsnap is a place to look for photographers who are willing to do a job at a price or premium. Good place to sources for photographers.
    But the onus is on us : Free services or NO. But how we dictate the terms and negotiate for our professionals services. It is Photographers decision.

  17. #37
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    To add a little: Photographers can justify their high price tags because companies that pay such money often stand to gain a lot more from the image rights. Advertising prospects and all. As for weddings, it is after all your BIG day. The photographer needs money to fund his equipment too. A lot of ppl, myself included, are lucky to have what we have. My mom supports me all the way. But that can't always be said of everyone. For some of the pros, 3/4 of what they earn goes back to equiping and running costs. Studio rentals, d&p, lights...an initial setup can cost them up to tens of thousands already. Do they not have a right to demand something worthy of their investment. You might say that he chose his tools. The truth is that, would u hire a guy shooting with an FM2 these days or would you hire a guy with a F5? Unless u're a photographer yourself, i'd rather pick the guy with the F5 because he "seems" more pro. More likely not to screw up. That aside, it also affects your image at a wedding, no? Imagine what the relatives will say, "No money to hire a "pro", get some friend to take photo. Might as well not hold a wedding"things like that. Ask yourselves, i think such thoughts have gone thru your mind at one point or another!

  18. #38
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    [QUOTE=Azure]Then again, could be TME doesn't really know the real complexities in the professional weddings and commerical photog circuit.[QUOTE]

    Maybe so....

    TME I don't have anything against you. It just that I think the picture is not clear to you what the PROs' are facing.

  19. #39
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    It is true that I do not understand fully the complexities of a pro's life but surely, even with all the work done, would not charging $100 or more an hour be considered excessive? Frankly, there are many people who work longer hours who do not even earn $100 an hour... these include white collar workers...

    In any case, I think my statement above refers mainly to wedding shoots and so there is a need to separate the corporate shoots from the wedding shoots.

    For corporate shoots, I can well understand the need to charge high prices for the companies require top notch work. So you do need to do a lot of work. We will leave this aside.

    For wedding shoots, really I wonder if there is a real need to treat it like a corporate shoot (in terms of equipment, number of repeat shots just in case, etc). I have seen the final result of a pro shoot with hundreds of exposures wasted in the name of getting "that" shot.... necessary or waste? Would the couple have noticed that "that" shot isn't really that good? I mean the couple ended up with about a thousand wedding shots for that one day wedding(including repeats, etc)... actually they were pretty horrified at the excess.... I can understand photojournalists, corporate even photographers having to go to that extent but weddings??

    In any case, can the couple really can distinguish between the product (not studio work, mind you) from a pro shooting and a decent amateur and between developing the shots at a pro lab (either yourself or lab) and a decent commercial lab. Cos seriously I can't quite (at least the difference is minimal to me) and unless u have really fancy shots, I also dun see the need for pro labs... perhaps my standards are not high enough... but then again, I believe that I represent a large section of people who feel the same way and hence feel that photographers charge exorbitantly.

    And frankly, (again in my own understanding), u buy the equipment that you need, and surely there is no need to upgrade everytime something new (and/or better) emerges if what you have already helps u achieve what you want anyway? Isn't the constant upgrade and hence the need to defray the cost of upgrading unncessary?

    At any rate, the perception persists (where wedding shoots are concerned) that pro photographers are overpaid since there is often no break down of the costs of the materials involved nor the time required to process the film/digital shots, maintenance of equipment. I think with a proper break down of the costs versus the amount charged, one can see more easily if such high fees are called for. I for one would like really to see an example.

    I'm not sure if I sound reasonable but this is my current perception. I would seriously like to hear a detailed account from a pro or serious freelancer. It would be most appreciated in terms of widening my view of the world of professional photography.

  20. #40

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    TME :
    FYI...

    A white collar work 5/6 days a week and 4 weeks a month

    A photographer.. work 1 day/week (wedding usually on weekend) and 4 times a week... like .. if you add up the cost and such, I think you shld get what I mean.

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