View Poll Results: Are we being taken advantage off?

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  • Yes we are killing ourselves.

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

  1. #101

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jed
    You make a good point. But I pose you this question. Would you go to have your hair done by a student stylist on the day you plan to propose to your girlfriend? Would you take her out to a cheap meal that you have never tasted before and have no idea whether would be good or not? Would you take that risk?

    Why take that risk on your wedding day?

    Perhaps I've been approaching this all wrong. Perhaps what needs to change is not the perception of photography, but the perception of love and marriage.
    ok, point taken, but you may be surprised that there are couples who take the photography part of their wedding lightly. and even budget cut all the way.

    Wedding car = friend's car
    Driver = groom's friend
    wedding cake = none
    Sound system/PA system = use own from home.
    MC for the day = friend
    Wedding Dinner table = No table cloths to cut costs.
    Wedding Dinner = catering, buffet style. free seating
    Groom's Evening wear = only loan the jacket, trouser use own's
    Studio Wedding Photos = taken in JB to cut costs.

    Actual day wedding photographer (full day from 0600-2300) = Groom's ex-classmate and ex-classmate's friend (as backup), plus bride's friend with a Coolpix 3100.

    The decor was minimised and simplified, to reduce "un-necessary" expenses.

    So the usual notion, that wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime affair and should be grand....etc
    Does not seems to be the case here.

    Frankly, I was surprised at how he was so "easy going" with his wedding dinner.

  2. #102
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    Default Thanks..........

    Quote Originally Posted by Jed
    I'm defending like mad because I'm a professional photographer. Does that make me biased because I am protecting my kin?

    I'm also legally trained. And I could make a case to argue that a photographer needs as much technical know how as a lawyer, in addition to a helpful dose of creativity and artistic nous. Believe me, with absolutely no intention to insult, if you believe that learning about aperture and shutter speed is all you need to know to understanding photography, then there is a long way to go in your education yet.

    At the same time I could also say the lawyer needs to be able to appreciate plenty of things in addition to just understanding the law.

    Winston,

    Well met mate, nothing to worry about.
    Thanks mate for understanding but over here the market is such that everyones wants a piece of your pie.

    Singapore market attitude is as follows...........
    Super Kiasu (English is Scared to Lose), Kia Si (Scared To Die), Kia Bo(Scared of Wife), Kia Lang(Scares People) and many more..........I hope you know what it means!

    So afraid that they may not get the job that they just do it very cheap or for free. Totally benefit the consumers only. Sad......... but it's true. Till today, I have never ever ever do photography for free. When I was builing up my folio, I had to pay models, make-up artist and assistance for my shoots. You all dun feel "paisei" to shoot free for people? Very thick skin man!

    Anyone looking for a legal lawyer to defend your photography rights, look no further! JED is here!!!!!!

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winston
    ok, point taken, but you may be surprised that there are couples who take the photography part of their wedding lightly. and even budget cut all the way.
    Agree completely mate, and that's why I'm hurting. Don't deny that it's not just a photography problem. I think there's also a bit problem with this cost cutting mentality.

    Hence my last post where I said, maybe I'm all wrong and what needs to change is the perception of love and marriage. Or this perception of penny-pinching whenever we can just because we can, even on your wedding day.

  4. #104
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    Default

    Thanks guys for sharing your insights from the inside

  5. #105
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pro Image
    Thanks mate for understanding but over here the market is such that everyones wants a piece of your pie.

    Singapore market attitude is as follows...........
    Super Kiasu (English is Scared to Lose), Kia Si (Scared To Die), Kia Bo(Scared of Wife), Kia Lang(Scares People) and many more..........I hope you know what it means!

    So afraid that they may not get the job that they just do it very cheap or for free. Totally benefit the consumers only. Sad......... but it's true. Till today, I have never ever ever do photography for free. When I was builing up my folio, I had to pay models, make-up artist and assistance for my shoots. You all dun feel "paisei" to shoot free for people? Very thick skin man!
    I'm in the UK yes, but I'm not British. I came here to study, found myself a good photographic job where people were more appreciative of the photographer (ie no frowns when you tell someone your occupation, and no having to put up parents' discomfort when they have to answer that question. Mind you they still have to answer, I'm just not there to see it, and hopefully, I'm winning them around too).

    There's a lesson to be had from the fact that I'm here and not in Singapore, too. I haven't brought it up previously but since you've brought it up...

  6. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jed
    Agree completely mate, and that's why I'm hurting. Don't deny that it's not just a photography problem. I think there's also a bit problem with this cost cutting mentality.

    Hence my last post where I said, maybe I'm all wrong and what needs to change is the perception of love and marriage. Or this perception of penny-pinching whenever we can just because we can, even on your wedding day.
    Yes, I think it's the perception of love and marriage.

    My sisters who are married has all engaged pro photographers though budget ones (they are hired below market price due to recommendations by others).

    Even if the pictures are done by a pro, the fact is many of us do not look at them after a few months from the wedding. The albums lay inside cupboards collecting dust.

    my friend probably saved thousands... (he saved $500 for a MC and rental of PA system, and bought a home theatre system for $600 and got a friend to perform MC for the day, at least he can use the home theatre system for his TV at home after the event.)

    Some couples are even keeping it so simple as to register their marriage and then go honeymoon that's it.

  7. #107
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    Default So far none.......

    Quote Originally Posted by Winston
    ok, point taken, but you may be surprised that there are couples who take the photography part of their wedding lightly. and even budget cut all the way.

    Wedding car = friend's car
    Driver = groom's friend
    wedding cake = none
    Sound system/PA system = use own from home.
    MC for the day = friend
    Wedding Dinner table = No table cloths to cut costs.
    Wedding Dinner = catering, buffet style. free seating
    Groom's Evening wear = only loan the jacket, trouser use own's
    Studio Wedding Photos = taken in JB to cut costs.

    Actual day wedding photographer (full day from 0600-2300) = Groom's ex-classmate and ex-classmate's friend (as backup), plus bride's friend with a Coolpix 3100.

    The decor was minimised and simplified, to reduce "un-necessary" expenses.

    So the usual notion, that wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime affair and should be grand....etc
    Does not seems to be the case here.

    Frankly, I was surprised at how he was so "easy going" with his wedding dinner.
    Eh so far all the weddings that I shoot the couples go all the way to spend some money. This one must be the rare ones! It's just my luck to meet couples which has a big budget!

    Eh JB photo shoots is not very cheap if you dun mind. I know as I am from JB. So how much did they manage to cut cost for the wedding shoot in JB. I think you have hurt some Malaysian photographers and Malaysians to say that we are cheapo? Half price? It would be good if you do not mention about it. Just a reminder, not to flame you.

    I have friends who get married without photographer lah! So it's up to the couples again. Once in a lifetime for actual wedding day? I dun think so. I have taken some couples who is remarried!!!! Same relatives for the groom but just a change for the bride!

  8. #108

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pro Image
    Eh JB photo shoots is not very cheap if you dun mind. I know as I am from JB. So how much did they manage to cut cost for the wedding shoot in JB. I think you have hurt some Malaysian photographers and Malaysians to say that we are cheapo? Half price? It would be good if you do not mention about it. Just a reminder, not to flame you.
    I did not say Malaysian photographers are cheap, I meant they choose a cheaper one in JB compared to alternatives in Singapore.

    I know because I saw their receipt for the studio shots in JB, and after conversion to S$, it is so much lower than similar services in Singapore. (Compared to what my sisters' wedding shots cost)

  9. #109
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    Default Point taken.........!

    Quote Originally Posted by Winston
    I did not say Malaysian photographers are cheap, I meant they choose a cheaper one in JB compared to alternatives in Singapore.

    I know because I saw their receipt for the studio shots in JB, and after conversion to S$, it is so much lower than similar services in Singapore. (Compared to what my sisters' wedding shots cost)
    Point taken!

  10. #110
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    Default

    ok i'm bored, so i'll add another 2 f-stops worth of ranbling...

    ultimately, this is all a moot point. the social/economical/technological forces have made the situation such that there will be people with SLRs/DSLRs with little or no overheads who will do jobs dirt-cheap or free, just for the experience/portfolio and just that little bit of extra cash. after all they've already paid for the equipment as a hobby, and not an investment or money-making tool, so any amount they get is a bonus.

    people will hire me based on what they know i am capable of (and i'm not a pro, not full-time anyway), and others will go for the dirt-cheap photogs cos they either dun know better or they're just too budget-conscious to care. either way, you pay for what you get. it's all about expectations and needs. you want a really good job done, you pay for it. if you just want snapshots, any joker with a P mode camera, flash and lotsa storage will do. no one hires a amateur and expects Magnum standards.

    so, my frens here, you may discuss this until the sun goes down and the cows jump over the moon but nothing's gonna stop DSLR-wielding newbies from wrecking/maiming the industry. IMHO i think it's all a matter of time - it's a slow painful process but people have to get "bitten once" to realize that photogy isn't as simple as pressing the shutter release. once you've hired a el cheapo photogr and get screwed for shoddy work, you'll appreciate the value of professionalism. using my earlier example of my sister's wedding and the lost roll of film, do you think that anyone in our immediate families will risk just getting any joker to take important photos?

    my 2 f-stops end here.
    Last edited by Larry; 26th November 2003 at 09:34 PM.

  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jed
    And I could make a case to argue that a photographer needs as much technical know how as a lawyer, in addition to a helpful dose of creativity and artistic nous.
    Jed, you're absolutely right. But please take note that unlike a doctor or a lawyer, a photographer was not required to pass certain formal education, nor obtaining a license/permit prior of offering his/her service. Therefore, casual photographers are storming the market, boosted by the popularity of digital technology.
    Public expectation also play another role; if we're talking around wedding photography, most of the customers will just expect to see a well-exposed & sharp pictures with smiling people in there. How many of them will scrutinise color-accuracy, composition, artistic-look, etc.?
    Those situation combined with the fact of small market size in Singapore, will create a sudden influx of "instant photographers". Hobbyist who need something to practise, and people who need someone to take picture without high expectation. Both side happy.....

  12. #112
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    Default Agree with Larry too......

    Agreeing with Larry on what he mentioned. This forum will never end. Let's get on with life and start a new topic to talk about!

  13. #113
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    Wah! 3 pages in 8 hours! Super hot thread.

    My short comments: I more or less agree with all Jed had said. My view comes from the economic POV, with Libertarian and Objectivism in it.

    By definition, any competition denies an entity revenue, whether the competitor is free or not. However, these free amateurs distort the supply and demand model as they need not recover their cost and ROI (except for pro bono cases). This is unfair competition, just like subsidy in an industry and tarriffs, etc, that not even a difference in quality nor qualification can easily compensate. The only way out is the hope that the buyer understands the difference in the service provided.

    As Robert A Heinlein had said "TANSTAAFL"! What comes around, goes around.

  14. #114
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    Default Eh.........

    Quote Originally Posted by tsdh
    Jed, you're absolutely right. But please take note that unlike a doctor or a lawyer, a photographer was not required to pass certain formal education, nor obtaining a license/permit prior of offering his/her service. Therefore, casual photographers are storming the market, boosted by the popularity of digital technology.
    Public expectation also play another role; if we're talking around wedding photography, most of the customers will just expect to see a well-exposed & sharp pictures with smiling people in there. How many of them will scrutinise color-accuracy, composition, artistic-look, etc.?
    Those situation combined with the fact of small market size in Singapore, will create a sudden influx of "instant photographers". Hobbyist who need something to practise, and people who need someone to take picture without high expectation. Both side happy.....
    The problem with photography do not need a licence to conduct business is because we are not talking about life threatening situation or law. It's all about artistic work here. There maybe casual photographers storming the market but how many will last to maintain their hobby. Only those with $$$$$ are able to maintain.

    Digital tech is up and coming but how many is willing to sit in front of the computer to adjust their holiday trips photos? Just imagine, using 1GB memory card? How many photos can you take? Probably 300-500 shots with a 3.2 MP camera. I would just bring to a pro lab and ask them to print. How many are you is well versed in PS?

    You are right about about the scrutinise color accuracy, composition but it's still your job to make it perfect. You will be surprise what the couples take note nowadays. I have couples you view my work and say the colours and compositions are well expose and taken. To my surprise some are photographers themselves! So still must maintain a certain standard or else you will get by them!

    Again agree with you on hobbyist need something to shoot on. At least charge the couples whether friends or not. Just by paying them 10 rolls of film would not be enough. And another thing hobbyist can do is become the secondary photographer and learn from a "lao chiao"(experience)
    Last edited by Pro Image; 26th November 2003 at 10:08 PM.

  15. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jed

    Not quite. The problem you have is that art is a subjective thing. And organisations exist in this day and age already.
    I feel that this is the pro's biggest disadvantage. How do you quantify the cost advantage between a pro (in fact, what is a pro?) and a talented freelancer? If I am selecting a photog based on their portfolio of past weddings they have done, how do I know that the photog asking for $1200 is indeed better than the one asking $400. Most wedding photos by decent photogs will look fairly similar (i think). How creative can one really get at a church wedding?

    I guess that if a photog wants to command the $1200 per day figure, perhaps they should be looking into commercial photography rather than wedding events.

    Steven

  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pro Image
    The problem with photography do not need a licence to conduct business is because we are not talking about life threatening situation or law. It's all about artistic work here. There maybe casual photographers storming the market but how many will last to maintain their hobby. Only those with $$$$$ are able to maintain.
    I'm talking about the impact of non-license practices. Not the reasoning behind that practices.
    The influx of casual photographers can last very long, as long as popularity of mass-market photography stays. Surely there would be some casual photographers quit, but there also some newcomers going in.

    I have couples you view my work and say the colours and compositions are well expose and taken. To my surprise some are photographers themselves! So still must maintain a certain standard or else you will get by them!
    True. But not many occurence as compared to the population who don't expect higher standard.

  17. #117
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    Latest story to hit my ear, one of my customer I've met today told me his sis's wedding was just yesterday. She engage a wedding photog using a D100, charge S$400 for just giving them CD-ROMs of the shots only, not even post process done. Need to ask him to take pics then stand up and take the shot. if not carry on sitting there and waiting for order on what to shoot or not. I tell him, why don't you shoot yourself?! so you see, S$400 can only get you someone that do that as mention above! S$400 for that that kind of service!? cheap but no quality!!!
    Last edited by vader; 26th November 2003 at 11:14 PM.

  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winston
    ok, point taken, but you may be surprised that there are couples who take the photography part of their wedding lightly. and even budget cut all the way.

    Wedding car = friend's car
    Driver = groom's friend
    wedding cake = none
    Sound system/PA system = use own from home.
    MC for the day = friend
    Wedding Dinner table = No table cloths to cut costs.
    Wedding Dinner = catering, buffet style. free seating
    Groom's Evening wear = only loan the jacket, trouser use own's
    Studio Wedding Photos = taken in JB to cut costs.

    Actual day wedding photographer (full day from 0600-2300) = Groom's ex-classmate and ex-classmate's friend (as backup), plus bride's friend with a Coolpix 3100.

    The decor was minimised and simplified, to reduce "un-necessary" expenses.

    So the usual notion, that wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime affair and should be grand....etc
    Does not seems to be the case here.

    Frankly, I was surprised at how he was so "easy going" with his wedding dinner.

    Why should he spend his hard-earned money on flash? Afterall it's all going down the drain.. who cares how grand your wedding was if your marriage fails... it's the relationshp that is more important... and newly weds have a lot more important priorities than having the grandest wedding their wallets can afford... I applaud your friend's sensibilities.

  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by vader
    Latest story to hit my ear, one of my customer I've met today told me his sis's wedding was just yesterday. She engage a wedding photog using a D100, charge S$400 for just giving them CD-ROMs of the shots only, not even post process done. Need to ask him to take pics then stand up and take the shot. if not carry on sitting there and waiting for order on what to shoot or not. I tell him, why don't you shoot yourself?! so you see, S$400 can only get you some that do that as mention above!? S$400 for that that kind of service!? cheap but no quality!!!
    Most are not like that.... a swallow does not make a summer...

  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jed
    Agree. As Chaotic points out, and as I have done in the past, amateurs can charge less because they don't have to worry about overheads and making a living; so any profit made is profit in the bank.

    Ultimately nothing can stop amateurs from doing it for free, but I still don't think it's an acceptable practice. Yes you get what you pay for, but that doesn't mean they should be encouraged to charge nothing as amateurs.

    How many of you would take a free, unqualified lawyer or doctor to work for you? You wouldn't because you wouldn't trust them. So why take the unqualified photographer? Shouldn't you not trust him too? Why is there skimping that that area? Because of perception.

    I think u are confusing the issue here...... u cannot compare the doctor or lawyer to a photographer....

    The doctor and the lawyer provide services which are essential and in the case of the doctor, can and will save lives... if u dun get a doctor if u are ill, there is a very good chance u might die of your illness, which was often the case in the bad old days. And if u dun get a lawyer to draft your legal documents, title deeds, will, u might lose everything or more than u would lose in business or in a legal case, etc. These areas require very specialized skills.

    BUT if u dun get a professional photographer, all u end up with are poorly take photographs and maybe a bad taste in the mouth.... nothing life-threatening.

    Getting good/great photos from a wedding, etc is not a necessity, it's a luxury and hence many people can dispense with it when the budget does not permit. However u cannot dispense with a doctor or a lawyer. And dun tell me about that unqualified doctors and lawyers - that is illegal and hence not relevant...

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