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Thread: Building up of portfolio...

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Building up of portfolio...

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    it is not, you just encourage exploitation of photographers as a whole. i have encountered many many commercial companies (some of which are not SMALL FRY companies) shopping for free photographs for anything..
    Well, they can do it under the guise of a photo competition, after getting you to give all rights to them for a sponsored P&S cam

    Anyway, let's stick to the topic. Building a portfolio just require 1 - 2 jobs, but a solid portfolio with your own style takes years. But I do agree with some of suggestions to learn under another established photographer, for one, you have someone there to guide you and you get to pick up some techiques along the way; not to mention, there's less risk of messing up, it's not your job anyway, esp for wedding, you have to be very careful what you're treading on...last thing we want is another incident of bride going around forums to rant about how bad her $250 photography is.

    It's not a matter of oh-I'm-paid-low-therefore-I-can-mess-it-up-and-what-can-you-do, whether you're paid $10 or $10000 for a job, you're a paid professional who have agreed to do deliver something.

    In context of wedding photography, I do notice that the new breed of photographers who tagged with the pros have been given better exposure and opportunities, for example, you get to chance to shoot at St Regis hotel; they get to travel overseas sometimes to some of the locations with golden hour that lasts 6 hours, grand setting, great lighting, nice looking wedding favours, nice posh hotel rooms, Rolls Royce, Vera Wang gowns, etc, etc. Yes, at the end of the day the skills matter, but the locations will give you an edge.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Building up of portfolio...

    Quote Originally Posted by auden09 View Post
    then can i tag along with you for a couple of AD weddings or events as a spare? lol.
    if you do tag along with anyone, at least a form or renumeration should be given, be it in terms of transportation, meals or other cost incurred.

    like some have mentioned, there are ways to get portfolio. if you were an invited guest to a wedding, you could try to shoot a couple of shots and make a portfolio out of it. It is a starting point.

    However, regardless of the client who is look for cheap labour or not, the expectation to deliver the products will always be there once you take on the job. The issue of quality is another case altogether. It is true that, if you do shoot for free, there is no "liabilities" involved contractually, however, do also consider the fact that it is possible that the client can "bad mouth" you. And affect future job opportunities as well.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Building up of portfolio...

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    this is very wrong, a photographer who shoot for free does not mean he/she has less or no responsibility to deliver quality photos.

    unless the photographer tell the "customers" directly he/she is taking them as guinea pig, if they still engage the photographer, that is their choice and be responsible for any outcome.

    in real life, people who complain a lot and very demanding, are those people look for cheap or free stuffs/services.
    pls read the whole passage, i mention that the photographer has the responsibility to inform his guy tat he is learning and that he will do it for free with the implied meaning that the quality might be compromised... pls DO NOT take what i say out of context and criticize it.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Building up of portfolio...

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    this is where you are sorely wrong.


    if the client is mean enough to ask people to do it for free, you can bet he will be thick-skinned enough to comment that your photos are horrible even though you did it for free.

    as to why you shouldn't do for free or cheaply, this is my view. my view is that most of the people who don't know what they are doing and therefore will incur reasonable complaints should just go home, learn how to photograph properly before they dare to start taking on proper jobs (i.e. not favours for friends, or brother's wedding.. meaning, people that source them out).

    there are so many people out there who just think that with a professional camera, they are good enough to shoot for people, they don't get the consequences, or the fact that they are not worth the money they are charging. and then there are also the bunch that think that going for free is fine..

    it is not, you just encourage exploitation of photographers as a whole. i have encountered many many commercial companies (some of which are not SMALL FRY companies) shopping for free photographs for anything..

    from publications to book covers.. their compensation per se is "oh, we will credit you".. despite the fact that the resultant usage generates profit for them.

    both ends of the scale should wake up their idea. if you can't shoot, go home and learn and brush up before pretending that you can and charging. if you can't shoot and do it for free, you should still brush up first.

    by "doing photography for free" i am talking about offering services to any tom, dick or harry that "oh, i will do this for free even though i don't know you." if you want to build up portfolio, can always offer to be backup for friend, and treat it seriously, read up before you go, try to make the best effort you can, so that you will improve faster.
    Your entire passage can be classic study of arguments gone all wrong.

    Firstly, generalization in first passage. Someone who ask u to shoot for free need not necessary be mean to comment your photos are horrible. What is the connection? Some people feel that actual day photos are not so important, so who shoot doesn't matter. For some couples earning 2-3K between themselves, having a free photographer means having $800 to pay for a sofa in the living room. Your view of the world is too simplistic. Oh, he want free photos , HE MUST BE MEAN, STINGY AND HORRIBLE. BAD BAD CLIENT.

    Second paragraph: What is not doing photography cheaply got to do with not having the skills? what is the connection again? In case you do not know, shooting wedding is not about the technical aspect of knowing how to handle a camera. You need to know the entire process to be able to capture the essentials, the anticipated and the unexpected to deliver good stuff. It's not a case of " go home and learn how to shoot before offering his service.." .

    Anyway, cheap has nothing to do with no skill or no professionalism as what some folks like to suggest in this particular forum. People shoot weddings for a variety of reasons. It could be interest, it could be what the photographer felt is worth his time. It could also be a demand and supply situation. For example, will u be inclined to eat a very tasty chicken rices when suddenly the price jump from $2.5 to $10 per plate? The chicken rice seller will definitely not sell much chicken rice unless he lowers it down to $2.5 again....of course, now and then, some chicken rice sellers can make the quantum leap from $2.5 to $16 for a mandarin hotel chicken rice standard...but those few are the gifted and lucky ones....


    sigh, gone are the days when clubsnap is a forum that u can count on for good response and comments.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Building up of portfolio...

    ok guys. thanks for the comments. unfortunately, i'm still young and i dun haf frens getting married at my age yet. lol!

  6. #26

    Default Re: Building up of portfolio...

    Quote Originally Posted by cosycatus View Post
    Your entire passage can be classic study of arguments gone all wrong.

    Firstly, generalization in first passage. Someone who ask u to shoot for free need not necessary be mean to comment your photos are horrible. What is the connection? Some people feel that actual day photos are not so important, so who shoot doesn't matter. For some couples earning 2-3K between themselves, having a free photographer means having $800 to pay for a sofa in the living room. Your view of the world is too simplistic. Oh, he want free photos , HE MUST BE MEAN, STINGY AND HORRIBLE. BAD BAD CLIENT.

    Second paragraph: What is not doing photography cheaply got to do with not having the skills? what is the connection again? In case you do not know, shooting wedding is not about the technical aspect of knowing how to handle a camera. You need to know the entire process to be able to capture the essentials, the anticipated and the unexpected to deliver good stuff. It's not a case of " go home and learn how to shoot before offering his service.." .

    Anyway, cheap has nothing to do with no skill or no professionalism as what some folks like to suggest in this particular forum. People shoot weddings for a variety of reasons. It could be interest, it could be what the photographer felt is worth his time. It could also be a demand and supply situation. For example, will u be inclined to eat a very tasty chicken rices when suddenly the price jump from $2.5 to $10 per plate? The chicken rice seller will definitely not sell much chicken rice unless he lowers it down to $2.5 again....of course, now and then, some chicken rice sellers can make the quantum leap from $2.5 to $16 for a mandarin hotel chicken rice standard...but those few are the gifted and lucky ones....


    sigh, gone are the days when clubsnap is a forum that u can count on for good response and comments.
    all strawman arguments.

    kthxbai!

    p.s. you can google the above term if you don't know what it means!
    Last edited by night86mare; 12th August 2009 at 11:11 PM.

  7. #27

    Default Re: Building up of portfolio...

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    I didn't say that something that is free gives no right to complain, but surely you agree that if you pay S$1000 for a newspaper, you have a greater right and inclination to complain than if you paid S$0 for the newspaper. Stretching this further, if I gave you S$1000 to take my newspaper, do you really think you will raise any complaints against my newspaper?
    of course, but the issue remains..

    just because someone does it for free doesn't mean that he won't get criticized

    that said, of course someone doing it for $10000 will generally face greater expectations than someone doing it for $1000, than someone doing it for $1, than someone doing it for free.

  8. #28

    Default Re: Building up of portfolio...

    Quote Originally Posted by cosycatus View Post
    why not do for free? my experience is that people demand less if they understand you are learning and you are doing it free.
    Any nominal fee that you charge raises people expectation. Any "ang pow" that you sheepishly ask for translates into complains if your pictures are not up to standard. But if it's free, people do not have a right to complain..
    oh my truckload of hasty generalisations!

    easy to throw logical fallacy terms at others to sound all pompous (and even mincing up their points to label it as such), when one commits those very errors in the first place with such utter blatancy!
    Last edited by night86mare; 12th August 2009 at 11:16 PM.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Building up of portfolio...

    Yes your second paragraph is the point I'm trying to make. The first is of course true since no one is immune from crticisms, free, pro, S$100,000, ***, anyone.

    The other point I was trying to make is for the S$0 photographer, the customer really has much more limited options for recourse (legal, or otherwise) than against the S$10,000 photographer; in the event the photographs turn out not up to his expectation. Indeed his expectation is probably largely influence by the price he paid.

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    of course, but the issue remains..

    just because someone does it for free doesn't mean that he won't get criticized

    that said, of course someone doing it for $10000 will generally face greater expectations than someone doing it for $1000, than someone doing it for $1, than someone doing it for free.

  10. #30

    Default Re: Building up of portfolio...

    To thread started - you need to think and answer the burning question of what is this portfolio supposed to do. A portfolio at it's most basic purpose to allow a potential customer/viewer to see what you can do; it show cases you abilities. The million dollar question is how do we begin - if you need to and have no one want to risk using your services then do self assignments. It is never a good idea to try to con a client with borrowed pictures 'cos when you cannot reproduce that standard the truth will emerge.

    A lot has been said about amount charged being linked to lower expectations, how pro's are trying get others to raise prices for their gain......

    Let's relook this from the perspective of a commercial transaction. Client expectations are to be pay the least possible for the most possible value in images. Some have very high expectations even if the quantum they are will to pay is low - this is especially more so if branding comes into the picture. A pro is more than just some one who charges for services or has a set of skills and abilities. There is somethings call ethics, sense of pride in work, responsibility & "ownership" of the job. This applies in any profession. These are seldom mentioned. For example even in low pricer a pro will still work to his normal standards and not dumb down 'cos the fee was low.

    By now some one will be think but I donot charge so there can be no demand for deliverables from me, what I give is what you get, if you complain I can explain by saying no pay money what you expect from me. First when people (clients) complain they are not so kind to do so in your presence - you mostly will have no or little chance to rebut. Even if you do it just makes you look bad - the impression given with that defence is you undertook to do something you that you were not capable to do. Then there is a fall out on you personally (what you expect to walk away with a drop of sxxx on you 8-) ) - you may not have tried hard enough to do a good job and lost a chace to grow in talent & ability,learn to lower your own self expectations and stall the rate of growth. Gain a "great" reputation that may stain the reputation that follows your day job. Hey it is the internet era postings never really die, they just get stored somewhere.

    Most pro photogs try to get people to realise that they need to charge what they are worth - in most case that is more; in some well let not go there 8-). Given that on an average market prices paid in Singapore (for local talent) is lower than in Australia, Europe or the US. The respect for photographic ability is lower here too. In the real world, level of payment is in line with the respect a client has for any party they hire. This call to raise prices is not for that pro's sake - if they can get clients to agree to use them at that price point then it is because client feel that they are worth that amount not because that pro was able to get others to raise their prices so he does not appear expensive. Actually it would be better to appear more expensive, 'cos most people know good things do not come cheap and cheap things have no value. The pro calling for higher price is probably doing you a favour to egg you on to increase prices. For example a Ferri cost XXXXXX does this price point depend on the others charging a couple of x's less ?

  11. #31

    Default Re: Building up of portfolio...

    To thread started - you need to think and answer the burning question of what is this portfolio supposed to do. A portfolio at it's most basic purpose to allow a potential customer/viewer to see what you can do; it show cases you abilities. The million dollar question is how do we begin - if you need to and have no one want to risk using your services then do self assignments. It is never a good idea to try to con a client with borrowed pictures 'cos when you cannot reproduce that standard the truth will emerge.

    A lot has been said about amount charged being linked to lower expectations, how pro's are trying get others to raise prices for their gain......

    Let's relook this from the perspective of a commercial transaction. Client expectations are to be pay the least possible for the most possible value in images. Some have very high expectations even if the quantum they are will to pay is low - this is especially more so if branding comes into the picture. A pro is more than just some one who charges for services or has a set of skills and abilities. There is somethings call ethics, sense of pride in work, responsibility & "ownership" of the job. This applies in any profession. These are seldom mentioned. For example even in low pricer a pro will still work to his normal standards and not dumb down 'cos the fee was low.

    By now some one will be think but I donot charge so there can be no demand for deliverables from me, what I give is what you get, if you complain I can explain by saying no pay money what you expect from me. First when people (clients) complain they are not so kind to do so in your presence - you mostly will have no or little chance to rebut. Even if you do it just makes you look bad - the impression given with that defence is you undertook to do something you that you were not capable to do. Then there is a fall out on you personally (what you expect to walk away with a drop of sxxx on you 8-) ) - you may not have tried hard enough to do a good job and lost a chace to grow in talent & ability,learn to lower your own self expectations and stall the rate of growth. Gain a "great" reputation that may stain the reputation that follows your day job. Hey it is the internet era postings never really die, they just get stored somewhere.

    Most pro photogs try to get people to realise that they need to charge what they are worth - in most case that is more; in some well let not go there 8-). Given that on an average market prices paid in Singapore (for local talent) is lower than in Australia, Europe or the US. The respect for photographic ability is lower here too. In the real world, level of payment is in line with the respect a client has for any party they hire. This call to raise prices is not for that pro's sake - if they can get clients to agree to use them at that price point then it is because client feel that they are worth that amount not because that pro was able to get others to raise their prices so he does not appear expensive. Actually it would be better to appear more expensive, 'cos most people know good things do not come cheap and cheap things have no value. The pro calling for higher price is probably doing you a favour to egg you on to increase prices. For example a Ferri cost XXXXXX does this price point depend on the others charging a couple of x's less ?

  12. #32

    Default Re: Building up of portfolio...


  13. #33

    Default Re: Building up of portfolio...

    I just a newbie with photography and I'm building my porfolio now.

    I'm interested with pet photography, thus i asked my friend that i would shoot her dogs for free but her their pictures will be posted in my homepage.

  14. #34
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Building up of portfolio...

    Quote Originally Posted by cosycatus View Post
    pls read the whole passage, i mention that the photographer has the responsibility to inform his guy tat he is learning and that he will do it for free with the implied meaning that the quality might be compromised... pls DO NOT take what i say out of context and criticize it.
    I'm saying many photographers do have the idea of when offering service for free, customers has no right to complaint.

    we have seen many cases of complaint in singaporebrides, some even complaint until come to clubsnap here, cos the "customers" found the photographers from here.
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  15. #35
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    Default Re: Building up of portfolio...

    Quote Originally Posted by soeypixels View Post
    Do free "customers" has the rights to demand some thing, or they don't have the rights at all?
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    Default Re: Building up of portfolio...

    Wow, another thread that became free vs cheap vs market rate argument.

    My take is this:

    - Some people will complain irregardless if they are paying or not.
    - If done for free, it is easier for photog to brush off the complaints.
    - If the clients hound the photog no stop for some work done for free, it may hurt the reputation of the photog also.
    - Of course, one can argue such clients are lousy clients to begin with.
    - Yes, I also agree there are tons of cheapskate clients out there (including employees of big companies), who are always looking to get away not paying. That is the nature of the business (or any business - ask any IT company...).

    You all need to take a break and see this, it reflects the industry (also the software and IT industry as well).
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2a8TRSgzZY
    Last edited by daredevil123; 13th August 2009 at 09:10 AM.

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Building up of portfolio...

    Customers who engage free photographers with no other benefit to the photographer may have no legal right to demand anything since their demands are not likely to be enforced by a court of law.

    As nightmare has said, that does not stop their mouth from posting all over the shop to complain; jsut as anyone can complain about anything, regardless of amount paid, who the person is, etc etc. There are also people in the wrong who complain, so if its just complaints alone, nothing can stop them (short of killing them).

    Also, if a customer who got free services tried to complain in a forum of sorts, there is a good chance that they will not be taken seriously by the audience reading the complaint; and I've seen replies in ST Forum's online discussion board who essentially lamblasts complainants of free services. Of course, if they are thick skinned enough, anyone can complain about anything.

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Building up of portfolio...

    I totally agree with you bro. There is no legal recourse if it is free work And, unless the photog is blur enough to sign away his copyrights, there are not much downside to offering free work. Other than time spent and sweat dripped. It is each photog's prerogative to decide what is right for him/herself.

    Nasty people will always be nasty, be it in person or in a forum. But it can still somewhat affect a photog reputation to a certain (but limited) extent. Since potential customers may do a search on the forum and see some negative words. Some people will stay clear of people with negative comments, "just to be safe".

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    Customers who engage free photographers with no other benefit to the photographer may have no legal right to demand anything since their demands are not likely to be enforced by a court of law.

    As nightmare has said, that does not stop their mouth from posting all over the shop to complain; jsut as anyone can complain about anything, regardless of amount paid, who the person is, etc etc. There are also people in the wrong who complain, so if its just complaints alone, nothing can stop them (short of killing them).

    Also, if a customer who got free services tried to complain in a forum of sorts, there is a good chance that they will not be taken seriously by the audience reading the complaint; and I've seen replies in ST Forum's online discussion board who essentially lamblasts complainants of free services. Of course, if they are thick skinned enough, anyone can complain about anything.

  19. #39
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    Default Re: Building up of portfolio...

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    Customers who engage free photographers with no other benefit to the photographer may have no legal right to demand anything since their demands are not likely to be enforced by a court of law.

    As nightmare has said, that does not stop their mouth from posting all over the shop to complain; jsut as anyone can complain about anything, regardless of amount paid, who the person is, etc etc. There are also people in the wrong who complain, so if its just complaints alone, nothing can stop them (short of killing them).

    Also, if a customer who got free services tried to complain in a forum of sorts, there is a good chance that they will not be taken seriously by the audience reading the complaint; and I've seen replies in ST Forum's online discussion board who essentially lamblasts complainants of free services. Of course, if they are thick skinned enough, anyone can complain about anything.
    agreed with you on this,
    no money exchange hands, no contract signed, no verbal agreement= no legal rights, can't sue you.

    but still can't stop "free customers" from complaining/bad mouthing photographers if they are not happy, tho it is a free service.
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  20. #40
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    Default Re: Building up of portfolio...

    Also, to me personally, I do scale expectations to amount paid.

    I did my wedding last year and I had 2 AD photog, one in China and one in Singapore. The photog in china was not the best, every picture shot in landscape orientation, with flash gun. Quiet boring and washed out at times (overpowering flash). More of just making a record of the events with not much artistic input. I was ok with the job since I paid less than 90 SGD for the photoshoot. In the end I told my wife, "but honey.... it's cheap! can't complain la" and she totally agrees. Now my singapore AD photog is awesome but that is another story.

    Note, I am not saying that the photog should not do his/her best if she charge little or work for free. A good work attitude needs to adopted. Do your best, and adjust your rates according to your skill set. Not adjust your quality of work according to the amount you are getting paid. Quality must be your best. Vary the package contents (quantity) according to the different package rates.
    Last edited by daredevil123; 13th August 2009 at 09:52 AM.

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