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Thread: perspectives on the market...

  1. #121
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: perspectives on the market...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    A down under perspective.

    Firstly Zohan has effectively echoed what I've been saying for years (Jed will probably remember me lecturing him about the importance of the business side when he was here in Perth years ago) and that is that professional photography is first and foremost a business and should be treated as such.

    There's way too many "starving artist" types in professional photography and I for one like big fattening meals, not mouse fodder. The average starving artist type lasts about 4 years before bankruptcy gets them or they wake up to the fact that all the artsy fartsy BS doesn't put food on the table, what puts the food on the talbe is hard contracts with not escape clauses for the client, massive penalties if the client pays late (I charge a 10% accounting fee per month for late payment, that sure gets the cheques flowing) and a no BS or hyperbole method of dealing with clients, no wishy washy promises and realistic timelines for major jobs.

    In terms of payment, well the days are now over where it was possible to pick up a 140K for 3 months or so assignment in some $hit-hole covering the locals butchering each other, now it's more likely to be 10-20K maximum. Why? Because globally the traditional print media are in deep financial messes, with falling readership, and a subsequent reduction of advertising revenues and competition from the InterNet. This has all been reflected in the rates paid to members of the press corps and other areas of professional photography in many countries.

    On the commercial side of the game the rates are still quite good here, sure there's some price undercutting from amateurs and the new professionals but since most of these folks are charging peanuts they don't impact much on my earning capacity as if you pay peanuts in photography you get a monkey taking your shots. Quite a a few clients wake up to this after one or two amateurs have butchered the job. We are blessed with several quality professional associations as well as the Media Allience that sets most of the minimum "going rates" or day rates for photography at a professional level and most professionals stick to the pricing, thus ensuring most of us get a good return for our work and skills.

    I really do feel sorry for the average professional in Singpaore, it's just too bad you guys can't get your act together as an industry and start charging rates that reflect the actual commercial realites of professional photography in the new millenium.

    As I've been saying on CS almost since it's inception, professional photography calls many people, but accepts few. - Think about this before you attempt to make a living out of photography!
    Hey!! You are back!!!

  2. #122
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: perspectives on the market...

    Quote Originally Posted by artspraken View Post
    speaking of marketing, we do not have a Singaporean equivalent of Ken Rockwell, Thom Hogan, or Bjorn Rorslett right?

    I doubt anybody will deny their websites are widely read, widely sponsored and widely advertised. I mean, if bloggers like Xiaxue can rely on website as ricebowl, then surely photographer in Singapore can supplement their income from assignments with their websites. All that needs to be done is to go to a camera shop and borrow newly released equipement for review. Provided you agree to duly attribute and credit the camera shop, I doubt they will refuse to lend you the equipment. (of course must show them u are good writer lah).

    By creating a profile and online presence like Rockwell, Hogan or Rorslett, that is another surefire way of plugging your services as a professional photographer. In the same way, doctors and lawyers who have no business make it a point to teach in university or publish books or join conferences or conventions in their spare time to build their profile.
    Think...... if Ken Rockwell(huh?), Thom Hogan, or Bjorn Rorslett are already doing it, why do they need you?

  3. #123
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    Default Re: perspectives on the market...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kit View Post
    Hey!! You are back!!!
    Indeed I am Kit my old friend.

    See This thread to find out what's been happening with me in the last couple of years.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
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  4. #124

    Default Re: perspectives on the market...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    A down under perspective.

    Firstly Zohan has effectively echoed what I've been saying for years (Jed will probably remember me lecturing him about the importance of the business side when he was here in Perth years ago) and that is that professional photography is first and foremost a business and should be treated as such.

    There's way too many "starving artist" types in professional photography and I for one like big fattening meals, not mouse fodder. The average starving artist type lasts about 4 years before bankruptcy gets them or they wake up to the fact that all the artsy fartsy BS doesn't put food on the table, what puts the food on the talbe is hard contracts with not escape clauses for the client, massive penalties if the client pays late (I charge a 10% accounting fee per month for late payment, that sure gets the cheques flowing) and a no BS or hyperbole method of dealing with clients, no wishy washy promises and realistic timelines for major jobs.

    In terms of payment, well the days are now over where it was possible to pick up a 140K for 3 months or so assignment in some $hit-hole covering the locals butchering each other, now it's more likely to be 10-20K maximum. Why? Because globally the traditional print media are in deep financial messes, with falling readership, and a subsequent reduction of advertising revenues and competition from the InterNet. This has all been reflected in the rates paid to members of the press corps and other areas of professional photography in many countries.

    On the commercial side of the game the rates are still quite good here, sure there's some price undercutting from amateurs and the new professionals but since most of these folks are charging peanuts they don't impact much on my earning capacity as if you pay peanuts in photography you get a monkey taking your shots. Quite a a few clients wake up to this after one or two amateurs have butchered the job. We are blessed with several quality professional associations as well as the Media Allience that sets most of the minimum "going rates" or day rates for photography at a professional level and most professionals stick to the pricing, thus ensuring most of us get a good return for our work and skills.

    I really do feel sorry for the average professional in Singpaore, it's just too bad you guys can't get your act together as an industry and start charging rates that reflect the actual commercial realites of professional photography in the new millenium.

    As I've been saying on CS almost since it's inception, professional photography calls many people, but accepts few. - Think about this before you attempt to make a living out of photography!
    Ian, i agree with you on your insights into the stagnation of today's photography/photojournalism industry. However, i think it was pretty harsh of you to call places which have been affected by civil war as **** holes. Nations such as those in Africa are suffering now because of the divide and rule policy of the imperial powers in the 20th century and the fact that they drew the borders hastily does not help. (Note: If you look at the borders of many north african countries, they will be straight lines most of the time). Sorry to say but that "140k in 3 months in some ****-hole" sounds like you don't understand that photojournalists do what they do because they are extremely passionate, and that comes before money. Of course i'm not ruling out money as a need in life, but these guys would be doing business or a management job if they wanted a stable income, wouldn't they?

  5. #125
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    Default Re: perspectives on the market...

    Quote Originally Posted by krishna91 View Post
    Ian, i agree with you on your insights into the stagnation of today's photography/photojournalism industry. However, i think it was pretty harsh of you to call places which have been affected by civil war as **** holes. Nations such as those in Africa are suffering now because of the divide and rule policy of the imperial powers in the 20th century and the fact that they drew the borders hastily does not help. (Note: If you look at the borders of many north african countries, they will be straight lines most of the time). Sorry to say but that "140k in 3 months in some ****-hole" sounds like you don't understand that photojournalists do what they do because they are extremely passionate, and that comes before money. Of course i'm not ruling out money as a need in life, but these guys would be doing business or a management job if they wanted a stable income, wouldn't they?
    Krishna,

    When you've actually been to a warzone and not a sanitised media event like the second invasion of Iraq then please get back to me and tell me what it's like. I spent 10 years covering warzones for various agencies and publications and they all are $hitholes to be in, there is nothing nice about any of them, especially for the poor civilians ba$tards who can't escape it. I've seen stuff that still haunts me nearly 20 years later.

    As for motivation, well it's true most photojournalists in war zones do start off with laudable motives, myself included, however that soon gives way to both commercial and editorial reality, especially if you happen to be working for a certain Ex-Aussie's media organisation. After a couple of years your motives become mostly financial, or you are addicted to the adrenaline rush of the danger in a warzone. Good intentions are usually washed away in seas of booze and trying to forget what you saw, especially in the more brutal wars. Very few of us escape unscathed entirely, most of us have recurring nightmares for years after certain events and that I can tell you is not fun.

    You can forget whose policy it was landed the country in the crap. Most of Africa's $hitholes are based on purely tribal fights often intermingled with such ignoble aims as power, religion, idiological conflict and my personal favourite, backhanded payments from the global megapower to wage war or outright revenge for a series of perceived grievences that may or may not be real.
    Last edited by Ian; 13th November 2009 at 12:08 AM.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
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  6. #126

    Default Re: perspectives on the market...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Krishna,

    When you've actually been to a warzone and not a sanitised media event like the second invasion of Iraq then please get back to me and tell me what it's like. I spent 10 years covering warzones for various agencies and publications and they all are $hitholes to be in, there is nothing nice about any of them, especially for the poor civilians ba$tards who can't escape it. I've seen stuff that still haunts me nearly 20 years later.

    As for motivation, well it's true most photojournalists in war zones do start off with laudable motives, myself included, however that soon gives way to both commercial and editorial reality, especially if you happen to be working for a certain Ex-Aussie's media organisation. After a couple of years your motives become mostly financial, or you are addicted to the adrenaline rush of the danger in a warzone. Good intentions are usually washed away in seas of booze and trying to forget what you saw, especially in the more brutal wars. Very few of us escape unscathed entirely, most of us have recurring nightmares for years after certain events and that I can tell you is not fun.

    You can forget whose policy it was landed the country in the crap. Most of Africa's $hitholes are based on purely tribal fights often intermingled with such ignoble aims as power, religion, idiological conflict and my personal favourite, backhanded payments from the global megapower to wage war or outright revenge for a series of perceived grievences that may or may not be real.
    True, there have to be psychological effects to covering war zones. Still, there are people like Zoriah Miller who work independently as a result of their passion for the profession. Alot of Africa's wars are fought due to tribal conflict yes, but in north east africa it is also partly due to the Arabs. It doesn't help that companies like DeBeers extract conflict diamonds from places like Libya. Atrocities are committed by the Salvation army who SELL secondhand clothes from america to merchants in africa, and this ruined local industries. China I believe was helping fund the war in Darfur. I have been to Serbia where the serbs have been oppressed by the Albanians in their own county. Anyways, enough of the political talk and Let's not drift away from the topic.

  7. #127
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    Default Re: perspectives on the market...

    [QUOTE=krishna91;5602190]Let's not drift away from the topic.QUOTE]

    As a final comment on the war side of things. I'd suggest before you start slagging off DeBeers et al that you take a very close hard critical look at your own governments backing and funding of wars and conflicts globally as well as who has been behind the majority of conflicts in the past 60 years or so. Only then will you start to see the real criminals unmasked.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
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  8. #128

    Default Re: perspectives on the market...

    [QUOTE=Ian;5602485]
    Quote Originally Posted by krishna91 View Post
    Let's not drift away from the topic.QUOTE]

    As a final comment on the war side of things. I'd suggest before you start slagging off DeBeers et al that you take a very close hard critical look at your own governments backing and funding of wars and conflicts globally as well as who has been behind the majority of conflicts in the past 60 years or so. Only then will you start to see the real criminals unmasked.
    It is common sense that politics is a power struggle and that most countries are not true democracies. I cannot blame the average chinese person for the razing of about 5,900 something monasteries in Tibet and the ruthless routing of its people. It was Mao's ideology that was behind these atrocities. Same goes for most kinds of terrorism. You're probably right. As for me , I'm still only 18 and I study visual journalism at Brooks so I've got a long PJ/VJ career ahead of me..and my focus will be on war zones/environmental impact. I'll keep your words in mind, Ian.

  9. #129

    Default Re: perspectives on the market...

    Let's stick to the topic please.

  10. #130

    Default Re: perspectives on the market...

    Quote Originally Posted by mattlock View Post
    Let's stick to the topic please.
    yup no more straying

  11. #131
    Deregistered rgy1993's Avatar
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    Default Re: perspectives on the market...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Krishna,

    When you've actually been to a warzone and not a sanitised media event like the second invasion of Iraq then please get back to me and tell me what it's like. I spent 10 years covering warzones for various agencies and publications and they all are $hitholes to be in, there is nothing nice about any of them, especially for the poor civilians ba$tards who can't escape it. I've seen stuff that still haunts me nearly 20 years later.

    As for motivation, well it's true most photojournalists in war zones do start off with laudable motives, myself included, however that soon gives way to both commercial and editorial reality, especially if you happen to be working for a certain Ex-Aussie's media organisation. After a couple of years your motives become mostly financial, or you are addicted to the adrenaline rush of the danger in a warzone. Good intentions are usually washed away in seas of booze and trying to forget what you saw, especially in the more brutal wars. Very few of us escape unscathed entirely, most of us have recurring nightmares for years after certain events and that I can tell you is not fun.

    You can forget whose policy it was landed the country in the crap. Most of Africa's $hitholes are based on purely tribal fights often intermingled with such ignoble aims as power, religion, idiological conflict and my personal favourite, backhanded payments from the global megapower to wage war or outright revenge for a series of perceived grievences that may or may not be real.
    thats pretty deep mate,
    i would guess there'd be some pretty horrible stuff you'd see as war photographer, hard to forget sort of sh*t.

    I saw this program today on tv called images of conflict or somethin, sortof brought a reality check to the somewhat romanticised view of the "Robert Capa" war photographer, leica slung on shoulder, smoking a cigarrete of some sort with an explosion going off somewhere in the background.
    Still, eventhough i'm still 16 for some reason i get the feeling its sortof what i want to do, tell the world what it is that really happens out there, that war isnt "cool", proving oncemore that the camera can be more powerful then a nuclear bomb when pointed in the right direction.

  12. #132

    Default Re: perspectives on the market...

    Quote Originally Posted by rgy1993 View Post
    thats pretty deep mate,
    i would guess there'd be some pretty horrible stuff you'd see as war photographer, hard to forget sort of sh*t.

    I saw this program today on tv called images of conflict or somethin, sortof brought a reality check to the somewhat romanticised view of the "Robert Capa" war photographer, leica slung on shoulder, smoking a cigarrete of some sort with an explosion going off somewhere in the background.
    Still, eventhough i'm still 16 for some reason i get the feeling its sortof what i want to do, tell the world what it is that really happens out there, that war isnt "cool", proving oncemore that the camera can be more powerful then a nuclear bomb when pointed in the right direction.
    f/8 and be there mate, that's what it takes. Kudos to you for choosing this noble profession as your future career (at least vaguely so). I really appreciate and respect war photographers ,especially Zoriah Miller , who does it independently, and those who are members of Magnum.. that kind of work will continuously inspire me for the rest of my life. i am 18 years old and i happened to start shooting still photos only about 10 months ago. Now, i find myself studying visual journalism at Brooks Institute of Photography... it takes real guts to be a photojournalist

  13. #133

    Default Re: perspectives on the market...

    So rgy1993, as long as there is war going on, the perspective of the market is always looking good for you, have no fear, we photogs in Sin, most ( even our soldier boys ) are very the kiasu and kiasi one, siam is our biggest asset, there will be no competitors for sure. So take your time and wait for the big one coming....

  14. #134
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    Default Re: perspectives on the market...

    Quote Originally Posted by cabbySHE View Post
    So take your time and wait for the big one coming....
    world war III? haha

  15. #135
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    Default Re: perspectives on the market...

    Until you've been to an active warzone, as opposed to an area under peacekeeper control and thrown up for the first time, pissed in your pants (you will if you are doing your job properly on the first assignment) and watched the guy you had dinner/lunch/breakfast with end up dead then you will NOT know if you are suitable for life as a war PJ. Sadly many folks think they will be able to do it and when they get there they find it all too hard, scary and get out at the first chance, never to return.

    And now Children - get it back on topic ok! If you wanna talk war PJ's then open a topic in kopitam.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
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  16. #136

    Default Re: perspectives on the market...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Sadly many folks think they will be able to do it and when they get there they find it all too hard, scary and get out at the first chance, never to return.

  17. #137

    Default Re: perspectives on the market...

    Talking about children...I will certainly vote those kids brought / grown up from these warzone area are the best suitable for the job, perhaps some could be evn better qualified than any of our regulars soldier, ( NS excluded )
    Currently, a certain group of kids aged between 8 - 12/13 ( I guessed, from their physical built and look, though the face are under wrap, but can see from thier eyes ) are undergoing the proper technique of decapitalising the head of a full adult's body. ( though it's dead ). No army training of any country's arm forces is doing that, I supposed.
    When the head is placed on the abdomen, then it is considered done.
    Good and brave video coverage, so are those kids, can laugh some more....

  18. #138

    Default Re: perspectives on the market...

    Quote Originally Posted by cabbySHE View Post
    Talking about children...I will certainly vote those kids brought / grown up from these warzone area are the best suitable for the job, perhaps some could be evn better qualified than any of our regulars soldier, ( NS excluded )
    Currently, a certain group of kids aged between 8 - 12/13 ( I guessed, from their physical built and look, though the face are under wrap, but can see from thier eyes ) are undergoing the proper technique of decapitalising the head of a full adult's body. ( though it's dead ). No army training of any country's arm forces is doing that, I supposed.
    When the head is placed on the abdomen, then it is considered done.
    Good and brave video coverage, so are those kids, can laugh some more....
    NS is impractical. I don't really think this country will go to war. it's a peaceful and diplomatic country, just some insecurity because of its size. but still it assures that the nation can fight for itself.

    anyways enough of off topic guys, There's a thread i made in kopitiam titled War Photojournalism, go and discuss there.
    I refuse to List my camer@ equipment here.

  19. #139

    Default Re: perspectives on the market...

    okay, let's moveon.

  20. #140

    Default Re: perspectives on the market...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    I really do feel sorry for the average professional in Singpaore, it's just too bad you guys can't get your act together as an industry and start charging rates that reflect the actual commercial realites of professional photography in the new millenium.
    Hello Ian,

    This is true. Pro photographers in a well known association are lowballing each other too.

    How goes the situation in Oz? Are the commercial photographers getting together to do something about it?

    Z
    Last edited by Zohan; 16th November 2009 at 11:16 AM.

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