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Thread: The Laments of a Photog

  1. #41

    Default Re: The Laments of a Photog

    The photographic service industry in Singapore is largely unattractive. The market in general does not appreciate the art and science of the trade. Barriers of entry is almost non-exsistent. Supply of service overwhelms the demand in the market. Substitues such as a friend, amatuer, employees or videography largely displaces the role of paid photography. Limited resources (ie. moneys) are being shared with other media in the substitute (eg. videography) with the latter able to demand higher compensation.

    Being a strongly knowledge based service, the value of photography has sunk further due to widely accessible information available on the internet as well as in the surge of books on the topic. This depresses the perceived value of paid photography.

    New media such as e-books further erodes photography in the backseat with new technological capabilities such as embedding videos in e-books.

    Cartels and oligopolistic approaches such as price fixing and banding will not work as suppliers are too many and diverse to find congruence, not to mention agreeing on standard terms.

    Digital equipment are costly to acquire and maintain (not to mention dispose) and this is further cost surged with the end of production of many films and film support.

    Hybrid differentiation will not be sustainable in the mid to long term as in most cases strategies, workflow and techniques in photography are unlikely to pass as patent with the authorities.

    Bridal photography is still barely sustainable due to the integration of tailors, event planners and videography. Buyers of bridal photography look for convience and their selection of photography is much influence not just by external feedback but by the offers and packages offered by the integrated agencies.

    Most of the talented photogs in Singapore (incl. PRs) have left for countries where the art is better appreciated. One should go where the market is as the market cannot be persuaded to come to you.

    In Singapore, the winners are equipment makers or suppliers and workshop organisers.
    Last edited by eyes; 24th November 2009 at 03:39 AM.
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  2. #42
    Member sprewell's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Laments of a Photog

    Quote Originally Posted by eyes View Post
    In Singapore, the winners are equipment makers or suppliers and workshop organisers.


  3. #43

    Default Re: The Laments of a Photog

    Besides all the valid points given by all, others factors affecting the pro-market are...

    Digital equipment, unlike analog, doe not outlast but outdated.

    Clients always think that photograph is like a piece of product, like that from a manufacturing plant....UP $1,000...now special discount offer...$99/=

    In a roomful of people, when asked...anyone here got a camera ? Unlike thirty years ago.

    We see five year old shooting off gleefully with their cam-phone along Orchard Road. Unlike thirty years ago.

    So... this things will continue to deteriate further. and

    No school in Singapore, or anyone here, conduct any one course on How to successfully operate and run your own professional photography biz.

    Should I have a S$1.3 mil ready cash as that ang moh, I'd got better plans than doing photography.
    Last edited by cabbySHE; 24th November 2009 at 04:42 AM.

  4. #44

    Default Re: The Laments of a Photog

    Quote Originally Posted by eyes View Post
    The photographic service industry in Singapore is largely unattractive. The market in general does not appreciate the art and science of the trade. Barriers of entry is almost non-exsistent. Supply of service overwhelms the demand in the market. Substitues such as a friend, amatuer, employees or videography largely displaces the role of paid photography. Limited resources (ie. moneys) are being shared with other media in the substitute (eg. videography) with the latter able to demand higher compensation.

    Being a strongly knowledge based service, the value of photography has sunk further due to widely accessible information available on the internet as well as in the surge of books on the topic. This depresses the perceived value of paid photography.

    New media such as e-books further erodes photography in the backseat with new technological capabilities such as embedding videos in e-books.

    Cartels and oligopolistic approaches such as price fixing and banding will not work as suppliers are too many and diverse to find congruence, not to mention agreeing on standard terms.

    Digital equipment are costly to acquire and maintain (not to mention dispose) and this is further cost surged with the end of production of many films and film support.

    Hybrid differentiation will not be sustainable in the mid to long term as in most cases strategies, workflow and techniques in photography are unlikely to pass as patent with the authorities.

    Bridal photography is still barely sustainable due to the integration of tailors, event planners and videography. Buyers of bridal photography look for convience and their selection of photography is much influence not just by external feedback but by the offers and packages offered by the integrated agencies.

    Most of the talented photogs in Singapore (incl. PRs) have left for countries where the art is better appreciated. One should go where the market is as the market cannot be persuaded to come to you.

    In Singapore, the winners are equipment makers or suppliers and workshop organisers.
    Hello eyes,

    Excellent point of point there. Looking at your analysis, it seems there are only very few ways to make it work in Singapore. And 'work' meaning that one can retire as a professional photographer properly at about 50-55years.

    One of the ways I can imagine is gaining clientele (rates > $200-300/hr) in the right circle. I am a professional photographer and this is one of the conclusions I have drawn. Do you know the termelogy of that business structure? I am not familiar with the terms.

    Z

  5. #45

    Default Re: The Laments of a Photog

    I don't really see how this issue can be resolved.
    In fact I think it's getting worse since the recession. People don't really see a need for photos. If you open up the newspapers and look at advertisements also you observe how many ads actually put in the effort to have good photos?

    What makes you think that people care about good photography?
    the market sophistication is not there to appreciate good photos. If you find a good client, hold on to them tightly.

    it's been mentioned that the professional association should put their foot forward on this, but wake me up when it happens.

  6. #46

    Default Re: The Laments of a Photog

    yeah..given their "budget restraint" (an excuse to max their own profits as most are still charging their client about the same rate or only slightly lower), they are squeezing their service providers (photographers/printers/DI etc)

    i think aspiring photo biz owners should go into Marcom, this is where u can strike a good balance btw $ and creativity. And u still take photos too.

    Not many appreciate the art of photography..even if they do, they are not willing to pay for it.

    everyone bidding for a job/assignment, should be conscious of the cost of your own time n your equipment. Never do it for free, be firm with your pricing and always be prepared to walk away from clients who are obviously taking advantage of you.










    *Easier said than done* *zap lowballers!*


  7. #47

    Default Re: The Laments of a Photog

    Quote Originally Posted by eyes View Post
    Cartels and oligopolistic approaches such as price fixing and banding will not work as suppliers are too many and diverse to find congruence, not to mention agreeing on standard terms.
    Hello eyes,

    I have been thinking about this for the last couple of days.

    Forming a strong alliance is a really difficult task but not impossible. It can work, but it will be an uphill battle. Singapore is not used to having strong voices from the grassroots because of the conditioning we have received. But as Ian has mentioned what has worked in Oz as stated here http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showp...&postcount=146 , there is no reason why it can't work here. Technically that is.

    Z

  8. #48

    Default Re: The Laments of a Photog

    Quote Originally Posted by Zohan View Post
    Hello eyes,

    I have been thinking about this for the last couple of days.

    Forming a strong alliance is a really difficult task but not impossible. It can work, but it will be an uphill battle. Singapore is not used to having strong voices from the grassroots because of the conditioning we have received. But as Ian has mentioned what has worked in Oz as stated here http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showp...&postcount=146 , there is no reason why it can't work here. Technically that is.

    Z
    It might be more effective if it was tied in with production houses that work on TVCs, for advertising work.

  9. #49

    Default Re: The Laments of a Photog

    PPAS has tried.

    Perhaps you go link with them see how.

    If I am not wrong....this ang moh also from PPAS.
    Last edited by cabbySHE; 26th November 2009 at 02:09 AM.

  10. #50

    Default Re: The Laments of a Photog

    Quote Originally Posted by cabbySHE View Post
    PPAS has tried.

    Perhaps you go link with them see how.

    If I am not wrong....this ang moh also from PPAS.
    I talked to a senior guy in PPAS. They are not doing the rates standardization thing. It's a 'guideline' apparently. And they had a case with 2 PPAS photographers quoting wildly different fees for the same project.

    Z

  11. #51

    Default Re: The Laments of a Photog

    Quote Originally Posted by Zohan View Post
    I talked to a senior guy in PPAS. They are not doing the rates standardization thing. It's a 'guideline' apparently. And they had a case with 2 PPAS photographers quoting wildly different fees for the same project.

    Z
    Ah...that I know, heard about it too, and its true. Same goes for other trade too when asked to give quote. That photog's ethic is well known to undercut in any project pitching.

    But that's the mountain you are about to climb, and many are watching. You really need something more than good luck.

  12. #52

    Default Re: The Laments of a Photog

    Quote Originally Posted by Zohan View Post
    I talked to a senior guy in PPAS. They are not doing the rates standardization thing. It's a 'guideline' apparently. And they had a case with 2 PPAS photographers quoting wildly different fees for the same project.

    Z
    'rate standardisation' may infringe our anti-competition act. look and learn from the experience of our private bus association.

  13. #53

    Default Re: The Laments of a Photog

    Mr. Zohan,

    You are / are you still upholding to your principle of either " you do, or you don't "... to get this across the board professional photographers price standardization thing ?

    My view is... you will be better off chosing " don't " or even " don't try ". Reason is plain and simple..as you are dealing with many different kind of human beings.
    Unless you are that LucKY guy, which can instruct your subordinate to set up a legislation.

    So the Laments carry on...

  14. #54

    Default Re: The Laments of a Photog

    Quote Originally Posted by cabbySHE View Post
    Mr. Zohan,

    You are / are you still upholding to your principle of either " you do, or you don't "... to get this across the board professional photographers price standardization thing ?

    My view is... you will be better off chosing " don't " or even " don't try ". Reason is plain and simple..as you are dealing with many different kind of human beings.
    Unless you are that LucKY guy, which can instruct your subordinate to set up a legislation.

    So the Laments carry on...
    Hello cabbySHE,

    Thank you for the advice. I am currently talking to lawyers and business pple here in SG and non-SG. This will take a few weeks/months to consider.

    Z

  15. #55

    Default Re: The Laments of a Photog

    Quote Originally Posted by reachme2003 View Post
    'rate standardisation' may infringe our anti-competition act. look and learn from the experience of our private bus association.
    Hello,

    I thought I'd just update this post. I had a chat with a economics guy. He says that the bus association were hit by the government because they were providing an essential service.

    As photography service is a non-essential business, it does not infringe on the anti-competition act/law and is technically exempt.

    I will be talking to lawyers next to confirm this.

    Z

  16. #56

    Default Re: The Laments of a Photog

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    got, that's is what TS encounter, expect good photography and photographer shoot it with passion (FREE).

    it is fine if anyone hold a day job and shoot for fun only, anyway if you have a day job and your boss want you do work for free, what will you think?
    This has always been the case... the moment you let any colleague know you do photography... you would be the 'arrowed' one to cover company events... FREE.
    Light is His, Exposure is mine, Interpretation is yours.

  17. #57

    Default Re: The Laments of a Photog

    Looking at this thread reminded me of the same happening to graphic design in Singapore. The amateurs or simply printshop assistants would offer 'value-added' design services, which undercuts the market for genuine graphic design jobs.

    I also agree with the 'Say "NO" to low-ballers' principle, applicable to both design and photography.

    I tend to think that 'professional photography' in Singapore is actually a niche market, while the 'amateur photography' is for the general consumption of SMEs. The objectives are different in these 2 markets: the former is about great quality photos that bring out qualities of products, services or events that cannot be conveyed in text or other means (or in amateur photography); the latter is simply to serve the needs for normal product catalogues or low-budget advertisements). Ultimately, as long as the low-budget ads serve the purpose of informing public about the products and services, people will continue to engage low-budget photographers.

    In fact, can tell that most print ads used amateur photography services by observing the amount of Photoshop touchups found on the photos and ads (some also probably by amateur 'graphic designers').
    Last edited by miraiyuki; 16th December 2009 at 04:08 PM.
    Light is His, Exposure is mine, Interpretation is yours.

  18. #58
    Deregistered fabianaino's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Laments of a Photog

    Quote Originally Posted by miraiyuki View Post
    This has always been the case... the moment you let any colleague know you do photography... you would be the 'arrowed' one to cover company events... FREE.
    I dun wanna joke ab this ... but this scenario sounds familiar to me. When I casually remarked that there's a tiny cost involve .. they stop asking immediately.
    Cheap skate.

    Quote Originally Posted by miraiyuki View Post
    Looking at this thread reminded me of the same happening to graphic design in Singapore. The amateurs or simply printshop assistants would offer 'value-added' design services, which undercuts the market for genuine graphic design jobs.

    I also agree with the 'Say "NO" to low-ballers' principle, applicable to both design and photography.

    I tend to think that 'professional photography' in Singapore is actually a niche market, while the 'amateur photography' is for the general consumption of SMEs. The objectives are different in these 2 markets: the former is about great quality photos that bring out qualities of products, services or events that cannot be conveyed in text or other means (or in amateur photography); the latter is simply to serve the needs for normal product catalogues or low-budget advertisements). Ultimately, as long as the low-budget ads serve the purpose of informing public about the products and services, people will continue to engage low-budget photographers.

    In fact, can tell that most print ads used amateur photography services by observing the amount of Photoshop touchups found on the photos and ads (some also probably by amateur 'graphic designers').
    True .. but no doubts there are some good amateurs around

  19. #59

    Default Re: The Laments of a Photog

    Quote Originally Posted by miraiyuki View Post
    This has always been the case... the moment you let any colleague know you do photography... you would be the 'arrowed' one to cover company events... FREE.
    I was in that situation before, I got them to buy rechargeable batteries. cost about $60....not much but I least I got something out of it.
    MyFlickr
    Look for more and you'll see more

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