View Poll Results: How's Photo Biz?

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  • It's good and where the cash is

    19 22.09%
  • Good enough to feed my family

    9 10.47%
  • So-so, still barely make it : |

    40 46.51%
  • I'm giving this up real soon, it's beginning to hurt real bad :X

    6 6.98%
  • Can't you see I'm selling, renting, and doing everything to get some bread?

    12 13.95%
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Thread: Is Photographic Business Really Bad in Singapore?

  1. #1

    Unhappy Is Photographic Business Really Bad in Singapore?

    I've been noticing that more and more individuals and entities are beginning to offer outdoor photoshoots, studios and workshops for a fee.

    Not that I'd anything against it as it will be said that the money was to cover overheads and et cetra, but nowadays, you get to see all kinds of 'models' doing it and that leaves me somehow skeptical about the whole idea of all these in Clubsnap.

    Maybe I don't know the philosophy and novelty of the forum but I suppose it's where hobbyist meets?

    And there goes the irony- the very guys offering the services are photographers themselves. It's like the bulls over the other field offering the cows over here some fresh beef steaks.

    So is the photographic business really that bad?

    Please comment. Hope you guys don't run into OT by straying into another field of profession as I'm talking about photo business (studios, freelance, labs, equipment stores) here.

    Try to share your good or bad experiences as well as what you think about the coming era for photography.

    (ps. I'm not trying to ruin people's offer of shoots, hope you can read along constructively)

  2. #2
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    Speaking as an amateur/freelance photographer, I think offering photography services in Singapore is hard. Most people interested in my photos would disappear when they hear my service charge, which is about the usual market rate from a freelancer. Fortunately I don't aim at shooting for money, so be it. I do refrian myself from shooting for free in the case of ROM/wedding and some types of portraiture. On the other hand, I think every photographer has his own decision whether or not offer free services.

  3. #3

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    Photography is doomed. Get a new hobby.

  4. #4

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    Oh please. My wife's cousin recently got married, and her photographer (who charges a bomb) drives around in a Porsche.
    Last edited by StreetShooter; 17th March 2004 at 09:00 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cheesecake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minoxman
    Photography is doomed. Get a new hobby.
    this is not entirely true.

    it depends on ur field of photography, ur experience and ur expertise.

    for wedding photographers, it maybe harder as there are droves of them around, even real amateurs like a slice of the pie, who asks for really low fees.
    You'll Never Walk Alone! - i have the best job in the world!

  6. #6

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    Well, I am also a freelance photographer. Has been shooting wedding before and that can bring you good income if your contacts are wide enough. Nowadays seldom unless offered by friends or friend's friends ....

    Shoot more on events especially CC's activities ... time is short and good enough to fund my hobbies.

    I do not really shoot for free but it all depends on kiamcheng ....
    AMPA * WPPI * J team

  7. #7
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    well...
    i organise shoots once a month and not every week... its mainly for pleasure and interested hobbylists or newbies who r building portfolios..
    and i dun get any lousy models... all are professionally trained in being a photog models.

    do i need to organise it every week?
    do i need such pathetic "profit" to cover my overheads?

    haha... more than tt

  8. #8
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    I had an opportunity to chat to a real life commercial pro, (he was hanging 2 Canon 1Ds around him) recently during one of my company's events.

    He told me life is hard as a photographer. He had to struggle for the first couple of years before he could actually have his own list of clients. He now shoots for some of the major fashion magazines and food pictures on weekdays and a couple of selected groups of country clubs whom wants their newsletters done. All his weekends are normally burnt as he moves wround the clubs looking for events to shoot. If he doesn't deliver any pictures, it could be bad for his business and there real pressure. I asked him what's his hobbies or what he likes to shoot, he told me "anything but the camera" .

    Its a totally different ball-game when you are in the biz, he told me that no matter how creative you are, its no use coz customers want product pictures and not your creativity juice. A lot of his pictures have no meaning rather then to display and not potray the product/subject of events he is taking.

    Quoted:"I was a hobbyist before and went full-time into this. Given a choice to go back, I would not have come into this field....."


  9. #9
    Senior Member Ansel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minoxman
    Photography is doomed. Get a new hobby.
    Photography as a hobby is NOT doomed. I have been enjoying it for years(read decades), and it is still going strong for me.

    As a career however, I have my reservations about it, especially in Singapore, where the attitude has always been I-dont-mind-the-quality-just-give-it-to-me-free. This makes start ups an uphill task. Those photogs who can charge a bomb for their services probably went thru their share of hardtimes and are now reaping their rewards. Admire them, yes. Envy them, no.

  10. #10
    Moderator sebastiansong's Avatar
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    The worst thing is people happily copy images (even thumbnails) from your web gallery and later complain to you that they cant print them and want higher resolution images. Or they would call and tell you when they print out the images on their laser printer, there is no color. The most amazing thing is when they ask you to print out images and don expect to pay for them, thinking you own Fujifilm or something... 8)

    From been stingy to outright disrepectful of the law, those are the bad side of people. To counter all this, establish a contract (email) or written agreement to hold them to their word.

    On the flip side, there are people doing well even when it is the worst of times. I know wedding photographers who charge in the thousand range and doing two hundred plus wedding in one year. Hard work? Yesh.

  11. #11

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    Different style of model suit different pple taste mah ...

    Some likes it hot while some likes it wild ... some likes it ....
    AMPA * WPPI * J team

  12. #12
    Senior Member Sion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minoxman
    Photography is doomed. Get a new hobby.
    How do you arrive at such a conclusion?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Sion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by innovas1
    I wonder if all kinds of models refer to me..
    No not you. We've seen you and known you and shot you before.

    You're a one kind of model but not all kinds.


  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by innovas1
    ya right..

    sometimes i think i look better and more photogenic than the so-called professional models..
    well-said well-said i sometimes think about that myself too *puke* ya really *PUKE*
    Lorbert.Tay@Fiat.SG

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by innovas1
    ya right..

    sometimes i think i look better and more photogenic than the so-called professional models..

    i must agree with that. those models suck.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by lOrBeRt
    well-said well-said i sometimes think about that myself too *puke* ya really *PUKE*
    by looking at yr avatar also makes mi puke

  17. #17
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    well, imho, to become a pro will mean losing your passion in a certain sense.

    look at a typical singaporean. they want thing cheap, good and in bulk, but pay peanuts.
    esp in the wedding photog industry like most of the guys have already said.

    "wow, so expensive ah, can cheaper or not?"
    "the picture not included in the price already meh?"
    "can help me print one more set for my er gu?"

    haiz....

    but still, a lot is on the photog side. if you have the standard. it's most unlikely you will eat grass for too long. well, the correct network and your personal reputation as a photog is really important. spoilt your own brand with a major client or just a small potato...that's it. the industry is small, there are ppl watching.

    sad to say, photog is facing a threat from what other professions are facing.
    external photog. yes, i'm talking about someone whom will be more hardworking, more creative, more experience than an average photog, but charges only a fraction of the price.
    think near, say a malaysian photog, he has the skill and standard, you have the skill and standard. but, he charges at 3/4 the price you charge.i'm assuming on same standard thru out. who do you think the typical singaporean will choose?

    i'm not even talking about further up at thailand, whereby they will definately earn alot more. since the exchange rate is much more benefitial to them.

    okie okie, think i blabbering too much. :P

  18. #18
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    i really like yr photos... but ive spent too much for my studio shoots... can charge cheaper?

    oh pls... if u really like... jus PAY me and i'll shoot for u

    bth some customers.. ai pi ai qi... and when i saw their studio shoots, i wan to complain also... wah lau.. so Point and shoot

  19. #19

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    I don't believe you need to trade in your passion when you turn pro, I've seen some photographers managing to maintain their passion and style in what and how they shoot. It might be hard, but it is possible.

  20. #20
    Member Andy Ho's Avatar
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    Hi guys,

    To those who feel so depressed and negative about photography I ampathise with you. Many who are not in this line probably do not see the cream on the cake. That is $$$. Well, I am a corporate photographer and I feel it can easily cover expenses but would love to get into fashion. To some of you, fashion may just be shooting models but look at works in Vogue, Cleo, Elle, and some other notorious fashion & lifestyle magazines? They are artfully created. Nice lighting and pose. Good art direction either from the art director or the photographer. It is always said, if you are good, you will progress eventually. The day when people come insisting that you do the shoot is the day you know that you command the price. Everyone can do model shoot but to really make it as a pro you must break out from normality and get into your own creative realm. Only doing that would you have your own unique style, and also to say, keep your rice bowl.

    Even photographers who are into commercial, advertising, and corporate photography would face the same issue. There is no such thing as the grass is always greener on the other side. It is how you make your own grass greener.

    My advise to all, if you are tight on budget then don't venture into it right now, but if you can afford why not? Go all out and really really experience the joy of photography. Do not be negative about it.

    Andy Ho

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