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Thread: Anyone here ever wanted to become pro PG but gave up?

  1. #121

    Default Re: Anyone here ever wanted to become pro PG but gave up?

    Hi Kiwi, I stand corrected, i should say it is not a "viable" business, because in singapore its generally not a high-value service and cannot leverage. Those photographers out there are not wasting time, they are doing something they love and at the same time earning money. Its highly respectable

    I did not say photography profession is a waste of time i am just saying in a strict sense, a successful business needs to be either be of high-value or has leverage. Like you say a hot-dog seller in singapore cannot sell $5/pcs because this is just how it is. like wise for photography, You can push your price and quality but the culture here just limits it as far as it goes.

    Theres nothing wrong with photography as a profession. But Photographers needs a plan and set a target when your career ends and upgrade yourself to a "new business" with the savings you have from your photography assignments. Try to save as much as you can while you still can shoot and plan a something new so that you still can have income when you gets old and yet still shoot in your leisure as a hobby.

    I know many photographers do not have savings, all the money goes to feed the family, buy new equipments, advertisement. some even in debts.

    Try shooting a full day wedding or commercial at the edge of 55. and do all the editing.

    Photographers need to plan what's next.

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post
    A business is still a business. It doesn't mean you can retire early. Whoever says photography is not a business here. I wonder then what are all those photographers doing so far? Wasting their time on a "career"?

  2. #122
    Moderator chngpe01's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone here ever wanted to become pro PG but gave up?

    Quote Originally Posted by juzgood1978 View Post
    but try shooting in your 50s...
    Are you speaking from experience or assumption?
    What's the problem of shooting at 50s?

    There are a number of 50s pro around and a couple of them are very well established with business ie employing the whole works of photog, DI artists, assistants, in house MUA stylists etc.

    It is not easy to make it big but it is not impossible.

    Even for a small outfit, it is not difficult to earn $10k -$20k a month on some months. Let say average $5 - 7k per month is achievable for most average pro.

    Sometime a small outfit is more nimble and cost effective to operate.

    The market is not all so rosy. But it is certainly not that bad to say that it cannot be a business.

    I would agree at 50 it is rather tiring to do wedding shoot from dawn to dusk, but then professional photography does not mean just wedding and event photography. There are commercial , industrial, product, food etc.

    Shooting full day commercial and industrial at 50s is not difficult, been there and still doing it.

    You are right about having savings and many do not have it and will have problem.

    Becoming a professional, one has to or must take it as a business from the onset. I am no economics student but these are just my experience

    Must have strict budgeting and financial planning

    1. Costing: Budget for advert, insurance (incl personal), equipment, for rental, budget for savings* (personal and also to be part of company cash reserves) etc these are generally consider as cost. (total and average the cost out to a working day)

    2. Pricing: How much must one set the price in order to ensure that after deducting your average cost you are not in the red.

    3. Target to achieve. - set your monthly target on how much revenue you must generate in order to stay in the black. - Why monthly target? bec on some months you may generate $20k but on other months you may even have $0 , alot of young photog I know will spend the $20k and then suffer and be in debt on the months of $0. Also buy insurance for medical and also those that pay cash after 15 -20 years type.

    Consider this when going full time:

    1. when you are sick - you need to pay medical and yet no income.
    2. when you want to go on holidays, again no income but got to spend $.
    3. when you are old, will you have savings to last you thru or you need to become a cleaning uncle at foodcourt?

    One may thing that they are young and will have a long way to go - I thought so too 30 years ago but time passes so fast that 30 years was just like yesterday.

    Just some thoughts here.
    Last edited by chngpe01; 12th April 2010 at 08:03 PM.

  3. #123

    Default Re: Anyone here ever wanted to become pro PG but gave up?

    Great discussion posts, thanx for sharing views.

    Bro Kiwi, not convenient to share lah, sorry, don't want to affect other people's marketing/image.
    WTB Manfrotto RC4 L Bracket

  4. #124

    Default Re: Anyone here ever wanted to become pro PG but gave up?

    interesting...

    So, the research about why there are only 3% of people actually make it to the very top is so true then.

    If one look around seriously... there are many and I repeat, Many photography companies in Singapore and around the world make it so big because they think otherwise.

    Some will think, well, if it doesn't work, why? and look for ways to make it work... and some have done it...

    The message here is simple... how one look at one condition and work around it for their own benefit.

    If one is so convince that something won't work... one's mind will find every reason to support that... It is so much easier to be convince that something is impossible than work hard to convince it otherwise...

    Its amazing how the mind works...

    I still quite like the word... "against all odds"... simple words, very different way of thinking.

    Regards,

    Hart

  5. #125
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    Default Re: Anyone here ever wanted to become pro PG but gave up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Enchanted View Post
    I thought I was a "Low-baller" offering Good works+value-adds with Good pricing, I guess many Beat me to that ! .. ha haha ha!
    Congratulations, I think you've discovered the problem with the industry right there.

    Everyone thinks they're offering good work + value-adds + good pricing, and everyone turns to low balling and someone else will always lower ball than you. Or well, not always, but if you're playing in that game then it'll happen quite often.

  6. #126

    Default Re: Anyone here ever wanted to become pro PG but gave up?

    yes indeed, like the chinese saying 行行出状元
    加油 to all photographers out there!

  7. #127

    Default Re: Anyone here ever wanted to become pro PG but gave up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jed View Post
    Congratulations, I think you've discovered the problem with the industry right there.

    Everyone thinks they're offering good work + value-adds + good pricing, and everyone turns to low balling and someone else will always lower ball than you. Or well, not always, but if you're playing in that game then it'll happen quite often.
    yes that the main problem right here in *********.. some do it openly and some do it in the dark... so to really be able to succeed.. it a long long long road to take and go thru.. that why many give up half way thru.....

  8. #128

    Default Re: Anyone here ever wanted to become pro PG but gave up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Astroboy77 View Post
    hahahaa.. bro dun sound surprise.. as it is happening to alot of pro photograhper now... if you read the first few post... i did give some similar example which is almost the same situation as yours....

    even though u manage to take control of what u doing.. by you cant control others...so tat where the problem lied...
    Hi Astroboy :
    Thanks for the pointer .. i believe we knew that all along, i'm just providing another supporting voice, highlighting the dire situation facing our industry, since 2008 financial crisis aftermath.

    - - - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by sjackal View Post
    Thanx for sharing Nick, I read a story about a couple won a huge discount for a multi-awarded weddg photog thru some contest but still prefer to let their cousin shoot their once-in-lifetime affair. I guess probably the photog is doing it at cost (album), but they still couldn't afford him.

    I guess that enquirer is still not in your league even as you already 'low-balled'.
    Hi sjackal :
    Thanks for sharing your story and input .. You're right! We knew the Enquirer is just doing the usual Photog-shopping, and hoping to find someone/package to "Fit" his budget ... I guess i'm over-qualified and over-priced when he reckon my work is the "most professional"

    - - - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post
    Enchanted: Wow, the guy doesn't sound tactful at all. But then again, he might have found his friend or someone who gives him a cheaper rate and could satisfy what he is looking for. So....
    Hi kiwi2 :
    No, he did not found "someone who offered him cheaper rate and could satisfy what he is looking for'''-- he just do not wish to pay professional fees ... BTW, all my Pricing is transparent and openly published on my website, and it is freely distributed upon anyone request.

    Actually, it is his wife's idea for him to meet me to check-out my works ( She is overseas ), and in that email, he mentioned "Although your work is most professional ....", and that leave us scratching our heads.

    - - - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jed View Post
    Congratulations, I think you've discovered the problem with the industry right there.

    Everyone thinks they're offering good work + value-adds + good pricing, and everyone turns to low balling and someone else will always lower ball than you. Or well, not always, but if you're playing in that game then it'll happen quite often.
    Dear Jed :
    Yes, we do made discoveries everyday, don't we ? ... hahaha hahah
    Seriously, as said, all my pricings are openly published, and i did not offered any discounts nor freebies, to any Enquirers face-to-face.
    What i am highlighting here is just some tongue-in-cheek real-life illustration facing our industry, and indirectly saying the hard times are ahead. ( Nope, no way i am a Low-baller, in-matter-of-fact i have shunned all email enquirers that asked for discounts or price-matching, and knew that only the Jokers played those games ! )

    Steadfast People, steadfast !


    Love always,
    Nick

    - - - - -

  9. #129
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone here ever wanted to become pro PG but gave up?

    This discussion has getting more interesting now, but it seem very OT from the original thread title.

    I start a new thread, hope you guys can have the discussion there.

    How would you run a photography business?

    Thank you.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  10. #130

    Default Re: Anyone here ever wanted to become pro PG but gave up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agetan View Post

    At any pricing level, if one is to win job due to discount, in long terms, your average pricing is getting lower and everything else is going up and soon you will realise that work is harder to find.
    agreed. But why should what others are doing (slog) bother u? Some people just like to slog to make money. Some use sweet talk but no quality. Some charge for free becos they want to. Some charge sky prices with shytty work.

    applies to all kinds of trade.

  11. #131

    Default Re: Anyone here ever wanted to become pro PG but gave up?

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    This discussion has getting more interesting now, but it seem very OT from the original thread title.

    I start a new thread, hope you guys can have the discussion there.

    How would you run a photography business?

    Thank you.
    actually no really OT la... coz this is some of the reason/factor that might be the cause to some ppl who actually indeed give up on becoming pro....

  12. #132

    Default Re: Anyone here ever wanted to become pro PG but gave up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jed View Post
    Congratulations, I think you've discovered the problem with the industry right there.

    Everyone thinks they're offering good work + value-adds + good pricing, and everyone turns to low balling and someone else will always lower ball than you. Or well, not always, but if you're playing in that game then it'll happen quite often.
    There are ALWAYS people who will "charge" FOC to build up their portfolio, so to be the Cost Leader (as michael porter puts it), is not possible.

  13. #133

    Default Re: Anyone here ever wanted to become pro PG but gave up?

    Quote Originally Posted by chanjyj View Post
    There are ALWAYS people who will "charge" FOC to build up their portfolio, so to be the Cost Leader (as michael porter puts it), is not possible.
    I get your point but I think you mean Price Leader (Cost Leader might have the lowest cost but might not charge the lowest price so as to boost their profitability)...

  14. #134

    Default Re: Anyone here ever wanted to become pro PG but gave up?

    well, for people who believe that they can survive on the low price strategy, they will have to compete with others who have a lower cost structure than them... so unless these guys can lower their own cost structure to make their business viable, this would make it very challenging to survive... and nowadays, there are even clients looking up north for lower price options, and the cost structure up north would be a challenge to beat...

  15. #135

    Default Re: Anyone here ever wanted to become pro PG but gave up?

    Quote Originally Posted by theRBK View Post
    I get your point but I think you mean Price Leader (Cost Leader might have the lowest cost but might not charge the lowest price so as to boost their profitability)...
    Yeah. Price leader. end of this month till mid-April v busy and I think my head is getting slightly screwed

  16. #136

    Default Re: Anyone here ever wanted to become pro PG but gave up?

    Quote Originally Posted by theRBK View Post
    well, for people who believe that they can survive on the low price strategy, they will have to compete with others who have a lower cost structure than them... so unless these guys can lower their own cost structure to make their business viable, this would make it very challenging to survive... and nowadays, there are even clients looking up north for lower price options, and the cost structure up north would be a challenge to beat...
    You just brought up a v good point - looking up North.

    I have heard quite a few cases where they are doing that - till the extent of bringing the photographer down from Malaysia to SG to cover a SG wedding. And total cost (throw in transport and hotel) is still lower.

    I don't know about the quality though, I have not seen any samples.

    Then we talk about going south. I personally know of one Indonesian photographer who engages in the same practice. Seriously, you think he will charge much? Consider the standard of living in Indonesia and SG Rupiah exchange rate. Wow.

    And finally, I've seen Bridal shops offering packages to Taiwan. And they seem pretty cheap, considering transport and hotel. But are they going to fly SQ? Must go do more research.

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