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Thread: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

  1. #21
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by pointblankshots View Post
    I don't think so.. A reality check, when a photographer does a cheap job, cheap meaning he undercut to get a job.. He/She, knowing that it's a cheap job, under delivers the job, and clients do know e quality of work to some extend.. So this just isn't getting any better...

    If you're good in what you do, there can be people cheaper than you, but never delivering better than what you deliver in results. That way, you keep clients until you undercut somebody and history repeats again...
    My experience with working with wedding photographers pretty much fits what Kit mentioned. Basically I could go for one of the very good, very reputable ones like Lighted Pixels, 36 Frames, Bryan Kit... costing 3k above, or mid-range ones costing 1.5k-2.5k... lower ranged ones from nice $688 numbers to $1088, or just get friends to take.

    At the end of the day, I have to balance cost vs expectations and quality. Okay.. that's not the end of the day yet, coz there's also managing future wifee's expectations

    It's not I don't understand the differences. I am also shopping for house reno now and I can see the difference in quality between the photos displayed at Jalan Besar and an interior decorator's... end of the day it's what the customer is willing to pay. Don't think Chinese boss at Jln Besar will pay for perspectively correct photos no matter how educated they are about photography
    Last edited by wildcat; 28th June 2010 at 12:09 PM.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kit View Post
    Reality check.....

    some people are more than happy to accept sub-standard work just to save money actually. Or should I say, the failure to recognise the value of good work.
    Quote Originally Posted by pointblankshots View Post
    nah, i really beg to differ.... It's sometimes about client education, and it's not about saying what better shots can do for them, or how the other photographer didn't shoot the job great. It's about coming up with a brief, a concept, doing some homework. It's about bringing the right equipment, or extra equipment to bring the job into the next level... thus showing more interest in the job... lil by lil you win clients... If you're unknown in town, don't expect to charge high.. Show them you can work, then you charge for it...
    Let me reconcile these seeming differing views. I agree with both comments from Kit and Pointblankshots. Even with client education, some people just want to have clear pictures of their product, event, etc. However with client education, it may well be the case where more clients see the value of the pictures in helping them market their own products and services.

    So I will say to continue doing client education for the professional (or freelance) photographer, and if you can accept a low price from a client that doesn't give a hoot about your creative quality, but just wants it cheap. Go ahead and accept it. It's your call. Or you can reject the client and let him source for a photographer who better meets his budget and can still deliver the pictures that pass his minimum standards.

  3. #23
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by killerslayer92 View Post
    i wonder if photography is still an honourable profession... with the influx of all kinds of ppl, one can only imagine the once proud image of a photographer (smth like the ppl shooting for nat geo) is now gone... i saw a guy smoking with a dslr... wonder who will buy when he tries to sell it 2nd hand
    your bamboo stick very tua kee, just by seeing a few bad apples can wipe out whole photography community.

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  4. #24
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yutaka Go View Post
    I know what you meant.

    Last year, someone hired an ugly looking photographer (long hair & ugly face) to take my reservist unit photo (last In-Camp-Training before moving to Main Reserve).

    That photographer can't even spell October

    Everyone in our unit get a photo with "Octorber 2009 MR parade" printed on it

    All of us stand for 2 hours under hot sun for this kind of photo.
    don't people from your camp have to proof read if there is any text in the photos?

    and since it is a mistake, can't your camp just throw the prints back to the photographer? If your camp already accept it, the mistake now is become 50 50.
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  5. #25
    Senior Member Cheesecake's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kit View Post
    Actually, that doesn't really work in these days anymore. I really hope it works though. Reputable photographers who hold niche markets are also "diversifying" just to stay afloat. Why? Because just about anyone out there can claim to be a specialist.

    How do you compete with a specialised architectural photographer who charges $80 to shoot an entire property?
    u got it right.
    well, at the end of the day, the $$ is still the no.1 criteria among most clients.
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  6. #26
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by hori View Post
    Let me reconcile these seeming differing views. I agree with both comments from Kit and Pointblankshots. Even with client education, some people just want to have clear pictures of their product, event, etc. However with client education, it may well be the case where more clients see the value of the pictures in helping them market their own products and services.

    So I will say to continue doing client education for the professional (or freelance) photographer, and if you can accept a low price from a client that doesn't give a hoot about your creative quality, but just wants it cheap. Go ahead and accept it. It's your call. Or you can reject the client and let him source for a photographer who better meets his budget and can still deliver the pictures that pass his minimum standards.
    I think it's pretty much the same with how everything works, which I can now relate best to buy buy buy photography stuffs. The majority of us buying D90, some of us buy D700 and there are a few who get D3s. Depends on what we can to get out from the cam, and what level we can accept (I'm still using D5000 so that's pretty cheapo). The important thing is to still be as "wanted" as a D3s, but not become too "atas" like Medium or even Full Format. One can be, but one has to be prepared to be that good and still be in demand, then only one can be. Else to be but not in demand, then have a choice to, like Nikon and Canon back when everything was still Full Frame, reach for a bigger market by going cropped factor.

    Am I making sense?

  7. #27

    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Horribly or sensibly put, I think basically the photography market is pretty any charge any photographer wants to charge... I didn't know we were talking about wedding photography, I wasn't coming from a wedding stand-point because that's not what I do for a living. With no disrespect to wedding photography, but I find myself not being capable to bring sexiness out of a ordinary coke can...

    An average joe who needs wedding photography is not going to really understand the price factor... and I'm sure they can find anybody, any prices that suits them... I've heard cases whereby people pay SGD 8000.00 for an actual day.. My goodness, and I didn't know prices could go that high, or people would actually pay that for a wedding photography....

    Whichever the case, if you believe in your work, irregardless whether it's wedding, prints, or fashion, then make it different...
    Last edited by pointblankshots; 28th June 2010 at 03:51 PM.

  8. #28
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by pointblankshots View Post
    Horribly or sensibly put, I think basically the photography market is pretty any charge any photographer wants to charge... I didn't know we were talking about wedding photography, I wasn't coming from a wedding stand-point because that's not what I do for a living. With no disrespect to wedding photography, but I find myself not being capable to bring sexiness out of a ordinary coke can...

    An average joe who needs wedding photography is not going to really understand the price factor... and I'm sure they can find anybody, any prices that suits them... I've heard cases whereby people pay SGD 8000.00 for an actual day.. My goodness, and I didn't know prices could go that high, or people would actually pay that for a wedding photography....

    Whichever the case, if you believe in your work, irregardless whether it's wedding, prints, or fashion, then make it different...
    I'm talking about photography in general, giving example in wedding photography. So what kind of photography do you want to talk about?

    If there are people who want to hire a photographer for 8k, then obviously he's found his "Medium Format" segment group. I don't know why you are deviating the topic to discussing about the high prices some people can charge for wedding. I was just giving comparisons of how different photographers can charge accordingly, but you seem to be having some issues with people who are willing to pay high prices for a niche level of service.

    Demand and supply is one of the simplest concept in economy.

  9. #29
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kit View Post
    It depends on what kind og photography you are referring to. In some cases, the market is not saturated with photographers but with clients who doesn't see the need to pay for good services.
    and ultimately, with dropping demands for high levels of services, there could be a scenerio of oversupply of goods. Still, I think there will always be demand for Beluga caviar, Gucci or Hermes handbags and Patek Philippes... there's just a bigger share of things below, like Sakae Sushi tobiko, cheaper versions of LV, and Seikos.
    Last edited by wildcat; 28th June 2010 at 05:17 PM.

  10. #30
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Yeah. I've worked (am still working) with clients who are willing to pay. Note, I did not use "who can afford to pay". Its really a joy to work with them actually because they appreciate the work and sometimes, more than ready to be critical. When you work with someone who holds expectations (and willing to pay for it), you'll learn. My challenge is trying to expand this group of clients, which is very difficult.

  11. #31

    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    I don't have a problem with people charging high rates, I don't even have a problem with people not able to shoot like a 8k photographer, but able to talk like one... I just don't think people are buying the 8k photography package sensibly....

    Anyway, to each its own.... Good Luck

  12. #32

    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by pointblankshots View Post
    I don't have a problem with people charging high rates, I don't even have a problem with people not able to shoot like a 8k photographer, but able to talk like one... I just don't think people are buying the 8k photography package sensibly....

    Anyway, to each its own.... Good Luck
    Sensibility can be very subjective. So is art. Some clients are more than happy to pay a premium for services they're happy with.

    Same goes for shopping, some women can spend thousands on a hand bag and they feel its worth every cent; while some would feel $150 is still too expensive. All beyond sensibility to some, but makes perfect justification to others.

  13. #33

    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    ok.. anyone wanna summrize up with what we have conclude?

    saturated.. yes
    price of photographer drop... nope, or at least we believe nobody is starting to spoil the market
    Business opportunity...let the customer do the pick of quality and price themselve

    correct me if i'm wrong please....
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  14. #34
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by pointblankshots View Post
    I don't have a problem with people charging high rates, I don't even have a problem with people not able to shoot like a 8k photographer, but able to talk like one... I just don't think people are buying the 8k photography package sensibly....

    Anyway, to each its own.... Good Luck
    I think people earning 50k above a month is also not sensible
    but if I am one of them, I will get a 8k photographer

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    When you consider that Singapore has the highest concentration of millionaires at around 12%, one of the highest average spends on weddings and one of highest cost of doing business in the world, it's actually surprising that the high end market in Singapore tops out at around SGD$8K only.

  16. #36
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by pointblankshots View Post
    I don't have a problem with people charging high rates, I don't even have a problem with people not able to shoot like a 8k photographer, but able to talk like one... I just don't think people are buying the 8k photography package sensibly....

    Anyway, to each its own.... Good Luck
    there are some different between shooting for consumers and commercials.

    for consumers, photographers are selling fantasy to them, as such, the value of the photos is very subjective, it can worth thousand to this customer but it is worthless to another person. So it does not make sense to many people.
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  17. #37
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    there are some different between shooting for consumers and commercials.

    for consumers, photographers are selling fantasy to them, as such, the value of the photos is very subjective, it can worth thousand to this customer but it is worthless to another person. So it does not make sense to many people.
    Both consumer and commercials are still driven by budget constraints
    Or the lack of (rarely though - but I do know of some companies with crazy spendings... last time before the Financial crunch, at least).

  18. #38

    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by ckuang View Post
    When you consider that Singapore has the highest concentration of millionaires at around 12%, one of the highest average spends on weddings and one of highest cost of doing business in the world, it's actually surprising that the high end market in Singapore tops out at around SGD$8K only.
    Totally agree...

    It is sometime funny how you can put a "cap" on how much one can charge in Singapore?...

    I am very surprise to learn that if one charge $3k-$5k a wedding consider "high end" in Singapore and "$8K" will put it into "Super High End"... and in overseas like Australia at least, $3K-$8K will put you in mid-range and above $10K will be in your high end market and the rest are just a story... That is based on pricing alone. I am sure there is a value that the client consider if they are shelling out their money for a service...

    It is really depend on the photographer how to communicate those "value" to their client sometimes make it work.

    Anyway... the fact is...there is a market at different bracket... no matter how much education you do (but you have to continue to do it), they won't really see the different.

    For example, some client believe that a family portrait should only worth $200 or less, Some think $500-$1k is a good investment and some think family portrait is priceless and spend about $1.5k-$3k or more per year for it....

    Similarly, if you spend $50-$100 for a good dinner, some place will make you feel that it is very expensive to spend that kind of money, but some place because the food is so divine, one will think it is absolutely value for money...

    Of course, the lower the value, the higher the volume of clients as well as the people who is offering their service.

    But I think the point where if the market is saturated is definitely NO.

    Regards,

    Hart

  19. #39
    Senior Member ovaltinemilo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agetan View Post
    Totally agree...

    It is sometime funny how you can put a "cap" on how much one can charge in Singapore?...

    I am very surprise to learn that if one charge $3k-$5k a wedding consider "high end" in Singapore and "$8K" will put it into "Super High End"... and in overseas like Australia at least, $3K-$8K will put you in mid-range and above $10K will be in your high end market and the rest are just a story... That is based on pricing alone. I am sure there is a value that the client consider if they are shelling out their money for a service...

    It is really depend on the photographer how to communicate those "value" to their client sometimes make it work.

    Anyway... the fact is...there is a market at different bracket... no matter how much education you do (but you have to continue to do it), they won't really see the different.

    For example, some client believe that a family portrait should only worth $200 or less, Some think $500-$1k is a good investment and some think family portrait is priceless and spend about $1.5k-$3k or more per year for it....

    Similarly, if you spend $50-$100 for a good dinner, some place will make you feel that it is very expensive to spend that kind of money, but some place because the food is so divine, one will think it is absolutely value for money...

    Of course, the lower the value, the higher the volume of clients as well as the people who is offering their service.

    But I think the point where if the market is saturated is definitely NO.

    Regards,

    Hart
    I find it funny too...all this has to do with market force. Some thot they were paying for high end quality but ended up receiving lower end work without realising...
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  20. #40

    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    I think you can't equate having many rich people in Singapore to the expectation that high end wedding photography here to cost a lot more, like in excess of $10k. Neither is the comparison with other countries like Australia a fair one. There are so many factors to consider.

    Culture is one big factor. We also have different views about weddings.

    In Singapore, a typical wedding may not be as grand or posh as what you see overseas. Overseas, it's not rare to see Rolls Royce cars, very grand rooms. beautifully decorated places, well-dressed guests, etc.

    To us, yes, weddings are a big affair but many Singaporeans are also practical minded people. Life goes on after the wedding -- rat-race, sprucing up your crazily expensive new but small HDB homes, buying a car, etc. Better to save up money for all these.

    2ndly, Singapore is so small. Parents and children who get married will still meet each other after the marriage.

    3rdly, Singapore is so damn bloody warm and lighting usually harsh. I wonder how long ang mo photographers can last here.

    4thly, there's really no nice place to take pics here.

    You may wonder what have all these got to do with pricing? A lot!

    How many times have you seen guests in Singapore dress in nice and formal outfits? There are uncles who come in polo T and many just have the "come on, get it going, I want to go home soon" feeling. A wedding is not something WOW to them.

    Overseas, children don't meet their parents and relatives for a long long time. They want good pictures to keep as memories.

    For point 3 above, overseas weddings are usually cooler. You can wear nice clothes without sweating like roasted porks. Everyone feels good in the pictures. And Chinese weddings here may start at crazy times, with crazy tight schedules. Couples and poor photographer typically running around. I don't even know if it's called a "wedding".

    Point 4 above: Typical HDB flats. So cramped. (Ugly someitmes!) Lighting may be tough. No nice surroundings like the countryside with good lighting.

    Taken all together, you think a typical couple (consider themselves rich) here will want to pay a photographer $10k for a full day wedding? As long as they can get decent pictures, that will do. And I don't think it's a wrong mindset, considering the factors I've listed above.
    Last edited by kiwi2; 29th June 2010 at 05:15 PM.

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