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Thread: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

  1. #81

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Jed View Post
    No, I'm not talking about the photographer, but those "stuffs (you) mention" (sic).

    That is to say, the lovely hall, huge car, nice church, and so on and so forth.
    But I was referring to the photographer.

    In the previous post, I said:

    "I'm just pointing out so far, those in the West who pay big money will usually have a very nice wedding with all those stuffs I mentioned."

    The "big money" refers to money paid to the photographer.

    It is common sense that there will be rich people everywhere who can and will pay big money to have very grand weddings. So I wasn't emphasizing on this point.

    The point I have been reiterating many times is that, you pay big money to the photographer (I mean really big money) your wedding is probably gonna be a blast -- posh and grand or at least, very formal. That's culturally and situation-dependent.

    Another point that I have not mentioned is that, you must also understand the mindset of locals here. (Which actually, if you think long enough, is very much culturally dependent, and we come back in full circle again.) We want something "value for money". We know if photographer A has raised his price by an exorbitant x amount, we can easily find the same or even better photographer B. So we won't go to photographer A. And there are many photographer B's around. It's the market that you can't fight against.

    Note also that good memories recorded in camera do not necessarily equate with excellent photographers which some seem to imply.

    My colleague's father is the director of a big bank and his wife comes from a freaking rich family with more than 4 luxurious cars including a Porsche. On their wedding day here, they didn't employ a so-called "high-end" photographer which they easily could have. (Goodness, they could have easily gotten the world's highest paid photographers if they had wanted to!) The results were reasonably good, they liked the photos, case closed. Those are good memories for them.

  2. #82

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

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post
    Nope. Our high end wedding photogs here charge only $5-8k. The rich couples here don't pay them like more than $10k that you'd get overseas for high end weddings.
    One fact to remember to is some very exclusive clients will get their wedding photographer from somewhere in the world. It applies to other field of photography too.

    It is quite safe to say, couple will spend what they want to spend but they may or may not get Singapore-based photographer.

    At least I know some of my client spend a lot more than the rates mentioned here with photographer outside this country and still have their wedding here and they are local Singaporean by the way.

    So, I think put a price on the top ceiling and guard it like holygrail is not something a photographer to do. Photographer charge a price where they know they will still get demand for their work and they are not blindly put a price and hope people will book.

    Many envy, to a point jealous at those that charge higher price but have they consider their hardwork behind the scene? Rome wasn't build in a day.

    Regards,

    Hart

  3. #83

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

    Quote Originally Posted by shinken View Post
    In excess of 10k represents the amount they spend with me in total. Not pure profit (ala 1k per hour for 10 hours)

    Figures really need to be contextualized. There are photographers who're not paid enough. I see them spending tons of money on advertisements, equipments, competitions and what nots, but charge a fraction of what I do, some of them arguably produce better work than I do - so I can, with a fair amount of confidence, deduce that these photographers are not paid enough.

    Even at my rates, sometimes it is more profitable for me to shoot events at $150/hr. All things considered.
    Oh ok, so $10k is the TOTAL amount for you. So far, when discussing charges, I'm referring solely on just your full-day effort. Every other extras have to paid separately. So none of our locals here have hit $10k right?

    Actually, it's up to those photographers mentioned to decide for themselves if they are paid enough. They spend so much, yet charge so little, it's their choice really. But you can't deny they affect your business. Cos like I said, if you want to increase your price cos you think you deserve to be respected and paid higher, couples here will easily go to those other photographers.

    It (AGAIN!) boils down to the culture here. The mindset. The kind of lifestyle we have here. Gotta accept it. Just look at our common employee here. Isn't it common for workers to work beyond what they should? Isn't it common to hear "My boss is still around. I have no more work to do but I can't leave." Isn't it so common that we work on weekends, and if we put it extra hours everyday, there will be no compensation?

    Now if these kinds of things happened in the West, there will be lawsuits, strikes, protests.

    So how are you going to fight against the life here? If you try to increase the price of your services, there will be tons of others out there who can perform the same job at much lower prices. Haven't there also been reports to say Singaporeans are lazy and only like to complain compared to foreigners? If I may use the advice of the Singapore government, it will be this: You must work hard, complain less, be more productive! This precisely applies to wedding photography here also, unfortunately.

    That's why I've been drilling so much here that the culture drastically affects how much you can earn. And that's why I think it's really a pathetic lifestyle as a wedding photographer in Singapore. No offence. I share your sentiments on the sad state. I dunno how you guys cope, but like I mentioned, the waking up early, snapping furiously this and that, the crazy heat and all the rushing. It's not an enviable job. How can anyone enjoy? That's why I think those photographers who say they enjoy a particularly wedding, it's either they are putting up a false front, or you are earning a decent amount such that all those tortures are worth it. The whole process makes the photographer have a low status. So I see where photographers here are coming from, wanting to constantly raise the fees and your status.

  4. #84

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Agetan View Post
    One fact to remember to is some very exclusive clients will get their wedding photographer from somewhere in the world. It applies to other field of photography too.

    It is quite safe to say, couple will spend what they want to spend but they may or may not get Singapore-based photographer.

    At least I know some of my client spend a lot more than the rates mentioned here with photographer outside this country and still have their wedding here and they are local Singaporean by the way.

    So, I think put a price on the top ceiling and guard it like holygrail is not something a photographer to do. Photographer charge a price where they know they will still get demand for their work and they are not blindly put a price and hope people will book.

    Many envy, to a point jealous at those that charge higher price but have they consider their hardwork behind the scene? Rome wasn't build in a day.

    Regards,

    Hart
    Good point Hart.

    For those couples, they are willing to pay and they do see the value of photography.

    But I'm not sure if they are the exception rather than the norm.

    I'm just offering possible reasons why the prices are culturally dependent for the mass market.

    If we do a research, I don't think it's a common thing for the wealthy ones to necessarily engage an overseas photographer for their weddings. I can't confirm on that, but like I said, it's not common.

    Then we also should ask, why are they not getting our local photographers to do the job? Cos their standards are much lower ( I don't think so)?

  5. #85
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    My observations.

    Generally, photography is looked upon locally as a product/service which is good to have but not necessarily having to go with the best available. I'm not referring to just wedding couples but other clients looking into engaging a photographer as well. The objectives of these clients is a contributing factor to pricing and that's understandable actually. If a client want some photos taken just for documentation purposes and look for the cheapest alternative, it their perogative.

    What fustrates me to no end are people who can recognise good work but am ready to lower their expectations to meet the budget. They recognise good work but they don't appreciate their value. I'm talking about commercial photographey here. These photos are used for their company profiles and they (of all people) decided to be penny wise, pound foolish. I gave up on these people, thay are really a waste of time and effort. How can spending $12k to photograph a $45million building project be considered unreasonable??? I thought its no-brainer stuff.

    The almost typically mentality of getting something cheap and good is flourishing everywhere. I can safely say, its not about the money. Its their mindset.

  6. #86
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    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post
    Good point Hart.

    For those couples, they are willing to pay and they do see the value of photography.

    But I'm not sure if they are the exception rather than the norm.

    I'm just offering possible reasons why the prices are culturally dependent for the mass market.

    If we do a research, I don't think it's a common thing for the wealthy ones to necessarily engage an overseas photographer for their weddings. I can't confirm on that, but like I said, it's not common.

    Then we also should ask, why are they not getting our local photographers to do the job? Cos their standards are much lower ( I don't think so)?
    Just to throw my voice into the mix.

    Before I joined ClubSNAP, I really didn't know there were so many talented pro photographers around. I think it is due to exposure. Nobody knew they existed except for a very small circle of friends and friends of friends.

    When my son got married, we arranged to fly in a pro photographer from UK. It cost us almost 100K just for a day's work. Why? All the photo studios we approached are so ancient in their ideas and the pose they demanded were so stiff. Remember this was an era when digital was still not in vogue.

    The bottom line is get out there and give yourself due exposure.
    Last edited by hotwork77; 1st July 2010 at 02:30 PM.
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  7. #87
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    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post
    But I was referring to the photographer.
    Your text:

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post
    When I mentioned Rolls Royce/Bentley, beautiful houses, nice dressing, etc etc, it's to justify the high costs of the wedding photographer and memories that come with the pictures. Not that just cos the couple has rented a super luxury car, then the photographer is expensive also. Of course, his skills are final works are also important. But just that when you look at the pictures, it makes sense why you want to get an expensive photographer. Everything tallies. Everything reeks of class and sophistication. It's like when you attend your friend's informal birthday party, you won't want to wear a suit. Well you can and no one is stopping you. But the dressing doesn't match the occasion.

    I didn't and I'm certainly not pointing out that ALL western weddings (or those in the UK where you are based) are posh. Sure, there are people in the US who live in small apartments and they only have very simple weddings.
    You are making a very big deal out of the Rollers and Bentleys and beautiful houses and dress code; like I said before, surely the same exists in Singapore occasionally too. At the moment you seem to be comparing basic weddings in Singapore with posh weddings in the UK, that's not hardly a fair comparison, like comparing basic weddings in the UK with posh weddings in Singapore isn't a fair comparison either.

    Given these posh weddings exist in both Singapore and the UK, and frankly I have my doubts as to whether there is any difference in the percentage of posh weddings in either country, then your point about poshing implying a higher photography budget overseas is moot.

  8. #88

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

    In New York you can get these -

    Budget Wedding Package US$699
    ~ 4 hours of On Location Photography ~ Unlimited Photos
    ~ Post Production. Each Image is optimized by hand, no batch processing.
    Sharpening, Color correction and Exposure as needed
    ~ Online Gallery with Print Ordering
    ~ DVD of High Resolution Images
    ~ High Resolution Images on Disc. Print them where you wish, no watermarks
    ~Copyright Release


    Basic Wedding Package US$999
    ~ 5 hours of On Location Photography ~ Unlimited Photos
    ~ Post Production. Each Image is optimized by hand, no batch processing.
    Sharpening, Color correction and Exposure as needed. ~ Online Gallery with Print Ordering
    ~ High Resolution Images on Disc. Print them where you wish, no watermarks
    ~ Copyright Release
    ~(1) 8x8 Album, 20 sides
    ~(1) 11x14 Portrait Print

  9. #89
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by jopel View Post
    In New York you can get these -

    Budget Wedding Package US$699
    ~ 4 hours of On Location Photography ~ Unlimited Photos
    ~ Post Production. Each Image is optimized by hand, no batch processing.
    Sharpening, Color correction and Exposure as needed
    ~ Online Gallery with Print Ordering
    ~ DVD of High Resolution Images
    ~ High Resolution Images on Disc. Print them where you wish, no watermarks
    ~Copyright Release


    Basic Wedding Package US$999
    ~ 5 hours of On Location Photography ~ Unlimited Photos
    ~ Post Production. Each Image is optimized by hand, no batch processing.
    Sharpening, Color correction and Exposure as needed. ~ Online Gallery with Print Ordering
    ~ High Resolution Images on Disc. Print them where you wish, no watermarks
    ~ Copyright Release
    ~(1) 8x8 Album, 20 sides
    ~(1) 11x14 Portrait Print
    Uncle Jopel, you found these from Craigslist?
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  10. #90

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

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    Uncle Jopel, you found these from Craigslist?
    Cragslist has cheaper than this. Be it US, Australia, Italy, France, etc there are plenty low-cost wedding photographer. I'm wondering why are they comparing and singing about Western wedding price

  11. #91

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Jed View Post
    Your text:



    You are making a very big deal out of the Rollers and Bentleys and beautiful houses and dress code; like I said before, surely the same exists in Singapore occasionally too. At the moment you seem to be comparing basic weddings in Singapore with posh weddings in the UK, that's not hardly a fair comparison, like comparing basic weddings in the UK with posh weddings in Singapore isn't a fair comparison either.

    Given these posh weddings exist in both Singapore and the UK, and frankly I have my doubts as to whether there is any difference in the percentage of posh weddings in either country, then your point about poshing implying a higher photography budget overseas is moot.


    I am not making a big deal out of Bentleys and Rolls Royces.

    Your words above will actually help me argue my points better.

    I replied this post cos there were people here who erroneously thought since there are so many millionaires here, and Singapore is generally a wealthy nation, how come people can't pay a lot more for higher end weddings? And another CS member also posted how come the prices of the most expensive wed photogs here are equivalent to only mid-ranged prices in Australia? Implying can't we charge much higher?

    So I went on to say, you can't just peg yourself with the best of the West and other countries where photographers are paid higher. You got to look at the culture, couples' mentality and situation.

    I didn't ever point out there are no rich people here who will have posh weddings. And when I said higher end weddings are more grand overseas than here, it was NOT to point out that ALL weddings in the UK are like that. Rather, I'm saying: Look, those financially rich couples in the UK -- how much do they pay for their high end photographer? 5000-10000 pounds or more? That makes sense. Cos the high price matches the grandeur of the high-end weddings over there.

    Over here, weddings are not of that sort. There are frivolous gate crashes (if you don't know what those are, it's where the groom and his bros are tortured sometimes in a demeaning manner), mundane dinner table group shots which honestly you can get an amateur photog to take without any problem. Now, I can't figure out why anyone would pay super big money for all these.

    Then someone argued, well, it doesn't matter how informally your guests wear. It's the memories that matter. I then argued it's not merely the memories that determine your price. It's how much value your clients put to those memories. I cited an eg where my very wealthy colleague was happy with engaging a cheaply-priced photographer who managed to produce reasonably good works. So then, in addition to the culture, you have to also understand the mentality of couples here, as well as the market sentiments of wed photog.

    You have gone off-tangent with my thread of argument so far by saying there is no difference in the percentage of posh weddings in Singapore and the UK. Did I ever say there are more posh weddings in the UK?

    You should perhaps ask those people why they are surprised our local wed photogs are only paid $x amount and not a lot more. Now, my question is: Who are they associating themselves with? Obviously they want to be like their Western counterparts where photogs are paid a lot more. To use your argument, isn't this an unfair comparison? Cos they are obviously trying to fit the Singapore culture and practices to another culture.

    (That's why I mentioned if a McDonald's meal costs $15 in Europe, are we to also increase our prices to that?)

    My next question is: Why is $8k not high enough a price for our high end photogs here? There are many talented photogs elsewhere whose standard can rival ours but yet they charge a lot lower than $8k. Why not peg our prices to theirs? Doesn't make sense too right?

    I think the issue is not so much our photogs are not earning enough. But they have to admit that it has become a very competitive market. There are many cheaper priced photogs who managed to convince their clients that their kind of photography is good enough. If they didn't exist, the higher-priced photogs here would have more income.

    Truthfully, who doesn't want to earn more money regardless of what profession you are in? Why should wed photogs be any exception? If you tell this to our government, they will reply you: Stop being a cry-baby. Work hard!

    I hope someone can kindly enlighten me here. If $8k is not enough, how much is enough before you feel satisfied? I doubt you ever will.

    Assuming you earn $8k per wedding. And you do only 4 weddings a month. That's a total of $32k a month! More than what some surgeons earn k! Still not enough?

    Ok, there are overheads, rental perhaps, equipment, blah blah.... Can I deduct $12k from that? That leaves you $20k. Still not enough? Ok minus away another $5k for whatever. That still leaves you $15k in net profits per month. More than some senior doctors!! Not good enough?

    Pardon me if I have trivialized the above. But please point out to me how come $8k is not deemed enough. Who are our so-called higher-end photogs pegging themselves with? The Western photogs, no??

    I don't know how familiar you are with Singapore. You have to live here long enough to appreciate the lifestyle here.

    All I can say is, money is never enough for any of us in this materialistic world. Believe in yourself, sell yourself well, price yourself sensibly what you think you will earn, and you will do well. Keep comparing yourself with the top earners elsewhere and you will feel miserable. You are not being realistic.

  12. #92
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    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post
    I am not making a big deal out of Bentleys and Rolls Royces.
    Ok if you say so

  13. #93
    Senior Member jOhO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    kiwi:

    i still can't really get my head around "who would want to pay good (alot of) money to shoot themselves being tortured"....

    i know i'm just nit picking on this part, but it's blatant that you (or you say the typical singaporean) equate the value of photography to be higher based on aesthetics. if you look like crap, u shld not pay alot of money to be shot in that state. i assume you also feel the converse is true when you site examples of the rolls and beautiful scenary.

    i'm SO glad my clients aren't this way. perhaps they are the atypical singaporeans, but there's many of them that come my way thank god!

    regarding "how much is enough?" perhaps you answered your own question when you said that anyone in any industry strives to earn more. singapore may be regarded as pretty materialistic and pragmatic country, and since we are talking generalisations, 8k where got enuff???????? sorry, just being singaporean here.

    i must totally agree with your statement here:
    All I can say is, money is never enough for any of us in this materialistic world. Believe in yourself, sell yourself well, price yourself sensibly what you think you will earn, and you will do well. Keep comparing yourself with the top earners elsewhere and you will feel miserable. You are not being realistic.

    However, correct me if i'm wrong, if that person/photographer sensibly thinks that he is worth 12k per wedding (without comparing to others lower or higher in other cultures/countries), you seem to be rubbed the wrong way. why?

  14. #94

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

    hi kiwi2, do you mind clarifying your background with regards to photography
    it would help me better appreciate where you're coming from in relation to all the comments you've posted so far

  15. #95
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    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post
    That's why I've been drilling so much here that the culture drastically affects how much you can earn. And that's why I think it's really a pathetic lifestyle as a wedding photographer in Singapore. No offence. I share your sentiments on the sad state. I dunno how you guys cope, but like I mentioned, the waking up early, snapping furiously this and that, the crazy heat and all the rushing. It's not an enviable job. How can anyone enjoy? That's why I think those photographers who say they enjoy a particularly wedding, it's either they are putting up a false front, or you are earning a decent amount such that all those tortures are worth it. The whole process makes the photographer have a low status. So I see where photographers here are coming from, wanting to constantly raise the fees and your status.
    it is rather disheartening to see such comments, but well, to each his own and you are entitled to your views. I cannot speak for every photographer out there, but I actually did pen a short article on why i do what I do, and in fact was about to post on my blog for a few days now, even before this thread caught my eyes. But due to admin reasons, I had to delay publishing it. Maybe if you do get a chance to read it in time, you might have a lighter view of photography (wedding or not) as a profession.

  16. #96
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    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Unfortunately, what a lot of people don't know is that it costs much much more to woo an $8K client than it does to woo a $2k client. the food and drinks you serve them, the costs of entertaining them, the final product you give them would need to be top of the line stuff too. you're not going to give an $8K client a made in indonesia/taiwan wedding album and get away with it. You're not going to be able to shoot an $8K wedding and take the film to some neighborhood lab to get developed and scanned. they want their film to be handled by the best labs in LA/NY/Sydney or custom done. High end clients expect handcrafted archival custom printed albums made in Italy, USA etc. High end clients are wealthy, not stupid. they might have money, but they still see and expect value.

    so while on paper, $32k a month looks good, unfortunately, the production costs of catering to the high end market is very very high as well. Fact of the matter is no matter how much you charge at the end of the day, there's no such thing as a free lunch be it for wedding, commercial or fashion photography. For what a lot of the top wedding photographers in Singapore are giving clients, even at $8k, it's a complete steal when you consider the final product and the cost of doing business in Singapore, and that's why i left the country. get paid more to do less and am better appreciated overseas.

  17. #97

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

    Quote Originally Posted by jOhO View Post
    kiwi:

    i still can't really get my head around "who would want to pay good (alot of) money to shoot themselves being tortured"....

    i know i'm just nit picking on this part, but it's blatant that you (or you say the typical singaporean) equate the value of photography to be higher based on aesthetics. if you look like crap, u shld not pay alot of money to be shot in that state. i assume you also feel the converse is true when you site examples of the rolls and beautiful scenary.

    i'm SO glad my clients aren't this way. perhaps they are the atypical singaporeans, but there's many of them that come my way thank god!

    regarding "how much is enough?" perhaps you answered your own question when you said that anyone in any industry strives to earn more. singapore may be regarded as pretty materialistic and pragmatic country, and since we are talking generalisations, 8k where got enuff???????? sorry, just being singaporean here.

    i must totally agree with your statement here:
    All I can say is, money is never enough for any of us in this materialistic world. Believe in yourself, sell yourself well, price yourself sensibly what you think you will earn, and you will do well. Keep comparing yourself with the top earners elsewhere and you will feel miserable. You are not being realistic.

    However, correct me if i'm wrong, if that person/photographer sensibly thinks that he is worth 12k per wedding (without comparing to others lower or higher in other cultures/countries), you seem to be rubbed the wrong way. why?
    Hi Joho:

    "if you look like crap, u shld not pay alot of money to be shot in that state."

    So you do agree with my statement? I won't go so far to use the word "crap", I'm just matching class for class. This brand of wedding, this type of money couples are willing to pay. May I ask: Who do you want to earn like? Let's discuss.

    If I might just remind the audience, I'm not the one who started this discussion. Read the previous posts and the very old ones here carefully. People have the misconception that they want to be like their overseas counterparts. And that rich = willing to pay more.

    So you (and some others) think $x is not enough. (Nothing's ever enough btw.) I am taking it that you want to charge way above 10k (purely services only), a price that is considered the higher end in the West. That's why, I'm telling you, look at the setting/process/interpretation/culture/mindset/lifestyle of those weddings there, and compare it with what you are shooting here. Do you feel there's a mismatch?

    It's very difficult to appreciate it cos couples may not verbalize openly or think consciously cos my wedding is in Singapore and it's not as grand as those high end ones in the West, I am not willing to pay that kind of price. The reason is that there are many other factors all intertwined and there are subtle implications involved among the various factors. Like I mentioned, we Singaporeans are practical minded people and they way we treasure and value pictures are different in general from other cultures. And not forgetting, there's the problem of local market sentiments.

    I have offered my views and I don't expect everyone to agree. No one in this world will agree with you everything. That's ok. If you feel culture or the type of weddings here does not play an important role in determining how much you can charge, I respect that. But my view still stands.

    I think no one in Singapore has a clear solution to the issue of raising the fees. Else why is this darn topic surfacing time and again? It's like, Woaaa, wedding photogs here are always short-changed. Everyone else is having a good life. No such thing ok? We are all living in Singapore and subject to the same kind of environment.

    I notice an interesting trend. Every time, a newbie will come in and pretend to ask an innocent question, like in this case "Is the wedding market saturated?" Then they disappear without posting anymore. (These are your potential competitors wannabe, if you haven't realized. And don't think just cos you belong to the upper end of the market, they are not a threat.)

    Then inevitably, the discussion will go off-tangent into money issues and pro photographers get upset cos they lament how come they can't charge more. By more, it's obvious you guys want to compare yourselves with the higher end market overseas. But I've already said, No, it's not as easy as you think. Maybe it's possible, yes, there's no concrete ceiling on the upper price, but you got to take a gargantuan effort to do that. By reasons of culture, market sentiments, the mentality of the locals here, the lifestyle, etc, it's almost as good as impossible.

    It's like, Can Singlish be abolished? Deep down, we know Singlish is bad English but we glorify it as our national identity. Well, it may be possible to rid of it. But ask yourself this: With what effort? It's our culture for goodness sake! So possible? Maybe. But deep down we know it's so difficult to be as good as impossible.

    You mentioned:

    "regarding "how much is enough?" perhaps you answered your own question when you said that anyone in any industry strives to earn more. singapore may be regarded as pretty materialistic and pragmatic country, and since we are talking generalisations, 8k where got enuff???????? sorry, just being singaporean here."

    Finally, we have an admission here. Then there's really nothing much to talk about here. This forum has become no different from those that simply complain and complain how we are not earning enough. It's money that drives you (and most of us actually).

    If we have every profession here to do like what you're doing, then we'll end up with forums of people crying MONEY NOT ENOUGH! It's not too long ago that a minister's daughter from RJC called these people useless and only complain and complain and expect the government to do things for them. For the government and many bosses in Singapore, they will tell you: Work hard, if you are not willing, there will always be foreign workers who will do the same job and expect less pay.

    So I really don't know what's the issue. If you guys constantly feel you're not earning enough as a wed photog, why don't you do something practical about it? Instead of writing it time and again on the forum. You are not in any special case. I remind you, this is Singapore. There are many professions here which are paid less than overseas and we work longer hours. On the other hand, there are many others in 3rd world countries who are paid a lot less than us.


    You mentioned:
    "However, correct me if i'm wrong, if that person/photographer sensibly thinks that he is worth 12k per wedding (without comparing to others lower or higher in other cultures/countries), you seem to be rubbed the wrong way. why?"

    Har? Since when was I rubbed the wrong way for this reason? Yes, it's a wrong assumption. If you think you're worth 12k, why not? Did I ever say the 8k photographer is not worth his keeps? But I just wonder, why some of them keep complaining it's not enough. That's why I want to understand their psychology. Aren't you guys pegging yourselves to the overseas market? It's not realistic.

    Anyway, who is presently charging 12k here? No one I think? So for whatever price you are charging now, are you happy or do you think you deserve to go higher? If so, why aren't you? Any problems? What sort of problems?

    If you're already satisfied, what's there to complain about?

  18. #98

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Jed View Post
    Ok if you say so
    Duh...

  19. #99
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    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    kiwi:

    I think the main question here is are we allowed to dream? To dream of a better salary, or a better life for example.

    I think we are entitled that, no matter what profession we undertake.

    It depends on each individual photographers themselves to price themselves in whichever range they deem themselves worthy. But without a nice forum like this to discuss the pros and cons, the newcomers to the industry might never understand the need to / dream of one day being able to earn 8K or more. Which is why i don't see the various entries by the other members as complaints rather than a healthy discussion or a pass on of knowledge.

    And as I mentioned in one of my previous entries. We grow with the economy. Being satisfied with my rates now, might not mean i will be satisfied with it 10 years down the road. And if you read well into that line, I guess we can also crash with the economy too. If we are in a extended crisis, I don't think you will find someone charging 15K for a wedding when most of the public are getting paycuts. So yes, culture affects business which is why it took some time for wedding photographers to gain any sort of true recognition in singapore. But if we dare to dream and hopefully with consistent economic growth (i think this is brought forth by everyone else in the world dreaming haha), we will be able to bring the quality and rates of photography higher in singapore.
    Last edited by Ah_K; 2nd July 2010 at 12:13 PM.

  20. #100
    Senior Member jOhO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    hi kiwi, i'll be concise in blue:

    "if you look like crap, u shld not pay alot of money to be shot in that state."

    So you do agree with my statement? I won't go so far to use the word "crap", I'm just matching class for class. This brand of wedding, this type of money couples are willing to pay. May I ask: Who do you want to earn like? Let's discuss.
    that stmt was my interpretation of your views, not in agreement of it.

    If I might just remind the audience, I'm not the one who started this discussion. Read the previous posts and the very old ones here carefully. People have the misconception that they want to be like their overseas counterparts. And that rich = willing to pay more.

    not sure why you mention this in reply to me, because i dun agree that rich defn = pay more. i have plenty of clients who aren't rich but pay good to alot.


    So you (and some others) think $x is not enough. (Nothing's ever enough btw.) I am taking it that you want to charge way above 10k (purely services only), a price that is considered the higher end in the West. That's why, I'm telling you, look at the setting/process/interpretation/culture/mindset/lifestyle of those weddings there, and compare it with what you are shooting here. Do you feel there's a mismatch?

    It's very difficult to appreciate it cos couples may not verbalize openly or think consciously cos my wedding is in Singapore and it's not as grand as those high end ones in the West, I am not willing to pay that kind of price. The reason is that there are many other factors all intertwined and there are subtle implications involved among the various factors. Like I mentioned, we Singaporeans are practical minded people and they way we treasure and value pictures are different in general from other cultures. And not forgetting, there's the problem of local market sentiments.

    I have offered my views and I don't expect everyone to agree. No one in this world will agree with you everything. That's ok. If you feel culture or the type of weddings here does not play an important role in determining how much you can charge, I respect that. But my view still stands.

    I think no one in Singapore has a clear solution to the issue of raising the fees. Else why is this darn topic surfacing time and again? It's like, Woaaa, wedding photogs here are always short-changed. Everyone else is having a good life. No such thing ok? We are all living in Singapore and subject to the same kind of environment.

    I notice an interesting trend. Every time, a newbie will come in and pretend to ask an innocent question, like in this case "Is the wedding market saturated?" Then they disappear without posting anymore. (These are your potential competitors wannabe, if you haven't realized. And don't think just cos you belong to the upper end of the market, they are not a threat.)

    Then inevitably, the discussion will go off-tangent into money issues and pro photographers get upset cos they lament how come they can't charge more. By more, it's obvious you guys want to compare yourselves with the higher end market overseas. But I've already said, No, it's not as easy as you think. Maybe it's possible, yes, there's no concrete ceiling on the upper price, but you got to take a gargantuan effort to do that. By reasons of culture, market sentiments, the mentality of the locals here, the lifestyle, etc, it's almost as good as impossible.

    It's like, Can Singlish be abolished? Deep down, we know Singlish is bad English but we glorify it as our national identity. Well, it may be possible to rid of it. But ask yourself this: With what effort? It's our culture for goodness sake! So possible? Maybe. But deep down we know it's so difficult to be as good as impossible.

    wow that's alot to digest and in many ways you are right about singapore. however perhaps we can stop generalising. at least you need to know that quite a few "high end pros" or watever we call them are doing very well and are not really complaining. i also do appreciate the fact that there are photographers who whine and complain as you have mentioned, and that too is a singaporean trait. actually this is a rare time i'm participating in such discussions and i'm slightly regretting it. it's quite pointless but i'm replying to you because you seem to be very passionate about your stand and i'm wondering why. also amongst all the words, ur stand gets diluted. i'm gonna try to sum up what you really feel.

    shut up and stop complaining and comparing that you are not being paid too much. learn to understand the market you are in and work hard to earn ur keep and what you think you deserve.


    is that what you want to say? if so, you're not entirely wrong. u do however have to let these photographers voice out and try to justify at least verbally, or even here in the forum their reasons, views, upsets over why they feel they are undercharged. your stand is that these pple are clueless and they need to be educated in the differences in culture and all that. i find that they are allowed to strive for what you feel is impossible.



    You mentioned:

    "regarding "how much is enough?" perhaps you answered your own question when you said that anyone in any industry strives to earn more. singapore may be regarded as pretty materialistic and pragmatic country, and since we are talking generalisations, 8k where got enuff???????? sorry, just being singaporean here."

    Finally, we have an admission here. Then there's really nothing much to talk about here. This forum has become no different from those that simply complain and complain how we are not earning enough. It's money that drives you (and most of us actually).

    if we are talking about money, then the more the merrier. what is it an admission of?

    If we have every profession here to do like what you're doing, then we'll end up with forums of people crying MONEY NOT ENOUGH! It's not too long ago that a minister's daughter from RJC called these people useless and only complain and complain and expect the government to do things for them. For the government and many bosses in Singapore, they will tell you: Work hard, if you are not willing, there will always be foreign workers who will do the same job and expect less pay.

    So I really don't know what's the issue. If you guys constantly feel you're not earning enough as a wed photog, why don't you do something practical about it? Instead of writing it time and again on the forum. You are not in any special case. I remind you, this is Singapore. There are many professions here which are paid less than overseas and we work longer hours. On the other hand, there are many others in 3rd world countries who are paid a lot less than us.

    just because selected photographers whine about not earning enough doesn't mean all they do is post in this forum for you to read. what makes you think they are just whining and not doing anything else? and why are you so hot for such photographers? how about those photographers who are doing well and contented? and why can't such contented photographers have a "the more money the merrier" mentality too? why can't photography as a business focus on money and profits as other businesses do? have u ever been to a board meeting where the chairman says, "good job guys the company has earned TOO much, u all take a break for 6 months, the shareholders are cool with that"?


    You mentioned:
    "However, correct me if i'm wrong, if that person/photographer sensibly thinks that he is worth 12k per wedding (without comparing to others lower or higher in other cultures/countries), you seem to be rubbed the wrong way. why?"

    Har? Since when was I rubbed the wrong way for this reason? Yes, it's a wrong assumption. If you think you're worth 12k, why not? Did I ever say the 8k photographer is not worth his keeps? But I just wonder, why some of them keep complaining it's not enough. That's why I want to understand their psychology. Aren't you guys pegging yourselves to the overseas market? It's not realistic.

    see there's this thing with pegging to overseas photographers. i know it has been mentioned, but this is one of the many arguments. u like to drive this point home, that we singaporean photographers feel short-changed compared to our western counterparts. this is but one the many points we are addressing in our business. key word here is "many". you seem to harp on the "one". all i'm saying is, we are not JUST trying to peg ourselves to overseas counterparts. i guess you shld be able to agree with at least that? hmm even that term "peg ourselves" seems to degrade us local photographers because i'm very passionate about the fact that we are not worse then them at least in the art of photography.

    as for being unrealistic, it was unfathomable that wedding photography can cost 5k and up just 7 years ago. it was as you say, unrealistic to think that way then. it is a real thing now. you cannot blame the industry for trying pushing themselves up, even if it involves complaining or pegging. not just our industry, all industries shld be pushing themselves up, in terms of quality, profits, service etc?


    Anyway, who is presently charging 12k here? No one I think? So for whatever price you are charging now, are you happy or do you think you deserve to go higher? If so, why aren't you? Any problems? What sort of problems?

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