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Thread: Cheap photographers only kill themselves, not the industry

  1. #101

    Default Re: Cheap photographers only kill themselves, not the industry

    If a photographer can charge cheap and still make a living. Maybe we should learn a thing or two from him.

    As someone mentioned budget airline can definitely co exist with big airline. Cheap airline helps people to travel cheaper. If without the budget airline, these group of people will not even fly. So, the big airline doesn't lose anything. Servicing different group of customers.
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  2. #102

    Default Re: Cheap photographers only kill themselves, not the industry

    Does budget airline killed the aviation industry. I'm sure we all know the answer.
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  3. #103

    Default Re: Cheap photographers only kill themselves, not the industry

    Quote Originally Posted by Xiao_shin View Post
    If a photographer can charge cheap and still make a living. Maybe we should learn a thing or two from him.

    As someone mentioned budget airline can definitely co exist with big airline. Cheap airline helps people to travel cheaper. If without the budget airline, these group of people will not even fly. So, the big airline doesn't lose anything. Servicing different group of customers.
    Agree that there are different business models and target customers that businesses can adjust to optimize its ability to 'stay in business' and make profits. Be it photography, other professions, or even big companies. Speaking of the latter, it is why many companies prefer to hire professionals that cost less from foreign countries than locals professionals. It is their way to managing business costs.

  4. #104

    Default Re: Cheap photographers only kill themselves, not the industry

    This discussion has become too "academic" to achieve any useful purpose. After a huge discussion we're still back to nothing. It's like discussing which cam should I buy, Canon or Nikon.

    IMHO, what a good photographer needs is conscious. In other words, do you feel responsible towards your clients?

    It doesn't matter whether you are a pro or freelance. In fact, I hate the work "pro", cos it makes it sound like the photographer is a guru. Pro simply means he or she is doing it full-time. But just because one is pro doesn't mean he or she is better than a freelance. Higher chance perhaps but not necessarily.

    Just make sure what you charge is what you are worth and always speak the truth if you care about your clients.

    Let me tell you my story:

    I employed 2 wedding photographers, one a free-lance and the other a pro. End result? The freelance nailed better results than the pro.

    I was surprised, cos that so-called pro told me back then he had "7 years" of experience which I don't believe at all now, seeing the works he produced. He charged a few thousand dollars (including album). And he is a member of an international wedding association (which I realize now doesn't mean much as even many top wedding photographers don't join it).

    His shots were:

    1. out of focus due to misfocus
    2. severely underexposed due to lack of understanding on exposure. So fundamental yet he lacked it.
    3. poor post-processing skills.

    Can you imagine, even still group shots could turn out out of focus?? And important ones with guests.

    In the end, I had to painstakingly edit the images myself, those that could be saved. But for many of those blurry ones, I couldn't do much obviously.

    Now that I think about it, I should have been mean towards him and demanded a full refund. But instead, I felt then he deserved a second chance and I actually thanked him for the job and said I liked it. *slap forehead* Dumb.

    Interestingly, I noticed he is still in business. But he no longer updates his website, no longer posts his pictures on Clubsnap (in the past he did) or maybe he uses a different nick now. And most curiously, he is now charging quite a few hundred dollars less than what he charged me in the past! I wonder why...

    I wish there is a section on CS to warn others about such dubious photographers like him. To those aspiring photographers, if you can't do it, don't mess with other people's weddings, whether you charge low or high. And don't ever lie about your skills.

  5. #105

    Default Re: Cheap photographers only kill themselves, not the industry

    Quote Originally Posted by David View Post

    It doesn't matter whether you are a pro or freelance. In fact, I hate the work "pro", cos it makes it sound like the photographer is a guru. Pro simply means he or she is doing it full-time. But just because one is pro doesn't mean he or she is better than a freelance. Higher chance perhaps but not necessarily.
    Just to clarify, the term 'freelance' does not necessarily mean part-time. By definition it means that the person is not permanently employed by any one company, but rather he can work/shoot for different companies/clients. A full time pro can also be a freelancer. Eg. working from home instead of being paid a monthly salary like an in-house photographer.

  6. #106

    Default Re: Cheap photographers only kill themselves, not the industry

    Quote Originally Posted by snowspeeder View Post
    Just to clarify, the term 'freelance' does not necessarily mean part-time. By definition it means that the person is not permanently employed by any one company, but rather he can work/shoot for different companies/clients. A full time pro can also be a freelancer. Eg. working from home instead of being paid a monthly salary like an in-house photographer.
    Yes that also.

    And all the more one should not assume freelancers are any less competent than the pros.

  7. #107

    Default Re: Cheap photographers only kill themselves, not the industry

    i read before that as long as you are earning money from photography you are a pro, either full time pro or part time pro. It is as simple as that.

  8. #108

    Default Re: Cheap photographers only kill themselves, not the industry

    Quote Originally Posted by sfoto100 View Post
    i read before that as long as you are earning money from photography you are a pro, either full time pro or part time pro. It is as simple as that.
    As long as your primary income is derived from photography. I read somewhere that as a 'guideline', at least 70% of your revenue from photography.

  9. #109
    Senior Member Sion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap photographers only kill themselves, not the industry

    Perhaps we should also ask why people can charge less?

    Partly it may be the costs of operating the business and how much he needs to live.

    I recently visited my friend's new studio in Kuala Lumpur. He told me he set it up with only Aud $5,000 with 6 made-in-China studio lights. Rent is only Aud $300 a month. His studio assistant is his young son. I would hate to imagine how low he can charge for a product shot.

    He was trained in commercial photography in a photography college in Tokyo.

  10. #110

    Default Re: Cheap photographers only kill themselves, not the industry

    Quote Originally Posted by Sion View Post
    Perhaps we should also ask why people can charge less?

    Partly it may be the costs of operating the business and how much he needs to live.

    I recently visited my friend's new studio in Kuala Lumpur. He told me he set it up with only Aud $5,000 with 6 made-in-China studio lights. Rent is only Aud $300 a month. His studio assistant is his young son. I would hate to imagine how low he can charge for a product shot.

    He was trained in commercial photography in a photography college in Tokyo.
    1.living cost in difference country will make a big difference.
    2.china made product is not bad, though it might not last long compare to europe product.

  11. #111

    Default Re: Cheap photographers only kill themselves, not the industry

    Hi guys though i'm new here but i've been through my fair share of photographer that's y now i trying it myself.

    What i really dun mind is a cheapo inexperience photographer charging me a dirt cheap rate rather than a inexperience and poorly equip photographer charging me sky high rate. That so call photographer can complete a day shoot using only a 18-135 lens and half way through something happen to his camera and he dun even have a spare. Really a waste of my time and money, lucky he refund me the money, BUT only after i threaten him that i will put up a bad feedback on this forum. That's the power of ClubSNAP.

    Kindly do not ask me to name that person out as that is a promise that i have given to him

  12. #112

    Default Re: Cheap photographers only kill themselves, not the industry

    Quote Originally Posted by kuanseng81 View Post
    Hi guys though i'm new here but i've been through my fair share of photographer that's y now i trying it myself.

    What i really dun mind is a cheapo inexperience photographer charging me a dirt cheap rate rather than a inexperience and poorly equip photographer charging me sky high rate. That so call photographer can complete a day shoot using only a 18-135 lens and half way through something happen to his camera and he dun even have a spare. Really a waste of my time and money, lucky he refund me the money, BUT only after i threaten him that i will put up a bad feedback on this forum. That's the power of ClubSNAP.

    Kindly do not ask me to name that person out as that is a promise that i have given to him
    Maybe before you hire a photographer, you could have asked if he has spare equipment? (eg, extra cam body, lens, memory card, batteries -- all of which can fail at any time).

  13. #113
    Member Sispecho's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap photographers only kill themselves, not the industry

    Quote Originally Posted by snowspeeder View Post
    I fully agree to this view. Protectionism and spoon feeding is not going to do any good. Which is why I also fully agree to the importation of FTs into SG where employers have access to cheaper IT professionals, engineers, or other specialists alike. We're in the world of survival of the fittest. Not that I like it, but that's the way it is. It is a global competition out there. Whatever profession we're in, we have to continually learn to adapt and evolve. So rather than complaining about foreigners taking away their rice bowls, these whiners should consider changing trade if they are outclassed by the competition.
    Its a bit unfair to compare the industry to the foreign worker issue. Dollars and cents DO NOT make a nation. Protectionism has its purposes, but i think you know that already.

  14. #114

    Default Re: Cheap photographers only kill themselves, not the industry

    Quote Originally Posted by Sispecho View Post
    Its a bit unfair to compare the industry to the foreign worker issue. Dollars and cents DO NOT make a nation. Protectionism has its purposes, but i think you know that already.
    Yes obviously protectionism has it function. But if every nation and industry starts to implement policies to protect its turf (for whatever reasons), then that limits competition locally or globally; and a new set of issues will arise from there. I think there can be no perfect balance to look after the interest of everyone, hence in this real world it boils down to the elimination of the weakest link. Some may not like FTs coming in. In the same way, some in the photography industry are not too pleased with 'cheap photographers'; hence this thread and discussion.

  15. #115
    Senior Member sinned79's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap photographers only kill themselves, not the industry

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathann View Post
    paying more doesnt necessary mean better quality. same can be said for photography services too.


    quite true.

    what u charging is just a number. Anyone can quote a number (be it high or low).

    what matters is you must have a proven record (portfolio to show his past extensive works not just 1 or 2) and good reputation (not just creativity and photo skills but also customer handling and attitude) in this industry.

    so for those who charges low, perhaps they knew that they are not reputable in this industry and hope to get more jobs to improve before increasing their charges. i guess that's pretty much a norm. I dun believe a low baller will always stays to be one.

  16. #116
    Senior Member Anson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap photographers only kill themselves, not the industry

    Quote Originally Posted by snowspeeder View Post
    Maybe before you hire a photographer, you could have asked if he has spare equipment? (eg, extra cam body, lens, memory card, batteries -- all of which can fail at any time).
    For a paid-assignment.. to me the hired photographer had to prepare backup just in case anything failed. To me anything may/can failed, but it should not be the equipment failure that affect the day.


    Anyone disagree?

  17. #117

    Default Re: Cheap photographers only kill themselves, not the industry

    Once upon a time, people paid for typesetting and typing to be done. New dedicated word processors appeared, and eventually Wordstar appeared, and Word Perfect. Pretty soon, there were lots of word-processing programs on personal computers. Over time, the computers and word-processors became more powerful - with multi-point fonts and so on - and became a whole lot cheaper. Today, even kids will know how to do their own documents - and probably at a quality that is better than what people used to pay for typesetting 30-years ago. Very very few people would today make a living off offering type-setting services. Technology, not cheap typesetters, killed the business.

    That's just the nature of technological progress - it lowers barriers to entry. This allows more people to try their hand at things and with quantity, quality eventually improves. We are seeing the same thing happen to photography (and has been happening for quite a while now.) With affordable good equipment becoming more readily available, I think the death of the business is somewhat inevitable. It's simply the law of demand and supply. Huge supply and lower demand.

    Daniel

  18. #118

    Default Re: Cheap photographers only kill themselves, not the industry

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Wee View Post
    Once upon a time, people paid for typesetting and typing to be done. New dedicated word processors appeared, and eventually Wordstar appeared, and Word Perfect. Pretty soon, there were lots of word-processing programs on personal computers. Over time, the computers and word-processors became more powerful - with multi-point fonts and so on - and became a whole lot cheaper. Today, even kids will know how to do their own documents - and probably at a quality that is better than what people used to pay for typesetting 30-years ago. Very very few people would today make a living off offering type-setting services. Technology, not cheap typesetters, killed the business.

    That's just the nature of technological progress - it lowers barriers to entry. This allows more people to try their hand at things and with quantity, quality eventually improves. We are seeing the same thing happen to photography (and has been happening for quite a while now.) With affordable good equipment becoming more readily available, I think the death of the business is somewhat inevitable. It's simply the law of demand and supply. Huge supply and lower demand.

    Daniel
    I don't agree to this statement, if this is the truth then not only photography business will die but even the job of news editor and journalist will be gone since we have better computer for editing. Fortunately, it the person behind the machine that create the miracle and this not about to change anytime soon.

    Every Tom Dick and Harry can own a piece of photography technology not everyone can create Arts.

  19. #119

    Default Re: Cheap photographers only kill themselves, not the industry

    Maybe it's happening everywhere due to globalization? Or maybe it's due to Singapore's tiny market but loads of talents

  20. #120

    Default Re: Cheap photographers only kill themselves, not the industry

    ilikeit,

    I think to an extent, the news editor and journalist are also threatened. The group of information providers are becoming smaller and smaller. Just look at what's happening in photo-journalism. Stringers today have a hard time, with the major players (AP, Reuters) taking the lion's share. Then you have Getty and the like providing super cheap options (relatively speaking). The business won't go away completely, of course - but I think that it will undergo some major shifts, making the current style of business very difficult to sustain (hence "death".)

    More and more photographers are adding value to the business (such as video services, etc.) precisely because the core business is getting harder to keep as the sole business offering. So yes, I think with technology and automatic news aggregation, plus changing means of news delivery, the classical job of the news editors will start to shrink - with a lot of news being provided by new and alternative means (such as bloggers etc.) You can bet that the traditional journalists are complaining about bloggers the same way we are complaining about the "cheaper" photographers. But this isn't a problem of cheaper photographers per se, but the result of the forward march of technology.

    To keep the business truly viable, one would need some barriers of entry, which will increase the value of the service, making people willing to pay for it. With traditional barriers being removed one by one, only those who can offer something the layman cannot do for himself, will succeed in commanding a premium.

    Daniel
    Last edited by Daniel Wee; 22nd November 2010 at 05:25 PM.

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