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Thread: Cheap photographers only kill themselves, not the industry

  1. #141
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap photographers only kill themselves, not the industry

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post
    Goodness what a joke! After so long, this useless discussion is still going on? And some full-time pros are still sore about the issue?

    It amuses me that people say time is money to them, they charge a lot cos their clients are "up there" yet they spend their precious time discussing around and around the topic which to me, is no issue at all.

    I wonder, who are the ones with good skills and yet charging cheap? Can you guys post some of their pictures here please? I hear that complaint a lot. And ironically, it's from the pros who say they don't charge cheap. Why then do they need to care so much anyway? And spend their expensive time here rambling about this?

    I think there is a bigger selfish agenda. While one can say it is to raise the photography standards, wake up I say. That won't happen. It's a global phenomenon wherever you go.

    My analysis is that pros here cannot go even higher cos they are facing a bottleneck from those below them who are competitive and charging lower than them. There are many clients who are not always looking for the best. As long as it is reasonably good, they will be willing to accept at a few hundred or thousand $ cheaper.

    So that's why we hear time and again these pros come out to say CHARGE MORE, CHARGE MORE! Like asking you to do a stupid thing: Come on, rev your car higher, step on the accelerator, cos there is a long time of them waiting at the back. As long as you don't move forward, they can't too. But what they don't tell you is that in front of you is a brick wall. You are the scapegoat to break that wall for them. Once broken, they can then move forward.

    The downside to this silly rambling of "CHARGE MORE, CHARGE MORE" is that we are now seeing sub-standard photographers out there who jump into the business with little skills and charging couples. And unfortunately, since the latter have often little idea to judge what is good photography, think the photographer is that good when in fact he or she is bad. Let's be honest. We have all seen these. If you need more convincing, I can post pictures here for everyone to judge.

    There are many such photographers around. I see a lot of monkey see, monkey do works which are horrible and couples innocently (and sometimes foolishly) think they are the in-thing. That's the kind of standard we are setting now. I've personally seen works taken by photographers at my friends' wedding... only a very small handful are good. The rest, I would say, are trash, in the sense that, those who are charging a little, will be better off throwing their cameras away, while those who charge more should perhaps consider lowering their fees.

    So I re-iterate again, who are the skillful photographers who are not charging more? Please prove to us here. Else, please stop all the nonsensical CHARGE MORE arguments. Are you barking up the wrong tree or arguing in front of the wall? You do your own job, earn big bucks, be happy. Don't go around telling other CHARGE MORE just so you can go even higher for your own benefits.

    If life were so good, why don't you tell the barbers in Singapore, Eh uncle, why you charge only $10 for haircut? Your work quite good. Charge $20!! Why don't you tell your favourite char kway teow stall, Eh auntie, why you charge only $3 per plate? You stupid is it? Charge $10 lah! Work 4 hours a day instead of 10 hours! You can spend more time with your children, grandchildren, relax at home, blah blah. What a crappy argument!

    Instead, I would like to go the other way and say, Photographers, CHARGE LESS!
    Or what you feel comfortable. The so-called "atas" or top photographers got their own "top clients". Their works so good right, and "smart" clients are good judges right? So they will never go hungry. Don't worry about them.

    I hate seeing Singapore becoming a snob and elitist country. Everything so expensive. Something so basic as housing already got problem. The next thing we don't want is financially challenged couples to take 12 month bank loans cos they can't even afford a photographer at their wedding!

    But you know what, I am very confident that won't happen cos if anything, photography will be a lot more challenging. It's saturated. Some of the pros know it, and they are scared and frustrated. They are affected, at least in some way. But isn't this the same case for many other businesses? If you cannot take the hardship, stop whining and change your job. There are many other "foreign talents" who will be more than happy to come here and be paid less and yet produce works that rival yours.
    these people are care about the industry, willing to spend their time to educate the juniors.

    Not a lot of pro photographers willing to share, but see what they get when they are willing to share their view?? no wonder I see more pros are rather to keep very low profile in CS nowadays, cos somebody like you are keep bad mouthing about professionals.

    well, those who willing to learn from the pros, keep your listening ears open, they may not be here for long, or may choose not to speak anymore.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  2. #142

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

    Hey, how can you say I am bad-mouthing? I am not!

    The whole discussion always surfaces. Not only in this thread, but you can dig out the past ones.

    It's come to a point that makes me wonder, What is the REAL issue?

    I haven't seen a newbie photographer coming out to lament "I'm so sad, cos my works so good, but I can only charge so little." Please tell me who they are! I suspect they don't exist!

    So I have begun to wonder... those who complain are mainly the pros who are already charging a lot. Is there an ulterior motive here? Are they complaining cos they want to earn even more money? Who doesn't want anyway?

    But why can't we leave those who supposedly charge less alone? They know what to do. You mean you call this education by just saying charge more? Please lor, they are not stupid. You must ask yourself: Why don't they charge more?

    Like I said, you have your own favorite char kway teow stall or whatever. I invite you to later go to them, and "EDUCATE" them by telling them to charge more and work less. Then please come back here to tell us what their response is.

  3. #143

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

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    these people are care about the industry, willing to spend their time to educate the juniors.

    Not a lot of pro photographers willing to share, but see what they get when they are willing to share their view?? no wonder I see more pros are rather to keep very low profile in CS nowadays, cos somebody like you are keep bad mouthing about professionals.

    well, those who willing to learn from the pros, keep your listening ears open, they may not be here for long, or may choose not to speak anymore.
    Catchlights,

    I feel that you are a little bit to harsh here, this is a "discussion forum" remember. How can everyone have the same view on a subject. If everyone have the same view, do we still need a "discussion forum"?

  4. #144

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

    Cheap or expensive not up to individual to say, the market (client) will decide.
    Eat breath LIVERPOOL!!!

  5. #145

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

    *I don't work for Uniqlo!

    Just some add on to my previous post on the Uniqlo vs CK theory.
    Some very interesting finding on pricing!

    Uniqlo label shirt (design by Gilded Age) = less then USG78
    Gilded Age label shirt = USD258

    Do a google search on "gilded age x Uniqlo" and "Gilded Age".
    You will see what I meant.
    Last edited by expro; 24th November 2010 at 10:07 AM.

  6. #146

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

    Quote Originally Posted by expro View Post
    *I don't work for Uniqlo!

    Just some add on to my previous post on the Uniqlo vs CK theory.
    Some very interesting finding on pricing!

    Uniqlo label shirt (design by Gilded Age) = less then USG78
    Gilded Age label shirt = USD258

    Do a google search on "gilded age x Uniqlo" and "Gilded Age".
    You will see what I meant.
    Puzzle me and mind if you care to enlighten me on what the logic behind this comparison of selling goods vs services as you have mentioned here?

  7. #147

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



    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    these people are care about the industry, willing to spend their time to educate the juniors.

    Not a lot of pro photographers willing to share, but see what they get when they are willing to share their view?? no wonder I see more pros are rather to keep very low profile in CS nowadays, cos somebody like you are keep bad mouthing about professionals.

    well, those who willing to learn from the pros, keep your listening ears open, they may not be here for long, or may choose not to speak anymore.

  8. #148

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

    Quote Originally Posted by lancey View Post
    Tell that to all the worthless cheap photographers.
    You may have lost a few deals to those photographers who charge an affordable rate. Just bite the bullet and move on. But what right have you got to make the above remark?

    It is demeaning. Imagine you just started out and with not much experience, would you think the potential customers would waste the money on you when an experienced photographer charges the same price as you?

    Some of the guys here started from as low as $150/4 hours. But they have gained more experience and now command a higher pay. Do you dare to call them worthless cheap photographers?

    Please be more generous and forgiving to others.

  9. #149

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

    Quote Originally Posted by godzilla60 View Post
    However, cheap photographers who charge above their cost and are able to turn in a profit should be evaluated for their business model. These cheap photographers could have found a way to do things cheaply.
    I agree with you that they must be doing something right if they can still profit from the business and something we can learn.

    Hopefully, it's not the case of miscalculated cost of operation.

    I don't think the discussion here is about degrading budget photographer, but hopefully to educate the photography community that beside fighting with fellow photographer using price tactic, there could be other possible way to position oneself. All this assuming the photographer are doing a ok job and not just as starts up. It amused me when there are pros like Agetan even coming out with concrete action to educate the community, there are people who just say 'learn to live with it', accept fate as it is.
    Last edited by ilikeit; 24th November 2010 at 11:47 AM.

  10. #150

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

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post
    But you know what, I am very confident that won't happen cos if anything, photography will be a lot more challenging. It's saturated. Some of the pros know it, and they are scared and frustrated. They are affected, at least in some way. But isn't this the same case for many other businesses? If you cannot take the hardship, stop whining and change your job. There are many other "foreign talents" who will be more than happy to come here and be paid less and yet produce works that rival yours.
    This is the only part that I agree. Like all businesses in the world today, things will only be more competitive. The same goes for our local industries, more FTs hired here as professionals, be it engineers, ITs, or healthcare. So if locals find their industry too saturated, they should change jobs too. Maybe it's about managing expectations.

  11. #151

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

    Quote Originally Posted by snowspeeder View Post
    This is the only part that I agree. Like all businesses in the world today, things will only be more competitive. The same goes for our local industries, more FTs hired here as professionals, be it engineers, ITs, or healthcare. So if locals find their industry too saturated, they should change jobs too. Maybe it's about managing expectations.
    Let's not bring FT into this discussion as it will open another can of worms.

  12. #152

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

    Quote Originally Posted by ilikeit View Post
    Let's not bring FT into this discussion as it will open another can of worms.
    No worries. The point I was making is all about business and competitiveness, not nationality.

  13. #153

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

    Even if they remain cheap, what concern is it of yours?

  14. #154

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

    to message #149, it was a sacarstic remark. Read it in context before you attack me. im on the cheap photographer's side.

  15. #155
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    Default Re: Cheap photographers only kill themselves, not the industry

    Quote Originally Posted by godzilla60 View Post
    i think it is not the problem of someone starting cheap but about someone remaining cheap.
    Well you folks probably know the competition better than I do.

    Here's what I do though, I will always start with friends or people I know to do the photography work for me if I ever need help and quite often I will either get it done free or cheap :-)
    Enlighten me...
    [Uluru]

  16. #156
    Senior Member ovaltinemilo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap photographers only kill themselves, not the industry

    very interesting thread indeed. got many of those in business to express their views. Anyway, I personally feel finger shd be pointed towards clients..esp in wedding photography...I do know of some friends engaging student etc to shoot....different folks, different strokes... my friends felt the photos were nice..(I think otherwise)
    I think they were referring to the sharp images...as long as it's sharp and expose not off too much..they feel they are good...different ppl, different need..there's a demand, there's sure to be supply...
    ...:::..::.Nikon.::.:::..
    RGB Metering & Focusing.

  17. #157

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

    Quote Originally Posted by ilikeit View Post
    Puzzle me and mind if you care to enlighten me on what the logic behind this comparison of selling goods vs services as you have mentioned here?
    If you are too lazy to read pass posts, you deserve to be Puzzle!

  18. #158

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

    Quote Originally Posted by expro View Post
    If you are too lazy to read pass posts, you deserve to be Puzzle!
    what nonsense you are talking about. If you cannot even give a proper analogy or explanation to my question stop being cocky.

    It's like comparing apple to orange.

  19. #159

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

    Quote Originally Posted by ilikeit View Post
    what nonsense you are talking about. If you cannot even give a proper analogy or explanation to my question stop being cocky.

    It's like comparing apple to orange.
    Who the hell do you are? You ask question I need to answer?

  20. #160

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

    Calm down guys...

    We are here to share our view and hopefully contribute something that benefits those who read, digest and learn from it.

    It is often easier just to ignore... I saw this old lady crossing the street painfully slow and perhaps she has some medical condition. I could or would jump off to help if I wasn't in my car driving. None of the people who walk past her offer a help... Some even give her the "look".

    It is sad but some may argue this is reality.

    Unfortunately, there are a lot more skeptics in this world than optimist and perhaps a good thing in some sense.

    Many pros out there are busy enough with their work and might not even have enough time with their families, they care but unfortunately 24 hours is always too short.

    For some of us, fortunately have a bit more time in our hand, could offer some of our insight. Of course, our insights are often challenge, but we are just human who is imperfect in many aspects.

    I do learn everyday from people's action and reaction which help me in growing my business.

    The original TS and the article says nothing but a word of advice for people who is trying to make a living in this trade. I have also learn time is a fix commodity. We may live for 60, 70, 80, 90 or even 100 or more... But each day, we have 24 hours.

    We sleep about 1/3 of our life, so effectively, we have 16 hours a day. You will have to decide how you would use your 16 hours day effectively.

    If one is using more than 100 % of their waking hours working, I believe some might actually died from it... Heart attack, accident from lack of concentration, many other things...

    If you take the positive side of the story, it simply tells you... Respect your time and use it to the way you "prefer" to do it....

    Some, like myself, prefer to spend time with the family.
    Some, prefer to have fun doing nothing
    Some, feel they don't have a choice but to work because they have to provide.

    Isn't it better if you can be cash rich and time rich at the same time? For many, include myself, might not have that luxury until much later, that is if we do everything right, now.

    I remember a quote from Gerry from Xsight, if the photographer itself is the business, it is not a business at all.

    Of course, to some sense, it is unseparable but it is not impossible.

    I love the negativity in people, because they challenge me to prove to myself, what I think it is right.

    Many have told me, do not specialized in children photography, you won't survive... I think why not?

    If you guys have a spare $100 and time.... There are 2 books might help you changing our ways of thinking. One is "the magic of thinking Big" and the other is "the idea book". I often read and feel it is so funny how our brain works.

    Anyway... That is my 2 cents...

    Yes, I do have a lot more time this year as compare to last year while growing the business at a sustainable rates... Most importantly... Enjoy my work and my time.

    You can do that too. Of course, some will challenge that.

    I am a very average person academically but my photographers told me that i am an extreme optimist.

    One last thing, I was told (and I believe) the more you share, the more you will learn. So why not?

    Regards,

    Hart

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