Do for free for friends until enough portfolio to showcase then charge pro rate? I'm thinking of this for myself. I'm also in serious needs for guidance and opportunities.
I was considering this option too. But won't the customers referred by word of mouth through these friends be also expecting either free or cheap prices? Since generally, people will more often spread your services to their close friends and there is a high chance that they would tell their friends that you did it for them for free?Originally Posted by Cowseye
Can any bro share on what is the fine line of doing free photoshoot for friends just to expand portfolio?
If you are serious about this, you can. Do free for port and experience. Not to worry about word of mouth thing, it affects, but not much on the whole.
Or if you are really serious about this, approach like you would a real job and have a simple agreement with a clause stipulating that your work is worth $xxxx.xx however is providing the service free. In case of couple's disclosure of such fact, two times the full payment will be due in 30 days. Late fee of $50 every month applies thereafter.
If they cannot respect that, they dont deserve your free work.
Last edited by JasonB; 11th August 2011 at 12:32 PM.
but there are some photographers just go around offer free shoots, some even not up to par yet.
anyway, this is what the law says, if they want this want that want everything, just simply pay for your service.
Thank you catchlight bro and jason for sharing!
Sharing this great article from the famous US photographer Scott Robert. Link is here.
".....There is one common thread that binds these successful photographers and it is directly related to SACRIFICE. All of the photographers who have “made it”- sacrificed and gave up working their traditional jobs and committed 40-80 hours a week to develop their craft and business. The success rate for those who’ve have done this versus those who haven’t is such a huge gap I now assume if an artist doesn’t spend at least 40 hours a week at their craft for several years, they will almost NEVER become a world class photographer who can independently support themselves and a family.It is common to see the part time photographer do well for maybe a year or two but their business usually fades for a few reasons…
Their work may be sufficient for part time income but it does not transcend to the next level of excellence required to provide them a good, full time income. Here are three reasons why…
1. They don’t have the time required to practice 50 hours a week devoted to their craft and transcend their work.
2. They don’t have the proper learning base or have a very successful mentor that will groom them into a world class artist and business person.
3. It is harder and harder for the part time photographers to separate themselves from the masses. Technology and digital imaging software will always close the gap between the good and average photographer. Don’t be just good, be WORLD CLASS in imagery and in business.
The path to becoming a professional athlete is very similar to becoming a full time artist. There MUST be a HUGE sacrifice of time and commitment! The odds of making it are slim but the pay off is downright amazing.
PLEASE RESPECT OUR JOB AND THE INDUSTRY! Part time effort and sacrifice is never going to compare to those of us who have invested YEARS of FULL TIME dedication and sacrifice. I have poured my heart, soul, mind, body, spirit and MAJOR financial resources to get where I am. Sorry to say, there are no shortcuts, no magic formulas.
“No pain, no gain”, as the popular saying goes. If anyone wants to even consider becoming a gainfully employed artist and produce work at a world class level, it is a full time commitment and this person will have to find 40-60 hours a week devoted to developing their craft to catch up with those of us who put in this amount of time and effort.
Last edited by kentwong81; 7th September 2011 at 04:50 PM.
Guess this thread's not only about amateur or pro photogs - it's also about cheap or informed clients.
Takes 2 sides to form an equation.
Cheap clients go for amateur photog.
Informed clients go for pro photog.
Everyone is happy.
All's well ends well.
That is why there is a saying... ROME wasn't build in a day.
I often told my photographers about the realm of professional photographer. It isn't the easiest thing to do... but if you have the heart and dedication, you can make it and enjoy the rewards.
Just attended WPAS social nites 2 nites ago and what Patrick mention was interesting... You need to have a DREAM and ACTION to achieve the dream and another photographer also mentioned, always have a back up plan... it is true...
My way of thinking is if you live and breathe photography day in day out, with enough hardwork and a dose of luck, you should make it there. However, don't forget why you start doing photography in the first place.
I have met Scott Robert Kim once and he is like the Chinese guy that came out of a car boot in the hangover movies. Really funny guy.
Having said that, those are true words. How good you are depends on how much effort you want to put in. That seperates you from the rest.
But i do and have taken the lower budget couples this time, you know 750-900 no issue. Not too bad. I mean it's just 1 or two, and it pays for my holiday.
Slow months are used to plan ahead and time to talk with other vendors... Really don't have time to plan when you are busy.... Planning and self upgrading is important if you want to continue to grow. Chasing numbers of jobs per months is pointless without any proper planning.
I prefer not have to accept any jobs any lower then my charge... Unfortunately, magazine don't charge you less for slow months. Will only take less than my current charge if I am developing new segment or special direction that I want to pursue.
As it is, I feel I am too cheap every time I see the finish products and when clients think my charge are reasonable...
So in order not to feel desperate, one will really spend time planning their business direction....
I wish each day has 36 hours so I can sleep for 8 and have 28 hours to work n spend time with the family.
Another great article by Scott Robert: How to Be an Awesome Weekend Warrior- Part 1 » Scott Robert LA
Quote from the article:
Once McDonalds came out with their Dollar Menu their business increased dramatically and all the other fast food chains had to follow and offer low cost menu items. To be successful at servicing clients that only demand average or slightly above average goods and services means constantly competing according to market price.. The weekend warrior is like the Dollar Menu. Great value at a low price. The problem with competing with a product that is average, business is based on market pricing and when the average price of the product goes down, especially because of technology advances and increased competition, so will the price of the product. Average quality is strongly tied to market prices because average is easy to produce. That is why many full time photographers are now out of the business or only part time now, mostly because they produced very average work. Producing average work is like the employee with an easy job like stuffing boxes- someone who is dispensable and easily replaced by technology or a lower priced employee. The market doesn’t lie, if you are drastically losing business or not regularly booking jobs, your work is being viewed as average by the market- either get out now and save your life savings, or work your tail off to get better.
To be entirely honest....
What Scott Robert says has a point. However, as an entrepreneur myself and photographer, his post, like any commercial post on blog are geared towards "selling" the important of paying "someone" top $$$ for education. This is a shortcut if one is not willing to do a lot of soul searching everyday to better themselves.
This doesn't mean bad or offense to the poster, as he himself is one of very fine photographer in his area.
We as photographer will reinvent ourselves beyond taking photos.
I am very surprise to learn through his post that reading through online and YouTube is a rare possibility that you will make it big.
I beg to be different.
I wish I have a great mentor that teach me more things... What I learn is, when people give you the right chance, you grab it, hold it dearly, be humble and learn as much as you can. Theses chances comes in small bit fragments and how you piece it together is entirely another thing.
I guess if Scott is correct, I must be a rare breed... But I just don't understand it can be the so difficult... Since I can't be more than average as a student.
I have similar thoughts as you, that the blog post is geared towards selling a point. Frankly, the trend now is workshops, post processing effects, latest invention in flash modifers, and workshops again. Its seems like its easier to make money out of startouts or wannabe-pros by selling them a new equipment, photoshop actions or workshops, than it is to sell photography itself. And these are often packaged along the lines that "buy this or attend this workshop and you will be successful". Some of these are really good but some might not.
Thing along the lines of "the latest tupperware flash modifer", the latest "photoshop plugins used or developed by some famous photographer", etc. Again, not that these aren't good, I believe most are great to attend. But as with all information, received, digest, and decide for own self.
Last edited by sjackal; 25th November 2011 at 12:34 AM.
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I guess in the end, its just another way of advertising for his (Scott Robert's) own ends.
Yes, whether it is commercialized or not, be it a workshop, mentorship, photoshop action, texture, association membership, etc, you choose what to invest your $$$ into to grow your business to your desired level. Your competitors won't tell you what to do, but like what others always say, there is always exemption. So depend on your luck.
Last edited by kentwong81; 25th November 2011 at 01:10 AM.
Depend on luck may be a good thing but it's a scary things to do.
I always believe in getting the right "education" for things that you do... Unfortunately, people will choose the cheapest education when comes to photography.
Workshop is not a trend really... Sure, some might commercialized the idea, but some is willing to teach... It really depend on how you differentiate those yourself.
Wait, probably he's talking about $200 per photo! :P