Dear Cheap but good photographer: you are ruining my life and this industry


Nikonzen

Senior Member
Nov 3, 2014
2,570
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Oklahoma, USA
#2
I'm not in it for money that is why I want $2500 for a wedding (enough to cover a second hand Df). Unfortunately I have no clients. I also firmly believe there is a sucker born every minute plus a fool and his money are easily parted so I have hope yet! haha :) (Speaking for myself here bros..LOL)

Old rule in the selling business...sometimes people won't bite because it sounds to cheap. Shhh!!! Don't tell anyone!

It is more importantly about business rather than photography per se...people who make poor business decisions won't be in business very long will they? Scared of competition? If you are a pro and get what you ask...don't worry about it then? :dunno:
 

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JasonB

Deregistered
Jun 2, 2009
871
9
0
#3
Too much of these articles is no good because the people shooting cheap won't be reading or interested. Nothing is going to change. But when these 'self-justification' articles get circulated in social media, it further cheapens photographers to clients reading by appearing too contrived and 'trying too hard'

The way to do it is provide products at a level that ordinary photographers cannot produce, protect your product and competitive edge. Guard the gate to professional photography but that is not to say not to share your methods and knowledge, but rather to shut it away from people who will decimate your industry; the very people who have no respect for the livelihood and profession of others. Not talking about the innocent new photographers who are oblivious to these issues, but the repeated stubborn idiots who continously cheapen the profession and influence others to do so. Form professional circles that pro photographers help each other to higher levels. My small opinion.
 

Oct 26, 2013
317
0
0
#4
There are people who look for cheap things and there are people who look for expensive things. so who are you going to market yourself to ?
 

kklee

New Member
Aug 13, 2004
403
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#5
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Priscilia

Deregistered
Jun 20, 2006
184
4
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#6
I think many working professional photographers are still in delusion. I make no apologies for the blunt statement but they really have to move on.

It's always easy for those who feel they have been short-changed by the industry to advise other fellow photographers to charge more. Who are they kidding? This is an over-saturated industry. Don't live in the world of 20-30 years ago where much fewer people are interested in photography. Today, just like computers, practically everyone has handled or own 1 or more digital cameras.

It's the simple law of demand and supply. When there are so many who can become photographers (large supply), don't you think potential customers are spoilt for choices? If you think you can be paid highly for your work, then do it! If you are really that good, clients will naturally come to you. You will not waste your precious time over the Internet lamenting why business has been poor, why profits are dropping, and directly or indirectly slam other "cheap photographers". You yourself are cheap if you constantly blame others for being cheap.

Photography is not rocket science. It is easy to pick up. Many times, we have seen amateur photographers taking pictures that beat professionals. It is also not a very well-respected industry or profession like being a doctor, lawyer, etc, unless you can stand out among the crowd.

So be contented with your career. Otherwise, consider changing to other types of career. Complaining won't help.
 

catchlights

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
21,903
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Punggol, Singapore
www.foto-u.com
#7
Thanks for the sharing.

There are some of the consumer base photography services can classified as diminishing trades, due to the advancement of technology and social network.


is either most customers not willing to pay for it or or simply low in demand, as such photographers are no longer able to make sustainable profit, regardless in full time or part time basis.


the change is inevitable, the soonest we realise, accept it, willing to adapt or evolve, it will help us to go up to the next level.
 

Zeisser

Senior Member
Jul 12, 2008
2,653
11
38
Tampines
www.flickr.com
#8
Thanks for the sharing.

There are some of the consumer base photography services can classified as diminishing trades, due to the advancement of technology and social network.


is either most customers not willing to pay for it or or simply low in demand, as such photographers are no longer able to make sustainable profit, regardless in full time or part time basis.


the change is inevitable, the soonest we realise, accept it, willing to adapt or evolve, it will help us to go up to the next level.
I totally agree. Back in the film era professional photographers was a niche profession where skills were the essence. But now a days
in this digital era where manupilation is part and parcel with photography it's inevitable. No choice.
 

JasonB

Deregistered
Jun 2, 2009
871
9
0
#9
I think many working professional photographers are still in delusion. I make no apologies for the blunt statement but they really have to move on.

It's always easy for those who feel they have been short-changed by the industry to advise other fellow photographers to charge more. Who are they kidding? This is an over-saturated industry. Don't live in the world of 20-30 years ago where much fewer people are interested in photography. Today, just like computers, practically everyone has handled or own 1 or more digital cameras.

It's the simple law of demand and supply. When there are so many who can become photographers (large supply), don't you think potential customers are spoilt for choices? If you think you can be paid highly for your work, then do it! If you are really that good, clients will naturally come to you. You will not waste your precious time over the Internet lamenting why business has been poor, why profits are dropping, and directly or indirectly slam other "cheap photographers". You yourself are cheap if you constantly blame others for being cheap.

Photography is not rocket science. It is easy to pick up. Many times, we have seen amateur photographers taking pictures that beat professionals. It is also not a very well-respected industry or profession like being a doctor, lawyer, etc, unless you can stand out among the crowd.

So be contented with your career. Otherwise, consider changing to other types of career. Complaining won't help.
I don't think many working pros are in delusion, but on the contary very aware of the everchanging environments. What were you thinking? Pro photographers are a bunch of outdated business-dumb idiots? Also you might had mistakened Catchlight's intentions of sharing such posts. The point of such posts is education and industry building.

But you on the other hand slams such efforts and label photography as 'not a very well respected industry' is exactly negative and detrimental to aspiring photographers starting out. Claiming photography is easy to pick up and amatuers produce better pics than professionals shows how little you know about professional photography. :)

I like to share this recent article about how a photographer negotiate a $200000 job:

http://blog.wonderfulmachine.com/20...ational-hospitality-shoot-luxury-hotel-chain/
 

JasonB

Deregistered
Jun 2, 2009
871
9
0
#10
Thanks for the sharing.

There are some of the consumer base photography services can classified as diminishing trades, due to the advancement of technology and social network.


is either most customers not willing to pay for it or or simply low in demand, as such photographers are no longer able to make sustainable profit, regardless in full time or part time basis.


the change is inevitable, the soonest we realise, accept it, willing to adapt or evolve, it will help us to go up to the next level.

For this I disagree with you Catchlights, I used to feel the same only a few years before, but my opinion had recently changed. ;)

Consumer based photography would mean direct to consumers, ie not a business-to-business deal. ie, portraits, weddings, family and babies.

We neednt look far. Hart seems like making good business... For instance baby photography, people used a friend for their first child, realized it not ideal, and the child already grew up, they aren't making the same mistake with the second baby.

Somehow, it seems like the 'anyone can be a photographer' thinking is starting to fade and people are growing out of it, exactly because now everyone knows everyone has cameras and people are looking beyond camera owners to professional service providers.

Business to business on the contrary, seems to have slowed, maybe its sectorish to my experience and client base, so I can't tell for sure. I may be wrong about consumer market too but I hope I am not. :)
 

catchlights

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
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#11
For this I disagree with you Catchlights, I used to feel the same only a few years before, but my opinion had recently changed. ;)

Consumer based photography would mean direct to consumers, ie not a business-to-business deal. ie, portraits, weddings, family and babies.

We neednt look far. Hart seems like making good business... For instance baby photography, people used a friend for their first child, realized it not ideal, and the child already grew up, they aren't making the same mistake with the second baby.

Somehow, it seems like the 'anyone can be a photographer' thinking is starting to fade and people are growing out of it, exactly because now everyone knows everyone has cameras and people are looking beyond camera owners to professional service providers.

Business to business on the contrary, seems to have slowed, maybe its sectorish to my experience and client base, so I can't tell for sure. I may be wrong about consumer market too but I hope I am not. :)
From my observation, the consumer based photography become more polarized over these few years, we know that there are photographers charging 5-6K and above for wedding day coverage, and there are countless photographers charging $500 for weddings.

and there are portrait sessions start at $800 for a sitting, and there are also many people only charging $100 with throwing in a CD.

We are not discussing on those highend photographers here, they are offering service to a very niche market and have not much competitors at this level. :)
 

keithwee

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 20, 2010
7,952
43
48
LittleRedDot
#12
There's a market carved out for the very niche consumers , the mass market and of course the budget segment.

hmm, if one has established oneself then I believe this is quite a non issue but of course for new start-ups, its a headache but then when has it been easy to start?

DO a good job and people will be willing to pay. If one wishes for top dollar service but yet pay peanuts, I'm pretty sure the professional photographers won't really wish to take up the contract too.
 

catchlights

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Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
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#13
To be very honest, I won't want talk about the bottom feeders too, new faces show up every day, they just keep coming and go, nothing will change, and noting much we can do about it.

But for those photographers stuck somewhere in between,
We know that you have been working very hard to stay in business, I'm asking you to think carefully, for what you can offer now, there are plenty photographers also offering the same thing, and at a cheap rate.
"Yes, they won't last very long" you might say, but when all these new comers keep coming with a throat cutting price strategy, how long can you last?

with situation like this, the answer is very clear,
is either you move to next level, or move away.
 

Agetan

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2004
4,669
15
38
www.tomato.sg
#14
Priscilia, you are extremely rude. I believe anyone who is running an honest business is a very well respected. I fail to understand why you think being a photographer is not a well respected one. Perhaps it is your personal opinion, but I am sure many will strongly disagree with you.

Like any industry, to do well, you have to be somewhat doing something a little different from others... in the positive way I mean.

I find it is way too easy to blame external factor on our own failure, but I find it more productive to spend time learning what the problem truly is before fixing it. When a business fail (mind you, 97% of business fail in the first 3 years) largely, due to the inability to offer the right solution to the market. Focusing on the 97% isn't going to help anyone... but learn from the 3% will change how one see the business.

Change of mindset is needed if one want to succeed in anything. Rather than look outwards, ask yourself honestly, would you use your own service? if not, why?, if yes, how can you make it better? ask that to yourself every day.

Yes, you can make a very good living out of photography and enjoy doing it. the only way I know how to make it work is to design my business around my lifestyle, not the other way round... I wrote about it as I recently invited by NTUC youth club nEbO to talk about it.... read it if you feel it gives you some things to think about... http://www.tomato.sg/blog/no-one-enjoy-to-be-ordinary-nebo/

As bad as it seems, if one willing to change, there is nothing to prevent them to become successful. Just have to ignore the negativity but at the same time, don't be stubborn.

I feel a photographer is cheap, not based on the price they charge, but their business integrity. Photographers who have no ethics hurts the industry, not those charge cheaper in price. Everyone has different risk appetite and everyone have different income that they want to achieve, there is no right or wrong in pricing, what matter is if it make sense.


Hart
 

Likes: kandinsky

nightwolf75

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 18, 2003
17,857
14
38
really MORE diaper changes
#15
how cute... priscilla is also clone of kiwi2/David/Andreq, previously killed off for cloning / trolling... thanks to the CSI efforts of CSers, the clones' revenge has been killed.
 

G-man

Senior Member
Mar 2, 2006
2,280
6
38
My House
#17
A monkey can press a button, but a real photographer can assess a situation, know how to adjust for it and then MAKE the shot.

I guess people like Priscilla liken themselves to monkeys.
 

ziggy

Senior Member
May 24, 2006
824
3
18
East
#18
I'm not a professional photographer - it's a tough business and you guys have my utmost respect. May I suggest something that can give you guys an edge?

In most major theme parks and attractions, even in Singapore, there are photographers taking photos and have them printed on the spot, of course charging pretty high fees, like $15-$25 for a 8x10" with a paper folder. If managed properly, it can be a very profitable business. I know.

When everyone has a camera these days, an 8x10" photo is $5, why would anyone pay silly money for a photo then? Yet these souvenir photo guys are doing very well.

The reason is instant gratification. You get to see the photo within a few minutes. Your happy experience (it works only in theme parks and attractions when people are having a good time) is now immortalised in a photo within a few minutes. The feeling of seeing an actual photo, almost extinct nowadays, often can be wow moments.

If photographers can offer this for their shoots, this might be one way to differentiate yourselves from the cheapo photographers. It will cost more in manpower to set up a printing station at a wedding, but a photo of the guests with the wedding couple as a gift would probably be more meaningful than some of the momentos the couples would be spending their money on.

I have absolutely no idea whether this would be practical, but my 2 cnets worth.
 

jnet6

Senior Member
Apr 21, 2004
8,179
0
36
not here often anymore
#19
I'm not a professional photographer - it's a tough business and you guys have my utmost respect. May I suggest something that can give you guys an edge? In most major theme parks and attractions, even in Singapore, there are photographers taking photos and have them printed on the spot, of course charging pretty high fees, like $15-$25 for a 8x10" with a paper folder. If managed properly, it can be a very profitable business. I know. When everyone has a camera these days, an 8x10" photo is $5, why would anyone pay silly money for a photo then? Yet these souvenir photo guys are doing very well. The reason is instant gratification. You get to see the photo within a few minutes. Your happy experience (it works only in theme parks and attractions when people are having a good time) is now immortalised in a photo within a few minutes. The feeling of seeing an actual photo, almost extinct nowadays, often can be wow moments. If photographers can offer this for their shoots, this might be one way to differentiate yourselves from the cheapo photographers. It will cost more in manpower to set up a printing station at a wedding, but a photo of the guests with the wedding couple as a gift would probably be more meaningful than some of the momentos the couples would be spending their money on. I have absolutely no idea whether this would be practical, but my 2 cnets worth.
Actually all these attractions in SG photo booth are managed by the Company itself. Thus to get more revenue other than entry tickets/optional tours(add-on)/F&B.
The leaders of company/group has suggested to the management to buy an entry/mid/pro DSLR with certain lighting equipments plus photo printing machines to generate extra income with very good ROI and improve their KPIs.
One off purchase of equipments to last for 5-6yrs with replenish of consumables(Photo paper/batteries/Ink etc) and help company to generate $$ with minimum overheads(manpower/equipment maintenance). The management will agreed to it as the current pricing of DSLR are affordable in recent years and with help from gov(PIC grants) certainly is a no brainer equation.
 

catchlights

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
21,903
46
48
Punggol, Singapore
www.foto-u.com
#20
I'm not a professional photographer - it's a tough business and you guys have my utmost respect. May I suggest something that can give you guys an edge?

In most major theme parks and attractions, even in Singapore, there are photographers taking photos and have them printed on the spot, of course charging pretty high fees, like $15-$25 for a 8x10" with a paper folder. If managed properly, it can be a very profitable business. I know.

When everyone has a camera these days, an 8x10" photo is $5, why would anyone pay silly money for a photo then? Yet these souvenir photo guys are doing very well.

The reason is instant gratification. You get to see the photo within a few minutes. Your happy experience (it works only in theme parks and attractions when people are having a good time) is now immortalised in a photo within a few minutes. The feeling of seeing an actual photo, almost extinct nowadays, often can be wow moments.

If photographers can offer this for their shoots, this might be one way to differentiate yourselves from the cheapo photographers. It will cost more in manpower to set up a printing station at a wedding, but a photo of the guests with the wedding couple as a gift would probably be more meaningful than some of the momentos the couples would be spending their money on.

I have absolutely no idea whether this would be practical, but my 2 cnets worth.
This is kind of souvenir photos that existing since very long ago, back in the film days, I saw photographers using medium format cameras shooting guests in the clubs before shows (live musical performance), than they rush the prints and ready to sell to the guests once the show ended. now in digital age, instead of lab prints, just replace it with dye sub prints.

You can also see this photography service in every cruise ships.
You also can find this at the flower dome of the Garden By The Bay too.

anyway, I don't think anyone can do this by himself, because he has to buy the exclusive rights from venue owner to operate a business there,
Usually these type of service are run by a company, so they just hire someone who know how to point a camera to take the photos, seriously, the quality of the photos is only passable most of the time.

btw, I happen to have chance to talk to the people who run the photo shop in a cruise ship, they try to take as many photos as possible, for an instant, during the captain dinner, if they come to a table has a family of four, the photographers will take individuals photos of FOUR, so they can sell FOUR photos instead of one. The photo shop will print out all the photos for display, but the guests have no obligation to buy these photos, when at the end of the cruise, those unsold photos will be destroy and disposed.

Nowadays every old uncles aunties all have smart photos and facebook, they also like to take selfie just like young people, who still want hard copy photos?
 

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