Do clients prefer digital or conventional photographers?


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synapseman

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#1
I've totally converted from film to digital. I've been approached/recommended to take on certain projects (mainly events coverage and wedding day shoots), but before some of these prospective clients even have a look at my previous work, the moment I mention that I shoot digital, they reel in horror.

Okay. Slight exaggeration. Maybe. But "digital" seems to be a very dirty word to some. Pardon my naieveity, but why so? Is it because the trend is now for consumers to buy digicams, and hence the perception becomes that digital is a "consumer format", while conventional 35mm is "more professional"? The digital-vs.-film debate has gone on countless of times, but these are largely from the users' points-of-view. What about clients? What makes (some of) them have more faith in conventional photographers vs. digital?

Questions, questions, questions...
 

Azure

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#2
Haha... I heard this one too often from some friends recently too. :bsmilie:

My take is that for those people (events and weddings), many probably listen to their friends and neighbourhood labs and the like. Somehow many of these folks still go around with the misconception that
(1) digital prints are rotten, compared to film;
(2) digital shooters are amatuers;
(3) digital cameras are those prosumer dinky little toys

Let me related how this misconception can come about - (1) is something that even my favourite lab says to their regular customers, that includes me! Then again, I can understand that many of their walk-ins are really the home user type, hence 2Mp with Auto all the way.... you can imagine the outcome. *Bleah*

That (2) can hold water (in many lay-people's perception) is reinforced by (1). :rolleyes:

I guess for (3), no point arguing there, is it?

End of the day, show them your shots lah. Does it make a difference whether the photog uses film or digital (for those clients)? I think its a matter of the photog's sales pitch.
 

synapseman

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#3
I guess it's difficult to convince people, especially those not into photography and already having fixed perceptions. It's the same old idea that "the bigger your camera, the better you must be." Actually, I do have a film camera. An Olympus Mju II, which is an *excellent* camera. But who in the right mind would let me cover an event with that, huh? :p

Having said that, it's not that I don't want to shoot 35mm as well as digital, but my pockets are shallow and my wallet's thin. I simply cannot afford to indulge in another system (yet, I hope, I hope...).
 

scanner

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#4
synapseman said:
I guess it's difficult to convince people, especially those not into photography and already having fixed perceptions. It's the same old idea that "the bigger your camera, the better you must be." Actually, I do have a film camera. An Olympus Mju II, which is an *excellent* camera. But who in the right mind would let me cover an event with that, huh? :p

Having said that, it's not that I don't want to shoot 35mm as well as digital, but my pockets are shallow and my wallet's thin. I simply cannot afford to indulge in another system (yet, I hope, I hope...).
No need to change system, just buy a film body SLR which you can reuse you current existing equipments. If I need to maintein 2 system, I will be darn broke! :D
 

#5
I have encountered both types. Some specifically ask for digital, others specifically asked for film. Since I have both systems and is comfortable with both, I just deliver what they want (rather than try to sway them from one to the other, after all, it's just a medium).

With the proliferation of digital cameras (and cheap DSLRs), it's no wonder that the general people out there get the misconception that digital is for amateurs.

Plus like Azure says, there are people out there (the film die-hards) who keeps spreading the rumour that film is superior, etc.

And of coz, some people who hire your services might not be totally comfortable with handling digital files. These group of people will therefore be better served if you shoot negative for them, which they can easily go and re-print.

Regards
CK
 

synapseman

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#6
Actually, my workhorse is the humble Minolta 7Hi. I used to own a 35mm SLR until it fell apart and died. I decided to go against conventional wisdom and opt for an all-in-one system for its ease and simplicity in use. The less accessories the better. This camera type seemed to fit the bill, and has proved to be flexible enough for my purposes.

In due time, I'd like to get another 35mm SLR. The ideal case would be to have both systems/formats as they should complement, and not compete against, each other. But for the time being, I'm just grinding to make ends meet. As for my photographic assignments, I guess I'll just have to see where my luck takes me. :)

Thanks for the insight, people!
 

#7
synapseman said:
Actually, my workhorse is the humble Minolta 7Hi. I used to own a 35mm SLR until it fell apart and died. I decided to go against conventional wisdom and opt for an all-in-one system for its ease and simplicity in use. The less accessories the better. This camera type seemed to fit the bill, and has proved to be flexible enough for my purposes.

In due time, I'd like to get another 35mm SLR. The ideal case would be to have both systems/formats as they should complement, and not compete against, each other. But for the time being, I'm just grinding to make ends meet. As for my photographic assignments, I guess I'll just have to see where my luck takes me. :)

Thanks for the insight, people!
One (unfortunate) thing to note : though we say it's the photographer that make the picture and equipment is secondary, the equipment you use does have an impression on the clients. Not to say the 7HI is no good but to the people who doesn't know and are used to seeing big SLRs with hammerhead flashes and the like, they might then not take you seriously. ;)

Regards
CK
 

Watcher

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#8
My view on the issue is this:

Digital increase the convenience and lowers the threshold of the level of skill needed for taking pictures. However, this does not automatically increase the quality of the picture taken. Tons of bad amateur photos does not help here.

Furthermore, there is the "mystique" of film; the old or skilled craftsman making the photo. These film makers especially those who don't want to change, will promote the digital == bad idea as well, pooh poohing it in order to keep their business. These film makers themselves mostly do not understand nor have the urge to understand digital. They fear it so they go against it. They are like those who had said that the motor car cannot win over the horse-driven carts.

Equipment masturbators makes the entire group looks bad when it joins with the first issue. Talk all day about equipment, how expensive, how cool, what features, etc. But when it comes to take photo... :sweat: :rolleyes:

My way of countering it is this: Tell me which photo on SI uses film? Even the swimsuite edition is all on digital! The newer generation of commercial shooters are now on digital as well. Look at the lifestyle shoots in HSBC bank, the Mercedes E200 with Kimi Raikonnon. All were taken with a PhaseOne digital back.
 

synapseman

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#9
ckiang, I TOTALLY agree with you on that. Laypeople tend to judge the photographer by what gear he/she holds (Wah, he's got an F100, you knoww?). Friends have also told me my shots look good "because my camera is good".

I bought two very important accessories for my 7Hi. The flashgun and the DPS-9000 battery-pack. Other than the need for extra light and extra power, I really wanted those so they'd make my camera look bigger and "more pro". Some people laugh at what seems to be a shallow, wannabe attempt to look the part, but I think it's as valid a reason as anything else.

That said, I'm no pro, and definitely not on par to even contemplate competing with them.
 

synapseman

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#10
ckiang, I TOTALLY agree with you on that. Laypeople tend to judge the photographer by what gear he/she holds (Wah, he's got an F100, you knoww?). Friends have also told me my shots look good "because my camera is good".

I bought two very important accessories for my 7Hi. The flashgun and the DPS-9000 battery-pack. Other than the need for extra light and extra power, I really wanted those so they'd make my camera look bigger and "more pro". Some people laugh at what seems to be a shallow, wannabe attempt to look the part, but I think it's as valid a reason as anything else.
 

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#11
Watcher said:
My view on the issue is this:

Digital increase the convenience and lowers the threshold of the level of skill needed for taking pictures. However, this does not automatically increase the quality of the picture taken. Tons of bad amateur photos does not help here.

Furthermore, there is the "mystique" of film; the old or skilled craftsman making the photo. These film makers especially those who don't want to change, will promote the digital == bad idea as well, pooh poohing it in order to keep their business. These film makers themselves mostly do not understand nor have the urge to understand digital. They fear it so they go against it. They are like those who had said that the motor car cannot win over the horse-driven carts.

Equipment masturbators makes the entire group looks bad when it joins with the first issue. Talk all day about equipment, how expensive, how cool, what features, etc. But when it comes to take photo... :sweat: :rolleyes:

My way of countering it is this: Tell me which photo on SI uses film? Even the swimsuite edition is all on digital! The newer generation of commercial shooters are now on digital as well. Look at the lifestyle shoots in HSBC bank, the Mercedes E200 with Kimi Raikonnon. All were taken with a PhaseOne digital back.
Agree with what you said but those using Phase One's DigiBack have a strong foundation on photography and film before channelling into Digibacks for convience as time is money for commercial shoots. Nearly 90% of Advertising companies in Singapore and States request for digital rather than have to wait to film to process. Phase One's digiback aren't really that cheap either.........
 

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