What the ?????

SamSam San Jose CAPosts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
edited April 14, 2012 in Mind Your Own Business
Just sharing: The scary part is I bet they already have lots of replies. And we all wonder how clients value photography. :D

Craigslist post San Francisco Bay Area:

"I'm looking for a photographer to shoot several outfits in a natural outdoor setting (golden gate park, or one of the parks in mountain view or palo alto). The shoot will be around 4 hours, with two breaks of a half an hour in between, so you'll be there about 5 hours.
I just want all the photos straight up, no photoshop or touchups required. If it works out well, I will rehire you for 2 or 3 more shoots (same details) over the next month.

Fashion photographer would be great, but not necessary - please email me your website, or several examples of your photography. Also, let me know if you have a polarizer - I am looking for natural photographs, models do not look strained, think free people catalogs, the outdoor shots. Also think, the 5:30 sun behind the model, using flash. This shoot can range from simple detail shots of clothing to artsy shots with lighting effects and compositionally engaging poses. The clothing will be unique, earthy, tribal yoga.

Shoot will be sometime next week, I'm flexible on the day, though the time should be 1pm to 5pm or 2pm to 6pm - I want to get the warm light of the late sun."
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Comments

  • SvennieSvennie Major grins Posts: 181Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 5, 2012
    I'm missing the part where he/she states: 'This is an excellent way to improve your portfolio!"
  • johngjohng Sports Shooter Posts: 1,666Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 9, 2012
    Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see where the poster indicated the shoot would be for free. There was, in fact, no mention of compensation. That COULD be bad, but it's an assumption the poster doesn't want to pay. If the poster does want to pay, I don't really see a problem with the ad - provides lots of information about what the customer wants.
  • SamSam San Jose CA Posts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 9, 2012
    SORRY!!!!

    I guess I missed copying / posting the part where they offer to pay $100.00 for the shoot. headscratch.gif

    The $100.00 part was the reason for my posting. :D

    Sam
  • WillCADWillCAD Grinning Buffoon Posts: 722Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 9, 2012
    $100 for 5 hours work, or $20 per hour.

    Y'know, that's a living wage, and a lot of people seem to think that's all a photographer should be paid - a living wage. They completely forget the many years of training, practice, and experience, not to mention inate talent, that a professional photographer brings to the job. Kinda like thinking that Nascar drivers ought to get $20 an hour, because, "All they do is drive a car. I can do that!"

    I wonder what kind of photos they'll get for that rate.
    What I said when I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time: "The wide ain't wide enough and the zoom don't zoom enough!"
  • johngjohng Sports Shooter Posts: 1,666Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 9, 2012
    I agree with the assertion that a photographer cannot make a living wage making deals like that. But, it's also hypocritical to suggest people shouldn't ask. For example, how many members here contracted a professional web developer to build their website? Or did they cut costs by using the customization options dgrin made available?

    I'll be the first to admit I wasn't going to pay a web developer. Sam, did you have a web developer custom code your website? They have to make a living too.

    Or what about tax professionals? I know I take advantage of on-line software for doing taxes - $18 is a lot less than what a tax professional charges. But I, as a consumer, am not motivated by keeping the tax professional employed.

    I suggest the reason many people don't hire custom web developers is the same people try to get free or discount photographic services:
    1. Perceived value is low
    2. There are enough providers for free/discount where the results are "good enough".

    If we put our own purchasing decisions under the microscope we often find we do the same type of thing the poster of this advertisement is doing. And yet we're shocked when consumers of our photographic services/producs mirror that behavior.
  • WillCADWillCAD Grinning Buffoon Posts: 722Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 9, 2012
    You make a valid point, John, but the ad that Art references is kinda like this:

    "I'm looking someone to do a custom paint job on my classic 1969 GTO. If all goes well, it should take a day, maybe two. I just want the car painted, straight up, no tune-up or body work required. If it works out well, I will rehire you for 2 or 3 more paint jobs over the next month.

    Professional painter would be great, but not necessary. Please email me your web site, or several examples of previous automotive paint jobs. Also, let me know if you have an airbrush setup - I am looking for factory-looking paint, cars do not look "repainted", think Pimp My Ride or West Coast Customs. Also think, the clearcoat should be put on in 4 coats, with the windshield taped off, using an airbrush. The images on the cars can range from simple flames to artsy images with dragons and compositionally engaging scenes. The scenes will be unique, earthy, tribal yoga.

    Paint job will be sometime next week, I'm flexible on the day, though the time should be 1pm-5pm or 2pm-6pm - I want the car to dry overnight before you take the tape off the windshield.

    I'm willing to pay $100."


    Not a great-sounding deal, is it?
    What I said when I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time: "The wide ain't wide enough and the zoom don't zoom enough!"
  • johngjohng Sports Shooter Posts: 1,666Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 9, 2012
    WillCad - you really have avoided the question: Do you have a website? If so, did you pay a custom web developer to do so, ad the going rate of say $50 an hour for his/her development work? If not, why is it OK for you to not support the 'going wage' for a web developer but someone wanting photography services on the cheap?

    I would also suggest that your scenario isn't similar because the pool of potential suppliers is much smaller. The pool of people that paint cars is much smaller than the pool of people that take photos.

    I am absolutely on board that if a person is trying to make a career out of photography, that $100 gig is a bad business decision. No argument there whatsoever. I would never suggest a person should take that gig. All I'm suggesting is that it is hypocritical on a lot of photographers parts to suggest a person WANTING something on the cheap shouldn't ask for it when we all do the exact same thing in our own buying decisions.

    I happen to like the web designer one because it's easy for photographers to say: "it just isn't worth $1500 for a web developer - I need to save money and can do it on my own or use smugmug and get results that are "good enough"" it's the same thing.

    Or how many buy items made in China or Korea where people are working in sweat shops? Most of us do. But when people want photography on the cheap that hits a little close to home.

    And hey, what about lambasting people for using free software like Gimp - software engineers have to make a living too. We shouldn't use freeware - that hurts the software industry -right? But, that's ok since we're not software engineers. It's only when it comes to photography that we have to protect the wages of the industry.
  • SamSam San Jose CA Posts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 9, 2012
    johng,

    You be missing the boat buddy. :D

    As for me, I have a great tax guy and I pays him. As for the web, I did it myself only doable with great help from the Smugmug peoples. No I did not ask anyone to do it for free or cheap.

    Doing something yourself is far different than trying to get professional services at a ridiculous price. I also think it would be at least semi reasonable to post something like "we have no budget but are hoping to find a student or an amateur willing to help and we can provide lunch and a $100.00 stipend"

    As for $20.00 per hour............that could be OK, for labor only. But do you think it's reasonable to commit / use 10 K to 20K of equipment as well as your time and expertise? This shoot is a day shoot no matter how you try to pare it down. You can't even rent an entry level camera and one lens for $100.00.

    I do understand the pre-madona (sp) attitude that can be seen on some photographers forums, but I don't think this comes close to that.

    Wanting something at a bargain price is one thing, being ridiculous is another. A reasonable day rate for local photographers could be between say $800.00 and $1600.00 per day depending. trying to find one for $400.00 or $500.00 would while cheap and way out in the outfield would be in the ball park.

    Remember they wanted someone with a website, examples of work, hopefully with fashion experience, artsy lighting, with the promise of more work.

    The thought behind my post was to yet again show how little photography and photographers are thought of and valued.

    Sam
  • WillCADWillCAD Grinning Buffoon Posts: 722Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 9, 2012
    johng wrote: »
    WillCad - you really have avoided the question: Do you have a website? If so, did you pay a custom web developer to do so, ad the going rate of say $50 an hour for his/her development work? If not, why is it OK for you to not support the 'going wage' for a web developer but someone wanting photography services on the cheap?

    I would also suggest that your scenario isn't similar because the pool of potential suppliers is much smaller. The pool of people that paint cars is much smaller than the pool of people that take photos.

    I am absolutely on board that if a person is trying to make a career out of photography, that $100 gig is a bad business decision. No argument there whatsoever. I would never suggest a person should take that gig. All I'm suggesting is that it is hypocritical on a lot of photographers parts to suggest a person WANTING something on the cheap shouldn't ask for it when we all do the exact same thing in our own buying decisions.

    I happen to like the web designer one because it's easy for photographers to say: "it just isn't worth $1500 for a web developer - I need to save money and can do it on my own or use smugmug and get results that are "good enough"" it's the same thing.

    Or how many buy items made in China or Korea where people are working in sweat shops? Most of us do. But when people want photography on the cheap that hits a little close to home.

    And hey, what about lambasting people for using free software like Gimp - software engineers have to make a living too. We shouldn't use freeware - that hurts the software industry -right? But, that's ok since we're not software engineers. It's only when it comes to photography that we have to protect the wages of the industry.

    The issue is not "hire a pro or do it yourself."

    The issue is "he wants to hire a pro for a lot less than any pro charges."

    You can't buy a brand-new car for $400.

    You can't buy a brand-new house for $4000.

    You can't hire a pro photographer for a 5-hour fashion shoot for $100.
    What I said when I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time: "The wide ain't wide enough and the zoom don't zoom enough!"
  • RyanSRyanS Always Learning Posts: 507Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 10, 2012
    DOCTOR NEEDED for 4 hr surgery - $100 (lower nob hill)
    I'm looking for a doctor to remove my appendix in a natural outdoor setting (golden gate park, or one of the parks in mountain view or palo alto). The surgery will be around 4 hours, with two breaks of a half an hour in between, so you'll be there about 5 hours.
    I just want the appendix straight up, no liver or kidney required. If it works out well, I will rehire you for 2 or 3 more surgeries (same details) over the next month.

    Actual surgeon would be great, but not necessary - please email me your website, or several examples of your surgery. Also, let me know if you have a scalpel - I am looking for natural cuts, scars do not look strained, think biology textbook, the ones where patients live. Also think, the 5:30 sun behind the doctor, using sponges. This surgery can range from simple detail cutting of appendix to artsy surgery with sutcher effects and actual sterile instruments. The clothing will be scrubs, gloves, tribal mask.

    Surgery will be sometime next week, I'm flexible on the day, though the time should be 1pm to 5pm or 2pm to 6pm - I want to get the warm light of the late sun.
    Please feel free to post any reworks you do of my images. Crop, skew, munge, edit, share.
    Website | Galleries | Utah PJs
  • johngjohng Sports Shooter Posts: 1,666Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 10, 2012
    RyanS - if you really believe the perceived value of a photographer is the same as the perceived value of a surgeon, time to go back to business school. It's precisely that egotism that crushes many businesses. As with any other unregulated business, the market decides what photographic services are worth. And, just like mom & pop photography businesses decide not to spend the money on a professional web developer, small time operations in other areas decide they're not going to pay going rate for professional photographers. In both cases, the end product is less than it could be if a professional were employed. But in both cases, the result is "good enough" to meet the customer's needs. Again, photographers want to think they're special and different. They're really not. They're subject to the exact same market influences everyone else is. It's simply amplified because, as Glort indicated (and we all know) there is a glut of people doing photography as a hobby.

    But again, my point is it's hypocritical of all the photographers to bemoan clients wanting more for less when those same photographers exhibit the same behavior themselves.

    What's comical is the notion that the person placing the add is bad for doing so. They don't "respect" photographers. Guess what? If they get results that are "good enough" for their business purposes and they only pay $100 instead of $800 that makes them a good business person. Of course, they could get results they are not happy with and then have to pay the $800. But it is arrogant to assume they won't be able to get results they are happy with without spending the $800. It's that whole 'perceived value' again. Sometimes a customer needs an $800 product and sometimes they just need a $!00 product. Sam didn't need the $1500 website - he was happy with the website he built using the free help of dgrin support. I doubt there is a web designer forum where someone is complaining a photographer used a cheap (dgrin resources) solution to meet his business needs. That bit of hubris seems to be something photographers have a strangle hold on. And Ryan, if you think what you do as a photographer is akin to what a surgeon does, I can't help ya bud.
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR Posts: 19,316Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 10, 2012
    Sam,
    why on earth are you surprized? It's a craigslist, for crying out loud... People don't look for top quality there, they are looking for bargains... ne_nau.gif
    However, I concur to the fact that the vast majority of the population have no idea how much investment/training/skills are going into a real good photogrpahy work and more often than not a "good enough" snapshot (which most of the today's cameras can provide in A mode) is all they need. Just like for the same vast majority AppleBee's steak is good enough. Sure, Smith & Wollensky's is *much* better. Yet many survive without it. And I can't say I blame them. True art has never been a commodity, it a realm of the few. Very few.
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
    Star*Explorer: on Dgrin, home; Master Class: open;
    Class is in session, My Facebook, @DarthSLR, #NiksTips
    member: NAPP, PPA, partner: Adobe
    Comprehending life, universe and everything - one pixel at a time
  • AceCo55AceCo55 Aussie Grinner Posts: 935Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 10, 2012
    Glort: +1 clap.gif as always (or 99% of always!) you have provided a well thought out and "grounded" commentary on operating a real life business

    johnG: +1 clap.gif

    So true. Again people may not like the situation but they had better deal with it, 'cos that's the way it is.
    Pros have to value add - provided something that the buyer wants enough and can't get elsewhere.
    Some people will NEVER employ a pro ... they are not your market.
    I don't think expensive department stores spend too much time worrying about discount stores ... different market/different clientele
    My opinion does not necessarily make it true. What you do with my opinion is entirely up to you.
    www.acecootephotography.com
  • SamSam San Jose CA Posts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 10, 2012
    Thank y'all for your thoughts. Please note this was never intended to be a deep intellectual issue. I only wanted to share what I thought (still think) is a totally ridiculous offer demonstrating the public's lack of understanding and appreciation for photography services.

    I was / am simply sharing and maybe a little venting to my internet friends. Nothing new, nothing deep.

    As a comparison of costs here in the Peoples Republic of California you would be lucky to get a day laborer for a $100.00 a day.

    Nikolia,

    I have no idea what a Smith & Wollensky's is. I will guess I am missing out on a great steak. :cry

    Sam
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR Posts: 19,316Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 10, 2012
    Sam wrote: »
    Nikolai,
    I have no idea what a Smith & Wollensky's is. I will guess I am missing out on a great steak. :cry
    Sam
    Not much of an East Coast guy, I take it? mwink.gif
    But yeah, I meant an upscale, top notch, high quality, very expensive product vs "barely good enough" one.
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
    Star*Explorer: on Dgrin, home; Master Class: open;
    Class is in session, My Facebook, @DarthSLR, #NiksTips
    member: NAPP, PPA, partner: Adobe
    Comprehending life, universe and everything - one pixel at a time
  • Pure EnergyPure Energy Major grins Posts: 180Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 10, 2012
    Hey Glort.. can you write me a craigslist ad so that someone will pay me for the privilege of doing quality body and paint work on my vintage vehicle? If I like their work, I have more vehicles that need body and paint as well. If the ad is successful, you won't ever have to worry about renting a car whenever you're in my town.

    It's hard to compare photography to a lot of other professions which is why I'm starting to think photography is like the lottery:
    • Accepting that low or non-paying job will lead to greater rewards.
    • Hiring a photographer with little or no pay will yield some satisfactory or great shots.
    To the person (and lottery company) that truly knows they are screwing over the other party... it's just business for them. There's always another sucker around the corner.

    Just in case the above ad doesn't catch any suckers, I'm also looking for a mechanic looking to get experience doing quality work on my vintage rice rocket motorcycle. If I like their work, I have other vintage vehicles that will need work in the future. This could lead to being a prestigious mechanic on some of the world's most desirable vehicles.
  • johngjohng Sports Shooter Posts: 1,666Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 10, 2012
    Sam wrote: »
    I only wanted to share what I thought (still think) is a totally ridiculous offer demonstrating the public's lack of understanding and appreciation for photography services.

    Sam - let me ask a question: if the person who placed that add actually gets a product they are happy with for $100-200 (let's assume they were "low balling" and willing to go up to $200), what have they misunderstood? Depending on expectations, the buyer may be perfectly happy with what a hobbyist can produce. And, to some hobbyists, the joy of actually getting $100 for something they enjoy doing anyway is just fine. The notion the price is ridiculous is predicated on one of two factors being true:
    1) a hobbyist is incapable of producing results good enough to satisfy the client
    2) a hobbyist would turn their nose up at $100 for the glory of seeing their photos used.

    We don't really know the client's standard but it wouldn't surprise me one bit if there wasn't a hobbyist that would jump at the chance and still be good enough to satisfy the client. That hobbyist doesn't need to earn a living and the customer may not need quality a professional charging $800 could provide.

    Heck, in the sports shooting world you have hobbyists who are good shooters trading their work for a sideline pass. It happens. The publications aren't ignorant. They've made a business decision that the product is "good enough" given the price - free. Yep there are risks and sometimes they get bit. But the sports shooting professionals that laughed that situation off are the ones finding themselves out of a job.
  • RyanSRyanS Always Learning Posts: 507Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 11, 2012
    Here I was thinking this whole time it was just a funny joke. Huh. Go figure.
    Please feel free to post any reworks you do of my images. Crop, skew, munge, edit, share.
    Website | Galleries | Utah PJs
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Posts: 9,018Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 11, 2012
    Just to chime in on this just a little....

    Contract work paid by the hour typically doesn't get paid breaks/lunch. The shoot is 4hrs + 1hr break. Which leaves the fee at $25 an hour.

    No, that isn't a fee a full pro would go for. Yes, photography is a business where people with amateur talent can still turn a professional trick and I'm sure it does sometimes pull gigs from FT shooters - although I also agree that we're talking completely different markets and at some point it becomes "so what? I'll do my thing and they can do theirs". I doubt that the 10k a pop wedding photographer is attracting the same market as the CL newbie :D

    BUT, moving on from that: I can think of PLENTY of photography *students* who would think this opportunity was awesome sauce and be thrilled to make a few bob on a quick-turnaround gig that might lead to others. Compared to their $8 flipping burgers or whatever - PLUS the chance to portfolio-build - this would be a fantastic opportunity.

    Also... props to the CL poster for outlining *specifically* what they want to give folks who might be interested a clear outline of what to expect; that means people can avoid wasted time making enquiries for something they know they won't want to do.

    Anyway, back to lurking, but those points did jump out at me as I read the thread....
  • ian408ian408 More wag. Less Bark. Posts: 21,214Administrators moderator
    edited April 11, 2012
    divamum wrote: »

    Also... props to the CL poster for outlining *specifically* what they want to give folks who might be interested a clear outline of what to expect; that means people can avoid wasted time making enquiries for something they know they won't want to do.

    All of this discussion means nothing because this is what matters. Someone sees the ad, decides it's in their interest and follows up. In the end, both parties are satisfied.

    And as Glort points out, there are a lot of people for whom photography is a hobby they happen to be damn good at.

    About the house building thing though...there are quite a few people who build houses on weekends for free. They all volunteer for Habitat for Humanity thumb.gif Not sure about the hobbyist dentist though lol3.gif
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
  • kdogkdog artistically challenged San Jose, CAPosts: 11,000Administrators moderator
    edited April 11, 2012
    I'd do it. It sounds like a fun gig. So sue me. :D

    I already do tons of TFCD shoots to improve my skills and build my portfolio. I'd view this as a TFCD shoot, although I'd be getting a $100 gratuity. So why not?

    This should come as no surprise to anybody who reads Craigslist. For every paid photography gig there are ten ads by photographers looking for models to pose for them for TFCD or even pay. And probably every single one of those photographers would respond to this ad for the reason reason I would. These ads generally get a hundred responses and some of them will be from some pretty good amateurs or photographers that are building new businesses like me. The person who placed the ad is smart. He'll sift through those hundreds of ads and pick someone who knows what they're doing and he will get his shots. For $100.
  • SamSam San Jose CA Posts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 11, 2012
    OK!! Lots of opposing ideas here. I will need to chew on them for awhile. Thanks!!

    OK, I done chewing.

    divamum,

    "be thrilled to make a few bob on a quick-turnaround gig" This ain't gona be a quick turn around that might lead to others.

    As for the $8.00 per hour burger flipping job, it's probably more profitable than the cost of all your equipment, travel expenses, risk (equipment damage, or potential liability for damage you cause to others property).

    Why would you want more jobs like this?

    Kdog,

    I understand the TFCD, and you made a good point about doing this as a TFCD and basically ignoring the $100.00.

    I think you also know that after the fun factor goes away and you have the experience / practice you wanted, you will not be able to get any further projects from them that will actually be financially worth it.
    No matter how good your results were they would simply go out and get another $100.00 photographer.

    It's also hard for me to believe they would get many with your skill and experience.

    While it's understandable to take these TFCD projects (I have and most likely will again) as long as our potential clients can get photography at below poverty rates why should they consider actually paying even a bargain rate.

    Oh well, such is life in the big city.

    Sam
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Posts: 9,018Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 11, 2012
    As for the $8.00 per hour burger flipping job, it's probably more profitable than the cost of all your equipment, travel expenses, risk (equipment damage, or potential liability for damage you cause to others property). Why would you want more jobs like this?

    When you're 19, you don't think of it like that; you're just happy to have the opportunity to Be An Artist. You'd have the equipment anyway - you're a photo student, right? Travel expenses - well, the $100 will cover that - you'll still make more than your day at Micky D's. LIability? Ha - if you're a student, you think you're gonna live forever anyway - who needs insurance?

    I guess the point I'm making is that not every photographer/musician/dancer/artist is in a place in their lives where they have a strict dollars-and-cents, costed-out, bottom line for a gig. Sure - there comes a point where that IS going to play a part in a decision, but for youngsters and those just starting out (or those who view it as a chance to "make art" rather than "make money") it really isn't going to be the prime directive - the money will be the icing on the cake.

    I can't tell you how many young singers I've encountered in similar situations. They're just thrilled to GET PAID TO SING (instead of paying to do so via a course, workshop or other "educational opportunity"), and any fee at all feels like a huge success. At some point, that has to change - one can't adopt the "I'm paying my dues" mentality indefinitely - but initially, it's just not a concern, and there IS a place in the world for those kinds of opportunities for the right people.

    I think you're thinking about this like a mature businessman, not a green, artist-hopeful lol3.gif. Sure, at some point they'll get burned and wind up as cynical as professionals in most businesses, but they likely won't start out that way.... rolleyes1.gif

    PS I would hope that very few people get into an artistic career because they think it's going to make big bucks. Sure, a few people at the top of the profession or who get verrry lucky can make some serious bank, but most of the rest of those who sustain themselves as artists/musicians/actors are simply "in the trenches" - you'll never know their names, but they are one of the small percentage of folks who make their living doing the artistic thing they truly love to do. I know this, because I'm one of them.
  • DemianDemian Major grins Posts: 211Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 11, 2012
    Another consideration.... Craigslist posters are usually open to negotiation. If you put up the max you're willing to pay, that's about all you're gonna get.

    And as someone who has no interest in professional photography, it doesn't sound that bad. Take pictures, get paid, and possibly hang out with some hot chicks? There are worse ways to kill an afternoon :)
  • SamSam San Jose CA Posts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 12, 2012
    divamum,

    Again I do appreciate the different views. :D

    When I was 19 I think my entire net worth was a $500.00 car maybe a couple hundred dollars and the clothes on my back. There is no way I could have legally obtained the kind of gear required to do this shoot. As for liability it isn't about health insurance or a 19 year old living forever but about the potential risk of causing damage and losing a BIG lawsuit.

    I still contend a day at Micky D's will net more money than a day of photographing for $100.00. Travel expenses ($4.00 to $5.00 a gallon gas), batteries?, maybe the cost of a CD, cost of printing up model releases, plus the risk of damaging some expensive gear.

    Even a green artist should have some knowledge of money, business, risk, and don't forget taxes.

    OK so green artist (he / she) begs borrows the money to go to school, buy gear and then spends years studding and practicing for free or for ridiculously small amounts of money. Then they have arrived!!! They have gear skill, talent, experience, a great portfolio and are ready to not only create great art but also feed themselves.

    Then what happens? Your past clients look at you and say "you only charged me a $100.00 last time. Why are you now trying to charge me an outrageous rip off price of $500.00 for only a days work? Your trying to rip me off! I'm gona call up that school you went to and get another student for a $100.00."

    Or you get "My friend was able to get a photographer for our 3 hour party for $50.00. Trying to charge us $125.00 is price gouging. We were going to feed you and everything!"

    The point I have is I understand what everyone is saying and it's a free country (at least for now) so you can charge anything you like or nothing at all, but wouldn't it be better for all of us if there were a reasonable lower limit for photography?

    The way it is now, I'll use Kdog as an example since he posted here and lives nearby, say we both talk with a potential client and I quote $400.00 for the day / shoot. I have insurance multiple backups tons of gear and for the sake of this discussion lets say I have more expertise for what ever the client is looking for. Kdog says wow oh wow I would love to do the shoot and will do the shoot for $100.00

    I have seen Kdogs work.................I would hire him for the $100.00 rather than me!!!

    At this point I think I have lost where I was going with this post.......:D But just because I forgot where I was gong or what I was doing won't stop me from continuing. :D

    I think we are all contributing to creating an environment that makes it more difficult for someone to pursue photography as a full time career and get to that next level.

    Just saying...............

    Sam
  • ian408ian408 More wag. Less Bark. Posts: 21,214Administrators moderator
    edited April 12, 2012
    There are plenty of stories of photographers whose fees were lower yesterday than they are today. Especially true of successful wedding photographers-I say this knowing that everyone starts somewhere and in a market that's saturated, that might just be the $100 mark.
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
  • johngjohng Sports Shooter Posts: 1,666Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 12, 2012
    Sam wrote: »
    I think we are all contributing to creating an environment that makes it more difficult for someone to pursue photography as a full time career and get to that next level.
    Sam

    Sam - I would re-state your comment as: "in todays environment it is more and more difficult for people to pursue photography as a full time career"

    I think Ian's comments are true - people that wanted full time careers always started off charging less. That hasn't changed. It isn't the person aspiring for a full time career that is changing the landscape - it's the hobbyist.

    The hobbyist doesn't have liability.
    The hobbyist owns the equipment and doesn't need to cost justify it.
    The hobbyist will take photos for free - they don't pay the bills doing it.
    Even if the hobbyist can make more money at McDonalds, they still will chose to make $100 doing what they enjoy.

    The hobbyist has a full time job, so extra money is a bonus. If the hobbyist makes $3k a year - that's great - that buys them a new lens or new camera body.

    The hobbyist already has 1 full time job - they don't want to work photography like a job.

    I've said it before - the sports shooting world has already gone through this. There are thousands of people willing to take photos for free just for sideline passes. And guess what? Lots of them are pretty good shooters. On the amateur level, 6 years ago there was no one at a game with a DSLR. Now, guaranteed at least 2 parents have one. At my son's flag football game another parent was there with a Canon DSLR and 100-400L lens.

    When I look in other forums I see fabulous portrait work by hobbyists. These people are doing it FOR FREE for friends/family because they enjoy it. They're thrilled to get $50 to do a senior portrait. Is it as good as the studio pro? Not quite. But still some very good stuff. And now everyone knows someone who "takes great photos" and has great equipment. Those free "great photos" are better than paying $800 for a senior portrait package.

    So, it isn't the person trying to "break into the business" that is making it so tough - it's the hobbyist that doesn't want a full time business.
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Posts: 9,018Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 12, 2012
    but wouldn't it be better for all of us if there were a reasonable lower limit for photography?

    Yes, it probably would. But to GET that, you're actually talking some kind of photographer's union, just like there's an actor's union, and a musician's union, and an opera singer and ballet dancer union (all real examples, Equity, American Federation of Musicians, and American Guild of Musical Artists respectively)

    To ensure "professional grade" pay and non-abusive/exploitative working conditions is how and why those unions emerged.

    Btw, as far as raising shooting fees: I've been in a pretty continuous price-roll since I first started charging two years ago - I have never ONCE had anybody complain at a higher price, even when they were referred by a friend who got a different deal/price/package that I no longer offer. Just saying.
  • SamSam San Jose CA Posts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 12, 2012
    ian408 wrote: »
    There are plenty of stories of photographers whose fees were lower yesterday than they are today. Especially true of successful wedding photographers-I say this knowing that everyone starts somewhere and in a market that's saturated, that might just be the $100 mark.

    Acknowledged.............Sam
  • SamSam San Jose CA Posts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 12, 2012
    Johng,

    I think Ian's comments are true - people that wanted full time careers always started off charging less. That hasn't changed. It isn't the person aspiring for a full time career that is changing the landscape - it's the hobbyist.

    The hobbyist doesn't have liability.
    The hobbyist owns the equipment and doesn't need to cost justify it.
    The hobbyist will take photos for free - they don't pay the bills doing it.
    Even if the hobbyist can make more money at McDonalds, they still will chose to make $100 doing what they enjoy.

    All true except the part about liability................you break it you buy it. If you break your own gear it's your problem. You break that Ming vase you thought would be a great prop you in deep stinky stuff. :D

    Sam
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