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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 26 Feb 2013 (Tuesday) 19:33
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Cheap Competitors - How do they do it?

 
Luckless
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Apr 02, 2013 08:07 |  #136

mobei wrote in post #15781021 (external link)
If you were a full time general portrait photog you would know.

I'm not a full time general portrait photographer, but I am a full time software QA analyst. We face competition all the time from over seas companies that not only get around our taxes, but also our minimum wage. So not only are they able to undercut us on taxes, but they pay their employees a fraction of what we do.


My company is still in business, and in the last two years (during the apparently struggling economy) has nearly doubled in size.

Three times.


As I said, a customer who goes to your competition, especially an under priced competitor, is not automatically one who would have gone with you anyway.


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brianodom
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Apr 02, 2013 10:39 |  #137

Luckless wrote in post #15782098 (external link)
I'm not a full time general portrait photographer, but I am a full time software QA analyst. We face competition all the time from over seas companies that not only get around our taxes, but also our minimum wage. So not only are they able to undercut us on taxes, but they pay their employees a fraction of what we do.


My company is still in business, and in the last two years (during the apparently struggling economy) has nearly doubled in size.

Three times.


As I said, a customer who goes to your competition, especially an under priced competitor, is not automatically one who would have gone with you anyway.


This.

If a customer wants you they'll pay for you. I recently have adapted this model. Not only have my profits doubled...I sell more add-ons (frames, large prints, albums).

The El Cheapo Tog usually has no concept of business per hour. By that I mean i.e

He offers pkg that is :

He offer's 35.00 |30 edits|2-4 outfits| 2 hour session| he books 4 of these = 140.00

I offer 80.00 |5 edits|1 outfit | 30 minute session I I then myself book 2 of these = 160.00

I make more and work less than he does...in the long term he becomes disgruntled because "I'm not making any money"

Never Fails. At some point we've all been there in some form or fashion. The problem lies in which he is directly doing undercutting on purpose. It's not cool but, there's always a way to get clients, and the majority of it is through your work (art). The more a person see's you get what you pay for the more they realize the value of their dollar.

I used to years ago not understand why photographer's say don't worry about a formal college degree in photography but focus on the business side. If you have the art/creative blessing then..the business side will keep you afloat and teach you about being adaptable.


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Gaarryy
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Apr 02, 2013 10:50 |  #138

To the poster saying he reports everyone that he suspects.

what is your criteria for claiming someone is not paying taxes? Offering the same service for less? accepting cash? someone saying they went with a different company instead of yours.

When you pay for any product or service in cash do you inquire if it's recorded properly as income?

Do you honestly think when your "hot tip" comes across the anonymous line that they jump right on it? Rather than putting it in a file to check much, much later.

Do they even respond to you? telling you that the people you report were actually guilty? For all you know it never gets looked into or the person might not be breaking any laws.
If you are so positive they are guilty why are you hiding behind an anonymous tip line?


---------------Camera, Lens, Flash stuff.. but still wanting more

  
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brianodom
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Apr 02, 2013 10:55 |  #139

Gaarryy wrote in post #15782703 (external link)
To the poster saying he reports everyone that he suspects.

what is your criteria for claiming someone is not paying taxes? Offering the same service for less? accepting cash? someone saying they went with a different company instead of yours.

When you pay for any product or service in cash do you inquire if it's recorded properly as income?

Do you honestly think when your "hot tip" comes across the anonymous line that they jump right on it? Rather than putting it in a file to check much, much later.

Do they even respond to you? telling you that the people you report were actually guilty? For all you know it never gets looked into or the person might not be breaking any laws.
If you are so positive they are guilty why are you hiding behind an anonymous tip line?

lol..I wouldn't even worry about that dude..I think he realized he opened the wrong can on that issue. He's the classic example of throw rock...hide hand


Canon EOS 5DsR - 6D - 70D|Canon 17-40L|Σ 35mm 1.4|Tammy 24-70 |Σ 70-200 2.8 and 35mm Art
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DocFrankenstein
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Apr 02, 2013 16:14 |  #140

mobei wrote in post #15780299 (external link)
Your statement screams that you are not feeding your family with your photography.
Anyone in the business will tell you that the crooks are hurting us. (except the exceptional photogs). You don't understand that most photogs are just average, just like 90+% of people in any job. The cliche that you have to be better and people will flock to is not reality in most cases. MOST people purchase based on price.

Is this supposed to invalidate my viewpoint? Really? Freedom to succeed, freedom to fail.

You're right. I don't feed anything with my photography.

You know why? Because I won't be exceptional at it commercially. And I CHOOSE not to go into it, because I understand that as a business I will be "just average" as you put it. Instead I invested 10 years of my life in schooling and getting experience to get a skillset which makes me "exceptional" at what I do. I don't get mad money, but I am well suited for my profession and am extremely competitive in that field. But it took years of work and it's a million of times less pleasant than photography and I'm ready to do more work, to be able to keep earning. And I'm ready to bury it all and switch to a new profession if my area dies or gets outsourced.

But unlike you, I take responsibility for my choices. Had I chosen to become a photographer, I would not blame the world for not throwing money at me when I'm average. I'd blame myself for choosing to go into a business where I'm "just average" and have no competitive advantage.

US is a competitive country. Most people are not "average" at what they do. A lot of people are pushing themselves to the limit and work from preschool to retirement to become great and a lot of them are. This is why it's an awesome country and at the end of the day sh1t gets done.

Income stats show that average photographers get 20 grand a year. If you're average, what entitles you to more?

It's your choice to try and feed your family as a professional photographer. It would be your choice if you tried to feed your family by writing poetry. Own your choices and don't blame the world. You always have option to switch jobs.


National Sarcasm Society. Like we need your support.

  
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Bear ­ Dale
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Apr 02, 2013 17:06 |  #141

mobei wrote in post #15780299 (external link)
Your statement screams that you are not feeding your family with your photography.
Anyone in the business will tell you that the crooks are hurting us. (except the exceptional photogs). You don't understand that most photogs are just average, just like 90+% of people in any job. The cliche that you have to be better and people will flock to is not reality in most cases. MOST people purchase based on price.

Your business is doomed because of no one but YOU.


Cheers,
.
Bear Dale
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Some of my photos featured Bear Dale (external link)

  
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Channel ­ One
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Apr 02, 2013 17:46 |  #142

mobei wrote in post #15780299 (external link)
You don't understand that most photogs are just average, just like 90+% of people in any job.

Which is why they fail and should fail.


The cliche that you have to be better and people will flock to is not reality in most cases. MOST people purchase based on price.



And that is why one needs to be able to drive themselves to rise above the Wallmarters, an individual photographer cannot succeed in that race to the bottom.

Wayne


Madness takes its toll, please have exact change. (external link)

NPPA Member District 6.
SMPTE Atlanta.

  
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mobei
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Apr 02, 2013 20:03 |  #143

Luckless wrote in post #15782098 (external link)
I'm not a full time general portrait photographer, but I am a full time software QA analyst. We face competition all the time from over seas companies that not only get around our taxes, but also our minimum wage. So not only are they able to undercut us on taxes, but they pay their employees a fraction of what we do.


My company is still in business, and in the last two years (during the apparently struggling economy) has nearly doubled in size.

Three times.


As I said, a customer who goes to your competition, especially an under priced competitor, is not automatically one who would have gone with you anyway.

I'm glad that your company is thriving. I truly am, however it's not the same analogy. The only way I could compare it would be if your clients allowed your competition to use torrent to download a copy of QuickBasic and QB book for dummies and allow them to bid on the same projects without any penalties for failure to perform.
The barrier to entering your profession requires higher skills and the stakes are higher for you and the client.
My point is that the same people not following the law are the same people shoing up to shoot weddings with a single body, two cheap lens and a single flash. People continue to parrot that there is no barrier to entering a photography when there is. It's called starting a business the right and legal way. If you don't play by the rules you don't get to play, didn't we learn that somewhere around kindergarten. Why is that so hard to understand?:confused:




  
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mobei
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Apr 02, 2013 20:08 |  #144

Channel One wrote in post #15784276 (external link)
Which is why they fail and should fail.

And that is why one needs to be able to drive themselves to rise above the Wallmarters, an individual photographer cannot succeed in that race to the bottom.

Wayne

I'd suggest reading some management books. The majority of workers are indeed average and employers embrace it. Many professions could not manage a company full of over achievers as they would drive them nuts. This has been well documented.




  
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Bear ­ Dale
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Apr 02, 2013 20:32 |  #145

So mobei your a self confessed under achieving photographer......and you don't know why your business is rapidly going south ??????


Cheers,
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Bear Dale
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mobei
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Apr 02, 2013 20:34 |  #146

DocFrankenstein wrote in post #15783967 (external link)
Is this supposed to invalidate my viewpoint? Really? Freedom to succeed, freedom to fail.

You're right. I don't feed anything with my photography.

You know why? Because I won't be exceptional at it commercially. And I CHOOSE not to go into it, because I understand that as a business I will be "just average" as you put it. Instead I invested 10 years of my life in schooling and getting experience to get a skillset which makes me "exceptional" at what I do. I don't get mad money, but I am well suited for my profession and am extremely competitive in that field. But it took years of work and it's a million of times less pleasant than photography and I'm ready to do more work, to be able to keep earning. And I'm ready to bury it all and switch to a new profession if my area dies or gets outsourced.

But unlike you, I take responsibility for my choices. Had I chosen to become a photographer, I would not blame the world for not throwing money at me when I'm average. I'd blame myself for choosing to go into a business where I'm "just average" and have no competitive advantage.

US is a competitive country. Most people are not "average" at what they do. A lot of people are pushing themselves to the limit and work from preschool to retirement to become great and a lot of them are. This is why it's an awesome country and at the end of the day sh1t gets done.

Income stats show that average photographers get 20 grand a year. If you're average, what entitles you to more?

It's your choice to try and feed your family as a professional photographer. It would be your choice if you tried to feed your family by writing poetry. Own your choices and don't blame the world. You always have option to switch jobs.

I've never asked for anyone to give me anything, I've worked for it. I support my family , pay for a studio and assistants. According to some of you I guess I'm a loser. I consider myself avarage because I'm not shooting for the stars or in national magazines or selling videos by the thousands. For those that parrot that if your great you will attract money:
Why do I get customers who could afford literally any photog in this country but chose me?
They tell me because I meet their needs.
Anyway, I never expect to get wealthy doing this however I would like to pay my PP's overtime instead of having to outsource some of the photos during busy periods. Do I need to shoot Hasselblad, No. Do you guys no how many truly talented photogs have gone from Hasslblad to the 1DS3 and now are considering the 5DM3 over a 1DX so they can make payroll? It is NOT because they aren't talented it's because they are being undercut left and right.




  
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D. ­ Vance
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Apr 02, 2013 20:37 |  #147

Channel One wrote in post #15784276 (external link)
And that is why one needs to be able to drive themselves to rise above the Wallmarters, an individual photographer cannot succeed in that race to the bottom.
Wayne

bw! I am nowhere near as good as I want to be, but here is the difference: When I do something, I want to be the best at it that I can possibly be. That's the drive, the passion, that is needed.
Humans are drawn to shiny objects. Outshine your competition, and they'll choose you.


I wonder if the video editors on The Titanic ever went, "Sorry, I can't right now. I'm busy synching the Titanic..."

  
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Bear ­ Dale
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Apr 02, 2013 20:48 |  #148

mobei wrote in post #15784919 (external link)
I would like to pay my PP's overtime instead of having to outsource some of the photos during busy periods.

Out of interest- Who do you outsource your PP to....cheap overseas workers like a lot of other photographers do?


Cheers,
.
Bear Dale
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Some of my photos featured Bear Dale (external link)

  
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Mike ­ R
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Apr 02, 2013 21:26 |  #149

mobei wrote in post #15780321 (external link)
I'm the guy with the studio, feeds my family with my photography and does it while fulfilling all my legal obligations and I need more skills?:rolleyes:

I'll add something else: Why should I have to work more hours every week in order to maintain a living because others are breaking the law?

photography has been a part time business for me going on to 7 years.
I collect and pay state sales tax, my CPA makes sure that I pay the state use tax on gear I buy on line I report my income to the IRS. I shoot HS sports. I don't advertise but also shoot an occasional party or portrait. My pricing would not be any different if I failed to pay taxes . I don't feel that I'm taking business from anyone. Please don't label ,assume , or imply that most part timers are cheats.

How about sharing a link to your web site?


Mike R
www.mikerubinphoto.com (external link)

  
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D. ­ Vance
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Apr 02, 2013 21:59 |  #150

Wow, I just looked through someone's old posts, and no, I don't think they really ever did mention much except laws and regulations. :lol:


I wonder if the video editors on The Titanic ever went, "Sorry, I can't right now. I'm busy synching the Titanic..."

  
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