Choopi wrote in post #12947243 sandpiper wrote in post #12932093
However, getting huge compliments from those around you means absolutely nothing
People you know will always say nice things to encourage you.
I see many people post images on this site that are 'nice' but nothing special, and even some that have glaring deficiencies, get responses like "wow", "awesome set", "amazing images" when the reality is they are pretty ordinary, not up to a professional standard and not saleable.
I am aware family and friends are biased, but I don't market to family and friends. However, I have some family and friends who are very good at critique and providing constructive criticism that have helped me a great deal.
And, no offense, but you have described your work perfectly with your last paragraph.
LOL . No offense taken, I quite agree with you actually. My work (and I'm flattered that you took the time to hunt some down and look at it) is nothing outstanding in my opinion, I am frequently in awe of the real masters of photography.
However, I have never claimed it to be anything else. I don't think my work is awesome and I much prefer it when people tell me what they don't like about my shots rather than post "wow", "amazing shots" etc., which whilst being flattering doesn't help me with useful feedback.
I am surprised how often I get contacted by magazines etc., asking to use my work (and being prepared to pay for it).
I see that you chose not to quote the part where I said that I had no idea if your work was awesome or not and that it may well be the case, I have never seen any and so cannot judge. Or the parts (pretty much the entire second half of that post) where I pointed out that I, and others, are happy to help you with the advice you are asking for, but we need to see your work and your website to help, as we can't tell where the problem lies with no information to go on.
I know exactly where you are coming from, I did photography part time in the 1980s, for a couple of years. I had a decent sized studio for portrait work and I did somewhere over two dozen weddings in those two years. In addition, I did freelance work for two local papers and sold work to various magazines. I packed it in after those two years as I wasn't getting enough time to shoot what I wanted to shoot and felt I had lost a hobby I loved. I closed the studio down and now shoot just for fun, and don't regret the decision one bit.
I had thought I could maybe help you out with some ideas where you might improve your work, or your website, marketing, wherever the problem may lie (as that hasn't yet been established). However, your opinion on my shots shows that your work is clearly superior to mine, so I guess you have nothing that you can learn from me. That's fine, I'll go and help somebody else.
Choopi wrote in post #12947243Especially since some of the responses from people here have not even read all of my own posts to know certain facts; that I have lighting and reflectors, umbrellas, etc.
Some people are hooked on my lack of having extra/backup gear. I would then rent where applicable. It is unfortunate for so many to be so narrow minded and assumptive.
Whoops, yes, that would be me. My apologies, I had read the whole thread, but as that post was four days ago it had slipped my mind. Yes, a strobe and modifiers will be of great use to you. However, I still feel partly correct in my comments as, whilst a single strobe and reflector for fill can produce great pictures, there are many times when you need more than one (apart from just in case that one fails). If you need to shoot a dark haired subject against a dark background, you need a hair light to separate them from the background, or possibly a background light to lighten the background, if their hair does not suit rimlighting. Now, I am sure that you know about studio lighting setups, so would try and avoid that scenario but you can never be sure what clients will ask for and turning a job down because you don't have the gear gives out a bad vibe.
We are not being "narrow minded", when suggesting you need backup gear. It is the primary essential that any professional wedding photographer will say that you need. I wasn't trying to put you down stating that you need an extra body, I was trying to save you the expense of a reshoot which, with weddings, can run into several thousands if you have to rehire venues, dresses, tuxedos, cars, etc., plus fly in relatives who live on the other side of the country. That is why, if you read my first post, I said to be sure that you had a very good 'non delivery' clause in your insurance, so that if the camera craps out on you, it won't be you on the hook for a world of expense. By all means ignore everything else I have said, but please take that advice seriously. If I can save you from a big payout, my attempts to help you won't have been entirely in vain.
I am glad that you are now able to fund renting gear, I saw your post of three months ago where you stated categorically that you couldn't afford that, and it wasn't an option. Good to see things are on the up.
Choopi wrote in post #12947243
Being new does not equal inadequate, as if to say that because I'm just starting out and in a position to take very small steps forward that I have no place in the photography business at all. Shame on you. Everyone has to start somewhere.
I couldn't agree more. At no point have I, or the majority of posters on here called you inadequate or said that you have no place. It may have been stated that your gear is inadequate, if you wish to be a full-time pro, but that is not the same thing.
Choopi wrote in post #12947243
With all do respect, you (the general 'you') would not need to know a thing about the quality of a product in order to make is sound appealing. Take infomercials, for instance. Crap products are sold worldwide everyday to tens of thousands of people. Why? Because they know how to market. Doesn't matter if it's crap, sell it! Even evangelists make millions selling only faith; not a service or a product. Now I am NOT saying my services and products are crap, nor would it be a smart move on my part to not strive for better and best. But to ask anything about the quality of my work in order to offer sound advice, well... I guess it's pretty safe to assume that some of you can't/won't help.
Yes, it's true, good advertising can persuade people to buy crap. I've done marketing and I know you sell the "sizzle" not the sausage. A great advert on TV showing crap sausages sizzling away on a BBQ, and people clearly eating them with great pleasure will sell a lot of them.
However, take that crap sausage and present it in a taste test with some great sausage and tell people they can have either one at the same price, then the crap sausage will be the one that doesn't sell because people have had a chance to compare them.
In photography, potential clients will be viewing portfolios from rivals, as well as yourself, and comparing the pictures and seeing which they prefer. That puts your product clearly in the categoryt of selling through "taste tests" and no amount of marketing bull will make your images look better than somebody else's. Either your work is better, or it isn't.
That is why we are interested in the quality of your work. As I stated in my first post, if your work is awesome then you should be getting bookings. If you are not getting bookings (and that, I believe, is what you are saying when you started this thread looking for help) then either your work isn't as awesome as you think it is, or there is something else wrong with the way you are presenting it, or yourself. I will reiterate what I said originally, I am in no way saying that your work isn't awesome but we don't know one way or the other. If you post a few shots, and a way of viewing your website, those of us who want to help can try and discover where your problem lies. You don't have to do it in a way that would connect it to this forum, as I explained earlier.
Choopi wrote in post #12947243
So what I have gathered from the negative responses is that I should just give up and move on. Well, screw that! Haha! I'm much better off with people who actually care, have something worthwhile to offer and look into working with them. Thankfully, there are some people here who have reached out to me kindly and those are the people I am grateful for.
I certainly haven't suggested that you should give up and move on, I wanted to help you move forward with your business. Of course, I don't view my replies as negative responses, but clearly you do. I truly hope that you can find where the problem lies and get past it. Clearly though, you don't feel that I have anything worthwhile to offer, so I will go and offer my help elsewhere. As they say on Dragons Den (or Shark Tank, I believe it's called in the US) "I'm out".