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Thread started 28 Sep 2011 (Wednesday) 17:32
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Just to drive home the point about the cheapening of our industry....

 
603media
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Sep 28, 2011 17:32 |  #1

Last week, I shot a nationally publicized event at a major New England entertainment venue (and I do mean major). The next day, I was browsing their web site out of idle curiosity when I realized that, of the dozens of concert, sports and other event photos that were taken within their establishment, maybe three were actually decent shots.

On a whim, I decided to get in touch with the Director of Marketing for the venue - an incredibly nice guy who I knew from reputation alone. I showed him my shots from their recently hosted event and he was very impressed. When I inquired as to the potential to provide our services to better document such events and give them a sharper-looking marketing package, he immediately declined. Here's why:

Our current deal is at no cost to us but allows the
photographer to use the images for his portfolio only as they cannot
sell or distribute the image to anyone as we are said owner of the
image.

Again, major venue that carries the name of one of the largest corporations in the country and they are willing to accept crappy photography for their marketing material because it's free.

:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:


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Ledrak
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Sep 28, 2011 22:36 |  #2

So why not offer your services for free and give him a better product?




  
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Curtis ­ N
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Sep 28, 2011 22:42 |  #3

Ledrak wrote in post #13179646 (external link)
So why not offer your services for free and give him a better product?

What is your occupation? Do you work for free?


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Ledrak
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Sep 28, 2011 22:46 |  #4

Curtis N wrote in post #13179680 (external link)
What is your occupation? Do you work for free?

My point being… why should you care if they’d rather have a crap product because it’s free, rather than to pay for a quality product? People who need the quality product, and realize that they cannot get it for free will pay for it. So you shouldn't worry about the guys accepting free crap, cause if you have a quality product people will pay for it.




  
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philwillmedia
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Sep 28, 2011 23:41 |  #5

603media wrote in post #13178355 (external link)
On a whim, I decided to get in touch with the Director of Marketing for the venue - an incredibly nice guy who I knew from reputation alone. I showed him my shots from their recently hosted event and he was very impressed. When I inquired as to the potential to provide our services to better document such events and give them a sharper-looking marketing package, he immediately declined. Here's why:

Our current deal is at no cost to us but allows the
photographer to use the images for his portfolio only as they cannot
sell or distribute the image to anyone as we are said owner of the
image.

603media wrote in post #13178355 (external link)
Again, major venue that carries the name of one of the largest corporations in the country and they are willing to accept crappy photography for their marketing material because it's free.:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

Ledrak wrote in post #13179703 (external link)
...People who need the quality product, and realize that they cannot get it for free will pay for it. So you shouldn't worry about the guys accepting free crap, cause if you have a quality product people will pay for it.

Clearly not in this case as has been demonstrated by the Director of Marketing's response.
Did you miss the bit where the DoM says...

Our current deal is at no cost to us...


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Scatterbrained
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Sep 29, 2011 00:20 |  #6

While I can see some 'togs out there willing to shoot for free in exchange for the access (lets face it, this board is full of 'em), to then give away the copyright on top of it is just plain stupid. Normally you would think a major venue would have a vested interest in having the best images available to help promote their events. In this case maybe they feel their brand name is good enough.


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Jimconnerphoto
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Sep 29, 2011 00:30 |  #7

Hard to sell it when they have a hard time seeing the value in it.

You can try to convince them that quality photographs will show off the venue, the sets, the artists and the lights and help their customer envision being there but something tells me "free" is more important.
I would move on.


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MJPhotos24
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Sep 29, 2011 01:08 |  #8

zagiace wrote in post #13180194 (external link)
Hard to sell it when they have a hard time seeing the value in it.

You can try to convince them that quality photographs will show off the venue, the sets, the artists and the lights and help their customer envision being there but something tells me "free" is more important.
I would move on.

Yup, I deal with this a lot - contact 50 potential clients, land 10, get no response from 35, and get the ones trying to get it cheaper or free from the other 5. The 10 good ones are the ones I pay attention to - not the ones who want it free or want a discount. It's not my fault they're doing their promotions half ass, some can get away with it and others are leaving a lot of money on the table by not putting any up front to get the best promo they could.


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Hogloff
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Sep 29, 2011 02:04 |  #9
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603media wrote in post #13178355 (external link)
On a whim, I decided to get in touch with the Director of Marketing for the venue - an incredibly nice guy who I knew from reputation alone. I showed him my shots from their recently hosted event and he was very impressed. When I inquired as to the potential to provide our services to better document such events and give them a sharper-looking marketing package, he immediately declined. Here's why:
Again, major venue that carries the name of one of the largest corporations in the country and they are willing to accept crappy photography for their marketing material because it's free.

:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

You assume the photography is crappy because it is free. I've seen some outstanding photos from amateurs that will leave the pros jaws dropping.




  
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ssim
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Sep 29, 2011 02:39 |  #10

Hogloff wrote in post #13180498 (external link)
You assume the photography is crappy because it is free. I've seen some outstanding photos from amateurs that will leave the pros jaws dropping.

I don't believe the OP was saying that the images were bad because they were free, they were bad because well they were bad and happened to come from people that are willing to give it away. There was no assumption on his part as he states in the OP that he saw the images online and made his judgment from there.

This is something that we will be debating for a long time. Technology has given us the immediate gratification of being able to see the images and thus it is much easier for people to dip their toes into the waters of professional photography. Some say that those that are not paying for images wouldn't have images if they had to pay, they are just too cheap. Take a venue like like the one mentioned in here and if no one gave the work away they would pay. That is one of the things that I loved about freelancing during the film era, everyone charged reasonable amounts. There was still disparity between photographers but not to the degree that there is today. If everyone had to miraculously shoot film again how many people would still enter this field.

It is what it is and I don't see how the field of photography is ever going to get back to decent rates under the current scenarios. I am not supporting this but the one method would be to have some sort of licensing or approval process to allow them to hang out a shingle for this. Not a great idea I know but without limits of some sort this is going to get worse before it gets better. I had a neighbor kid that I had known since she was born come to me last year and ask me to do her wedding. They had originally budgeted about 4K for it and they could quite easily afford it. She was hoping that I would do it for next to nothing which I declined and she did get someone off of craigslist to do it for a few hundred dollars. It is not only the people that can't afford full priced photographers that are shopping there now. I went and enjoyed the wedding and the young lady that did pictures did an ok job, nothing spectacular but acceptable for the price she paid.

It seems that new entrants like to chase weddings, events (which I will put sports into) and then concerts. Having talked to a number of them I get the impression that they feel these are the easiest and the quickest way to make a buck in this field. There are still areas of this industry where you can charge top dollar and get it consistently. Single niche photographers, one that will only do weddings for example, are limiting themselves but I guess when you are already holding down a full time position elsewhere you don't have to become diversified because it is more for fun than paying the bills.

Is there an answer to all this. I don't see one in the short term. As those that enter and charge little learn that they can make more by becoming more price competitive they are replaced by a whole new herd of people starting out. I still maintain that you can make a good living at this if you work at it and are willing to change your marketing and sales techniques as the times dictate. We are shaping up to having my best year ever since going full time and it was as simple as changing focus to a different market segment.


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Hogloff
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Sep 29, 2011 03:09 |  #11
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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Obviously, the photos were good enough for their intended use. You must realize it is the customer that is deciding what is good enough. If the photos they got for free do the job, who are you to argue. If the client feels the free photos are garbage and is willing to pay for better ones, he'll decide.

I for one, will not get enticed with a 2 for 1 special at McDonalds...won't even take it up if they were giving burgers away. Free is just not worth it for me. Now if the local brew pub had a 2 for 1 special, you bet my wife ad I would be in line.




  
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GadgetRick
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Sep 29, 2011 05:38 as a reply to  @ Hogloff's post |  #12

See this a lot unfortunately...especi​ally in sports. I've shot a lot of MMA and rarely is the promoter willing to pay for a photographer. They'll pay for everything else but not a photog. They get what they pay for...especially with indoor sports photography as it takes better equipment to capture these things properly.

I have to hustle to make money at MMA events. I have to sell my shots to the fighters, schools and sponsors. I tend to make a reasonable buck (plus I enjoy MMA) so I still do it. I get access to everything and I give the promoter (sometimes) a few shots to use for promotional purposes only. It's just harder work selling my images but it can be done.

I've been approached by many magazines (not the biggies unfortunately) to use my MMA photos. NONE of them were willing to pay me a dime! They'll pay people to write articles and set up the magazine for print (and the printing) but not the photographers.

I also see websites all of the time which have horrible photos. These sites are to promote businesses. They'll spend money on the site and SEO, etc. but not on the photos.

It's a shame really. I get it, lots of people have digital cameras, however, there is a big difference (almost every time) between a guy/gal with a camera and someone who knows how to use it. You'd think these people would be more interested in their image (pun intended).




  
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Sep 29, 2011 06:28 |  #13

The solution is licensing requirements to be a professional.

I think it is odd that a hairdresser and a real estate agent need a license but photographers, who deal with the public in much more diverse ways do not.


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Sep 29, 2011 06:46 |  #14

Hairdressers deal with hygiene issues
Real Estate agents deal with legal property issues
Photography is art, I certainly don't want the government deciding on that.


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Curtis ­ N
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Sep 29, 2011 07:32 |  #15

S.Horton wrote in post #13181048 (external link)
The solution is licensing requirements to be a professional.

Bull.

We've all heard plenty of stories about incompetent doctors, incompetent plumbers, and all manner of occupations filled with people who have completed some government-approved training and testing program.

You think the government can determine who is qualified to be a photographer? The evidence is against you.


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