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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 22 Jan 2012 (Sunday) 09:10
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Are Amateurs destroying Photography

 
Numenorean
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Nov 09, 2012 09:16 |  #1051

Littlejon Dsgn wrote in post #15226057 (external link)
Then an amature is half way to being a pro lol, he knows enough about the craft to push the button and can consistantly produce poor quality images :lol:

I am just playing with you, I enjoy good discussions about this kind of stuff so take everything I say with a grain of salt.

And yes the dollar is king and its what most people care about in the end, this is because most people have to work VERY hard for every one of those dollars. And when a mom can have an 8x10 printed at walgreens for $3.99 thy wonder why the pro is charging them $50 for the same print AFTER they already paid a sitting fee.

I have no problem paying for fine art prints because its normaly of a place I cant get to myself and understand the expense incured to capture this image. But I think most of the debate comes from portrait and wedding type work

You just end up serving a different market. I don't do sessions for people who would be happy with a session from Walmart or prints from Walgreens. It's not my target market.


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bigland
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Nov 09, 2012 09:18 |  #1052

calypsob wrote in post #15224117 (external link)
People seem to forget that photography is a consumer hobby for many people. Amateur photographers are hobbyists breaking into the world of photography, everyone of you started there unless you jumped out of the womb with a Canon in your hand. If an amateur can market themselves better than you, a "professional" and they can sell their pictures and their services and force you to compete with their prices, that means they are just as professional if not more professional than you. If you are a so called professional photographer, meaning that you pay all of your bills and have established a net worth with your ability to take pictures and you don't know how to market yourself against an amateur, well then that makes you an amateur. Half of being a successful artist is being an expert at marketing, entrepreneurship, having a wide knowledge of accounting, finance, economics, and strategic sourcing. If you lack in these areas your career will undoubtedly suffer.

Well said!


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bigland
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Nov 09, 2012 09:24 |  #1053

Numenorean wrote in post #15226097 (external link)
You just end up serving a different market. I don't do sessions for people who would be happy with a session from Walmart or prints from Walgreens. It's not my target market.

That's it, you've accepted that. It's very difficult to compete with Walmart or budget priced photography. If that's what the customer prefers, then there's no match.

After shooting for nearly 5 or 6 years now, I have decided to try my hand at paid family shoots. I've done some freebees to get word of mouth going. I thought I finally had my first shoot where they'd have an hour to 90 minutes of shooting. I told them I'd show them the pics and if they were happy, then they could pay. Everything seemed great and ready to go until they asked what my fee would be. I told them $75 - which in my market is fair and definitely below average - to which they said they'd have to pass for now.

Did I get mad? Nope. Did they expect free? Maybe. Do they think they can getter better cheaper? Perhaps. At the end of the day, they aren't willing to pay what I decided was a fair price for my time and efforts, so it's a no go. Maybe next time...


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OuttaCtrl
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Nov 09, 2012 09:49 |  #1054

Littlejon Dsgn wrote in post #15225918 (external link)
I have another question ... what makes a pro photographer? Is it the amount of time they have been making money at photography, or how the pictures turn out or that they simply are making any money at all from photography  ?????

If its the later, then any amature that gets paid for their photos is now a pro, and if another pro feels the new guy is taking away business well tuff, thats the way business goes. When I left the last engineering job I had I took close to 40% of the clients with me. My boss never blinked an eye, in his words "well I guess they must like your work".

If its because they have some schooling and have been doing it for 10 years, well thats not always a clear sign either, I have seen images taken by so called "pros" that just sucked, they had no idea what they were doing, shooting at ISO 1600 in the middle of the day outside for no reason (at least that they would or could explain to me when I asked why).

If its how the pictures turn out, well again see the paragraph above this, and some "amatures" just have an eye and can get good to great images withen a month or two of picking up a camera.

So I wanna know what makes a pro and what makes an amature in your eyes. To me if you can get someone to pay you, well you have stepped into the classification of pro. Now if you deserve to get paid for your work thats another story :lol:

Here is my definition of the word "Professional" coming from someone who is currently an instructor, business owner, and consumer.

Let's first look at the Webster version.

PROFESSIONAL
1a : of, relating to, or characteristic of a profession
b : engaged in one of the learned professions
c (1) : characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession (2) : exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace

2a : participating for gain or livelihood in an activity or field of endeavor often engaged in by amateurs <a professional golfer>
b : having a particular profession as a permanent career <a professional soldier>
c : engaged in by persons receiving financial return <professional football>

3: following a line of conduct as though it were a profession <a professional patriot>
— pro·fes·sion·al·ly adverb

Here is my definition.

A Professional: an individual that exhibits the ability, skill, and capacity in completing a task that is recognized by his/her peers.


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Littlejon ­ Dsgn
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Nov 09, 2012 09:53 |  #1055

Numenorean wrote in post #15226097 (external link)
You just end up serving a different market. I don't do sessions for people who would be happy with a session from Walmart or prints from Walgreens. It's not my target market.

Thats all great, however it looks like alot of "pros" have not made that choice, they want to charge high end prices to everyone. What some dont understand is that the lower priced photographers are serving a group of customers that would never pay more the the lower priced guys rates.

I charge what I feel my time is worth (its double what my day job pays, which is what it takes for me to work on my weekends and evenings). Is it less then some other photogs ... yes, but it is also more then alot of them too. I also dont do prints so my time commitment ends when I finish editing the set amount of images and burn to a disk.

I also do not call myself a pro, but I dont consider myself an amature either :) well crap I guess I am title-less :(




  
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alazgr8
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Nov 10, 2012 23:18 as a reply to  @ post 13747693 |  #1056

Amateurs keep photography alive!

If you were to compare the number of amateurs buying camera's, lenses, and all the associated gear compared to how many pro's are in the marketplace the manufacturers would go out of business. -rick


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STIC
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Nov 11, 2012 12:51 as a reply to  @ alazgr8's post |  #1057
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I think, the word Professional gets bandied about way too often...

I began from two separate paths; I liked photography and also cars, so mixing the two interests i purchased some cheap cameras and started taking photos...

Now, while the photos i took in the first few years were pretty useless (and i could see this), it drove me to want to improve and take shots like i saw in the 'magazines'...

As i got older and owned cars, i became involved in car clubs and began attending a lot of racing and show events, and my photos got better...

Eventually, after probably 20 or so years of taking snap shots, then average photos, then reasonably good photos (just for me), people began to ask if they could buy images of their car...

By then, I had an extensive magazine collection and was beginning to be interested in writing about cars too, so i took the plunge and submitted some photos to a magazine (which they were happy enough with to purchase). They asked for the vehicle details and i offered to write an accompanying article (which they also liked, bought and published).

This became a regular 'second job', and i produced articles for automotive mags for several years, including covering events. This exposed me to motorsport photography (which i wasn't very good at to begin with) and so i started learning how to do that too...

My 'main job, at the time, was for a local newspaper, in the pre-press department, laying up ads and, luckily for me, they were just upgrading their software so i got paid to learn how to use Indesign (I'd already been using photoshop for a few years)...

I was eventually asked (when an editor left) if i wanted to step up and work full time for the magazine, as editor and main writer photographer (small mag, smaller budget) which i accepted. It lasted a few years and, as many publications do, eventually failed through mismanagement (by the owner, not me)...

I then moved on to a job for another magazine, but in production (basically, they were another cheap arse mag owned by a rich businessman) as the graphic designer...This lasted only 6 moths as he liked his money too much and didn't like to part with it (including paying staff)...

I also did a stint as a Journalist for a heavy transport industry mag for a while too...

Now, i just produce advertorial/editorial features for a few local newspapers every now and then, and the photography is back to being a hobby...

Apart from the (minimum) training in Adobe InDesign at the 'paper', I am self taught, literally, through trial and error and customer critique.

Am I (or was I) a professional? I don't know, as i just refereed to myself as a photographer (or designer, or writer)...I left it up to the CUSTOMERS to decide if I was professional...


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Archbob
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Nov 11, 2012 18:38 |  #1058

The issue is that digital Camera are really cheap these days and anyone can afford one and although the Auto settings on things like "Landscape" and "Portrait" leave much to be desired, they are good enough for the casual eye.


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Ricardo222
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Nov 11, 2012 22:08 |  #1059

Archbob wrote in post #15234393 (external link)
The issue is that digital Camera are really cheap these days and anyone can afford one and although the Auto settings on things like "Landscape" and "Portrait" leave much to be desired, they are good enough for the casual eye.

That is precisely the problem! Too many "casual eyes" giving rank amateurs a false sense of their ability and encouraging them to do paid work at ridiculously low prices...which lowers standards and tends to cut the real pros out.

But somehow I think this has all been said before in this thread.......:rolleyes:


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Archbob
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Nov 12, 2012 00:03 |  #1060

Ricardo222 wrote in post #15235037 (external link)
That is precisely the problem! Too many "casual eyes" giving rank amateurs a false sense of their ability and encouraging them to do paid work at ridiculously low prices...which lowers standards and tends to cut the real pros out.

But somehow I think this has all been said before in this thread.......:rolleyes:


Some of the settings when you to AF and just do standard shooting settings are really not that bad if you throw in some filters. You really have to stare at the photo for quite a while to see a substantial difference between the standard settings and manual adjusts because the different is really not that big. Especially for people who prefer more natural photos that actually look like what their eyes see and not heavily photoshopped ones that look more like a painting than a photo. I like landscape and I tend to use the default landscape setting with some kind of a filter unless there's some serious issue.


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Ricardo222
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Nov 12, 2012 01:58 |  #1061

Archbob wrote in post #15235307 (external link)
Some of the settings when you to AF and just do standard shooting settings are really not that bad if you throw in some filters. You really have to stare at the photo for quite a while to see a substantial difference between the standard settings and manual adjusts because the different is really not that big. Especially for people who prefer more natural photos that actually look like what their eyes see and not heavily photoshopped ones that look more like a painting than a photo. I like landscape and I tend to use the default landscape setting with some kind of a filter unless there's some serious issue.

It's not the sharpness or exposure that defines professional work...competence is a given! Professionalism is about getting the right shot for a particular client or project, and doing it in the time available, which is often limited. The stuff you are talking about is important enough...at camera club level...but no professional worth the name will give these things a second thought, because they have, one hopes, become second nature.


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Archbob
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Nov 12, 2012 03:41 |  #1062

Ricardo222 wrote in post #15235536 (external link)
It's not the sharpness or exposure that defines professional work...competence is a given! Professionalism is about getting the right shot for a particular client or project, and doing it in the time available, which is often limited. The stuff you are talking about is important enough...at camera club level...but no professional worth the name will give these things a second thought, because they have, one hopes, become second nature.

See, many potential clients are not that picky. There are some excellent photos at places like pixabay that are completely free and public domain so if they want a cover for something, there's a good chance they'll take a free photo like this one:

http://pixabay.com …l-warm-fall-forest-22253/ (external link)


over selling out big bucks for a specific shot.

Of course, there are things like weddings that many people will hire for where you can't just find pictures online.


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iowajim
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Nov 12, 2012 05:34 |  #1063

Let's not forget how this is all relative. The $1,000 wedding photog scoffs at the advanced amatuer that shoots a wedding for an extended family member, for free.

The $2,000 Wedding Photog scoffs at the work of the $1,000 WP.

The guy who lands an occassional $5,000 wedding contract can turn his nose up at the $2,000 WP.

And then those premier WPs in the big cities, catering to those with weatlh, shooting weddings for in excess of $10,000, with a team of assistants, can scoff at us all. And I'm sure they dread loosing a contract to one of those $5,000 WP hacks.

Right, wrong, or indifferent? Is this a new problem, or old? I'd say we're all guilty of undercutting the other guy or competitor, and none of us can claim the high road here. That's the beauty and challenge of the free market. If we are looking for what is fair, well that is just a little relative too.


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RichSoansPhotos
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Nov 12, 2012 15:30 |  #1064
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I started a thread and all the so called pros suggested I should charge zero when someone asked me to do a shoot, I think that belies the problem with some people




  
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moose10101
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Nov 13, 2012 08:43 |  #1065

RichSoansPhotos wrote in post #15237796 (external link)
I started a thread and all the so called pros suggested I should charge zero when someone asked me to do a shoot, I think that belies the problem with some people

https://photography-on-the.net …p?p=15236861#po​st15236861

Actually, no. You asked a generic question about what to charge to shoot a band, and the first two responders gave you 1) a web site with guidelines, and 2) a number significantly greater than zero. You then replied that a small band couldn't afford that. Then a few people (not "all the so called pros") said they might do it for free for a small local band. I don't think the responses are where the problem lies.




  
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