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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 12 Aug 2013 (Monday) 22:37
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RANT: Photographer for the less fortunate?!

 
Thomas ­ Campbell
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Aug 13, 2013 09:02 |  #16

That's what you get for working for free.


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Aug 13, 2013 09:13 |  #17
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Karl Johnston wrote in post #16203462 (external link)
Sell all your camera gear, buy a point and shoot go on a life changing holiday and develop some serious social skills, forget photography as a career until you become gold at this. Welcome to the real photography (service) industry.

the OP didn't do anything wrong. Some people in this world (the "customer" in this case) want everything for free. And when someone offers service for free, they can run out of available time very fast.


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bigjon0107
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Aug 13, 2013 09:40 |  #18

Thomas Campbell wrote in post #16204041 (external link)
That's what you get for working for free.

+1

The less your clients pay, the less they respect you. Not surprised you got that type of potential clientele from craigslist. With every price increase, my clients have become easier and easier.


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Aug 13, 2013 09:43 as a reply to  @ nekrosoft13's post |  #19

the saying goes: if you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas

i fully understand portfolio building, but as someone else said, you are aren't actually giving it away for free, you are paying for the right to take their pictures. There are plenty of opportunities to build skill without having to deal with other people, and their whims.

If you feel you need to do a very specific type of photography, and can't do it without the cooperation of others you need to charge minimum wage for your work. This will require the client to have a stake in the process, and make for a much better experience for you and them.


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Sens0r
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Aug 13, 2013 10:21 |  #20

Thomas Campbell wrote in post #16204041 (external link)
That's what you get for working for free.

You're right.. *sigh*

bigjon0107 wrote in post #16204147 (external link)
The less your clients pay, the less they respect you..

That's true too.. I've reached that conclusion now.

hes gone wrote in post #16204156 (external link)
=he's gone;16204156]
If you feel you need to do a very specific type of photography, and can't do it without the cooperation of others you need to charge minimum wage for your work.

I don't even know what I should charge, and if I charge people WILL ASK for previous work samples. I looked around and found a photographer (mentioned earlier) who's charging $1,700 for work which I can exceed in quality.

I'm confident to say I'm good, and I know I might have a future in this field but it seems like I just can't "break into it" safely and easily.

Take a look at these.. I know I need to practice more and maybe I'll have a future in this field, but I NEED PEOPLE.. Without people I can't offer "portrait and wedding photography" and ask for compensation :(

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nathancarter
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Aug 13, 2013 10:41 |  #21

Sens0r wrote in post #16204257 (external link)
I don't even know what I should charge, and if I charge people WILL ASK for previous work samples. I looked around and found a photographer (mentioned earlier) who's charging $1,700 for work which I can exceed in quality.

I'm confident to say I'm good, and I know I might have a future in this field but it seems like I just can't "break into it" safely and easily.

Take a look at these.. I know I need to practice more and maybe I'll have a future in this field, but I NEED PEOPLE.. Without people I can't offer "portrait and wedding photography" and ask for compensation :(

1) You say you've already booked four weddings - presumably free. How far off are they? Next couple of months? Two years from now? Stop advertising to offer more free work until you've got those four under your belt.

2) If you insist on continuing to work for free, offer your services as a second shooter. Heck, offer your services as a paid/inexpensive second shooter. Do it with the caveat that you get to keep rights to the images you shoot, to use them in your portfolio and for self-promotion.

I might go so far as to say that you need to only shoot one free wedding. Maybe zero free weddings, if you're competent. I charged for my first wedding - a very very small amount, mind you - but I already had experience with event & people photography.

The difficulty isn't in the photography, it's in managing the expectations, the flow of the day, and the bride.

Whatever you do, use a contract to set expectations and limit your liability.


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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Aug 13, 2013 11:25 |  #22

nathancarter wrote in post #16204322 (external link)
I might go so far as to say that you need to only shoot one free wedding. Maybe zero free weddings, if you're competent. I charged for my first wedding - a very very small amount, mind you - but I already had experience with event & people photography.

The difficulty isn't in the photography, it's in managing the expectations, the flow of the day, and the bride.

Whatever you do, use a contract to set expectations and limit your liability.

all of this ^^ is great advice.

when (re)building my portfolio i did event work for a non profit, and a couple of other trade groups that i respect for the type of work they do.

but I was the one who called them and made the offer, I even managed to be compensated for some of it, and have since had them call to have me do paid work. The difference between my approach and yours is that i chose established and reputable groups to get started with event photography. When i make a move into wedding photography I will most definitely charge for it based solely on my experience with other event photography. I probably won't charge much but you'd better bet i'm going to get paid.

there are events everywhere you look. take some time to do your research and find someone that needs a competent photographer.


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Aug 13, 2013 11:52 |  #23

I am looking for a painter this month. Even summer students wants me to pay them to paint my house. Maybe I should suggest that they can use my home as a portfolio for them? Think it will fly?

At the very least, people can compensate via gifts in kind.
If you don't value yourself, no one will.


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Aug 13, 2013 12:01 |  #24

Sens0r wrote in post #16203140 (external link)
why professional photographers charge so much I explained how it is (insurance, backup equipment, backup photographer in case of accident, etc..)

You seem to be missing a key element: Time. How much time are you investing and what is it worth? Figure that out and it will greatly assist you in calculating how much to charge.

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Aug 13, 2013 12:01 as a reply to  @ Left Handed Brisket's post |  #25

The OP states he is building his portfolio to show new clients how good his work looks. But the OP also states he is not really very good, "hire a good photographer" he tells clients that call. What I don't understand is if the OP is not that good yet, why would he want a portfolio of bad or so-so pictures to show clients. A portfolio should show your best work to impress clients not work that you have to explain, (well I was learning here and maybe should have shot that one from a different angle). Clients want results not excuses. Excuses means refunds and no good word of mouth advertising. Build your skills first, then your confidence, then your portfolio and then your clients list.

Best of Luck.


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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Aug 13, 2013 12:30 |  #26

Calicajun wrote in post #16204570 (external link)
What I don't understand is if the OP is not that good yet, why would he want a portfolio of bad or so-so pictures to show clients.

Clients want results not excuses. Excuses means refunds and no good word of mouth advertising. Build your skills first, then your confidence, then your portfolio and then your clients list.

bw!


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Aug 13, 2013 12:40 |  #27

nathancarter wrote in post #16204322 (external link)
1) You say you've already booked four weddings - presumably free. How far off are they? Next couple of months? Two years from now?

Spread out from September until end of November.. Two of them are couples who opted not to hire a wedding photographer for being on a strict budget, but saw my ad randomly.
The other two, one is an older couple who said it wasn't their first wedding and they're not looking for stellar photos, they just need someone designated to take photos. Last one is a couple who asked me to put their wedding on my schedule, if they can't come up with enough money to afford a good wedding photographer then I'd go cover.

All these people were very pleasant to speak with, all of them have seen some of my photos and some of them said "you're actually really good".. Even the rude girl who called last night texted me "Wow.. You took all those photos?!"
They understand that quality, number of photos, etc.. are not certain. The common issue is that they're all tight on their money.

nathancarter wrote in post #16204322 (external link)
The difficulty isn't in the photography, it's in managing the expectations, the flow of the day, and the bride.

True..

hes gone wrote in post #16204454 (external link)
=he's gone;16204454]The difference between my approach and yours is that i chose established and reputable groups to get started with event photography. When i make a move into wedding photography I will most definitely charge for it based solely on my experience with other event photography. I probably won't charge much but you'd better bet i'm going to get paid.

I think I like how you're looking at it.. But what if when you make that move people ask for sample wedding work? What are you going to say exactly? I wanna know this..

veritasimg wrote in post #16204539 (external link)
If you don't value yourself, no one will.

It seems everyone is telling me to stop advertising free work.. and it seems I've made the conclusion to stop doing it.

You're all correct.

scobols wrote in post #16204569 (external link)
You seem to be missing a key element: Time. How much time are you investing and what is it worth? Figure that out and it will greatly assist you in calculating how much to charge.

Most of them said between 5-6 hours..

Calicajun wrote in post #16204570 (external link)
The OP states he is building his portfolio to show new clients how good his work looks. But the OP also states he is not really very good, "hire a good photographer" he tells clients that call.

I say that to clarify that this is "A WEDDING" and that I'm by no means a wedding photographer, some people DO EXPECT STELLAR PHOTOS from an amateur offering free work.. Even you, established wedding photographers meet paying clients who receive AMAZING photos and still complain and ask for refunds.

Calicajun wrote in post #16204570 (external link)
What I don't understand is if the OP is not that good yet, why would he want a portfolio of bad or so-so pictures to show clients. A portfolio should show your best work to impress clients not work that you have to explain, (well I was learning here and maybe should have shot that one from a different angle).

When I do one event/wedding after another, wouldn't my skills and experience develop in this field? This is what I'm trying to do. I need to shoot until I have a collection to be proud of and then I can say, my services cost such and such.

Calicajun wrote in post #16204570 (external link)
Build your skills first, then your confidence, then your portfolio and then your clients list.

Again, this is what I'm trying to do. How can you build skills at wedding photography without actually shooting weddings?!


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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Aug 13, 2013 12:50 |  #28

You learn light. You learn to shoot. Practice with a window and a plastic head. Then maybe a flash. Then maybe a strobe.

Learn to be a photographer first. When you are doing the type of things you are doing, you are hurting your reputation and brand. You are going to get someone that uses you, has unrealisitic expectations of what you can do and then be mad at you. Then in 5 years when you are somewhat decent, someone will be talking to them and say "Oh you are looking at Sens0r? He shot my wedding and sucked and I have no pictures and I wish I picked someone else."

Go learn how to shoot. When I was figuring out what I was doing, I got a season pass to the zoo and shot monkeys and big cats and stuff. Great pics? No. But it was a start and a season pass to the zoo was like $50/year.


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Aug 13, 2013 13:14 |  #29

Sens0r wrote in post #16204661 (external link)
... if they can't come up with enough money to afford a good wedding photographer then I'd go cover.

They won't... Why should they when they have you shooting the wedding for free? That money will go to the caterer, florist, or the honeymoon.

Sens0r wrote in post #16204661 (external link)
The common issue is that they're all tight on their money.

Money is tight for the majority of the population. They will find the money to do what they WANT to do.

Sens0r wrote in post #16204661 (external link)
Most of them said between 5-6 hours..

Remember... That's 5-6 hours on-site. Afterwards, you still have to edit photos.

Sens0r wrote in post #16204661 (external link)
Again, this is what I'm trying to do. How can you build skills at wedding photography without actually shooting weddings?!

I think being a 2nd shooter would be your best avenue for learning.


Good luck to you.


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Aug 13, 2013 13:15 |  #30

Sens0r wrote in post #16204661 (external link)
I say that to clarify that this is "A WEDDING" and that I'm by no means a wedding photographer, some people DO EXPECT STELLAR PHOTOS from an amateur offering free work.. Even you, established wedding photographers meet paying clients who receive AMAZING photos and still complain and ask for refunds.

OP, Your ad said wedding Photographer.

When I do one event/wedding after another, wouldn't my skills and experience develop in this field? This is what I'm trying to do. I need to shoot until I have a collection to be proud of and then I can say, my services cost such and such.

OP, Yes your skills will improve but don't use the learning curve photos in a portfolio.

Again, this is what I'm trying to do. How can you build skills at wedding photography without actually shooting weddings?!

Op, As a second shooter, doing mock weddings or one the things I did was shoot the wedding rehearsal for free. I still shoot the rehearsal before a weeding to get a feel for the location.


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RANT: Photographer for the less fortunate?!
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