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Thread started 10 Jan 2014 (Friday) 07:46
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An example why photography will only continue to devalue

 
umphotography
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Jan 17, 2014 09:29 |  #166

memoriesoftomorrow wrote in post #16612023 (external link)
The point would be that when you are running a self-sustaining full time wedding photography business which exists to put food on the table etc things like the experience and service one delivers is critical to the business' success and longevity. Especially these days.

Photographing weddings on the side without being financially dependant on them is a completely different ball game. It is comparatively easy from a business perspective. That is why so many people do it. Buy camera -> Shoot wedding.

Anyone can like a photo on FB not matter what it looks like. Words like "great photo" are pretty meaningless these days. Likes on FB are pretty meaningless too. Have someone comment about the experience though and it stands out.

In all the reviews I have from clients words like; organised, efficient, relaxed, fun, comical, effort etc all make up large parts of them. Furthermore I get several bookings on the back of what people say in the reviews about the experience itself. In some cases the experience matters more than the photos themselves.

Why do so many new domestic photography businesses fail? In many cases because they think the photography itself is the be all and end all and what they perceive and value themselves as better quality will be perceived and valued the same way by the general public. The photographs are just a part of the equation.

FWIW this is from my FAQ page along the lines of your "Looking for a good time call XYZ photography" comment.

WHY SHOULD WE HIRE YOU?

1) Because you have like what you have seen (if you don't like my work then hiring me would be daft).
2) You like having fun. Fun is compulsory, no if, buts or maybes.




I think Pete has made some great points with this post. Look everyone. Those that say camera technology has minimul effect on the true pro phtographers are full of Crapola. camera technology is closing the gap rapidly. P mode shots on a 1Dx are excellent and to be perfectly honest about the wedding industry. the shots are on par with what is being posted all over the net.

Professionals must be able to produce better images than the amateur.That means better images that P mode folks make. Off camera lighting skills, great posing abilities, ability to use natural light and supplement it with lighting sources will separate you from the amateur.........and Thats just the start.......that will get you noticed

The 2nd part is key.

Service, being able to provide your clients an awesome experience, your personality, your ability to communicate with families and the couples, what you provide and bring to the table is what will separate you from everyone else. Word of mouth becomes critical to the business model.

Camera technology will get you into the arena. Lighting skills and posing skills will separate you from the pack. Business and people skills will determine if you succeed or fail.

I think pete is right on the $$$ with his assessments


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memoriesoftomorrow
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Jan 17, 2014 09:59 as a reply to  @ umphotography's post |  #167

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JakAHearts
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Jan 17, 2014 10:13 |  #168

umphotography wrote in post #16612926 (external link)
I think Pete has made some great points with this post. Look everyone. Those that say camera technology has minimul effect on the true pro phtographers are full of Crapola. camera technology is closing the gap rapidly. P mode shots on a 1Dx are excellent and to be perfectly honest about the wedding industry. the shots are on par with what is being posted all over the net.

Professionals must be able to produce better images than the amateur.That means better images that P mode folks make. Off camera lighting skills, great posing abilities, ability to use natural light and supplement it with lighting sources will separate you from the amateur.........and Thats just the start.......that will get you noticed

The 2nd part is key.

Service, being able to provide your clients an awesome experience, your personality, your ability to communicate with families and the couples, what you provide and bring to the table is what will separate you from everyone else. Word of mouth becomes critical to the business model.

Camera technology will get you into the arena. Lighting skills and posing skills will separate you from the pack. Business and people skills will determine if you succeed or fail.

I think pete is right on the $$$ with his assessments

Winner winner, chicken dinner. The technicals are easier now, sure, but its not like they were really hard before. The same standards hold true. Posing, lighting, composition will make you memorable and give a wow factor. Your business skills will bring the clients.


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igora90
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Jan 17, 2014 10:20 |  #169

I just felt that same feeling when I learned first time the basics of photography, everything just clicked as I've been scrolling through this thread. Have to do some serious thinking with my so called business model, lots of valuable tips in this thread! Thank you guys for sharing your knowledge, really appreciated! :)


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RandyMN
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Jan 17, 2014 11:21 |  #170

memoriesoftomorrow wrote in post #16612023 (external link)
The point would be that when you are running a self-sustaining full time wedding photography business which exists to put food on the table etc things like the experience and service one delivers is critical to the business' success and longevity. Especially these days.

Photographing weddings on the side without being financially dependant on them is a completely different ball game. It is comparatively easy from a business perspective. That is why so many people do it. Buy camera -> Shoot wedding.

Anyone can like a photo on FB not matter what it looks like. Words like "great photo" are pretty meaningless these days. Likes on FB are pretty meaningless too. Have someone comment about the experience though and it stands out.

In all the reviews I have from clients words like; organised, efficient, relaxed, fun, comical, effort etc all make up large parts of them. Furthermore I get several bookings on the back of what people say in the reviews about the experience itself. In some cases the experience matters more than the photos themselves.

Why do so many new domestic photography businesses fail? In many cases because they think the photography itself is the be all and end all and what they perceive and value themselves as better quality will be perceived and valued the same way by the general public. The photographs are just a part of the equation.

FWIW this is from my FAQ page along the lines of your "Looking for a good time call XYZ photography" comment.

WHY SHOULD WE HIRE YOU?

1) Because you have like what you have seen (if you don't like my work then hiring me would be daft).
2) You like having fun. Fun is compulsory, no if, buts or maybes.

You speak points that are well taken,but don't think your understanding of business is something only a full-time photographer understands. Business is the same in all of industry and those of us who work in a field outside of photography also know and understand customer experience and service.

I think you took my sarcasm a bit too seriously and perhaps even personal.




  
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monkey44
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Jan 17, 2014 11:33 |  #171

If you work for a photo company, it's enough to become a good photographer ... if you work for yourself, it's never enough to become a good photographer, you need to become a businessman as well (or woman) ...




  
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RaffaLuce
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Jan 17, 2014 11:43 |  #172

I wouldn't argue that the market is so accessible now that it's become difficult to stand out from the masses, as the tools are not only easier to buy but easier to use. So yes, more competition, either from those getting into the business or those serving their own needs and not needing to hire someone. I think those that adapt and utilize a business mindset over creative (VERY hard, myself included) will succeed. Maybe not in the traditional way, but almost all professions change and evolve over time. Photography is either a luxury (i.e. weddings, portraits, art, etc) or a necessity (commercial, fashion, etc), and there are people who will pay not to have to deal with the hassle of either doing it themselves or having the work done over and over because of incompetence/poor quality. Value still matters, and people value their time. I know that wandered a bit, but there's my 2 cents.




  
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Fernando
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Jan 17, 2014 14:24 |  #173

memoriesoftomorrow wrote in post #16611947 (external link)
Exactly... domestic photography by and large sells "happiness". Warm fuzzies. Look at Coca Cola... the product is pretty naff... but they don't sell that... they sell and promote "happiness", the feelings, the emotions. Macca's is the same.

http://blog.flickr.net …s-world-tour-job-at-coke/ (external link)


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Jan 17, 2014 14:44 |  #174

memoriesoftomorrow wrote in post #16611928 (external link)
If a person likes a photograph... it is a good photograph to them... the end

Photographers get hung up on believing that everyone else should have the same thoughts and opinions as them when it comes to "good" "quality" etc. It is the pretentious part of the Industry I hate with a passion.

What for example you think is a good photograph has absolutely no relevance for me as to what I think is a good photograph. I don't care what you think... I'll like what I darn well choose to like thank you very much. That is the same mentality the general public have (and rightly so).

The best photo in our house was taken by my wife using my 7D. Trying to always give her a fighting chance at getting a decent shot I taught her to put the camera on Green Box and shoot (She does NOT want to learn how to handle the camera). It's a technically terrible picture. It's also the only photo we have that is an 8x10 in a frame, a 20x30 canvas, and an oil painting done by a local artist. She was aiming for the face and, of course, the camera decided that the my daughter's 4-day-old clenched hands were closer to the camera and closer to the middle of the frame. If I had been shooting, I likely would have deleted it as soon as I realized that I didn't get her face in focus.

That shot illicits a response every time someone sees it.


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bethsian91
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Jan 19, 2014 00:47 |  #175

An observation from someone new to the industry, having taught everything I know to myself through reading and taking part in online workshops I do not believe for one second that the wedding industry is dying. Nor do any of the thousands of start-ups each year, or we wouldn't be entering it.

What HAS changed is the combination of access to learning online and respectively fewer of us are going down an academic route, fast tracking by learning as we shoot for £50-100 as we juggle a full time job. And yes, down the line we realize we have devalued ourselves through our lack of education.

I don't feel like I compete with seasoned pros, and they have no reason to feel threatened by my small price tag, because my clients are aware that I am training & when I reach an acceptable level of consistency, skill and quality I will rise my prices to compete in the market.

Are Andrex competing with Walmart's own toilet roll? No, If you see an amateur photographer who's work does threaten yours, why not hire them? Pay them what they are happy with (pennies after expenses!) and make profit on their skill for business.

Just a bit of food for thought, I'm definitely no expert so hopefully I don't offend anyone with these comments.


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bethsian91
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Jan 19, 2014 00:57 |  #176

RandyMN wrote in post #16611795 (external link)
They are both important. And a photo is just a photo when it's not an important memory, not a cherished moment, not a work of art and not really of anything relevant to anyone. I like to think of photo's as more valuable that just a 'thing'.

Look at what people cherish most when they lose their homes to catastrophe! The home was simply just a house and can be rebuilt. Many photo's can never be redone once that moment in time has expired.

Obviously the previous comment valued a family home more than photography, many people do. it's not wrong, its just different


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brianodom
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Jan 19, 2014 19:52 |  #177

bethsian91 wrote in post #16617393 (external link)
An observation from someone new to the industry, having taught everything I know to myself through reading and taking part in online workshops I do not believe for one second that the wedding industry is dying. Nor do any of the thousands of start-ups each year, or we wouldn't be entering it.

What HAS changed is the combination of access to learning online and respectively fewer of us are going down an academic route, fast tracking by learning as we shoot for £50-100 as we juggle a full time job. And yes, down the line we realize we have devalued ourselves through our lack of education.

I don't feel like I compete with seasoned pros, and they have no reason to feel threatened by my small price tag, because my clients are aware that I am training & when I reach an acceptable level of consistency, skill and quality I will rise my prices to compete in the market.

Are Andrex competing with Walmart's own toilet roll? No, If you see an amateur photographer who's work does threaten yours, why not hire them? Pay them what they are happy with (pennies after expenses!) and make profit on their skill for business.

Just a bit of food for thought, I'm definitely no expert so hopefully I don't offend anyone with these comments.

It's more along the lines of I think having a clear understanding of the business model . What I've had happen as I have raised my prices considerably to where they are now. That's where you have to have business acumen to understand cost of goods, profit-return margins, and good selling.

I see way too many photographers who leave money on the table by creating packages (Portrait and Wedding) that totally shoot them in the foot. Example: People giving away canvases in the bottom package and wondering why they won't buy one later when it comes to proofing....you just gave it away! The bottom package is designed to be just that...you get what you pay for!

Photography is one of the few industries where if 8 photogs in one town say the cost of service is 8000 then the cost for the service is 8000 or at the least 7500. If people would educate themselves first to the business side the rest could be learned via online classes..etc...but even at that talent will have to show up later on.


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bethsian91
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Jan 19, 2014 21:16 |  #178

brianodom wrote in post #16619465 (external link)
It's more along the lines of I think having a clear understanding of the business model . What I've had happen as I have raised my prices considerably to where they are now. That's where you have to have business acumen to understand cost of goods, profit-return margins, and good selling.

I see way too many photographers who leave money on the table by creating packages (Portrait and Wedding) that totally shoot them in the foot. Example: People giving away canvases in the bottom package and wondering why they won't buy one later when it comes to proofing....you just gave it away! The bottom package is designed to be just that...you get what you pay for!

Photography is one of the few industries where if 8 photogs in one town say the cost of service is 8000 then the cost for the service is 8000 or at the least 7500. If people would educate themselves first to the business side the rest could be learned via online classes..etc...but even at that talent will have to show up later on.

I know what you mean, I really wish I didn't have to model my business that way but I am actually the most expensive photographer on the group of Islands I'm living on, I plan to move this summer into a market where i believe i can get away with a proper business model, I know people laugh this off - there is only one portrait studio where I live and they are £30 and that includes prints! Luckily I have a supplier that allows for my COGs to be less than 30% of my packages


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memoriesoftomorrow
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Post edited over 5 years ago by memoriesoftomorrow.
     
Jan 20, 2014 02:31 as a reply to  @ bethsian91's post |  #179

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Jan 20, 2014 19:35 |  #180

memoriesoftomorrow wrote in post #16593519 (external link)
I recently bought a Sony A7. Shooting in "M" in t could not be easier as there are no excuses not to get everything exposure right in camera before you even press the shutter. A full frame digital viewfinder changes the game massively.

What is more I can upload directly to my phone (full resolution) and edit with Photoshop Touch. I can then upload directly to the web. I can watermark and resize the images if I want too. Not a computer in sight and the potential to shoot, edit and deliver images electronically on the fly.

As more an more cameras find their way into the marketplace with such great and easy to use technology the there is less and less skill required for getting exposures correct etc.

If you think things are tough now they are only going to get exponentially tougher... and fast. The learning curve is just disappearing the more technology marches on.

“Cameras capable of making great photographs have become commonplace these days, but photographers have not. While technical innovations have made photography even easier in recent decades, the art of producing images that other people will care about has become ever more formidable. This apparent paradox is due to rising expectations in a culture where we are surrounded by a growing number of sophisticated images every day of our lives.“

- Galen Rowell (1992)


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An example why photography will only continue to devalue
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