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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 21 Apr 2014 (Monday) 16:35
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Large design firms don't "buy" photographs?

 
ram1958
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Apr 21, 2014 16:35 |  #1

In the past month, two large design / engineering companies have contacted me regarding "donating" local images for commercial use.
The donated photographs would be part of design and remodeling projects at large chain restaurants.

Seems, both Applebees and Pizza Hut are in the process of refreshing and remodeling hundreds of restaurants across the good old USA.

Evidently, the design companies, (contracted) are donating :rolleyes: some services because they don't have a budget for "locally themed" photography for said "locally themed" design.

What's most aggravating (to me) is that large design, graphics and engineering firms have no qualms in using "donated" or "credited" work in their for profit business model.


Invariably, someone will provide the photographs for credit and that "credit" won't even buy them a damn meal! :cry:

Bob




  
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Luckless
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Apr 21, 2014 16:50 |  #2

If someone offered you a free camera, would you turn it down?

Make them an offer, and remind them that it still stands every now and then. If they have months left on the project then they won't be in any hurry to pay out for soft elements of their project if they think they might be able to get them for free/super cheap. When deadlines are becoming short most people become more willing to use up some of their budget to get what they need.


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Apr 21, 2014 17:00 |  #3

Do what I do, provide them a link to a page where they can purchase usage rights. ;) Granted I usually don't hear back after that. :confused:


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FerozeK
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Apr 21, 2014 17:04 |  #4

Billion dollar companies are begging for free photos....

"Evidently, the design companies, (contracted) are donating some services because they don't have a budget for "locally themed" photography for said "locally themed" design. "

The part they donating is your free photos.

Quote them standard commercial rates, they on a fishing trip to see where they can reduce their costs to make the maximum profit.

Unfortunately, on the other hand someone is bound to "donate" a photo just for the thrill....




  
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gjl711
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Apr 21, 2014 17:21 |  #5

This is very common and getting more so all the time. The news is filled with credited shots, especially the weather reports. Craigs list has requests for wedding photogs for low cost or free, sr. portraits, travel brochures, heck, even Pizza Hut was using sent in photos for a national commercial. I think that many people just don't see the value in photography anymore and are happy someone shows interest. Odds are that they will get all they need and then some and many will be happy if their photo makes it.


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tickerguy
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Apr 22, 2014 10:21 |  #6

If your work is not any better than what someone else will give away for free why should you get paid for it?

That's how I see it and it applies to all fields; you're either worth what you charge in a free market, including those who price their services at zero, or you're not.

The problem isn't that someone else is giving away service. It's that you aren't good enough to command your asking price.


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Apr 22, 2014 10:52 |  #7

tickerguy wrote in post #16852611 (external link)
If your work is not any better than what someone else will give away for free why should you get paid for it?

That's how I see it and it applies to all fields; you're either worth what you charge in a free market, including those who price their services at zero, or you're not.

The problem isn't that someone else is giving away service. It's that you aren't good enough to command your asking price.

Don't take away from the very talented amateurs out there who can turn out professional quality work but don't need the money. ;) That's part of the problem out there right now. For example, imagine if you needed to get your car fixed and you had a choice, let the dealer fix it or try your luck with little Jimmy next door who just got his first tool kit. Chances are Jimmy's not going to be the right choice, even for free. However, what if "Jimmy" were actually a retired mastertech with a fully stocked garage who was willing to fix your car for free just for the fun of it? That's about where photography is at right now. :confused:


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gjl711
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Apr 22, 2014 11:05 |  #8

Scatterbrained wrote in post #16852682 (external link)
...For example, imagine if you needed to get your car fixed and you had a choice, let the dealer fix it or try your luck with little Jimmy next door who just got his first tool kit. Chances are Jimmy's not going to be the right choice, even for free. However, what if "Jimmy" were actually a retired mastertech with a fully stocked garage who was willing to fix your car for free just for the fun of it? That's about where photography is at right now. :confused:

That's my feeling as well. Just look at the images being shared here and many other share sites. The quality of work has improved dramatically and much of it is from people who make their living doing something else and photography is done for fun. There will always be a need for professionals but with access to such large libraries of images from folks who would be happy to see them published even for no compensation, the market is going to change and it will become more difficult for those trying to make a living from photography.


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Apr 22, 2014 11:20 |  #9

gjl711 wrote in post #16852708 (external link)
That's my feeling as well. Just look at the images being shared here and many other share sites. The quality of work has improved dramatically and much of it is from people who make their living doing something else and photography is done for fun. There will always be a need for professionals but with access to such large libraries of images from folks who would be happy to see them published even for no compensation, the market is going to change and it will become more difficult for those trying to make a living from photography.

I remember about this time last year or so during a discussion about stock photography, someone made a statement that really sums up the direction of the photography market today. Basically, photography is moving back to a patronage model. We're getting to the point where there is so much cheap or outright free photography available that if you want to make a living from photography it'll be through paid shoots, not stock image sales or "portfolio pieces". Even the guys who used to make a living shooting fine art and landscapes are having to turn to books, blogs and workshops to make money now.


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Apr 22, 2014 11:23 |  #10

Disgusting.


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Apr 22, 2014 11:29 |  #11

tickerguy wrote in post #16852611 (external link)
If your work is not any better than what someone else will give away for free why should you get paid for it?

That's how I see it and it applies to all fields; you're either worth what you charge in a free market, including those who price their services at zero, or you're not.

The problem isn't that someone else is giving away service. It's that you aren't good enough to command your asking price.

Except that there are some very good photographers who do not have the overhead that a full time pro has so they can charge half the rate.

Not to mention that to most of the population "good enough" is probably achieved by anyone who is shooting for a year or two. So to Pizza Hut your work may be better, but the don't need better. They need cheaper (read: free).


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umphotography
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Apr 22, 2014 11:34 as a reply to  @ gjl711's post |  #12

As long as new people continue to be convinced that they are going to get recognition and exposure from these publication and as long as all your big name instructors continue to teach people that this is how you get recognition and grow a business.....we will continue to see companies refusing to pay for photography services.....why should you pay for something when there is plenty of people that will give it to you fro free ??


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seres
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Apr 22, 2014 12:24 |  #13

Scatterbrained wrote in post #16852682 (external link)
Don't take away from the very talented amateurs out there who can turn out professional quality work but don't need the money.......

There is an incredible amount of very, very good work being produced for free. And every day these "libraries" of photos become more widely accessible to potential clients.


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ram1958
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Apr 22, 2014 12:44 as a reply to  @ tickerguy's post |  #14

Ticker, not sure of your point...:confused:

I have no intention of providing "quality" images without compensation, period.

My example:
The (design firms) initially contact the local chambers, city administrations and newspapers for quality images.
In turn, referrals (local photographers) are made.

Design firms business depend on and employ creative professionals architects, graphic / interior designers, lighting engineers and the like. The large firms have in house staff.
Obviously not all aspects of a design project can be done in house and this is where local photographers are required.

The firms contact local photographers and request "donated" images, for use in the "locally themed" remodeling project.

My rub: Despite local imagery being a key element of the design project, the photography is devalued to such an extent that images should be donated!
(note: per news releases in some cases these large scale remodeling projects have budgets in excess of $200,000)

I'm not aware of requests for "donated" lighting designs and fixtures.

In Summary:
At one time, these types of projects, would have been an opportunity for a (paid) assignment for local photographers. (albeit maybe a one a done)

Since sourcing free local images has worked before, the practice will continue.

Not breaking news... Take it for what it's worth... personally I don't like it nor will I participate in the devaluation of our craft.




  
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Apr 22, 2014 13:36 |  #15

benji25 wrote in post #16852769 (external link)
but the don't need better. They need cheaper (read: free).

No, they WANT free...needs and wants are not the same thing...;)

And since he wasn't contacted by Pizza Hut, but by the design firm, let's not assume Pizza Hut is the one trolling on the cheap without more info..


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Large design firms don't "buy" photographs?
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