New Market: Personal Photographer

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by seadrive, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. seadrive

    seadrive Member

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    Thought you guys might be interested in this:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15401287/

    Here's a pretty sad quote from the body of the article:

    "Photography is becoming a harder profession in which to make a living, said Holly Stuart Hughes, editor of the New York trade magazine Photo District News. “People say, ‘Why should we pay a lot of money for a professional photographer when my Uncle Harry has a digital camera?’ ” "

    They see the money as going to things like prints and albums, rather than that they're paying for a skill, the ability to capture moments that an amateur wouldn't see, or wouldn't be able to record.
     
  2. Bromo33333

    Bromo33333 Member

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    I would tend to agree, and would further say that Uncle Harry can use the canned filters in Photoshop so can "fix" anything.

    Same thing happens in musical instruments. New sythesizer comes out, and people thing they are buying their way into stardom by plunking down their cash. While good instruments help a lot, they won't overcome a lack of skill and talent.
     
  3. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    You should read through some of the discussions at PDN Forums. It is definitely not an easy profession. However, those who have a unique vision can survive and thrive in it. The toughest part is marketing, getting your name, and your creative vision, out in front of potential clients.

    WPPI and the wedding, event, and portrait photography realm, is a very different division of professional photography from other aspects of this profession. Some of the work is of a commodity type of nature. Stock photography is another realm being pushed towards a commodity, as is much of product photography. Even in photojournalism, the proliferation of all-rights contracts and work-for-hire is making life tougher, especially when pay rates have rarely changed in the last decade. Sports photography is becoming tougher with sporting organizations and professional sports groups placing greater restrictions upon photographers.

    So what does that leave: advertising, some editorial, fine art, architecture, music, and corporate assignment work, amongst other realms. Definitely tons of competition throughout those areas. I still think it is possible to make a living from photography, but you need to stay focused and get your work out in front of the right people/companies.

    It is unfortunate that companies like MSN can write articles that might give some people outside the profession the wrong ideas about pay levels. At the mid range of photographers, those $6000 weddings, or $1500 sessions don't happen that often. An okay photographer might get 50 billable days of photography each year, while really good or busy photographers get near 100 to 150 days. The rest of the time is meeting with people, writing proposals, delivering work, collecting payments, and various other things that need to be done to keep work coming in.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat
    A G Studio
     
  4. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    About the Uncle Harry thing-
    I believe one of the other changes in our society is the declining presence of art (all kinds) in public schools. It doesn't fit the accountability (in grading performance) mentality of SOL's, and is often the first to go when money is tight (despite evidence that early exposure to music, for example, can fortify aptitude for subjects like mathmatics). Course selection, university level too, seems more and more inclined to practical (secure career) options.

    So, as we move forward, without exposure to art appreciation (let alone practice), how does the average person discern the difference between Uncle Harry's pix, and those of the trained and skilled photographer?

    Just MHO, sorry for the rant, but it does bug me, and I'm not a pro.
     
  5. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    I was in a field office a week ago for a local state park. The woman who sold me a topo map, and I started talking about photography. Her daughter has a digigizmo, and she was telling me how wonderful it was that she could take all those photos of her kids and have them saved on CD's. I got a call from the same woman later that day asking me how to fix CD's that were not reading. Seems that four years worth of precious photos of the grandkids are now lost. She then asked me if I did any portrait work. I could probably get a lot of work, just by telling people to go back and check their CD's and see if the images were still there. I felt so sorry for that grandmother that was in tears, but I could do nothing to retrieve the images lost by corrupted CD's. So Uncle Harry's of the world, your time is limited by your storage medium.
     
  6. Bromo33333

    Bromo33333 Member

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    Yes, and this trend happened in the 60's onward - arts became debased and isn't taught in a meaningful way in many schools in the US.

    Given how EXPENSIVE education has become (inflation, not quality improvements) who can afford to spend $150-200k for a top flight school (merely $100k for the less expensive ones) and not be concerned about return on investment? Only the very rich.
     
  7. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    It sounds like a typical VNR type of thing. I suspect it's not a real news report.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_news_release

    Beofore the holiday seasons (Thanksgiving, Xmas, etc), you get to hear this kind of sh-t in the corporate media. I don't know much about MSNBC, but Camcast is well known for running it.
     
  8. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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  9. George Papantoniou

    George Papantoniou Member

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    It's called IsoBuster and it costs 20 bucks. You find it here:

    www.isobuster.com

    It'll read most corrupted CD's.