" Whats happening to our industry "

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by perfect, Jul 3, 2006.

  1. perfect

    perfect Inactive

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    i dont know if this is the right place for this post , but iam sure some one will point it out if not !

    I recieved a telephone call earlier today from a lady who wanted her daughter photographing at home this friday night before she went to the prom . She originally asked for a framed & mounted portrait . After i told her that she would be better off , having me to do a shoot under studio lighting & to give her the selection of images 6x4 in size , taken at the shoot & complimented with 6mb files of each shot on pro disk , for £ 150.00 , as a framed a mounted image with me for a one off is £ 210.00 . i added she could then choose from the original images the shot she wanted enlarging & framed , for a considerable reduction at a later date ! The lady replied that she would come back to me when she had spoken to her partner .

    To her word a couple of hours later she returned the call . She began by saying can i come to your studio as it would be cheaper ! I said that wether you come to the studio or i come to you the price would be the same ! She then said a digital photographer had quoted her £ 50.00 for a one of 12x8 portrait not framed at is studio ! My reply to this was , you must look at what your getting for your money , i said you are getting one hell of a package with me , that is strictly professional , & at a relatively low cost .

    Any way my point here is that , the lady choosed the digi photographer , over my professional service , & to me a far better quality of work , than his .

    It is hard maiking a living in photography , but its getting harder with these point & shoot digital amateurs !

    Whats members thoughts ?

    simon
     
  2. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Just don't try to compete on cost, you will lose in the end. Compete on quality; just realize that top-notch quality isn't important to some people.
     
  3. perfect

    perfect Inactive

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    i here what you say & these are my thoughts exactly , but quality seems to be loosing 9 times out of 10 , at this rate film photographers are going to be none exsistant ?

    If i have to pick up a digi cam , thats it for me , i would sooner go back to 9-5 for a company ?

    simon
     
  4. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    A customer wants what they ask for....they see the price .... and they do see the finished product...to this customer the price and the finished product offered by your competitor tipped the hand...

    Take a light weight portable light and a reflector, shoot in home as requested, and give an unmounted 12 x 8 for 75 lbs, with the offer to review other images you have scanned from your negs with a reduced price for the additiional images.....a sharp 12 x 8 photo made in the states at the drug store (in 30 minutes) from scanned negs are $1.99....your mark up is substantial enough...you could even offer 2 for the 75....
     
  5. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    Quality schmality.

    People shop at Wall Mart, people buy fake Guccis and Louis Vuittons, people pirate software, people steal music, people eat at fast food joints, etc... People today don't care or want or pay for quality. They're sick of quality.

    Quality is for the elite. The people want cheap.

    Regards, Art.
     
  6. perfect

    perfect Inactive

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    Hi Dave

    again i here whats being said here , & i suppose it is a valid point , & boils down to what we are prepared as individuals to earn ?

    i started this business 8 years ago with £50 pounds in my pocket when i rented my first studio & have stuggled to make a honest living since then , having to compete with digi methods & imagers !

    i have a family to keep & put food on the table for & 2 studios & other related costs to pay for . I offered this lady bottom dollar uk rates for a good package at home , with studio lighting ! By the time i take my petrol costs , a roll of film & processing costs , with my time allocated the profit margin is relatively low to say the least ?

    Here in the uk to process a roll of pro 35 film at 12x8 prints is on average £ 24 + vat , working photographers here in the uk start at around £120 per hour , my rates are £150 per hour including all materials ?

    yep i could do this commission for £75 like you suggest , but iam affraid poor quality digital imaging will be the finish of film photographers , as the majority of the public seem to be choosing cheap & nasty services over quality here in the uk anyway ?

    simon
     
  7. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    For my daughters wedding, we had to use the inhouse photographer. He showed us his work, and tried to sell us one of his package deals. I asked what equipment he used. He was so proud to say he had now gone totally digital. When I asked if he still had his film equipment, he paused and said yes, but he didn't want to use it. I said if he wanted to do this wedding, he was going to shoot film. To which he told me it was all going to be digitally printed (this in 2001) I told him again only film, and printed the regular way with a wet darkroom. He got very mad at me, and said that if I wanted his services he would do it his way and with digital. After that confrontation I went to the head of the department that did the weddings (this at the Cal Neva Lodge at Lake Tahoe) and complained that we were being ripped off with inferior services by a substandard photographer. Once I got finished I was allowed to have our own photographer brought in and do the wedding. Well since the wedding was supposed to happen on 9-15-2001 short ending, it didn't happen as planned. I shot the wedding held in our bishops office once we were able to get the grooms parents into the San Francisco area from South America.
     
  8. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Sorry Art, but Gucci and Louis Vitton is still in business and doing quite well. Come to Honolulu and I can show you places where these stores are, stores where you have to knock on the door to be let in. Yes, the majority of the world shops on price, but those who can afford quality still prefer it - and those are the people I try to sell to.
     
  9. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Something similar is happening here; digital portrait photography studios are popping up in malls, etc. But, a funny thing, those still shooting traditionally haven't totally disappeared, yes they went though hard times, but as soon as they realized they couldn't compete on price with the digital photographer, they started playing up the strengths of film and working it to their advantage. The end result, they are charging higher prices.

    The person on APUG who could give you some ideas would be blansky. He does portraiture traditionally, and knows his stuff.
     
  10. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Simon,

    My point was not for you to make less money....it was thro marketing approach for you to get the gig....you could make more...the sales comes into play...the lady will certainly purchase more that one print....she would rather have the young lady photographed in her home for this memorable event.....I think it is possible with this customer to sell a package, making your required fees etc...the big profit comes in the sale after the shoot and after the customer sees the finished product....you can not compete if you can not get up to bat...

    The quality of a portrait on fugi crystal archive paper made from a scanned film neg is lovely...

    .....another slam dunk when competing with most 35mm d&*(% shooters is to shoot in 120 format and scan the negs.......show the customer an 11 x 14 or 16 x 20...I would think residual sales and word of mouth recommendations would be worth landing the sale.....graduations, proms etc...are a really big business..it is in the marketing package...sell your self higher...Robert is right, there is a market for quality or market yourself to those that can justifiably afford your services, Luis Vitton alive and well....in Vegas some actually lease Turbo Bently Coupes for 26 months contract for $4000 per month, after a substantial deposit of course...
     
  11. perfect

    perfect Inactive

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    interesting points , especially you angie .

    i dont particully worry about the services required as i offer full digital & film methods , of course all commissions are originally on film to begin with ?

    digi prints from film are far more better quality as we know , & wet prints the ultimate !

    However there dont seem to be many ppl in the uk prepared to pay for film photographers services , only the well off & thats a few .

    One point i would like to make is YES , i get a far better rate of income from my prices & services , but with less commissions , so it balances it out . I think gone are the days film photographers earn massive incomes & i for one am struggling with many others to stay in the industry !

    simon
     
  12. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Simon,

    What is your business website address? I hope it isn't the one in your signature.
     
  13. perfect

    perfect Inactive

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  15. cdholden

    cdholden Member

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    I can't speak for others, but I'd suggest linking to a forum from a main business-oriented page, if you need the forum at all. In my mind, a business site should provide background info, services, prices, samples of work, etc... all within easy reach. If you have to go searching for it, someone else probably has an easier site to navigate.
    I'm not marketing/advertising consultant, I've just seen what works.
    Hope this helps.
    Chris
     
  16. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Try writing for the photographic press when there are people that BOAST that they don't buy magazines, just go to Borders and read them for two hours in the coffee shop.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  17. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Simon,

    I was just trying to get a sense of your work. When I opened the site in your signature, I found a discussion forum, not a website to sell you skills and talents.

    I went to look at the site you list below. Love your introduction page, but it doesn't give me the sense that you are a portrait photographer - a skateboarder and images of graffiti - good work, but not what I expect of a portrait photographer. However, you introduction page has way too much text, don't tell us what you do, show us what you do. Take a look at these two websites:

    http://www.nicoleboenigmcgrade.com
    http://www.michaelmcblane.com/

    Notice, that they both place their empahsis on images. Portrait photography is about making people feel good about themselves, and that isn't something that you can do with words. People wanting your services don't care if you use film or why you use film, they want to know if your images will make them look good. Notice one thing about these two sites I highlighted above - both these photographers use film (they are APUG members) - their images are what their websites are about.

    I looked through your site, you do good work, but it isn't presented in a manner that shows them off well. I don't mean to sound overly critical, but I've been in the web business for a long time, and I just don't get the sense that you are showing off your work to its fullest extent - everything you do, must reflect how good your work is, and that includes your website.

    Robert


     
  18. perfect

    perfect Inactive

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    good points again Chris , but as for the forum looking for / searching for clients , i dont think so , it works the other way around ! but my photography & services are for all my clients & general feedback from my clients is cool , . They like the idea of being part of a community photographer & is businesses ?

    And to be honest the forum brings in work for all photographers not just me ?

    i have spent nearly 20 years in business marketing 7 longer in photography ?

    i think chris your point is fair but a little of the topic of this post !

    cheers simon
     
  19. perfect

    perfect Inactive

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    Roger could you explain a little , iam a bit slow on uptake at times ! cheers

    Roteague i think you have gone of the topic here a little & suggest you go back to my website & look closer , it is the gateway to over 200 images of mine for clients to view , obviously you did not look at it close enough ? As for me being a portrait photographer ? iam a "photographer " shooting many fields as my site says ?

    cheers simon lol
     
  20. perfect

    perfect Inactive

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    sorry Roger with you now !

    Mr Hicks i take my hat of to you , i could not do what you do , i have seen and viewed some of your works over the years cool stuff fellow photographer ! i didnt relise who you was at first , until i read your last name

    regards simon smith
     
  21. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Simon,

    Thanks for the kind words.

    The point is, everyone wants to EARN as much as possible and SPEND as little as possible. If they thought this through they would see that no-one wants to pay them either...

    Cheers,

    R
     
  22. perfect

    perfect Inactive

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    Hi Roger ,

    i agree with everything you said in your last post , SO were are us working photographers going to end up ?

    simon
     
  23. Petzi

    Petzi Member

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    £ 150.00 is a lot of money for one photo. Most ordinary people can't afford that, or at least you would have a hard time explaing to them why your work is worth that. Let us assume this is the net salary of a working man for two or three days. With a substantial portion of the people in western economies not even having any work. Now explain why you need to get that money from them for showing up and taking a few pictures.
     
  24. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Simon,

    Alas I cannot offer much encouragement unless things change. I am fortunate that in the last 3 years or so I have rearranged my life so that I no longer need to earn as much as I did a few years ago, cashing in the equity on the house in Kent and moving to France where I could buy somewhere without a mortgage.

    All I can say is the French phrase, 'Bonne Courage'. Wish I could say more.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  25. perfect

    perfect Inactive

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    Petzi , read the post mate

    £150 is for a complete sitting providing the client with all 6x4 images of the shoot & 6mb files on disk of all images ?

    cheers simon lol

    ps/ i do charge higher than that fee , for one photograph framed & mounted thou . But in this case i was trying to save the client money !
     
  26. Petzi

    Petzi Member

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    I read it. I read that all she really wanted was one picture.