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  1. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    I would phrase it differently.

    "You can't expect to shoot any properly paid gigs nowadays....unless your marketing and business practices are good."

    There really are plenty of people that can do really nice photographs. I would think that a super majority of the 61,052 APUG members that exist at the time of this post could easily reach the quality threshold required.

    There are far fewer people who are willing to do the work and take the risks needed to make a good business of it.

    Examples of some successful film shooters in the portrait and wedding market.

    http://canlasphotography.blogspot.com/

    http://josevillablog.com/

    I'm not suggesting that film can fit every market but these guys are proof that it can work just fine in their market.

    No, this isn't about your ability. It is about the business of photography. Just because you are capable of shooting film, it does not mean you can make a successful business out of your photography. You must have a market for you works. And clients who are willing to pay for your services at your asking price. And whether or not you can fulfill your client's expectations with the necessary turn around time. I am pretty sure it is not a smart idea to promote yourself as a film wedding photographer in order to define your niche market and your style.... you have to ask yourself if the couples would care if the photos are shot with film or digital?? All they want is good quality photos. Not all couples are art majors. Not all couples know anything about photography.

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    I would phrase it differently.

    "You can't expect to shoot any properly paid gigs nowadays....unless your marketing and business practices are good."
    This is exactly what I mean. There are many reasons I might use various tools and methods. To allow what others do and say to dictate my methods make me a victim of hype and marketing. I's rather be a damn good photographer who's in demand because of his work. If I went around trying to compete with soccer moms and GWC's I'd be one of them. No way. By the way these people existed long before 010101. There are just more of them these days. I din't pay attention to them before, and i don't now. I cant afford to.

  3. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by TooManyShots View Post
    No, this isn't about your ability. It is about the business of photography. Just because you are capable of shooting film, it does not mean you can make a successful business out of your photography. You must have a market for you works. And clients who are willing to pay for your services at your asking price. And whether or not you can fulfill your client's expectations with the necessary turn around time. I am pretty sure it is not a smart idea to promote yourself as a film wedding photographer in order to define your niche market and your style.... you have to ask yourself if the couples would care if the photos are shot with film or digital?? All they want is good quality photos. Not all couples are art majors. Not all couples know anything about photography.
    So let me get this straight...

    You do cycling spec work and talk among other amateur photographers who engage in the new practically-free-till-I-make-it-big wedding market and then reply with the statement above to full time professionals who are giving you *direct* examples of how it does work?

    I'm sorry but you are just not getting it in my opinion. The market for the 1K shooter is not growing, it is contracting....fast. So that is not really a market to aspire to then, right? The market to aspire to break into is one that requires you as the shooter to effectively show through dynamic marketing presence high levels of skill and above all, talent. This shooter can easily market his film work to further set his product apart and it will work, because his client base IS educated, well cultured and wants more than "Just good quality photos" to begin with.

    The people you refer to above are not even a market as they would happily pay you $100 or nothing at all for "Just good quality photos"....

    That is what you are missing here, what you refer to is not even a market while the one the film shooter is going after most certainly is...
    "I'm the freak that shoots film. God bless the freaks!" ~ Mainecoonmaniac ~

  4. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by PKM-25 View Post
    So let me get this straight...

    You do cycling spec work and talk among other amateur photographers who engage in the new practically-free-till-I-make-it-big wedding market and then reply with the statement above to full time professionals who are giving you *direct* examples of how it does work?

    I'm sorry but you are just not getting it in my opinion. The market for the 1K shooter is not growing, it is contracting....fast. So that is not really a market to aspire to then, right? The market to aspire to break into is one that requires you as the shooter to effectively show through dynamic marketing presence high levels of skill and above all, talent. This shooter can easily market his film work to further set his product apart and it will work, because his client base IS educated, well cultured and wants more than "Just good quality photos" to begin with.

    The people you refer to above are not even a market as they would happily pay you $100 or nothing at all for "Just good quality photos"....

    That is what you are missing here, what you refer to is not even a market while the one the film shooter is going after most certainly is...

    You make it to sound like film photography is making a come back and driving out all those wedding photographers shooting with their 20mp+ full frame camera. The reality is the opposite. This is the first time I heard about the 1k wedding market is shrinking. With today's economy, 1k for most couples for wedding photography can be too much. Don't believe me? Go look up Criag List for the $500 wedding photographers. Of course, if your typical clients are making more than 6 figure annual incomes, you would probably don't care too much about the normal folks. To generalize your unusual experiences to the general photography market is just wrong. Just out of touch with the reality.

  5. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooManyShots View Post
    No, this isn't about your ability. It is about the business of photography. Just because you are capable of shooting film, it does not mean you can make a successful business out of your photography. You must have a market for you works. And clients who are willing to pay for your services at your asking price. And whether or not you can fulfill your client's expectations with the necessary turn around time. I am pretty sure it is not a smart idea to promote yourself as a film wedding photographer in order to define your niche market and your style.... you have to ask yourself if the couples would care if the photos are shot with film or digital?? All they want is good quality photos. Not all couples are art majors. Not all couples know anything about photography.
    People like stories and reasons. Film doesn't need to be "the" story or reason but it can be easily used as another thing to help people make a choice or remember you.

    That really isn't why Jose or Jonathan use film though.

    Two of the reasons are 1-that they can use films intrinsic qualities to reliably get a beautiful salable product with the specific qualities they want and 2-the production workflow is simple and very high quality; Shoot, send to a really good lab, receive proofs and scans back from lab, show client proofs, send orders to lab, receive finished stuff, take cash, deliver.

    To the best of my knowledge these guys, like Henri Cartier-Bresson, don't do the back end work themselves; so they get to spend their time on more profitable work like looking for more gigs or putting on seminars.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  6. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by TooManyShots View Post
    You make it to sound like film photography is making a come back and driving out all those wedding photographers shooting with their 20mp+ full frame camera. The reality is the opposite. This is the first time I heard about the 1k wedding market is shrinking. With today's economy, 1k for most couples for wedding photography can be too much. Don't believe me? Go look up Criag List for the $500 wedding photographers. Of course, if your typical clients are making more than 6 figure annual incomes, you would probably don't care too much about the normal folks. To generalize your unusual experiences to the general photography market is just wrong. Just out of touch with the reality.
    This has almost nothing to do with film, it could be paper machece for all I care. What it does have to do with is that the higher end of the market has the education and the funds to hire out truly great work and that market will pretty much be there unless the entire planet falls into socialism and no one makes upper income.

    The Craigslist market you refer to is being flooded by more and more software developers and store clerks who want to shore up their income so this is more of a supply and demand meets public perception thing....it's not a market for a professional photographer as JBrunner tried to tell you...

    And yes, although not on remotely a scale that harkens that pre-digital, pre-Internet days, film is making a fine art-esque and welcome come back into paid work. All my art directors and editors are enjoying it and are even paying the slight markup in some cases. We are all enjoying it, that helps to keep the final product fresh not to mention those involved.

    No one is saying that film is making "the" come back in some form of anti-digital retaliation but more of the high profile niche it rightly deserves. When you are competing in a world of millions of people with cameras who call them selves photographers, having a niche is a good thing, being part of the general market is simply not....

    Not where "Freetography" is concerned anyway...
    "I'm the freak that shoots film. God bless the freaks!" ~ Mainecoonmaniac ~

  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooManyShots View Post
    You make it to sound like film photography is making a come back and driving out all those wedding photographers shooting with their 20mp+ full frame camera. The reality is the opposite. This is the first time I heard about the 1k wedding market is shrinking. With today's economy, 1k for most couples for wedding photography can be too much. Don't believe me? Go look up Criag List for the $500 wedding photographers. Of course, if your typical clients are making more than 6 figure annual incomes, you would probably don't care too much about the normal folks. To generalize your unusual experiences to the general photography market is just wrong. Just out of touch with the reality.
    Sorry TooManyShots, PMK-25 is right, you are missing the point.

    It's not that anybody doesn't care about the normal people and it is fine to be charitable but in business one must make a profit. $500 weddings are charity work with free a dinner, even $1000 weddings can't support a business, you simply can't do enough of them to pay the bills and yourself a living wage. (There simply aren't enough weekends in a year.)

    I don't think anybody is suggesting that film is displacing digital. What I might suggest though is that wedding shooters chasing the latest, greatest, biggest, and baddest (film or otherwise) are probably spending way too much on their tools and that is always a bad business decision.

    Profession Photographers of America puts out info on the norms of the industry in terms of cost and whole bunches of other great things in support of pros. I'd suggest that you pony up and join PPA if you want a real idea of what works and what doesn't.

    http://www.ppa.com/
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  8. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    Sorry TooManyShots, PMK-25 is right, you are missing the point.

    It's not that anybody doesn't care about the normal people and it is fine to be charitable but in business one must make a profit. $500 weddings are charity work with free a dinner, even $1000 weddings can't support a business, you simply can't do enough of them to pay the bills and yourself a living wage. (There simply aren't enough weekends in a year.)

    I don't think anybody is suggesting that film is displacing digital. What I might suggest though is that wedding shooters chasing the latest, greatest, biggest, and baddest (film or otherwise) are probably spending way too much on their tools and that is always a bad business decision.

    Profession Photographers of America puts out info on the norms of the industry in terms of cost and whole bunches of other great things in support of pros. I'd suggest that you pony up and join PPA if you want a real idea of what works and what doesn't.

    http://www.ppa.com/
    The point which is greatly missed is that everybody has to start from somewhere and paying their dues, from the bottom up. It takes years and maybe luck to become established. Or in most cases, things do not work out. You don't just shoot a 5k wedding just because you shoot with film. When people talk about the "exceptions," they are leaving out the "disclaimers" as well. What about Gary Fong?? Is he still shooting weddings? When he first started, he was charging some ridiculously low price on weddings. Or maybe he finds it more profitable to teach classes how to become pros and selling his light diffusers.

  9. #99

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    Quote Originally Posted by TooManyShots View Post
    The point which is greatly missed is that everybody has to start from somewhere and paying their dues, from the bottom up. It takes years and maybe luck to become established. Or in most cases, things do not work out. You don't just shoot a 5k wedding just because you shoot with film. When people talk about the "exceptions," they are leaving out the "disclaimers" as well. What about Gary Fong?? Is he still shooting weddings? When he first started, he was charging some ridiculously low price on weddings. Or maybe he finds it more profitable to teach classes how to become pros and selling his light diffusers.
    To your credit, this is the problem for newcomers these days...that ladder no longer works in most cases. Whenever I get asked what it takes to break in, besides telling them to find a great niche, I say I am not sure because it is like winning American Idol, hundreds of thousands of people in line think they could be the next one, then they sing before the judges, sound horrible, start to cry and you just want to slap the people in their lives ( Flickr circle jerks of mutual praise ) that lead them to believe they were good enough when they clearly are not...

    So professional photography these days is less like a job you intern for and move up the ladder but more like trying out for American Idol...get in line but don't expect much. But if you are good and you realize just how much of a sacrifice and life change it is, go for it, you never know till you try...
    Last edited by PKM-25; 12-01-2012 at 01:43 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    "I'm the freak that shoots film. God bless the freaks!" ~ Mainecoonmaniac ~

  10. #100
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooManyShots View Post
    The point which is greatly missed is that everybody has to start from somewhere and paying their dues, from the bottom up. It takes years and maybe luck to become established. Or in most cases, things do not work out. You don't just shoot a 5k wedding just because you shoot with film. When people talk about the "exceptions," they are leaving out the "disclaimers" as well. What about Gary Fong?? Is he still shooting weddings? When he first started, he was charging some ridiculously low price on weddings. Or maybe he finds it more profitable to teach classes how to become pros and selling his light diffusers.
    Sorry, still not getting it.

    The exceptions ARE the ones that succeed, 9 of 10 business starts fail.

    Also, I'm not suggesting film will make you or break you as a pro. I'm suggesting that simple competency with your tools, some creative marketing, skillful salesmanship, hard work, and good business practices and plans, will get you a lot further than 10-years of work trying to make a living competing with the weekend warriors in the $500 market.

    Another example.

    http://joebuissink.smallfolio.com/

    As I remember the story Joe decided he wanted to be a wedding photographer as a second career, he was already quite competent with a camera, decided what market he wanted to serve, came up with a plan, gave away his first wedding jobs to people at the low end the market he wanted to serve, marketed like heck at those weddings to build his prospect base, worked all his connections, and built his business without ever doing a wedding in the $500 market.

    Gary Fong, by his own admission was a really lousy photographer when he started, but he knew what he wanted to do and made a system and refined it to make buy-ups the norm. When he sold a $500 wedding deal his norm when all done with that client was three times that, $1,500 not $500. Like Joe he worked his tail off to find the prospects that could move him up the food chain too.

    Their creativity in marketing, salesmanship, BS, schmoozing, and business sense made them what they are, not their photographic skills or the technology they used. Same for Jose and Johnathan.
    Last edited by markbarendt; 12-01-2012 at 04:13 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin



 

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