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  1. #101
    markbarendt's Avatar
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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." Ana´s Nin

  2. #102

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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.

  3. #103

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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 ~

  4. #104
    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." Ana´s Nin

  5. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diapositivo View Post
    The fact is that these days using film in itself is rather the exception than the norm.
    The case may be that in the wedding photography sector the work produced in film is percentually* higher than in general photography. Maybe film is used in 3% of general photography and 5% of wedding photography.
    <snip>
    * How do you bloody say "percentually" in English without having the spell checker scream?
    "The case may be that in the wedding photography sector the percentage of work produced in film is higher than in general photography."

    hth,
    kevs
    testing...

  6. #106
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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.
    It isn't luck. It's talent, hard work, shameless self promotion, and the willingness to demand what you are actually worth. I don't shoot low wage stuff because it damages my brand. An upstart may need to do some things to build a portfolio, but that should be over as soon as possible. Cheap jobs involve ugly clients and crap locations, hardly what portfolios are made of. Furthermore, my clients don't care what I shoot on, it's me they want, my results they want, not a workflow or format.

    None of the things you cite pays a living wage. I don't know my clients average income, but I do know they perceive what I do as highly valuable.

    You are confusing the part of the market you have been exposed to with the whole market. There is more going on than you think.

  7. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    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 to.

    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.

    Heheheh.....next time when you need to cite an exceptional example, just put up a disclaimer saying that "it may only work for him or her." And not for everyone. So that we can avoid using this exceptional example to setting a new standard in the market. I am getting tired of this discussion here. Oh, I am getting it all for sure. FYI, according to Wiki, Gary Fong was charging $150 for shooting weddings and using his room (parent's house) as his office. That was his day rate and back in the film days. According to his biography, he didn't even have a goal in life. He believes that this Zen approach to life and his career in photography allows him to make millions. I am sure there are a lot of Gary Fongs in these day and age too.

  8. #108
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Last I heard Gary Fong had made a really good living for quite a few years, saved a lot of his pennies along the way, and retired. He simply didn't need to work work any more and weddings really are work, even if you enjoy it, so he retired.

    The light doohickey business and seminars was something he was doing on the side so to speak, it was nothing near approaching a full time job for him.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

  9. #109
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    Not trying to discourage you TooManyShots. Simply speaking from hard won lessons, hate to see anyone make the mistakes I made.

    Just an FYI, Joe is far from the only one who has made that general idea work, albeit the magnitude of his success is larger than most, as was Fong's.

    Local lady raised her kids, then when the kids were in HS she got a job at a local "old tyme" photo studio to get out of the house, she decided she liked photography went to schools and seminars and learned the business. Most importantly she had always been active in the community, kids school stuff, volunteering and more. When she leapt out on her own she went straight to $2,000 base price weddings and marketed directly through her social network. Last I heard she was averaging about $5,000. I think she's been in business 8 years now.
    Last edited by markbarendt; 12-01-2012 at 05:18 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." Ana´s Nin

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooManyShots View Post
    Heheheh.....next time when you need to cite an exceptional example, just put up a disclaimer saying that "it may only work for him or her." And not for everyone.
    No one ever said or implied that it would work for everyone. I and others countered your claim that film "is not happening" in wedding photography, and criticized it as overly broad. When you changed your reference point to "the general market", you got no argument to your claim. Is everyone who is not chasing the bottom or lower middle of the market "exceptional" to you? A pro can do quite well and not be at "the top of the food chain", and there are those in that group who use film, or who could benefit by using it.
    So that we can avoid using this exceptional example to setting a new standard in the market.
    Absolutely no one has attempted to do that. Maybe you have just misread or misunderstood their words. Maybe you don't realize clearly that both Jason Brunner and Dan Bayer (PKM-25) are people who have been professionals for a long time and have broad experience, much more than some spec work and bicycle races. Argue all you want, but they have far more credibility.
    I am getting tired of this discussion here.
    Sorry it hasn't been to your liking.
    Oh, I am getting it all for sure. FYI, according to Wiki, Gary Fong was charging $150 for shooting weddings and using his room (parent's house) as his office. That was his day rate and back in the film days. According to his biography, he didn't even have a goal in life. He believes that this Zen approach to life and his career in photography allows him to make millions. I am sure there are a lot of Gary Fongs in these day and age too.
    They are out there, but it would likely be tougher for him now. There are a lot more people now who fancy themselves photographers because their camera takes nice pictures, who get in it for a little cash and the fun of calling themselves pros. Of course there are talented and sharp people who will not be on that level for long, if at all.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.



 

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