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Thread: I sold out

  1. #11

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    You did sell out!







    Kidding, of course. You made a business decision. Commitment to analog materials is not a suicide pact. Now, if it'll make you feel better take a slice of your profit and use it to make some images you can truly appreciate apart from commerce.

  2. #12
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    It took me a while to get over this. Giving someone what they want isn't selling out. it's just selling. Many people have to give up all day, every day, all their lives, at things decidedly hard and unpleasant, for the mere privilege of a bare living. That one might for a few short hours or days do the same at work that isn't really all that bad isn't much of a moral dilemma in perspective.

  3. #13
    Markster's Avatar
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    Is Francis Ford Coppola a sellout? I'm sure he's accepted millions of dollars for his work. I'm sure he, as with many film makers, has many regrets and many problems and criticisms with his own previous works.

    I doubt anybody would call him a sell out.

    There is a bit of a ... shall we call it perception, or perhaps stereotype, that you have to suffer to be an artist. Doesn't mean you can't get the occasional paycheck WHILE suffering, right? You'll suffer the mental anguish of knowing your own criticisms over the prints you just made, and you'll move on and remember that lesson in the future.

    Just like Francis. Look forward. You're done with that project. If somebody is interested in paying for it as-is, go for it. Look ahead to the next, and the next.
    -Markster

    Canon AE-1P 35mm | 50mm/f1.8 FDn | 28mm/2.8 FD | 70-200mm/f4-5 FD | 35-70mm/F2.8-3.5 Sigma FD

  4. #14

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    I used to feel like this in my regular job, then I came up with some simple rules to determine if what I was doing was the right thing.

    1. Is this what the customer wants?
    2. Is it physically possible to make it?
    3. Will their check clear?

    If all the answers are yes then I am happy in the knowledge that I have provided someone with something that made them happy, and most important, I will get to eat and have a place to live for another month.
    "Would you like it if someone that painted in oils told you that you were not making portraits because you were using a camera?"
    "Shouldn't it be more about the joy of producing and viewing the photo than what you paid for the camera?"

    Me

  5. #15
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    You did good. Buyer is happy with the work you exchanged for their money. Excellent! Couldn't think of a happier ending.

    Once I ended up 'donating' my portrait services, for a single person portrait, to a silent auction at my step son's school. It was for a fund raiser for buying a van for the school to transport the kids to various activities. Somebody bid 50 bucks and won it. I spent something like 12 hours of my time visiting their house, instead doing a group portrait, which I really wasn't set up to do, four rolls of 120 film, processing chemistry, and 25 sheets of Ilford Warmtone 11x14 fiber paper, mat board, and frames, totaling multiple times what they paid for it.
    Now that stunk! Badly. I could have just given the school the money instead. I wasn't even happy with the pictures.

    You got properly paid for something by someone who knows how to appreciate your skill, ending up helping both them and yourself. Feel good about it. You deserve it!

    - Thomas


    Quote Originally Posted by archer View Post
    Two weeks ago I received the largest reprint order I've had in many years and I gleefully accepted even though the portrait was not what I consider completely successful. I needed the money but more importantly, four years ago I ruptured a disk in my back and I knew that this job was going to put me through the wringer. Well tonight I finished the printing and tomorrow I start the matting and framing. I'm going through Norco, like popcorn and it is truly a godsend. My husband is very supportive but can do very little to help me as he knows very little about the process and keeps saying "that's good enough. Nobody but you can see the difference." On the bright side, the commission is substantial enough to pay the taxes on the property and the home owners insurance and still have enough left over to replenish our savings which have been pretty decimated since the economic downturn. I guess I just want someone to tell me that it's okay to feel bad about taking money for something you feel you could have done better. Anybody else ever felt this same ambivalence? Thanks for answering.
    Denise Libby
    P.S. The client just loves the portrait and I suppose that's what's important.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  6. #16
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    You provide a service that is consistent with the customer's level of satisfaction.

    Last week, I took a job from a client who wanted a whole bunch of old Kodachrome slides scanned to computer. There were 150 of them.

    In order to scan all those slides, adjust exposure, adjust color and retouch all the dust spots it would take quite a bit of time. Yes, infrared dust removal works but it doesn't catch everything and it sometimes leaves artifacts which have to be retouched or else the slide needs to be rescanned. To do them the way I wanted to do them, it would have taken weeks of working in my spare time but I wanted to deliver the project as soon as I could.

    In order to do a good job and still deliver in a reasonable time, you have to cut corners in one way or another. You just can't spend an hour on each image cleaning up every speck.

    So, what I did was to scan about a dozen of them and showed the results to the customer. I made a couple of them the way I would do them for myself, the "good way." I made a couple of them by cutting a couple of corners and I made a couple more by doing them the "quick way." I let the customer pick the level of work she wanted. She picked the quick way.

    Even then, I still spent a little more time working on them than the customer asked for.
    I always try to do things just a little bit better than I think is "good enough."
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  7. #17

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    I don't know any accomplished artist who is completely and unequivocally happy with their work with exception of some "music" "talents" with humongous ego (and bank account). I think there are always thing that could be improved in any works of art. I think that's one of the drive that makes artists excell to the new height.

    Obviously, with all the "faults" included in your work, the paying customer appreciates your skillful result and the product. I think it's a high form of compliment. I think, as long as you did the best you could in given circumstances and limitations, there is nothing to be ashamed of that the work isn't "picture perfect."
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  8. #18

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    Thank you all for the good thoughts. Your words really do help me to feel better about the situation and especially Tom because I've been there before when a favor turned into hours of agonizing work and tons of money out of my pocket. I guess the pendulum swings both ways. Thank goodness.
    Denise Libby

  9. #19
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    I never made a perfect print, but I'll do it tomorrow!
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  10. #20
    MaximusM3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht View Post
    I never made a perfect print, but I'll do it tomorrow!
    That's right, Ralph, there is always another day to achieve that illusive perfection

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