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  1. #31
    tommy5c's Avatar
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    The Beauty of the D** is that it is empowering the masses. Giving them the idea that this device will give them the power to compete with the greats. This whole movement will find a breaking point when the market is so super saturated with D** hacks. soon no one will trust johnny come lately with his/her shinney toys. the only people that MONEY will trust are those who have kept the film cameras. and it will become a professional arena and D** will be used for snap shots and low budget crap.

    Sorry Venting a little ** kinda getting sick of reading about it**

    I say let your work speak for itself and price it to be the quality that it is.

  2. #32

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    Hello Gary Holliday,

    I somehow missed your message earlier, but then saw all the other comments. Hopefully something I can write would give you some ideas.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Holliday
    I walked into a dodgy high street portrait studio for a nosey and listended to the sales girl speak to a potential client,
    "Don't worry it's all done digitally so we can remove any blemishes."
    If someone is selling the gear, rather than their talent or creative vision, then they are little better than a rental place. This happened in the past with strictly film shooters who happened to own lots of gear and try to sell photography because of it. This marketing on gear seems a little more common with D-SLRs and PhotoShop.

    Sure, there is a client for this sort of thing, though often the low price consumer. It would be different if that place was charging more than you; they should be priced lower than you because they are doing generic set-ups for portraits. Anyway, to continue . . . . .


    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Holliday
    So how can I compete with that? How do I convince a client that she doesn't need those bags under her eyes removed? That other photographer gives me all the photographs on a CD so I can print them out at home. I hate high street studios with a passion.
    This is where a nice printed portfolio comes in, and you need one to sell your portrait work. Of course, you can tell some clients that a certain lens would take years off their face, or a special lighting technique can make them look younger, or something else can make them look thinner. Not every person will want to stay young forever, and would be happy with just a well done portrait that shows them faithfully. Get a Zeiss Softar for the vanity clients, and shoot normally for the rest.

    I have also seen post processing and sharpening done for portraits in PhotoShop in which every wrinkle looked amplified . . . terrible stuff, and a misuse of technology. In the film world, there are also films that one should not use for portraits, unless your subject has a really strange sense of humour.




    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Holliday
    Any designers will need a digital file as all their software is obviously digital. Bands will want a digital file for their website.
    Okay, so to show that film is fine for that, how about:

    http://www.bigtimeoperator.com

    Every image in the Gallery there, except from the Pearl Harbor movie, was shot on film by me. Of course they had to be scanned to get there, though you don't necessarily have to be the one doing the scanning. I, or the band, could have paid someone else to scan those images.

    Maybe it is different where you are, but lots of bands still like B/W images. Lots of them even like seeing transparencies on a light table. I have done many music CD packages, and several cover photos; even the scanning needs there are not high end.

    The only expensive scanning would be if you had very large images going to output lots of posters being printed. When you have such an imaging need for your film, then find a place that does good high end scans.



    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Holliday
    We can shoot in film, but we need to be prepared to deliver a digital file if required. Go out and buy a scanner!

    This is a formula for that expense: find out what local places charge, calculate the number of scans needed per year, then figure that amount as your budget. You don't necessarily need to own a scanner, nor do you need to learn how to use a scanner. The problem with you buying a scanner is that then you become the scanning service, and need to charge for that or incorporate it into your billings.

    I still think a scanner is a better workflow than any D-SLR, if you go that direction. Your storage of film is simpler than archiving potentially thousands of image files. Just take a look at all the storage issue questions on PDN, and some people even considering getting a server dedicated to their images, then be very glad you are still shooting on film.

    Finally, a few inspiring portrait photographers:

    http://www.marchauser.com (Note: cheesy music Flash site)

    http://www.dunas.com/bgrid.html

    http://www.corbijn.co.uk

    You sell based on the strength of your images and your creative vision. Your personality will get you work, as will networking. As an old pro photographer once told me: there are many photographers out there less talented than you are, and they are making a living . . . . so go out and create.

    Ciao!

    Gordon

  3. #33
    bill schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ara Ghajanian
    So, do you think it's possible to be a professional photographer in 2006...
    I don't do nearly as much commercial work as I used to, but all my clients still ask me to shoot film. There has been the occasion that the job didn't require this (simple, fast headshot, etc.), but otherwise all the work I do is still chromes.

    Bill

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roxi331
    I am a working pro and don't use digital and am doing quite well for myself shooting my 35mm, MF and LF gear, in fact customers put effort out to locate me BECAUSE I do shoot film...

    R.
    This is happening to me now, as well, (though I still have to shoot some digital) and I hope, and think it will be an increasing phenomena. Traditional photography now brings with it a certain badge of competence.

  5. #35

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    Surely it depends on what you are shooting. For step by steps, catalogue shots, small product shots, there's no question: digital is better. Otherwise you'd only be shooting on film; scanning it or getting it scanned; and supplying a file that was no better for the purpose involved (1/2 page or less) than a digitally originated shot, but with a lot more time and expense.

    In advertising, the client sometimes insists on digital. "I want it yesterday. If I wanted it today, I'd ask for it tomorrow." Some other clients may be the same.

    For just about anything else with significant creative input, it's a matter of personal choice. If I were shooting weddings (which thank God I don't, except half a dozen times in the last 35 years for friends) I'd use B+W or 6 megapixel digital -- the latter because the resolution is so low it loses the wrinkles on the face of the bride's mother...

    Fortunately I do very little professional photography nowadays. It's much more fun being an amateur -- for which film wins hands down.

    Cheers,

    Roger (www.rogerandfrances.com)

  6. #36

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    I feel that, once I have a client's specification for a job, I have a "professional" duty to advise them whether digital or film would be the best option.
    I'm prepared to shoot either digital or film and my advice might, for instance, take into account how the finished work was to be presented and the budget.

    If a client seeks you out primarily because you use film, that's good. But, if they've come to you for advice, I don't think your prejudice for either should intrude - unless the client asks.
    I will, for much the same reasons, pass a potential client on to another pro because I know that my skill base isn't appropriate.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerry lebens
    I feel that, once I have a client's specification for a job, I have a "professional" duty to advise them whether digital or film would be the best option.
    I'm prepared to shoot either digital or film and my advice might, for instance, take into account how the finished work was to be presented and the budget.

    If a client seeks you out primarily because you use film, that's good. But, if they've come to you for advice, I don't think your prejudice for either should intrude - unless the client asks.
    I will, for much the same reasons, pass a potential client on to another pro because I know that my skill base isn't appropriate.
    That's interesting. Do you bill clients differently when offering digital or film? I ask because there is apparently a lot of post processing ps type work involved that takes the photographer's time as opposed to sending film out and having a lab do that work while the photographer shoots another job. Is one medium more bottom-line costly than the other?
    John Voss

    My Blog

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheryl Jacobs
    I'm a prof shooter and only use film -- yes, it's possible. I do portrait work, some fine art work, some commercial work, and the occasional wedding. I'm 100% film capture, and all my work is fiber hand-printed stuff. The only digital that comes into play for me is scanning to put stuff on the web.

    -- CJ
    Cheryl.... I love how they all blew right by this and never blinked an eye. I've always had the theory that guys don't hear women... but I think they may even have a hard time reading what they write! haha Geesh! :rolleyes:



    When I saw this post, Cheryl was the first person that came to mind.
    Jeanette
    .................................................. ................
    Isaiah 25:1

  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by jovo
    That's interesting. Do you bill clients differently when offering digital or film? I ask because there is apparently a lot of post processing ps type work involved that takes the photographer's time as opposed to sending film out and having a lab do that work while the photographer shoots another job. Is one medium more bottom-line costly than the other?

    Talking to a couple of local pros I have learned that when you get into portraiture and weddings a lot of the cost savings from switching to digital is eaten up by time spent in post processing. In some cases clients have unreal expectations for the price they are paying based on what they have heard or read about image manipulation/enhancement in photoshop.

    The other problem they have is that before digital costs were consistent between photographers. Everyone pretty much paid the same for processing, film, paper, etc in your market. Now there is a lot more variation in pricing depening on the workflow and hardware being used.

    Digital has also led to more fragmentation and specialization of some markets.
    I met a couple of guys out of college who bought 4 high end DSLRs, some lights and high end printers and lots of computer power. They then went to every every school, youth group, YMCA, and sports club in the area and basically undercut all the pros who had done sports and team photography for years and got close to 80% of the market. They could produce very slick presnetations that would have an image of the plyaer, team, logo, amount of text, etc in a variety of sizes and combinations. If the parent had imges they would include those in the final piece. Very slick, very efficient. it also was not that they were that much less expensive then others, they just offered a huge variety of options to customers and very quick turn around.

    On the other hand there was a guy in Kansas City who did weddings but his bread and butter was wedding and formal portraits done with an 11x14 and platinum. He charged upwards of $3000 for a sitting and one or two finished pieces.

    So I guess it is more important to recognize what the market requires for tools and methods rather then trying to fit everything into either the digital or traditional camp.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  10. #40
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    In my opinion as a pro you have to define your product and market yourself. You could make a living shooting a Holga or an 11x14 view camera.

    It's all about how you market yourself to your potential clientele. I shoot film, retouch negatives, then prints, all miraculously without the use of photoshop. I print fiber based old school prints and matt and frame them.

    None of my clients give a rats ass if I shoot digital, glass plates, polaroids or whatever. All they care about is that they get what I say I will give them.


    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

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