Friday, June 11, 2010

Cheap vs Affordable vs expensive vs extravagant

Yep all descriptions I have heard people name photographers.
I have had a great appreciation for photography from a very early age, I love the art and am always inspired.

With the increasing quality and lower prices of SLRs on the market now, photography is more accessible to the general public than ever before. This is becoming more and more apparent when you look at the number of photography businesses out there. Just search "photography" in a Facebook search and your choice in endless. What does stand out is those that can actually take photos that are different, photos that can sell. What also stands out is the varying prices and markets. There will always be businesses in every industry available for different budgets.

I am at a point right now of about to start my advanced diploma.....and realising that for me to really start replacing my income, I will need to increase my prices again and maybe move to image only sales instead of a CD/DVD with selected number of poses. I am incredibly critical of my work and just like most others out there I am my own worst critic. I will not display photos that I personally wouldn't purchase and I get so annoyed with myself if it isn't perfect. I do believe that my work speaks for itself. I am always being told that my packages are too cheap for the quality of my work and it is probably an indication by itself that it is fine to put prices up. I do not feel comfortable raising them at this point, but know that I cant afford to stay at these prices forever too as it is a business afterall.

Lately though I have been getting increasingly annoyed by the number of people charging people for images that are quite simply crap. Besides that they are rubbishing photographers that are far more experienced and they are charging $50 - $60 a shoot full price etc. Its ok to do that as a hobby. I was doing a couple of half priced shoots starting at $65, but really cant afford to do it anymore as it cost me money. By the time I paid for travel costs, spent 5 hours editing and paid for postage and cost of materials - it really was costing me more than I earnt anything.
For this reason I posted a link on Facebook today of another photographers blog on this very subject. I have seen poor editing, poor airbrushing and yet they are displaying these photos to advertise their business - Would you want this type of product delivered to you??? and yet rather than paying an extra $100 for someone that will do a great job - they look at the saving they made. Dont get me wrong I love a bargain as much as the next person, but please look at the person's work as this is what you will get consider spending just a little more and consider their experience - how many different photoshoots are they displaying online? is their work consistant? Can they take great photos all the time? OR just a great photo here and there? you dont want to pay for a lucky dip.

My sister got married 3 months ago and only just got her photos a fortnight ago. 10weeks for editing. The photographers excuse was - "I work full time" did my sister get a contract? no. By the time she got them she was getting worried that maybe she wouldnt see her wedding photos. This person was recommended to her. I wouldnt recommend her purely on her short manner towards my mothers request for family photos. She was rude and rushed through family photos at a wedding as she wasnt interested in family photos. Her interest was purely on location shots. So when my sister got her wedding photos - they were disappointing. There are a handful of nice ones. Lesson from this is always ask your photographer particularly for weddings - for a CONTRACT! this not only protects you as a customer, but it protects myself as a photographer also. Another lesson is to actually see the photographer's portfolio - I have a printed portfolio in albums that I use in my packages, I also have a large amount of various images online.

I will never rubbish people who charge more than me - that may be me one day, when I have their certifications and their experience. I used an amazing photographer for my wedding and I had to pay for it and I am still paying for it. Why are his packages costly? he has a bachelor degree behind him, has 30yrs experience and has many more costs to cover than myself right now.
Yes my packages are AFFORDABLE, but my work is not CHEAP yes there are more costly photographers out there, but there are better photographers than myself and there are a lot of people that cannot afford their experience. I love doing what I do and my passion shows in my work. I would like to think I am professional with what I do as well.

Sorry for the novel.

Thanks for your support!

1 comment:

  1. sorry just read it myself. grammar is shocking in parts - my apologies.