Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Everybody wants something for nothing

I was talking with a friend earlier on FaceBook who has been taking pictures for a while, and trying to get her photography business up and running, and somethings were mentioned that made me start thinking. I mean, I have already thought about these things many times before, but...

She has quit taking pictures, and removed her photography page from FaceBook because people are not taking her serious for one thing, and they are stealing her photos. She would post a few photos from different sessions, and instead of paying her, and ordering pictures, they just took it upon themselves to copy them and go on about their business.

Do people feel like this is alright because she is not a "professional" photographer? Well, who the hell decides if someone is a "professional" or not? She takes great pictures, and in turn is taking time away from her family to take these pictures for people, and this is how they pay her?

Well, guess what?!? I have been a licensed "professional" hair stylist for like 10+ years or something like that, and though I do not work in a salon any more, that does not make me any less of a stylist. I still keep up with my license, and that requires x amount of continuing education hours every time you renew. By the time it is all said and done, it can cost close to $200 dollars to renew that license. People still want haircuts for free, color for free, hi-lites for free, etc. Hello people, a TRIM is the same thing as a HAIRCUT. You still go through all the same motions, it still takes the same amount of time, you are just not taking off as much length. For some people, I do not mind doing something here and there for free, but I will not do it all the time. Sorry.

This also brings me back to the photography stuff. Yes, this is a hobby passion of mine, but I do want it to be a business, and I am not going to take pictures for free for everybody. If I ask you to let me take pictures, then I do not expect you to pay me anything, but if you are asking me to take pictures for you, then YES, I expect to be compensated for my time and other efforts, unless otherwise discussed. Do I know a starting rate? No, but I would say that if I am traveling somewhere to take pictures for you, and we are "out and about" for a couple of hours, and I am going to put the pictures on a disk for you, then I would say at least $100 dollars is a fair price. Of course this is depending on how far I have to travel. If it is something local, then I would say maybe $50. I can also let you proof the photos, and order "professional" prints.

It's AMERICA people, and it is 2012. Stop trying to get something for nothing and appreciate the things that people are willing to do, even if it is as little (in some peoples eyes) as spending a little time away from their own family, to try to help you in whatever way, in this situation, haircuts and pictures.

Ok, I am done.

1 comment:

  1. Don't sell yourself short on pricing. When you're starting out, it's fair to both parties to charge lower prices, but once you build up your portfolio, you're going to want to charge more. Think about the time that goes into those photos. It's not just the photo shoot's the time to edit as well. When paying a photographer, you aren't just paying for the time, you're paying for their expertise...for their craft. This is what most people don't understand. Being a professional photographer can be stressful. We're talking about peoples memories here. It's a big job. Take weddings for example...this is a little extreme. You only get one chance to take those pictures. If your hard drive crashes and you lose all the pictures, it's not like you can re-stage the whole thing and take them again.

    As for posting them online, think about putting a water mark on them. I know photographers that put a huge watermark across the middle of the picture when they post them online. Not something dark that will obscure the picture, but something that will make people think twice about stealing them and printing them that way. If they buy from you, they get the images without the watermark across the middle. When you sell them, you can put it in the corner so it still gets your name out there.

    That got way long winded...sorry! Bottom line is, don't sell yourself short. It can be a very stressful, very frustrating business, but also very rewarding. Just remember that this is how you make your living. You wouldn't expect a mechanic to fix your car for free, so why would you expect your photographer to work for free?