28 March 2012

~ Spring and Summer and $$$$ ~


  • Figured I would update my blog and write about how excited I am for spring and summer.  The winter was a disappointment.  I wanted lots of SNOW and I got basically NONE and that was sad.  I hope the summer brings fewer mosquitoes.  Last year the bugs were a nightmare.  I edited SO many of the little bugs out of my pictures.  
  • I am on spring break, spending time cuddling cats, playing MW3 on the xbox and just enjoying time at home.  
  • I am hoping to go see a few movies (Hunger Games today I think)
$$$$$$$ MONEY $$$$$$$$$

Money is so important in the world we live in.  When I started taking photos I was just doing it for the pure joy of it.  Most of my life my art has been about seeing people enjoy my work.  It has always been extremely difficult to ask for money.  I am always torn in trying to figure out the price to ask a client for my work and this can be an issue sensitive and open to debate among other photographers.  I understand that photography is everywhere now.  iPhones are in everyone's pocket and so many apps can do some really cool photography editing effects.  So many people take pictures and places like facebook are FILLED with profile pics of people holding their cellphones in mirrors.  So where does someone like myself fit in?  I don't really know to be honest.  

These are a few of my key skills I think relate to photography:
  • 5 years of University have taught me to be creative and to use my artistic skills.  I have a B.F.A. (Art) and a B.Education which both allow me to think creatively and problem solve and teaching has allowed me to get more skill working with people and knowing how to relate to them
  • Years of doing artistic things, my entire life, not just University I have been drawing, sketching, doodles and mark making any chance I could get
  • Technology, I am a freak about it....mostly love Photoshop, editing and am self taught.  But have been spending YEARS learning how to use it and hours upon countless hours working in it
  • Actual camera experience.  I am old and my memory is fading, but I was around 14 when I got my first camera.  It was film but I loved it and have been always using a camera on and off since then.  I got REALLY serious when I purchased a digital about 9 years ago.  

So when people hire me for photography they are getting all of this skill and experience.  So how much is that worth?  It is hard for me to put a price on it.  Just this last week I was thinking how $100 does not really buy a person anything anymore.  Friends of mine just went down to Calgary and paid over $160 per seat to sit by the glass and watch their fave team lose to Columbus in a shoot out.  That did not include the fuel, food and any other expenses at the game or on the trip.  This was a hockey game, not photos that will last for years and years.  Photographers have to pay high prices for gear and charging low prices basically is an insult when you consider the prices being paid for cameras and lenses.  So what should people charge?  I have been told I charge too low...however I struggle and I am honest basically no one wants to pay me even my current prices which in my opinion are LOW already.  Maybe in a world where cell phones and digital media people are not seeing the value in a professional photograph?  I don't know, but I am sensing that more and more people are not wanting to pay for professional images.  A few friends that do photography seem to indicate to me they are getting less work.
What the Duck #426

I am not sure where I sit now on this topic of money.  But I would like to ask that if you admire my work, or enjoy what I do to please help me out.  Tell your friends, I do not advertise a ton and have always relied on word of mouth.  In the last few years my paid work is really disappearing.  I am starting to think I could charge $5 a shoot and still not find a client.  Cheap seems to be the growing trend.....I really do now know.  Hence this blog post that has a theme of confusion because I do not know what is going on with photography and money.  If anyone has thoughts I would be GLAD to hear them.  

1 comment:

Fotoman.Neil said...

Hey mate!

I totally hear and relate to your confusion. Pretty much all of the modeling stuff I've done over the last year and a half has been TF. I've only done one or two for about $50 here and $20 there which is VERY inexpensive for a portfolio update. I see people saying "I'm no longer doing TF" - but then I wonder if they get any paid work at all.

I'm struggling right now financiallly, and am in a tizzy as to should I sell my backdrop setup and my continuous lighting system which I just bought this year, focus more on what I was doing over the last few years (wildlife and landscapes) and create a book of fantastic photos of our beautiful country?

Maybe concentrate on selling images rather than trying to sell my service to models that are in school and can't afford to pay?

Like you said...."I don't know"...

Talk soon mate!