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.  

19 March 2012

Monday Morning Rant and Full Frame Dreams

I have not posted a blog entry in a long time.  So I figure I should update and give a good Monday morning rant.  Today I will be ranting about photographers.  I know a lot of people that do photography at all different levels.  Some are professional shooters and some are just ones that are total noobs.  One of the biggest things I dislike about photography is when some photographers get a God complex.  They start looking down their nose at other people for not knowing everything about photography.

I am so tired of hearing complaints from photographers, things like clients wanting to "just photoshop that out", or "how the camera takes nice pictures" and the list goes on.  This is probably the main reason I would never want to go "professional" in the sense of doing photography as my main source of income.  The professionals I know make photography seem like the worst profession to be in.  Most make their clients out to be villains that are just out to rip them off.  It is seldom to hear good things from photographers, most of the things I hear are complaints about other photographers or their clients.  Where is the joy?  I think some of these photographers that have these issues need to find what made them happy in photography in the first place.

In the work I do, I try and enjoy every part of it.  If I am at a wedding and someone approaches me and wants to talk about my camera or what I do, I enjoy that.  If someone asks questions and wants to know how I shoot, or what techniques I use I am MORE than happy to share that knowledge.  I love photography and it makes me happy.  Here in Vegreville recently I have made some great photographer friends and we all share a mutual love for taking pictures.  We get together quite often and shoot.  There is no big ego involved and it's for fun and the love of photography.  I wish more photographers could let go of the need to run others down and make it sound like they are such Gods when it comes to photography.  Lets face it, most people do not care or understand that we know so much about our craft.  They just will look at our images and either like or dislike the work we do.  Get over yourselves, I have been humbled every time I go online and see so many people from professionals to amateurs that make my photography skills look like junk.  I don't need to walk through life with this attitude that I am some kind of a big deal.  Every time I see a FB status update or post about this negative stuff it drives me a bit more mental than I already am.

Okay, now on to a more positive note, I had a friend let me use her 5Dmii this weekend.  I have actually NEVER had a chance to shoot full frame.  I have to admit I always knew that full frame was awesome.  The part that held me back was price.  But looking back I should have decided instead of a 7D to just wait until I had the money for the full frame.  However, I am still happy with my cameras, but wow....the full frame just looks amazing.  I have made the mental shift already and don't think I can avoid going full frame.  I am making goals already to make sure to save and get myself the new 5Dmark3.  It might take some time but I will try and add this camera to my collection asap. The summer of 2012 would be a LOT of fun shooting full frame, but I will have to see how it goes.  Since it is a new camera the price is going to be quite high and I think I have a few other bills and things that will take priority over a new camera.

Well HAPPY MONDAY everyone, thanks for reading this far, lol...if you did.....here are some images taken full frame of Nicole. :)

~ Nicole ~ ~ Nicole ~ ~ Nicole ~