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Thread: Time to change your career ....

  1. #1
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    Default Time to change your career ....

    ..... if you're a full time photographer ?
    I know it's a sensitive topic especially with many here who have made a living from photography for years but realistically times are changing .
    I get the feeling that when someone needs to beg others to not give their work away cheap so they can stay employed the writing is on the wall .... it's time to change [ or modify] your occupation .
    People are losing work and income due to others giving their work away cheap just for the thrill of having an image printed with their name next to it .
    The cause ? Digital photography has made taking good[enough for the general public to admire] pictures easy for many more people than ever before- and at little cost to them.
    The ability to review and adjust an image at the scene means many more people can fix their images [hundreds of them at no extra cost] and get the results they want as opposed to years gone by - when FILM MADE PHOTOGRAPHY EXPENSIVE.... or did digital make it cheap I suppose your view depends on when you were born
    The cause ? Digital photography and the internet [ technology ] basically . If you want to fix the actual problem you need to convince manufacturers to stop
    making digital cameras and close down the internet - that's about where your chances are at "standing firm against change" .


    Whether anyone thinks it is ethical to give away images cheap or not it is going to happen.
    Begging others not to do it is like asking people not to go digital because you've always made a living working at a factory that makes film - you're pushing water uphill with a rake!
    I'm simply trying to view things from a realistic perspective here - not upset anyone.






    .
    Shooting with Nikon D40 , D50 , 2 X D90 , 2X SB800 2 X SB24 1 X SB400 . Tarmon 17-50 F2.8 , Tamron 28-75 F2.8 Nikon 35mm F1.8 50mm F1.8 , 85mm F1.8 , 18-200VR , 18-105 VR , 70-200VR , Fuji F31fd .
    http://desmond-downs.blogspot.co.nz/...-depth-of.html

  2. #2
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    Couldn't agree with you more! Even landscape photographers are threatened by Uncle Fred and his digital camera producing fairly high quality calenders and prints for relatives!
    The answer could be that professional photographers now have to lift their game and produce higher quality work that the man in the street would be hard pushed to reproduce, difficult when you see the end of year awards handed out by the professional institutes as a benchmark - some of the quality is questionable!

  3. #3
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    I think there is still room for a Processional photographer even in today's world of quick digital images taken by the masses.

    One look through FlickR soon shows that even with modern digital imaging the amateur still has a long way to go to produce a really acceptable image!

    Even with the best equipment money can buy (Canon of course ) a general public snap of say a Haggley park track in the mist with a pedestrian at dawn (A photo by a regular contributor here, that I can only describe as Fine Art in Photography) isn't going to be anywhere close.
    There is still a level of skill required in taking the shot, but more importantly is the new skills required to market the image and profit from it in the face of the almost acceptable shots taken by the Amateur!
    I say new skills because in the days gone by the people producing for the market had it cornered, now if the end user so desires (an gets a level of self satisfaction of doing it themselves) they can accept the lower level of quality and do it themselves. This means the Pro has to raise the perceived value of there product.

    Take an area where I am competition to the Pro's, Industrial shots at my work. They have chosen to accept the quality level I can deliver (And it is not Pro Level) because the price is right for the purpose they use them, where a Pro's price is way to high to be palatable to them for the likes of internal brochures etc. Even if it wasn't me (an employee which makes it cheap for them) they still wouldn't get a Pro in, they would just find someone else like me.
    Even when hiring a Pro for some more important work they still use me as a hammer and anvil to drive the Pro's price, I get the description from the company of what they want, go and shoot the type of area/angle they want in a wider than required angle which is them used to instruct the Pro on what they want. They use me as I understand the site, the processes and the requirements and they can better visualize the results from what I shoot which reduces the time/effort when engaging the Pro.

    Over all what it boils down to is the Pro today be it Landscape, Portrait, Commercial or any other work has to increase the Perceived Value of there work over that of a general photographer.
    Last edited by Arthur; 29-04-2012 at 09:32 AM.
    I Just Have Cameras and Stuff
    I don't have an Artistic Eye - I have a Technical Bent & a love of Gadgets
    Give an Artist a box of different sized colour blocks and he will create an art work; give me the same box and I will sort it by colour and then size :)

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Andrews View Post
    The answer could be that professional photographers now have to lift their game and produce higher quality work that the man in the street would be hard pushed to reproduce
    This is the answer.


    If you as a pro cant take something noticeably better with your $1000's of top end gear and years of knowledge then you dont deserve to be in the game.

    No pro is going to replace family snaps. Digital has certainly had an impact, on sourcing, taking and printing pics.

    Hell I've been getting some prints done in the UK and the online price and quality is shocking (in a good way).

    Look how digital has evolved film. See how a home shooter can produce fantastic stuff. See how the whole David Attenborough life/frozen planet kind of stuff has moved on.

    If you stick with what was acceptable decades ago you'll quickly find your out of a job!

    Yes the competition for $ as a pro tog is fierce, but the possible market is much much bigger.
    Canon 5DmkII, 400L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 24mmf3.5 TS-E, Canon 70-200f2.8L, Tamron 90mm SP AF Di f2.8 Macro, Sigma 50mmf1.4 EX HSM, Nissin Di866 flash, Manfrotto 190xprob & Markins Q3t head, Lee filters, Lowepro Flipside 400AW, Yong Nuo rf 602 triggers.


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjd View Post
    Hell I've been getting some prints done in the UK and the online price and quality is shocking (in a good way).

    Yes the competition for $ as a pro tog is fierce, but the possible market is much much bigger.
    Do tell more about this English printing service

    Also where do you see the market increase for a Pro, while I am not actually going down the path of being a Pro (At the moment way to much to learn and develop) I am interested in your ideas.
    I Just Have Cameras and Stuff
    I don't have an Artistic Eye - I have a Technical Bent & a love of Gadgets
    Give an Artist a box of different sized colour blocks and he will create an art work; give me the same box and I will sort it by colour and then size :)

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthurhh View Post
    Do tell more about this English printing service
    PLaces like photobox, redcliffe.co.uk etc , even the big names can print books / calanders etc and ship for a fraction of what you need to spend in NZ for the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arthurhh View Post
    Also where do you see the market increase for a Pro, while I am not actually going down the path of being a Pro (At the moment way to much to learn and develop) I am interested in your ideas.
    Could a pro normally sell prints worldwide? Sell new shots to getty in seconds? Without the internet?

    Depends what you do and what you shoot. If its local (weddings, commercial, portrature etc) then I dont think this market is any better or wose.

    Ofcourse the internets is a very big place, doesnt take long to find some stunning photography, getting noticed internationally is tricky.
    Canon 5DmkII, 400L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 24mmf3.5 TS-E, Canon 70-200f2.8L, Tamron 90mm SP AF Di f2.8 Macro, Sigma 50mmf1.4 EX HSM, Nissin Di866 flash, Manfrotto 190xprob & Markins Q3t head, Lee filters, Lowepro Flipside 400AW, Yong Nuo rf 602 triggers.


  7. #7
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    Have to agree with most of what's been said here. I think that unless a shot requires expensive equipment (e.g. artifical light) to take, then skilled amateurs are going to be able to take those shots just as well as pro's. What professionals need to do is differentiate themselves in other areas, such as services (workshops, commissions, articles, etc) and also marketing (actually spending money to get your name out there). There is no way they can rely on their images alone to survive nowadays, and blaming others for reducing the price of images is just a waste of time. A common phrase I hear is it's 'cheapening the industry' and I couldn't agree more. That's because taking good quality photos is now cheap.
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  8. #8
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    Photobox is dam good, it is indeed a great price and at those prices I can even suffer the shipping wait.
    I Just Have Cameras and Stuff
    I don't have an Artistic Eye - I have a Technical Bent & a love of Gadgets
    Give an Artist a box of different sized colour blocks and he will create an art work; give me the same box and I will sort it by colour and then size :)

  9. #9
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    I remember 10 years ago the arguments within the dive industry saying that internet stores were going to kill bricks and mortar stores and we the consumer would suffer.
    It hasn't happened yet. Business either adapts to meet the new market or dies. Nothings changed over the last couple of thousand years in that regards...

  10. #10
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    I agree with the part about producing something very different to others . I think it's getting to the point where it need to be images with that little
    extra put into it - perhaps a camera strapped to the wing of an aircraft or wired up to a motion sensor in a game park , the type of thing that not many
    have the time or knowledge to do - it needs to be very different photos , not necessarily sharper or less noise or better bokeh - rather something that nobody else is capturing . Of course as technology improves you need to keep one step ahead - one minute someone can make a living charging people to do high speed videos of whatever so they can analyze it , the next day Casio produces a camera that does 1200 fps and people can do it themselves .
    Shooting with Nikon D40 , D50 , 2 X D90 , 2X SB800 2 X SB24 1 X SB400 . Tarmon 17-50 F2.8 , Tamron 28-75 F2.8 Nikon 35mm F1.8 50mm F1.8 , 85mm F1.8 , 18-200VR , 18-105 VR , 70-200VR , Fuji F31fd .
    http://desmond-downs.blogspot.co.nz/...-depth-of.html

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desmond View Post
    I agree with the part about producing something very different to others . I think it's getting to the point where it need to be images with that little
    extra put into it - perhaps a camera strapped to the wing of an aircraft [I can name about 15 people doing this in the Waikato BOP area, makes the chances of World wide slim]or wired up to a motion sensor in a game park , the type of thing that not many
    have the time or knowledge to do - it needs to be very different photos , not necessarily sharper or less noise or better bokeh - rather something that nobody else is capturing . [Thats the hard part, the idea goes round quickly in the internet age] Of course as technology improves you need to keep one step ahead - one minute someone can make a living charging people to do high speed videos of whatever so they can analyze it , the next day Casio produces a camera that does 1200 fps and people can do it themselves .
    Nope I still hold true to my statement of it is about being the best and marketing the value that represents. See the RED above
    I Just Have Cameras and Stuff
    I don't have an Artistic Eye - I have a Technical Bent & a love of Gadgets
    Give an Artist a box of different sized colour blocks and he will create an art work; give me the same box and I will sort it by colour and then size :)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthurhh View Post
    Nope I still hold true to my statement of it is about being the best and marketing the value that represents. See the RED above
    And just out of interest a question here - any ideas on the best way to market things ? Or does that depend on the individual and their particular field ?
    Shooting with Nikon D40 , D50 , 2 X D90 , 2X SB800 2 X SB24 1 X SB400 . Tarmon 17-50 F2.8 , Tamron 28-75 F2.8 Nikon 35mm F1.8 50mm F1.8 , 85mm F1.8 , 18-200VR , 18-105 VR , 70-200VR , Fuji F31fd .
    http://desmond-downs.blogspot.co.nz/...-depth-of.html

  13. #13

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    The business of photography is 90% about running a business, sales, marketing, management.

    Yes you need the images but you will spend more time on the business than on the photography.
    Canon 5DmkII, 400L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 24mmf3.5 TS-E, Canon 70-200f2.8L, Tamron 90mm SP AF Di f2.8 Macro, Sigma 50mmf1.4 EX HSM, Nissin Di866 flash, Manfrotto 190xprob & Markins Q3t head, Lee filters, Lowepro Flipside 400AW, Yong Nuo rf 602 triggers.


  14. #14
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    Each to there own on marketing, it is a niche [and moving] target that needs to be addressed, RJD says it right it is all about marketing, you can sell ice to Eskimos if you get the marketing right.
    I Just Have Cameras and Stuff
    I don't have an Artistic Eye - I have a Technical Bent & a love of Gadgets
    Give an Artist a box of different sized colour blocks and he will create an art work; give me the same box and I will sort it by colour and then size :)

  15. #15

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    And how you go about that really depends on who you are and whats your product.

    Selling fine art prints online is different to stock photography is different to weddings, studio work etc.

    Most successful landscapers do a range of things, books, talks, tours, print sales, stock etc.
    Canon 5DmkII, 400L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 24mmf3.5 TS-E, Canon 70-200f2.8L, Tamron 90mm SP AF Di f2.8 Macro, Sigma 50mmf1.4 EX HSM, Nissin Di866 flash, Manfrotto 190xprob & Markins Q3t head, Lee filters, Lowepro Flipside 400AW, Yong Nuo rf 602 triggers.


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