Rookies claiming to be Pro Photographer killing the industry?

9 years 7 months ago #144299 by rmeyer7
A lot of these photographers looking for wedding gigs on Craigslist should really be looking for second-shooter or assistant gigs first. Of course, you can't tell them that; they believe photography is easy and automatic once you have some pro gear. They probably even think their shots look good!

I don't think they're ruining the industry though. I would like to think this insane bride is the exception rather than the rule. Most people would have had enough sense to look at each photographer's portfolio and expect that to be indicative of the product they would get. And after going with the lower priced photographer and getting shots like the ones he had in his portfolio, any reasonable person would understand that they got what they paid for. The average person isn't a crackpot who's going to blame the industry for their own bad decisions.

I also don't think this scenario necessarily proves the OP didn't market himself well. When the customer is this unreasonable, they won't listen to anything but numbers. Even if you're great at marketing, you're not going to sell a new Ferrari to the customer who's only willing to pay for a '78 Ford Pinto. (I'm guessing that's a fair comparison of the OP's skills vs. the Craigslist rookie who ended up with the gig ;) )


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9 years 7 months ago #144306 by Baydream

rahul singh wrote: I completely agree with what you are stating, but is there any way out to kick them off the market ?
I think there should be an international association/organisation which shall take responsibility to authenticate professional photographers.

Not in a free enterprise market. There are license requirements for plumbers, electricians, doctors, lawyers and beauticians but none for "Artists". Anyone can advertise their "services" in photography or art and it is up to the client to check the background and quality of their work. Even a thief as a convicted felon can offer to shoot a home wedding and do a bang-up photo AND casing job. A business license woul dbe nice but you can get those for a few dollars in most areas.
This is truly a case of Buyer Beware.
There ARE bad PRO photographers out there.

By the way, a "rookie" is a "pro photographer" if they get paid for it. There is no "danger" to the public if you have a bad photographer. unlike the other professions.

Shoot, learn and share. It will make you a better photographer.
fineartamerica.com/profiles/john-g-schickler.html?tab=artwork

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9 years 7 months ago #144307 by stevenjdonley
There is the PPA and any photographer can become a Certified Professional Photographer, but unless you are marketing yourself that way people won't know, nor would they know there is any potential difference.

Enlightenment begins where the pavement ends...

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9 years 7 months ago #144316 by McBeth Photography
We should not forget that camera manufacturers have been selling camera on the premise that all you need to do to take good pictures is point and press. I think that the majority of newer "craigslist" photographers may just come by their view of photography honestly. I also think that in a rough economy it's hard for the consumers to come up with the cash since the majority of the US isn't living on credit anymore.

It is what it is.
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9 years 7 months ago #144319 by chasrich
What ever happened to the saying Buyer Beware - I think there was a Latin thranslation of this being used in the Roman Empire. Check references, check equipment, meet the vendor, look at portfolios, ask about packages then look at the cost.

“Amateurs worry about equipment, professionals worry about money, masters worry about light, I just make pictures… ” ~ Vernon Trent
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9 years 7 months ago #144332 by icepics
Probably the economy in recent years has led to this sort of thing, people want a bargain to the point that they're not realizing for something like a wedding/senior portraits that are once in a lifetime events it might be worth the expense to get good quality. She was probably mad at herself and throwing the blame elsewhere; it wasn't your decision for her to go in the direction she did, it was hers. Sometimes people don't have the most realistic expectations either.

As said earlier, people usually look at photographers' websites, portfolios etc. when making such a decision. She might realize her mistake at some level but can't go back and have it redone, her wedding's over. Don't you wonder what else happened along the way w/her wedding planning based on how she reacted to this?? - maybe you should refer her to that bridezilla show! LOL

Sharon
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9 years 7 months ago - 9 years 7 months ago #144342 by MLKstudios
I wish HP was here to answer this for me, as he is still in the wedding business.

But, I'll put a new spin on it for you....

She called you first and you missed the sale. Wasn't the n00b's fault he got it instead. It was your's for letting it slip through your fingers.

As many have said, there have always been n00bs offering cheap work. Your "selling point" wasn't made clearly enough. It can't simply be about price, or you'll be repeating this same scene over and over.

I've said many times before, our business is about quality and reputation. Without both, you don't have a chance to make it, no matter how well you market.

Go back to PB mode, and grow your business naturally (and build up your reputation -- and prices). From a pro POV, you're trying to do exactly what the n00b did, but at a higher price. That's why she picked the cheapest one. She saw you both as offering the same product.

Matthew

Matthew L Kees
MLK Studios Photography School
www.MLKstudios.com
[email protected]
"Every artist, was once an amateur"

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9 years 7 months ago #144387 by Qmamom
As stated it may be that she couldn't afford the amount and went with the lesser amount no matter what would have been shown/sold to her. We have had that happen with a Ferrari, guy wanted ours with less than 3k miles but instead bought one for $20k cheaper and 20k+miles a huge amount of issues. Not our fault he went with the cheaper car.


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9 years 7 months ago - 9 years 7 months ago #144391 by MLKstudios
It's about reorganizing people's priorities. They may think they can get a good photographer cheap, but we all know that's not likely.

A decent pro wedding photographer should be a few $K to $10K or more. If they (the bride usually) has the attitude that a $500 shooter is just as good, you have to show her WHY that isn't so.

It takes professionalism, and a good portfolio, to make that sale.

btw I am here to help you all become better shooters, and better in biz. Not to ream you a new one. Portfolio Building is what you do until you are a $1000 day shooter on backend sales. THEN you get a license.

Our trade (or industry) is given a better rep, when we ALL reach higher.

Matthew L Kees
MLK Studios Photography School
www.MLKstudios.com
[email protected]
"Every artist, was once an amateur"

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9 years 7 months ago #144400 by photobod
these are not my thoughts but I do agree with them.

Are second income shooters killing the wedding photography industry?

August 30th, 2011

A few truths: Professional doesn’t mean high quality and part time doesn’t mean poor quality. There is no correlation whatsoever. I see a good cross section of the industry as a trainer and there are good and bad photographers on both sides of the fence. There are uninsured professionals that churn out rubbish and there are expert amateurs making fine wedding albums. I agree with several of my Twitter followers that the term ‘weekend warrior’ is derogatory so I will use ‘second income shooter’ instead.

The perceived problem: Some full time professional photographers have a problem charging enough for their work to make living. Contrary to popular belief this problem is not the fault of second income shooters. As far as I can remember there have always been photographers who have had a regular job during the week and then shoot a wedding or two at the weekend. There have always been ‘Uncle Bobs’ prepared to do the job for free too. I started out as a second income shooter when I was at the BBC and so did many of the top professionals I know. It was, and still is, the sensible way for many to start out.

Market led prices: Market forces will always determine a fair price for the quality of photography on offer. The current oversupply in the middle and lower sectors of our industry has forced prices down. Acceptably good ‘pictures on disc’ photography packages can now be bought for around £1000. There is also a lot of rubbish on offer at this price point but those photographers offering inferior pictures or a poor customer experience will be less successful at getting clients unless they are expert marketeers. Brides do shop around.

Hobbyists are growing in number: Photography as a hobby is booming and nearly everyone it seems, now owns a good camera. There is an ever growing number of amateur photographers who want to start earning money from their cameras.

Amateurs have got good: It has become really difficult to take pictures that are significantly better than those that a keen amateur can take. Five or ten years ago when digital cameras were more expensive and kit lenses poorer in quality the pro-am gap was wide. Good DSLRs are cheap, easy to use and free to practice with.

Quality drop is market led: A growing number of the public no longer demand a high technical quality in photography. Just like the death of HiFi caused by the MP3 revolution, the photographic print has largely been replaced by the Facebook ready Jpeg taken on a smart phone. A young couple today don’t have a shoe box full of prints. Life has moved on since the turn of the century.

High quality still pays: The very best wedding photographers still earn a good living. So do the good second income photographers that hold on to all or part of their day job while photographing weddings at the weekend. Becoming a part time wedding photographer is often the wise choice in order to pay the bills and feed the family.

My advice to the full time professional: Be amazing, take fabulous pictures and deliver them in albums way beyond the scope of the amateur. Be the Jimmy Choo, or the Jaguar and charge a decent amount of money for a superb product. Be great at business. You will most likely spend 6 days working in your business for every 1 that you spend shooting weddings. Become a marketing expert and create an army of raving fans. They will be loyal and recommend you to their friends. Don’t blame others, stay positive and take responsibility for your actions. Embrace change and be creative.

My advice to the newcomer: Rise above the grumbles from disgruntled professionals. Get trained, do a great job, serve your customers well and enjoy your photography. If switching to part time is an option then consider that, but think carefully before giving up your job. Keep a steady income until you can charge enough for your wedding photography to replace it. Wedding photography can pay quite well but often not amazingly well, and certainly no more than it did five to ten years ago.

Damien Lovegrove.

www.dcimages.org.uk
"A good photograph is one that communicate a fact, touches the heart, leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it. It is, in a word, effective." - Irving Penn

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9 years 7 months ago #144409 by Baydream
:goodpost: , David. you summed it up well.

Shoot, learn and share. It will make you a better photographer.
fineartamerica.com/profiles/john-g-schickler.html?tab=artwork

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9 years 7 months ago - 9 years 7 months ago #144410 by MLKstudios
Repeat (what Damien wrote):

My advice to the newcomer: Rise above the grumbles from disgruntled professionals. Get trained, do a great job, serve your customers well and enjoy your photography.

Best advice by far.

Matthew L Kees
MLK Studios Photography School
www.MLKstudios.com
[email protected]
"Every artist, was once an amateur"

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9 years 7 months ago #144512 by Stealthy Ninja
Not rookies, bad photographers are to blame. The title/time spend is irrelevant.
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9 years 6 months ago #144705 by Flash Steven
So at the end of the day, it's the brides fault :rofl: or could be my fault for not educating them. Who knows B)

Canon 7D w/grip, Canon 40D, Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS L Canon MPE 65mm f2.8 macro; Sigma 70-300mm f2.8; Sigma 150mm f2.8 macro; Sigma 8-16mm f4.5-5.6
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9 years 6 months ago #145066 by bernie-d
i think the woman didn't do her research and got burned for it ...people dont take responsibly for their actions. she had no right to fuss at you for her sloppy photos.
............anyways i not much on people photos and wouldn't do a wedding. . i would go and take my photos but they would not be "the wedding photos" but my view of the wedding or any occasion and give them for free.
because i shoot for the love of it .....not the money ....i know i am not good enough for the money

bernie-d
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