Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: « 1 [2] 3 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: The new opportunities  (Read 9419 times)
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12215


« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2010, 04:34:53 AM »
ReplyReply

Acually, if you guys can step back from the battleground for a sec, you may find you are almost all of you right. The problem isn't skill; the problem is that what used to be the photographer's unique contribution to the party has been replaced by a bunch of different people all mixing in at the periphery and clouding the issue to the extent that photographers now believe that they have to have all those peripheral skills too. I wonder; maybe clients have been allowed to expect this from the photographer's panic reaction in trying to acquire said aditional skills.

I am the first to say that my active time is over, but that doesn't mean I don't understand what's cooking out there; what's cooking, it sems to me, is that clients are not actually much poorer at all, they are just much smarter at getting more for less, which general business lesson all photographers should learn as well. ALL business is the difference betwen what you take in and what you shell out.

Perhaps it really is too late, but I wonder if all those mega-snappers have all those additional skills too? Seems far better an idea if they just sub that part out without trying to learn those additional skills themselves - nobody can be good at everything, just as Fred pointed out too, but everybody should certainly know enough to know where to rent those skills when they need to use them. After all, not all great photographers ran their own E6 lines either; many didn't even print!

Rob C
Logged

Dick Roadnight
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1730


« Reply #21 on: May 21, 2010, 05:18:27 AM »
ReplyReply

There are still a few photographers making real money.

I have said it before, but most professional photographers use equipment and techniques similar to what many amateurs use, and to command a professional fee you need to be able to do work that amateurs cannot, or work to a higher standard or size.

Amateur equipment and techniques can be adequate for magazine covers and calendars... so what else is there?

...trouble is that our profession persuaded the picture buying public that 6Mpx pictures were adequate, and now the believe it - and will not pay for quality.

What can a pro do with pro kit that the average amateur cannot?....

Produce large pictures (through using a high-res camera or stitching)

Complex manipulation of digital images to produce the desired result

Control perspective (in camera or computer) (but amateurs can do that)

Use more than one flash... pro studio lighting and using leaf shutters for sync outdoors

Use camera movements (plane of sharpest focus)

Macro

I am 16 and dyslectic (61)... so I am looking for photo work I can do when I get old.

Hopefully I will have a portfolio of landscapes and other photos I can market, but macro and copying I could do without humping heavy gear up hills.

Post-processing used to be very lucrative to the few who could do it well, but is it still? does everyone do their own now?

I think we should regard ourselves as picture makers rather than photographers, and (re-)create markets... like the "in setting" or "swagger" portraits or hundreds of years ago.

Logged

Hasselblad H4, Sinar P3 monorail view camera, Schneider Apo-digitar lenses
fredjeang
Guest
« Reply #22 on: May 21, 2010, 05:38:07 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Rob C
...am the first to say that my active time is over, but that doesn't mean I don't understand what's cooking out there; what's cooking, it sems to me, is that clients are not actually much poorer at all, they are just much smarter at getting more for less, which general business lesson all photographers should learn as well. ALL business is the difference betwen what you take in and what you shell out.
Indeed, that is excatly what is happening here right now. There is money, and a lot of money despite the crisis. it is just been used and abused as a perfect reason to put the pressure up and cutting prices down.

I see that clearly and had the proof many many times that clients had higher budget that they actually where pretenting. This point is important IMO and it is up to the profession to react, in an individual or collective way.
Logged
JonathanBenoit
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 414


WWW
« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2010, 05:43:57 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: TMARK
When was the last time you shot a campaign through a major ad agency?  I know you shoot buildings, but for ad agencies?  What is your usage?  What kind of clients do you have?  I wouldn't presume to tell you how your market works.  Don't presume to tell me how my market works.  And really, the rest of your comment is insulting, probably because the changes in the world scare you, disrupt a romantic notion of some type.  

I can say for myself, my business skills are just fine, thanks.

I apologize if I came off as rude.

Changes don't scare me. I just don't see how offering a potpourri of services can be a good idea. I can understand it, if maybe you worked 20 hours a week for a company doing something like digital asset management. This way you'd have more stability, while being able to work 20+ hours as a photographer. The problem comes in when you are offering all these services publicly on your website or marketing for such services.
Logged

fredjeang
Guest
« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2010, 06:02:24 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: mmurph
Well, "opportunity" is in the eye of the beholder I think.

After getting an undergraduate degree in photography, I made about $9,000 a year officially when I was in my twenties. (Plus a few extra dollars unofficially from bike racing, which you can imagine was quite lucrative ...  I had a $500 car with a $2,500 bike in the trunk ...)  

Eventually life catches up with you though, and you need a car, and health insurance, and steady meals, etc.  As you become more "middle class" and acquire more professional skills, you start to realize what is called the "opportunity cost" of your time. That is, how much you could be making with all of the other, potentially competing career/life opportuinities.

With the new digital skills required in photography, you can't help but look at the types of salaries that folks with similar computer/digital workflow skills are earning (at least prior to the last few years.)  People just graduating from school with a bachelor degree, with basic computer, design, and web skills, could easily start out with a salary of $60,000 a year or more.  

At an average of 2000 hours per year, that comes to about $30 an hour, guarenteed, day after day. As a freelancer, with unpaid "overhead" costs - email time, meetings, initial customer contact, negotiations, etc. that isn't directly compensated, you need to make at least $60 an hour to match that starting salary. (Different billing basis for creative, but ...)

So with maybe 10-15 years of experience, with solid project management, interpersonal, and other organizational skills, it was possible to make $100K to $200K a year in "complimentary" fields, along with health insurance, retirement, etc., using the same basic skill sets.  There are lots of different "chimneys" in business and photography, but there aren't many purely creative photography jobs that were paying that type of equivent wages, and of course no real security to most of them.

So as you get to be middle aged, and maybe have children and more resposnisiblity, there is a real question of what would be ideal vs. what needs to be done now to make a living, at least for a while.  Just like a lot of teachers might rather be doing more personal photography work and teaching less, but at least they have a career aligned with the profession of their choice.

But that is the context within which you need to evaluate so-called "opportiunities."  I know some photo jobs would barely cover the rental fees for the photo equipment (that I owned) that I would bring to a job. It got to make more sense to just send the equipment out on a rental than to actually go out myself. And for an opportunity to match the equivalent hourly wage of some competing jobs - like helping to create a custom, proprietary, multi-million dollar digital asset management system - plus the capital costs of the equipment, etc. Well, a lot of so called "opportunities" don't even come close to what you can earn with the same skills.

Sorry, a bit rambling. I have been thinking about this in general since your first post in this sub-forum Fred. Full disclosure, I haven't been working for 3 years since I closed my studio due to chronic pain. But I am thinking about my options going forward, I'll need to have another career to get me to "retirement" maybe 10-15 years down the road.....  

I am thinking, too,, that maybe we need to ask for a $5,000 "retainer" up front from clients to save wasted time with all of these folks that think $200 is a lot of money ...  That barely covers the up front e-mails and phone calss top figure out what a job might entail ...

Best,
Michael

Michael,

Your words are sensible and you talk about deep realities.

Your post makes me think about a very interesting conversation we had with Alain Briot here about the role of the masters in the noblest way.

At the time I joined the Lu-La, I was asking myself about starting to work with LF (I have no experience in that field) as my works since I'm young has always been linked to certain physical size.

Then, I gave up temporarily this idea after evaluating my current needs and aims. But the main reason why I did not pushed LF further, is the way I want to learn:  next to an experienced LF master, not in a school or through internet neither by myself in this case. A kind of "renaissance way to learn" if I can say.

Finding such a person in a 5 millions inhabitants urbs is just as easy as finding myself doing surgery. Well I think it is sad reality. In fact, teaching or educating if you prefer in a personal relationship with an experienced photographer, as it used to be in ancient times is IMO a potencial source of revenues and also a very nice way to transmit to others less experienced what one has been doing all his life. There is a demand but no one wants to do that.

The seminars they are giving here in madrid are just a joke and quite frankly, a rob.

I could just go and started by myself LF like I started photography when I was a kid, alone and then spending my nights in the photo club's lab etc...
But I do not want neither need to take this path any more now.  
When I started to look for an LF master, at least here all I saw was a desert land. The retired photographers just don't teach in most of the cases.

But in Yoga, for example, the masters that have succeded or that have gained a lot of experience during their lifes are actually teaching every single day to advanced practisings and make good incomes with it. That happens also in the Ballet, in theater etc...in photography what, PODAS? Give me 6000 euros and I go to Podas, but this is not what I'm talking about.

As TMARK said, what can we expect to schools when the admition test is drawing a turtle? When I was in fine arts in Nimes, the prestigious photographic school of Arles was just on the corner. They did not ask for turtles but for a book. But then how many schools do that?

I wish there where more real teaching involved.

Regards,
« Last Edit: May 21, 2010, 06:54:48 AM by fredjeang » Logged
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12215


« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2010, 11:01:38 AM »
ReplyReply

Fred

There are people in America (old photographers) who do LF and, I believe teach at the same time, though I doubt it is one-on-one. Group teaching brings in group money, which is better than single money that`s likely to be earned from any student wanting total, personal attention. Also, I think that what you really need is a form of late apprenticeship, but you can probably forget that completely. I doubt anybody needing full-time asistants uses film like that anymore; I would say only 'art' photographers do that today and they don't need competition from inside the camp!

Have you thought about why you might want to have LF experience? I know it's very romantic in an awkward way, but having used it early on in life it certainly didn't turn me on fire at all - I hated looking at the world upside down and from under a lousy rag! Perhaps if it's all about lens control, you might be better off cutting back expectations and looking at the big Fuji GX system: great optics and quite a lot of movement for many purposes. Of course, what you would then need is a damn good scanner, the very reason I have not been able to go back to the 500 Series world.

Apart from the inconvenience of LF there is the question of cost - the bigger the more expensive in every related manner: prices are designed to make you cry in the same way that it is pointless buying an old Ferrari if you can't really afford to buy a new one. A new exhaust, perhaps, new tryes? You would scream either way unless you already had the financial innoculations.

Rob C

P.S.  Since you were in Nimes - why not get into jeans production instead? ;-)
Logged

fredjeang
Guest
« Reply #26 on: May 21, 2010, 11:37:18 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Rob C
Fred

There are people in America (old photographers) who do LF and, I believe teach at the same time, though I doubt it is one-on-one. Group teaching brings in group money, which is better than single money that`s likely to be earned from any student wanting total, personal attention. Also, I think that what you really need is a form of late apprenticeship, but you can probably forget that completely. I doubt anybody needing full-time asistants uses film like that anymore; I would say only 'art' photographers do that today and they don't need competition from inside the camp!

Have you thought about why you might want to have LF experience? I know it's very romantic in an awkward way, but having used it early on in life it certainly didn't turn me on fire at all - I hated looking at the world upside down and from under a lousy rag! Perhaps if it's all about lens control, you might be better off cutting back expectations and looking at the big Fuji GX system: great optics and quite a lot of movement for many purposes. Of course, what you would then need is a damn good scanner, the very reason I have not been able to go back to the 500 Series world.

Apart from the inconvenience of LF there is the question of cost - the bigger the more expensive in every related manner: prices are designed to make you cry in the same way that it is pointless buying an old Ferrari if you can't really afford to buy a new one. A new exhaust, perhaps, new tryes? You would scream either way unless you already had the financial innoculations.

Rob C

P.S.  Since you were in Nimes - why not get into jeans production instead? ;-)
Rob,

I'm always amazed how well you know France, I mean thing that if you're not local you don't know. Jurançon (actually you should have shoot a campaign for them), now Nîmes and many more I read in Lu-La. Did not remember the jeans industry but yes, the Legion étrangère. And the fiestas of course!

LF? well, yeah this is a way I want to go at one point or another as a complementary way of approaching photography. In fact it is like slowing down, exactly the opposite of what I'm doing right now. There is also an idea of the craft, not romantic because I'm not romantic at all, another relation between operator-machine-subject. Then, the people who are involved into it are generally from my taste.

About older way of apprenticeship, I don't understand how an old experienced photographer would fear competition. His path has been or is done.
Rob, this is not new, it exists currently in many arts. But is photography that competitive now? it needs to change its mind then.

I understand that in the US they do in group, if it is a reduced group it is fine. But here in madrid all you have is really funny, fancy but not serious and the other option is through relationships and there is very very little. But it will show-up on time.

Cheers.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2010, 11:42:52 AM by fredjeang » Logged
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12215


« Reply #27 on: May 21, 2010, 02:49:26 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: fredjeang
Rob,

I'm always amazed how well you know France, I mean thing that if you're not local you don't know. Jurançon (actually you should have shoot a campaign for them), now Nîmes and many more I read in Lu-La. Did not remember the jeans industry but yes, the Legion étrangère. And the fiestas of course!


Cheers.



Wot!? teaching a Frenchman about France? What would Marianne say!

de Nîmes: 19th-century - production of the cloth that made Levi-Strauss rich and famous.

Rob C


Edit: Ooops! Sorry, Justan.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2010, 02:51:07 PM by Rob C » Logged

fredjeang
Guest
« Reply #28 on: May 21, 2010, 03:12:06 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Rob C
Wot!? teaching a Frenchman about France? What would Marianne say!

de Nîmes: 19th-century - production of the cloth that made Levi-Strauss rich and famous.

Rob C


Edit: Ooops! Sorry, Justan.
Wich Marianne? They changed at least 100 times her look so far like in a fashion shot.

Nîmes as always been, being a protestant city, a manufacturer area and a high place for syndicalism. There use to be a big link with the railway industry also.
The city hall has been communist during many years, that is why you can see kind of soviet union arquitecture for the masses, next to roman temples...very weird city I must say. I remember life quality being high, climate, countryside, life-style. It was working class but not like in Manchester.

Logged
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12215


« Reply #29 on: May 22, 2010, 02:20:45 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: fredjeang
Wich Marianne? They changed at least 100 times her look so far like in a fashion shot.

Nîmes as always been, being a protestant city, a manufacturer area and a high place for syndicalism. There use to be a big link with the railway industry also.
The city hall has been communist during many years, that is why you can see kind of soviet union arquitecture for the masses, next to roman temples...very weird city I must say. I remember life quality being high, climate, countryside, life-style. It was working class but not like in Manchester.



"Which Marianne?"

I have before me the 8th April '96 French ELLE - spécial maillots - which I found in a hotel in Donzenac (Brive), on the N20. It features Laetitia Casta, whom I had never seen before, shot by Hans Feurer, probably in Los Canarios. Long lenses, Hans F and a beautiful, classy young lady and I just couldn't resist it. I think she makes a very delightful Marianne! I do wonder how his style would work out today with digital - all that fantastic backlighting yet perfect tonality and colour and detail! Wasn't film wonderful?

To run the risk of being hit with the problems of another Jeremy Clarkson ("It was working class but not like in Manchester.") I have only this to say: no, cancel that intention, I shall say nothing, it's too dangerous.

Rob C
Logged

fredjeang
Guest
« Reply #30 on: May 22, 2010, 05:08:31 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Rob C
To run the risk of being hit with the problems of another Jeremy Clarkson ("It was working class but not like in Manchester.") I have only this to say: no, cancel that intention, I shall say nothing, it's too dangerous.

Rob C
Rob,
Being french, I can take any risk because they will forgive me being an unconscient bloody snails eater. (I love snails!! in herbs sauce but not frogs)

I must say that, if one is reckless enough to cross the Adrian's wall, he or she will discover that the Glasgow working class is much more funny and joyfull than the Manchester's. AND, that the sky in Edinburgh is much more interesting than the sky in Newcastle.

Back on the topic, before they send us to the capuchino place...

What were we saying about the new oportunities?
Logged
mmurph
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 507


WWW
« Reply #31 on: May 23, 2010, 10:24:39 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: JonathanBenoit
I can understand it, if maybe you worked 20 hours a week for a company doing something like digital asset management. This way you'd have more stability, while being able to work 20+ hours as a photographer.

That is what I did for about 6 years, as my back pain became worse and I wasn't able to do as much location work in photography as in the past.  I worked in the studio 3 days a week, and on related "consulting" or long term projects the remainder.  Of course, consulting can be scaled up or down, and you retain much of the same work mode as freelance photography, so it can be a good fit. At the time it also gave me access to state of the art equipment - an A2 size scanner, for example.


Quote from: fredjeang
But the main reason why I did not pushed LF further, is the way I want to learn:  next to an experienced LF master, not in a school or through internet neither by myself in this case. A kind of "renaissance way to learn" if I can say.


Fred,

We have chatted quite a bit about LF in the past. This is no way meanty as a criticism - just a thought starter.

I think what you mean, and may need, is the ability to work with an artist, or poet, in a sort of post-graduate class. I am thinking in terms of the tyes of "workshops" that are common in the US in the summer, at Santa Fe, Maine, and Anderson Ranch. And I am thinking of the chance to do an intensive workshop with someone like Alec Soth, a true poet and master and very accomplished photographer - member of Magnum, etc. - who has been on a meterioc rise throughthe profession.

Or Robert Polidori, or Sylvia Plachy, or Robert Adams - you get my drift.  Creative masters who think deeply about the medium. You sort of "pick your poison" - the folks who might fit your style/need at the time - and each summer you try to draw out enough ideas and critique and inspioration to keep you going for another year. ICP in New York also has some great workshops - Master Critique with Mark Ellen Mark, The Extraordinary Portrait with Amy Arbus, etc.

But, what I think you don't need, is someone to teach you LF per se.  That is the distinction, perhaps, between taking a course in electronic engineering, and a course in soldering.  Soldering, while useful, is just a technical skill that doesn't engage the whole being, as a good teacher will.  

For someone like Alec Soth, for example, I would recommend that you astart reading his old blog from beginning to end.  It is/was a true post graduate education in the art of photography.  The same with his new blog to a lesser extent - Little Brown Mushroom:

http://littlebrownmushroom.wordpress.com/

Then take a workshop with him, get feedback after another 2 months of working on your own, etc.

In the US there is a group called SPE - Society for Photographic Education - that brings together a number of academic (university) professors each year for a conference,. It is nicve to be able to see he personal work they are doing and to get in touch with others struggling to do creative work - trying to find models for long term projects, etc.  I am no sure if anything like that is available there.


http://www.spenational.org/conference/conf...akers_2009.html

http://www.spenational.org/conference/conf...rence_Flyer.pdf




Logged
ziocan
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 427


« Reply #32 on: May 23, 2010, 10:44:33 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Dick Roadnight
There are still a few photographers making real money.
That is not true....
There are plenty.

Logged
Dick Roadnight
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1730


« Reply #33 on: May 24, 2010, 05:28:48 AM »
ReplyReply

There are still a few photographers making real money.

Quote from: ziocan
That is not true....
There are plenty.

I am glad about that ...  ¿how do they do it?
Logged

Hasselblad H4, Sinar P3 monorail view camera, Schneider Apo-digitar lenses
haefnerphoto
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 617


WWW
« Reply #34 on: May 24, 2010, 09:36:56 AM »
ReplyReply

Who hasn't shot in Nimes!  Even I've been there for Peugeot.  I'll see if I can find any of the images.  Jim
Logged

Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12215


« Reply #35 on: May 24, 2010, 11:18:42 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Dick Roadnight
There are still a few photographers making real money.



I am glad about that ...  ¿how do they do it?


Probably have a day job working in the Royal Mint.

Rob C
Logged

fredjeang
Guest
« Reply #36 on: May 24, 2010, 01:43:31 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: haefnerphoto
Who hasn't shot in Nimes!  Even I've been there for Peugeot.  I'll see if I can find any of the images.  Jim
Great flash website James, one of the very few that do not crash or are slow.

I'll be interested to see the Nîmes pics if you find them.

Regards.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 01:44:22 PM by fredjeang » Logged
Kumar
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 652


WWW
« Reply #37 on: May 25, 2010, 10:29:40 PM »
ReplyReply

The cost of LF photography has never been so low. A decent set of three lenses can be bought for about $600 on the used market, and a camera can cost as little as $150. B&W film processing is easy and cheap to do it on your own, and you can often pick up an enlarger for free. If you want to go digital after shooting film, an Epson V700 or 750 is good enough for most decent sized prints. What LF costs is time.

And for workshops, or learning from the masters, the US is indeed the best place. Michael Smith and Paula Chamlee, Tillman Crane and Bruce Barlow are some names worth considering.

Kumar
Logged

Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12215


« Reply #38 on: May 26, 2010, 02:44:56 AM »
ReplyReply

I sometimes wonder if peole collect a set of stock answers to photographic questions/problems and then roll them out at the appropriate moment.

The greater answer might be: do you really know what you are letting yourself into by thinking LF; do you really want to clone yourself on any of those currently advertising in, riding and flogging the high of the genre?

I watched the celebration of Tate Modern's tenth birthday on tv last night and also another documentary on the Freud property in London. I'm afraid that the combined effect of both programmes was to convince me, should that still have been necessary, that the art/culture world is awash in bullshit. Just a personal opinion, of course, but it strikes me that you can find far more exciting work by trawling the net for photographic gallery sites and or photographers' agents sites. Sometimes the trawl is very rewarding, sometimes not so much; but at least it is relevant.

Photography, in the end, is about images. The ease with which people allow themselves to be sidetracked via equipment, formats, surfaces, brands, almost anything - suggests to me that what those people seek is not method: what they desperately seek is a personal talent that is not there.  As has been pointed out so often, a genuinely gifted photographer can do it, within technical limitations, with a Brownie.

Christ, buy a sports car and have fun. It'll be cheaper in the end.

Rob C
Logged

Kumar
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 652


WWW
« Reply #39 on: May 26, 2010, 03:35:03 AM »
ReplyReply

My answer wasn't a stock one. I was simply responding to the question of the cost of LF equipment. I personally use LF with film and digital, and really don't care what others use. I used Nikons for a couple of years, and when I moved to a Sinar, simply stopped using them. Whatever works for you. And yes, the result is what matters, not the equipment.

But the LF experience is worth spending a few hundred dollars. And if you hate it, LF doesn't depreciate as much as a digital back

Kumar
Logged

Pages: « 1 [2] 3 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad