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Author Topic: Where did she go wrong?  (Read 18787 times)

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« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2009, 16:42 »
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It's called advertising Sean. She probably gets the odd commissioned job out of it.

Sounds like a great system.  Working for free for 23 years to get the odd commissioned job.
Comparing microstock with fashion photography:
Microstock - you only get a few bucks for an image that might have cost thousands to make - BUT - volume sales
Fashion - work for free/credits - BUT - get well paying commissioned work as a result of the exposure.

I think one is only in a position to criticize a business model if one knows enough about how it plays out in the long term. There are probably as many successful fashion photographers as microstockers, and as many unsuccessful ones.


lisafx

« Reply #26 on: September 11, 2009, 16:43 »
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Sounds like a great system.  Working for free for 23 years to get the odd commissioned job.

One good thing about working for free is you will always have plenty of work ;D

« Reply #27 on: September 11, 2009, 16:45 »
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Sounds like a great system.  Working for free for 23 years to get the odd commissioned job.

One good thing about working for free is you will always have plenty of work ;D
Hey Lisa, you can upload as much as you like to the stock sites too.

« Reply #28 on: September 11, 2009, 16:46 »
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Fashion - work for free/credits - BUT - get well paying commissioned work as a result of the exposure.

Not what she said earlier:
"Advertising clients don't give 2 cents about flaunt magazine or magazines that don't pay for that matter..."

« Reply #29 on: September 11, 2009, 16:51 »
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Fashion - work for free/credits - BUT - get well paying commissioned work as a result of the exposure.

Not what she said earlier:
"Advertising clients don't give 2 cents about flaunt magazine or magazines that don't pay for that matter..."
I think this was stated IN THE CONTEXT of the photographer in question having bad-mouthed the magazine via her blog. My interpretation is that advertising clients don't care about the REPUTATION or angst caused to them (the magazines) by disgruntled photographers, not that they don't look at such magazines to see the work the photographers are producing. However, you are free to interpret it in a way that makes nonsense of her intention to get exposure if you wish.

lisafx

« Reply #30 on: September 11, 2009, 17:03 »
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My interpretation is that advertising clients don't care about the REPUTATION or angst caused to them (the magazines) by disgruntled photographers, not that they don't look at such magazines to see the work the photographers are producing.

So then what you are saying is that deep-pocket advertisers are lining up to pay money to work with "angsty disgruntled photographers"? 

Come on - giving away work for publicity makes sense for a newbie photographer trying to establish themselves.  Not for someone with 23 years experience. 

Even in the case of free work,  some sort of contract should be in place to specify the nature of the exchange (credits for everyone involved, number of images used, layout approval, etc).  Without a contract you leave yourself open to exactly what happened in this situation. 

Besides, any publicity gained from this experience is completely offset by the tirade on the blog.   

« Reply #31 on: September 11, 2009, 17:15 »
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I think this was stated IN THE CONTEXT of the photographer in question having bad-mouthed the magazine via her blog. My interpretation is that advertising clients don't care about the REPUTATION or angst caused to them (the magazines) by disgruntled photographers, not that they don't look at such magazines to see the work the photographers are producing. However, you are free to interpret it in a way that makes nonsense of her intention to get exposure if you wish.

Perhaps.  It was a confusing reply.

grp_photo

« Reply #32 on: September 11, 2009, 17:23 »
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I think its a good time for you microstockers to pause and thank heavens that youre part of an industry where high-quality contracts that reward you handsomely for your work are the norm, an industry where 99% of you do not work for free, an industry where getting published without a credit is so rare, an industry where agencies are so fair and sensitive that its truly hard to understand why anyone would want to be someone elses photography slave, an industry
LOL that was a very good one ;D :D

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #33 on: September 11, 2009, 18:53 »
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C'mon. There's gotta be more to this.

So let me see if I got this right. Because from a business standpoint this is a trainwreck.

An entire industry segment has a common practice of paying entire teams of people nothing, while directly profiting from the outcome, for the potential of someday maybe getting some work down the road. And these photographers fork out major money up front for Hasselblad rentals, props, and everything else (???)

And when I said agreement, I didn't necessarily mean a written contract. I just meant setting expectations up front. Even verbally. Such as "if I'm going to invest my time and money on this I'm expecting at least a ten page spread in return, agreed?"

But now having heard how the industry works I doubt expectation setting means anything. These photographers have no leverage to ask for anything and can only hope for something good to happen so they can maybe get more work. That's pretty amazing if that's how it really works. How did it get like this?


grp_photo

« Reply #34 on: September 12, 2009, 01:04 »
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How did it get like this?


extremely over-saturated market!



from the photographer side of course ;-)

« Reply #35 on: September 12, 2009, 01:23 »
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One or two people say that not getting paid is the norm and we take it as gospel? I just don't believe it.

grp_photo

« Reply #36 on: September 12, 2009, 02:39 »
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One or two people say that not getting paid is the norm and we take it as gospel? I just don't believe it.
Not paid is may extreme and only count for this artsy and hip magazines. But fashion editorial is really not well paid its more like pocket-money it doesn't hold up for your own expenses, you make your money with catalogues and advertisement, I did really enough fashion editorial to assure you that it is impossible to survive solely on fashion editorial.

« Reply #37 on: September 12, 2009, 15:53 »
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I contacted an east coast friend of mine late last year about the possibility of shooting some editorials for the national magazine where he was an editor.

He liked my shots, and gave me the information I needed to bid on shooting for the cover.
I was a bit shocked that he was talking to me about the cover, when I had said that I was interested in illustrating an editorial.

He response: "Well, covers are the only shots that anyone pays for."

True story.

lisafx

« Reply #38 on: September 12, 2009, 18:40 »
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Thanks for weighing in grp_photo and nosaya. 

I am still really surprised that this is how things are done, but at least it is good to have independent verification that it is true.

helix7

« Reply #39 on: September 12, 2009, 23:29 »
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To Helix, Tubed, LisaFX, Paulie Walnuts and Others: You do realize that 95% of fashion editorials are done without contracts?? Usually a verbal agreement, phone or email from the magazine is all that is necessary for this type of gig...

Do you actually read what you're typing? It's like taking a job as a garbage collector and then complaining that job literally stinks. YOU TOOK THE JOB. No one is holding a gun to your head saying you have to do any job. If the fashion editorial market is so bad, why bother?

I'm amazed that people take these no-contract no-pay jobs, knowing in advance what they are getting into, and then they complain about them afterwards.

« Reply #40 on: September 13, 2009, 00:14 »
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Welcome to the "more creative" side of the business folks.

As for doing "freebie" gigs for exposure, etc... its true, it can work in your favor over the long run especially if you do it heavily with younger upstarts who could one day finally be "somebody's" in the business. Freebie gigs are more like "interactive networking". One of my first demo reels, filled mostly with footage from freebie gigs, landed me a long term realationship as a Director of Photography with TIME Magazine, which I still happily maintain. I doubt I would have even gotten a phone call from them without that footage.

As for these fashion mags, I suspect many have a hard enough time paying their staff, just like the majority of indi films have a hard time even breaking even after years on the market.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #41 on: September 13, 2009, 18:11 »
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So does the creative side automatically discard the most basic of business rules? It looks like this has become commonplace simply because photographers as a whole just gave in.

This is awesome.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2a8TRSgzZY[/youtube]
« Last Edit: September 13, 2009, 18:13 by PaulieWalnuts »


« Reply #42 on: September 13, 2009, 18:28 »
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So does the creative side automatically discard the most basic of business rules? It looks like this has become commonplace simply because photographers as a whole just gave in.

This is awesome.


Seems to me we can only deal with reality.  The "invisible hand" of the market setting the prices according to the supply and the demand - with as little government intervention as possible.  What alternative would you suggest?

fred

« Reply #43 on: September 13, 2009, 19:36 »
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What alternative would you suggest?

fred

I think I'd start by not working for free __ easy really. Go and do jobs that actually pay a reasonable rate or give up doing it at all.

I'd never, ever, ever, ever do a shoot for free no matter what promises or suggested (possible) benefits may result. Those that do have no-one to blame but themselves if they get screwed and they fully deserve to be left as destitute and worthless as they have valued themselves. Simples.

« Reply #44 on: September 13, 2009, 19:50 »
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What alternative would you suggest?

fred

I think I'd start by not working for free __ easy really. Go and do jobs that actually pay a reasonable rate or give up doing it at all.

I'd never, ever, ever, ever do a shoot for free no matter what promises or suggested (possible) benefits may result. Those that do have no-one to blame but themselves if they get screwed and they fully deserve to be left as destitute and worthless as they have valued themselves. Simples.

It can make good business sense to do free shoots.  If the market you are in expects it you pretty well cannot avoid it.  Free work is a risk.  All of business is a risk.  Some risks payoff some don't.

It is sort of like stock options trading.  Something like 80% of all options contracts lose money but there are many traders that make a good living trading options.  They just have to make sure they make more on the 20% of their trades that are successful than they lose on the 80% that are not. 

In some fields free work is the best way to find paying work.  If you are one of those fields then you survive by making sure that your paying work covers your expenses for your free work.

I don't think it works in microstock though.

fred

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #45 on: September 13, 2009, 19:55 »
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So does the creative side automatically discard the most basic of business rules? It looks like this has become commonplace simply because photographers as a whole just gave in.

This is awesome.


Seems to me we can only deal with reality.  The "invisible hand" of the market setting the prices according to the supply and the demand - with as little government intervention as possible.  What alternative would you suggest?

fred

I know nothing about fashion photography so I don't know what to suggest. Maybe in that industry giving freebies really does work out okay in the end with getting new work elsewhere.

It's just kind of surprising to hear because that type of stuff would never work in my day job. That would be like a company saying "We need you to do a software implementation for us for free. And in return we'll allow you to do a write-up about the project you can use to try and attract more business."

If one of my potential clients proposed something lopsided like that where they get immediate value and we get nothing, we would nicely let them know that's not the way we work. Then we'd nicely suggest a couple of alternative approaches that work for both of us.

Like if they proposed we work for free in exchange for a write-up I'd say something like "A write-up sounds great. If you'd be willing to do one we could offer you a discount".

Or if they proposed we do free work now because there's huge future work coming I'd say "Great, let's talk about that future work now. If you'd be willing to do all of the current and future work together under one agreement now we would be willing to offer a discount on our services."

If they still insist on some free deal, we evaluate it. If there's no immediate value we thank them for their time and suggest they find someone else who's a better fit for the way they work. If they go to a competitor that's fine. If a competitor wants to work for free they most likely won't be a competitor for much longer.

But my day job isn't fashion photography and I'm getting the impression these types of conversations would get you laughed right out of a fashion magazine company because it's against what has become the norm.

« Reply #46 on: September 13, 2009, 20:06 »
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So does the creative side automatically discard the most basic of business rules? It looks like this has become commonplace simply because photographers as a whole just gave in.

This is awesome.


Seems to me we can only deal with reality.  The "invisible hand" of the market setting the prices according to the supply and the demand - with as little government intervention as possible.  What alternative would you suggest?

fred

I know nothing about fashion photography so I don't know what to suggest. Maybe in that industry giving freebies really does work out okay in the end with getting new work elsewhere.

It's just kind of surprising to hear because that type of stuff would never work in my day job. That would be like a company saying "We need you to do a software implementation for us for free. And in return we'll allow you to do a write-up about the project you can use to try and attract more business."

If one of my potential clients proposed something lopsided like that where they get immediate value and we get nothing, we would nicely let them know that's not the way we work. Then we'd nicely suggest a couple of alternative approaches that work for both of us.

Like if they proposed we work for free in exchange for a write-up I'd say something like "A write-up sounds great. If you'd be willing to do one we could offer you a discount".

Or if they proposed we do free work now because there's huge future work coming I'd say "Great, let's talk about that future work now. If you'd be willing to do all of the current and future work together under one agreement now we would be willing to offer a discount on our services."

If they still insist on some free deal, we evaluate it. If there's no immediate value we thank them for their time and suggest they find someone else who's a better fit for the way they work. If they go to a competitor that's fine. If a competitor wants to work for free they most likely won't be a competitor for much longer.

But my day job isn't fashion photography and I'm getting the impression these types of conversations would get you laughed right out of a fashion magazine company because it's against what has become the norm.

That makes sense.

I don't know anything about Fashion phtotography either but I do know there are fields, investing, property development, etc. where you put a lot of tiime in on work that gets you nothing or nearly nothing so that once or twice a year you can have a big killing to make up for it.  I think fashion photography could be like that.

fred

« Reply #47 on: September 13, 2009, 21:52 »
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Photography - as a whole - is overwhelmingly "market subsidized". What I mean by that, is its a huge ocean of people who only shoot as a side job and they can afford to charge below market rates because of their daytime job. I refuse to gripe about that however, its a tactic other business conglomerates use to get new business's off the ground without having to take, or at least reduce the need for, new lines of credit or a loan. It acts as a kind of "vampire" on the main supporting business, but the hope is one day it will reach critical mass and be able to fly on its own. Some eventually do fly on their own.

The new wave of the future for stock photography isn't paying for images, its paying for the ability to easily, conveniently, find and download images. Yes, photographers will get commissions on work downloaded, but whats really being bought and sold are the agency services. Why do you think iStock is so massively more successful than the other agencies, with vastly more images? It's their superior search engine options. As much as I hate their submissions process, its worth the effort to actually be found by those who need your work.

« Reply #48 on: September 14, 2009, 00:30 »
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its a huge ocean of people who only shoot as a side job and they can afford to charge below market rates because of their daytime job.

As that song goes... "sad but true"... My photography is a side business, I couldn't live from photography the way I do from my main job, no matter how hard I tried.  My main business pays for equipment, many times I get things that are not necessarily important, but that I want (as a full time pro some would not make any sense at all).  Sometimes I did work for below market prices (not for kicks, but to learn and try new things) but I found that it is hard work most of the time and the last job I got I decided to charge almost market rates (and got paid), next time I will charge market rates, even if I dont get the job.  Free is not in my vocabulary anymore.

« Reply #49 on: September 14, 2009, 01:08 »
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its a huge ocean of people who only shoot as a side job and they can afford to charge below market rates because of their daytime job.

As that song goes... "sad but true"... My photography is a side business, I couldn't live from photography the way I do from my main job, no matter how hard I tried.  My main business pays for equipment, many times I get things that are not necessarily important, but that I want (as a full time pro some would not make any sense at all).  Sometimes I did work for below market prices (not for kicks, but to learn and try new things) but I found that it is hard work most of the time and the last job I got I decided to charge almost market rates (and got paid), next time I will charge market rates, even if I dont get the job.  Free is not in my vocabulary anymore.

I should add something important.

Prices are subjective, and furthermore, determined by the CUSTOMERS, not the producers.

The fact that you charged more and still got the customer to pay only illustrates the point. Micro prices are actually rising, how much is inflation VS the market looking for the real price, I can't say, if anything its just one more argument against constantly printing cheap money.


 

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