Know Any Good Photographers?

Discussion in 'Photos' started by OldCoot, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. OldCoot

    OldCoot Been here awhile

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    There were so many great photos entered in our contest that it was a tough decision, but last night we announced the winners of our photography contest on www.blueridgetravelguide.com

    All these photographers continue to do an awesome job of demonstrating how beautiful this area is... Thanks!

    :clap

    I'm working on the new travel book and should have it done by mid-May. Almost a dozen professional photographers have contributed some of their most amazing photos for it.
    #21
  2. NachoRoto

    NachoRoto Meet you there. OK?

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    Too many people desperate to get there work in print have devalued photography and make it harder for pro's to make a real living. Various magazines I deal with expect work for free that they used to pay for. Because there are hundred amateurs ready to give it away to see it in print. The business isn't what it use to be. Its sad in a way. It made me go back to school.
    #22
  3. kpt4321

    kpt4321 Long timer

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    Let me first say that I understand and respect the point of view that FakeName is coming from, and more so, the way he expressed it.

    That said, the oft-heard complaints after "devaluing" photography, as posted by DenniSMC, don't ring very true to me. If a magazine, website, or other publication can get the photos that they need at an acceptable level of quality for a lower price (or free), why shouldn't they? It seems like there is an idea that they should pick someone who is a "professional" to do the job, and that they should pay them more because of that. This just doesn't make sense. If you're doing something that other people can do for cheaper, why should you be paid more?

    I think that, on some level, technology has broken down some barriers to entry for photography, especially on the low level, and so people who previously couldn't participate now can. Maybe it's changing the way the business is, and I can see how it would be frustrating to someone who is used to a particular status quo, but it is the way it is. There still is, and always will be, a market for true quality photography; that market just may not be as big as some of us wish it was.

    A reasonable analogy might be bands and musical groups that are willing to release their work for free or low cost online, instead of selling it for $20 per CD through a big name label. Are old school "professional" musicians complaining about these "crappy" artists stealing some of their market share? Perhaps, but I have trouble seeing that they are doing anything wrong. Everybody has the right to sell (or give away) their work for the price they want. Some might see this as people helping to break up an existing "monopoly" driving prices up.

    Let me state that I COMPLETELY understand that there is a HUGE difference between a good photographer and a hack like me, and I would never suppose that my images are up to professional standards. However, if a magazine decides that they are, that's their call, not mine.
    #23
  4. FakeName

    FakeName Wile E Coyote SuperGenius

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    We don't disagree.

    If I had a daughter, I'd advise her not to be slutty and "give it away for free". But I realize young men are able to get sex wherever and whenever they'd like. So the pressure would be on my daughter to give it up, right?

    It's the same for photographers- I believe if they have something of great value, they shouldn't be slutty about it. Have some dignity and self-worth, recognize your gift and value it.

    But, like the old sexual morays, I'm a bit of a dying breed.

    You're completely right about all your points.
    #24
  5. OldCoot

    OldCoot Been here awhile

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    A couple of things from an old (not so wise) publisher's perspective...

    I've bought a few original photos from pros in decades past. At the time they were worth what we paid for them or we wouldn't have done it. We were selling content in print to subscribers who paid a reasonable price for our publications. Today there are very few publishers making money from print media. Like photogs, publishers have been forced to completely adjust their business model due to the digital age.

    As we all know, virtually every facet of society has been hit by industry changes and new technology. Mom and pop stores were clobbered by big box retailers; big box stores are still trying to adjust to/compete with Amazon, et al. The big three networks were almost put out of business by cable; now cable is competing with Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and the like. And last I heard, music was not doing so well either. Add to all this, the consumer market is not growing much, if any, due to birth control and the fact that our generation is not being replaced. So the pie continues to be divided into smaller pieces for all of us.

    Having said that, I'm trying my hand at print once again. Maybe stupid, but I'm giving it another shot because I think it might help some of the businesses here in western North Carolina, and maybe produce some income so I can take my sweetheart out to dinner occassionally (and maybe take a MC trip each year). The goal is not to rip anyone off, but to give all of us some great exposure (starting with good photographers) to increase sales.

    Fortuantely I found an awesome photography gallery with an owner who immediately recognized the value and potential of this exposure. He's providing some of the most beautiful fine art photos I've seen, and I'm giving his gallery 40 pages of free advertising (the pages would cost $60,000 if bought as ads). Hopefully, his help in getting the book out will generate lots of traffic to his gallery and sell a bunch of beautiful art by the pros who exhibit.

    None of us knows for sure if it will work. It's a risk for all of us. But thankfully the only one out of pocket so far is me... and maybe, hopefully, we'll all see a fair return for our trouble and investment.

    :freaky
    #25
  6. FakeName

    FakeName Wile E Coyote SuperGenius

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    Well, we can agree times change. You'll have to trust me that my 30 years as a professional has provided me with an understanding of the marketplace that is, well, better than an outsider.

    Look, I understand my old-fashioned values are never going to successfully persuade anyone that their images have value greater than the excitement of seeing an image published.

    And I know this tiny voice in the wilderness will go unheard in the cattle call that photography has become.

    But there are costs to this- long term costs, that the instant-gratification crowd will easily disregard.

    My only goal for raising the issue is to encourage people to understand what they are giving away. To understand that giving images away for the financial benefit of others is a choice one makes- and it's not a simple choice for those with an understanding of the principle.

    Further, I encourage people to understand the value of intellectual property. The ease of which people give away their creations is, to me, much like the high school slut who'll give ****jobs in the boy's bathroom. It degrades both parties. Yes, I understand others see this differently.

    The long game? As is already happening with sites like Pinterest, the wholesale trading of images and lack of value of copyright has degraded the concept of ownership of intellectual property IN GENERAL, not just for images. We're seeing the same degradation in writing, illustration and *patents*. So, where once a creative entrepreneur (remember them?) could design, invest and build new and innovative products with the very real expectation of a financial reward, one can now expect immediate low-ball knockoffs- witness the discussion elsewhere regarding the Giant Loop products.

    So, big deal, right? Don't we all enjoy lower prices for things? And don't we deserve to have for ourselves what others claim to "own" simply because they created it? I mean, who do they think they are- they should create things for the common good, right?

    Anyone heard of Reardon Metal? It's my hope that those younger than I (a majority of inmates, I suspect) might google Reardon Metal and be interested enough to actually read the book.

    Enough. I've made my points, and anyone is welcome to now take their last shots.
    #26
  7. kpt4321

    kpt4321 Long timer

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    (Nice to see a well thought-out, rational, mature discussion around here. Really enjoyable).

    I understand your concerns and comments. I want to make a few in return.

    First, I think that the larger discussion of IP is an interesting/good one, but I am not sure that it is completely relevant in this context. My brother and I recently had a good discussion about this, with regard to digital media, and it's a very fascinating topic. However, I don't think that one person (ostensibly not a "professional" photographer) under-pricing his work relative to a professional photog is a matter of IP. In no way has either party's IP been violated, that I can see.

    Second, while I understand the point that you are trying to make with the sexual references, I think it may be worthwhile to reconsider those. You're approaching that from one point of view that is not necessarily wrong, but that doesn't mean that others are right. More specifically, you state that "it degrades both parties." I think this is innocently simplified at the least, at the worst offensive. Other people have different moral standards, and I don't see it as a clear fact that some level of sexual promiscuity between consenting adults is in any way a great analogy or "degrading." Cases of one's teenage daughter are entirely different matters...

    Finally, while I appreciate your reference to Rand, I am not sure it directly applies. Nobody is talking about forcibly taking one man's photography (or IP, or metal formulation) and giving it away with some "common good" justification. To attempt to make an analogy, we're talking about a "lesser man" coming up with his own (unique but less effective) metal formulation and others choosing it over Rearden Metal because, while it is inferior, it is sufficient for their needs and costs less. I don't think Hank or Dagny would find a crime in that, although neither of them would settle for anything less than the best for their own use.

    And let's be honest, Dagny would also not buy your anti-promiscuity argument, she gets around a little bit. :D

    :freaky
    #27
  8. FakeName

    FakeName Wile E Coyote SuperGenius

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    Surely you're not suggesting I exaggerate and choose polarizing examples are you?

    I know, don't call you Shirley :D

    Your points are valid. I am painting a extreme case with a mighty broad brush.

    I have no problem with informed consenting adults giving away anything- as long as there is an understanding of that exchange. The reason for my comments is to encourage understanding of exactly what talented photograhpers give away (high school restrooms notwithstanding) when they enter an agreement as offered by the original poster.

    (Note here- OP is a good guy, we've emailed off-line, I wish him well, and glad it appears he's happy with the results).

    If someone like the OP needs quality images, one should consider that need when providing images free. By doing so, the giver is essentially subsidizing the OP's new yacht (that's humor!). Sure- the giver could suggest the return- publication- is itself a thrill like no other and thus creating an exchange of value.

    But I personally could care less about being published- it don't pay the mortgage, it don't buy a Canon 1ds, and it don't buy Pirelli MT43s. I just finished clearing out my studio of old tearsheets, magazines, catalogs, annual reports etc that I've photographed and contained my images. Into the garbage- the publication has no value to me, only the money.

    Does that make ME a prostitute? Damn straight.

    Prostitution I admire, slutty, I don't :D

    Thanks, all for a reasonable discussion.
    #28
  9. FakeName

    FakeName Wile E Coyote SuperGenius

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    Oh- and yes, I know I'm an old fossil, and yes, I understand that times they are a-changing.
    #29
  10. Riteris

    Riteris Dessert Runner

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    Since it is that time of the year in the U.S., I am willing to do anyone's income tax return for free.

    I don't know squat about accounting but hey, it is for free.:norton

    I can do some plumbing as well. I have a torch and a bottle of propane. I have soldered a dozen or so pipes together so I think I am pretty good at it.

    I have a Dremel tool so I can do some dentistry for low cost too.

    :freaky
    #30
  11. kpt4321

    kpt4321 Long timer

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    I think this is the key, and I think your (original) post had a lot of value for exactly this reason. :freaky
    #31
  12. kpt4321

    kpt4321 Long timer

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    Let's note that all of these things are examples of situations where you "need" a professional, because of the risk involved.
    #32
  13. FakeName

    FakeName Wile E Coyote SuperGenius

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    There is truth to this as well. It's pretty easy to choose images after they've been created, and in my profession, commercial photography, the standards are very different and offer a LITTLE more protection from the times a-changing.

    While Uncle Walt can buy an amazing camera and lens, spend a lot of time on luminouslandscape and dpreview learning the craft, he will unlikely be able to deliver consistent and reliable results under pressure at a specific time.

    If a corporation needs images of their manufacturing facility, their new clothing line, their time-strapped and fussy CEO, their new handheld medical device in a hospital environment, Uncle Walt will be pretty useless.

    So that part of the market is still reliant on those who understand the craft and the business. There are great risks in these examples- the amount of time and money invested to create images like these is not worth risking on Uncle Walt.
    #33