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So, you think YOU are a photographer? {a mini rant}

I got my hair done today by a new gal. She was great! We talked the entire time like we have known each other for years.  It was great to be able to talk to her about things that I don’t typically talk about to “strangers”, but somehow we both felt really comfortable talking to each other.  At least I did. 🙂

One of the things we discussed was photography and hair – both service oriented.  We were talking about how everyone and their brother is now becoming a “photographer”.  I use that term VERY loosely.  I find that when someone starts calling themselves a photographer, they feel they can charge more.  And looking at some “photographers”, I wonder why people would pay them in the first place.  It’s kinda sad if you ask me…

There could be two photographers both offering the same “package” BUT pricing one at $75 and the other at $125.  What will people choose 9 times out of 10?  The cheaper one!  So what does the “expensive” photographer do?  The one who has attended countless continuing education classes, invested in camera equipment, etc – all of which the “cheaper, start up photographer who wanted something to do in their spare time hasn’t done.  It’s crazy what’s going on out there right now.  So if the “expensive” photographer wants to be competitive, they must lower prices.  Making all their hard work for the not.  Well…rock/hard place.

There is a learning curve and I believe the more experience you gain (doing free work, experimenting, working with other photographers, going to classes, etc), the more you can offer your clients and the more you can charge.

It is getting quite cut throat in the photography industry, here locally to me I guess.  It’s so hard to be competitive and still make money.  That is what I’m trying to figure out for 2012.  Will I continue my photography journey or go elsewhere…

Not only the cut throat aspects, but when I take someone’s pictures, and then they go to someone else for the next round of picture – I can’t help but think I may have done something wrong?  That is some stress I really don’t want to be dealing with at this juncture of my life.  I love all the pictures that people pay for, and if I don’t like them, I re-shoot the session.  That’s just how I roll.  I can’t put my stamp on something I don’t love.

Being a photographer is more than JUST TAKING PICTURES.  Having a NICE camera does not make you a photographer either.  And to those that have said before, “WOW, your camera takes really. nice. pictures.”  That is an insult to a photographer  LOL!  Hello, it’s not the camera…most of the times.  I will say that a phenomenal camera CAN make the average picture taker look good, however, in most instances, the photographer deals with the set up, the camera setting, the this and that and the other thing!  It’s not the camera.  If you go and set your camera that you have at home on manual and then go take pictures, you tell me how good they turn out.  The person using the camera has to know what to do with it.  And if your photographer that you use now doesn’t, look elsewhere.  You shouldn’t have to pay for a product that you don’t love – especially in this industry right now with all the options out there!

But for now…be LOYAL to your photographer if you love him/her.  You never know what’s going on in their heads.  Last, if you love the pictures they took….TELL THEM!!  Please 🙂

I don’t know, maybe I will just take pictures of close friends and call it good.  Time will tell! Priorities are what I’m working on in 2012!! Stay tuned!

5 Comments

  • Jaime January 26, 2012

    WELL SAID SHANNON!!

    • Shannon January 29, 2012

      Thanks :0

  • DesignHER Momma January 27, 2012

    “you must have a really good editing software”….
    I kid.

    • Shannon January 29, 2012

      Funny 🙂

  • Becky Reavis January 27, 2012

    Shannon!
    I’ve totally noticed this too…
    And even though I wouldn’t consider myself a professional photographer (although I’d like to be one day..haven’t attempted anything but personal stuff for now)…I see people posting professional photography sessions, that I look at their pictures, and go, “Are you kidding me??” A couple of these are people I know! And I also know that they don’t even adjust ANYTHING with photoshop to edit, etc. … even if you’re a Fabulous photographer, there’s sooo many beautiful things you can add with textures, light adjustments, etc. …even just to give yourself some standout creativity… I can’t imagine not editing AT ALL.

    I live in a very small town at the moment, and when I see people lining up to have their “professional” pictures (even weddings!) by these people (even though some of the pictures turn out nice) …I want to scream, “PEOPLE! You don’t realize you’re happy eating sparkle ice cream, when there’s HAGENDAAZ out there! LOL

    Ok, that’m my ranting. lol
    I did read a very encouraging article from Handmade Success today about feeling like throwing in the towel on your creative business…here’s the link:
    http://handmadesuccess.com/2012/01/ready-to-throw-in-the-handmade-biz-towel-read-this-first/?utm_source=Handmade+Success+Newsletter&utm_campaign=e1a747c3e4-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email

    Have a LoVeLy Day,
    Becky

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