Price Can Be A Quality Indicator
You get what you pay for. PetaPixel posted a story about a wedding photography disaster. To summarize, a couple in the UK hired a wedding photographer, supposedly after checking out his work, and the pictures turned out to be really bad, in their opinion. They accused the photographer of focusing more on the bridesmaids than the bride, and of photographing their bodies too. In addition, they said a large number of the photos were out of focus. They hired this photographer for the US equivalent of $767.
Now, I’m not a wedding photographer. I’ve simply chosen not to focus on it for my own reasons. That said, I believe to do a wedding would take more than a full day. I wouldn’t just shoot the day of the wedding. Furthermore, on the day of the wedding, there should be multiple photographers. I believe it is a team thing. So, $767 is just the deposit, again in my opinion. It could be that’s all the couple could afford – maybe so. But, you do get what you pay for, regardless if that’s all you can afford or not. Now, we didn’t get to see all the photographer’s photos. So, while it’s not likely, maybe there are some stellar shots he captured. Then again, 500+ out-of-focus photos out of some 1,600 is excessive and complaining about the weather causing some issues is a hint about the level of aptitude.
It’s an unfortunate scenario to go through, for the couple and the photographer who apparently lost a lawsuit and quit his wedding photography services over it.
Been There, Not Done That
PetaPixel also has a recent story about a photographer that hired a Nigerian scammer and the scenario actually turned out positive. Not sure I’d do that. However, I too have had multiple experiences with overseas scammers.
The scenario usually goes like this… I receive an email asking about portraits for someone’s daughter. They want to give them a session as a gift – birthday, holidays, etc. So, they ask about rates and after finding out the scope of what they want, I provide them a couple of options. They come back and tell me the want to book the more expensive. They ask how they can go about paying the booking fee. I tell them to stop by or call to make the payment. This is where it starts to get obvious. It turns out the person is blind so, it’s not so easy to stop by.
So, call then.
Well, they live out of state and are also travelling internationally on business.
That’s okay, I’ll take your call at midnight and we can even Skype, so you don’t pay international call rates.
Then they ask if they can instead overnight me a “registered” check.
As a photographer, you have to be safe and certain you’ll get paid – as safe and certain as possible. So, practices are put in place to help ensure this and checks, especially registered ones, aren’t going to cut it. That this scenario has happened multiple times and once the second incident happens, you can bank that it’s a scam.
Why I Shoot
Fstoppers ran a story highlighting why some photographers are photographers – why do they do it. It naturally made me wonder the same. This can get complicated but, I consider myself someone who always tries to keep things as simple as possible. So, shoot for two reasons – I love it and it’s rewarding as an artist.
I shoot because I love it and I love it because I’m good at it and I’m good at it because I had positive reinforcement when I first started studying it.
Most of us tend to love doing what we’re good at (not trying to be egotistical, just confident). Back in high school, I felt my photography teacher took me under his wing. He would constantly enter my photographs into contests, and I won some here and there. He ended up convincing the principal that the school should hold a special assembly for everyone to attend, to showcase my photography on a big screen. It was awesome, rewarding and seriously confidence-building.
Today, when I do a shoot and a customer sends me back their selections, I look forward to popping it up on my screen. I’m in awe of the quality of the image, much of which can be credited to the gear. Many photographers I talk to dislike the post-production work. I love that part too. All of it is art, a chance to be creative but also technical. Using light and your camera, you get to transform a scene. Post production allows you to transform it again.
I still get excited about it every day. I think about it day and night, during lunch or dinner. I sometimes drift away into thought about it while watching TV, especially during a commercial, and for many years now. I hope it never ceases.