Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pay the Photographer

Some equine photographers passed this link (below) onto me. Its a great vent from a writer that strikes a chord with photographers as well. I can't tell you how many times a week I am asked to give my work away for free. For "photo credit". Last time I asked at the grocery store, no one was taking photo credit as legel tender.
Or this: "Photographer X lets me just buy a CD full of images and I can print out my own copies so how about you let me do that too. I'll leave your name on them."

I am not so sure I want my name on them after they have been printed by a non professional with uncalibrated equipment and possibly poor quality papers and inks. And since I am in the business of selling prints... retouched, straightened, color and contrast corrected, crafted images... remind me again, why would I want to do that?! *insert smiley face here*

Overall, equine photographers tend to make less than most other photographers in other industries for the same outlay in equipment, overhead education and skill. Its just a fact of life. Obviously we do what we do because we love it, but we would also like to make a living at it.
I think we do that to ourselves because equine photography appears to be a "profession" that allows beginners, to start a business with little more than a camera and a lens and go about setting their policies with little to no actual business training in how to maintain a sustainable business model. Its whacky, I tell ya! There is a culture clash of photographers that carry on their business as a profession and those that shoot a bit on the weekends for that quick buck. Its confusing to the customer, for sure. We photogs like to call it the Nordstrom vs Walmart syndrome. Don't get me wrong, there is room for both, but lets not mix them up and toss them into the same boat.

Anyway, enough spew from me, watch this video, its short and portrays an angry hollywood writer venting the frustration that so many of us photographers share. warning: he uses a couple of off color phrases.
Harlan Ellison:
Pay The Writer

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