Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Pro Business Discussion => Topic started by: rethmeier on February 21, 2011, 04:08:20 pm

Title: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: rethmeier on February 21, 2011, 04:08:20 pm
Wallpaper City Guides is looking for shooters in Sydney.
Guess what the fees are they are offering?
Herewith the offer:

"Dear Willem,

I am the ************* of the Wallpaper* Magazine City Guides. The guides, published in association with Phaidon, present a tightly edited, discreetly packaged list of the most outstanding architecture and design from top cities around the world.
  
90 guides have already been released in England, and abroad, with further updates and translations in German, French and Japanese. We are currently commissioning photographers for the seventh set of guides, and I just wanted to check whether you would be interested in the possibility of shooting our next Sydney Guide.
  
To quickly sum up what the shoot would involve. The Shoot List will contain around 7 venues, usually less than this. It would mostly consist of interiors of hotels, bars, cafes, restaurants, shops and/ or spas and sports venues. We may also include some architecture, a skyline photograph showing major landmarks marked for the reader’s interest, and/ or possibly a local person who will give their top recommendations for the city.

We are working to very strict budgets for this project and there will be one total assignment fee of 250 GBP to include all expenses. At the moment, we are trying to find out who is free and interested and I understand that this would completely depend on your availability, and we have certain considerations at this end too, but if you think this is something that you might be interested in, please do let me know. We are looking at approximate dates of late February/ early March.

To see how the guides look, please visit http://www.phaidon.com/travel.  

Thank you,

Kind regards

••••••••••••••

••••••••••••••
Wallpaper* City Guides
Blue Fin Building
110 Southwark Street
London, SE1 0SU
+44 (0)20 •••••••••
www.wallpaper.com


[Edited to delete personal information]
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on February 21, 2011, 04:21:57 pm
It's supply and demand... there will always be someone quite happy to do it at this price (or any price... or even no price).
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: Rob C on February 21, 2011, 05:02:58 pm
There might even be an orderly queue.

;-(

Rob C
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: Steve Weldon on February 21, 2011, 05:17:54 pm
There are plenty of local photographers here who would line up for this one.

I get 4-5 requests each week who express outrage at my minimum charge and advise me I'll never make it here, go home, is my camera made of gold, and so forth.. and I'm sure my minimum is way below what most of you would work for.
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: feppe on February 21, 2011, 05:42:59 pm
At least it's "discreetly packaged" so no one knows you worked for them :P
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: professorgb on February 23, 2011, 03:58:15 pm
Even in these times of proliferating cameras and low fees, this is unbelievable.  That's at least a week's work, and it involves a diverse set of skills.

I looked at their web site and now I understand why they pay so little.
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: Kirk Gittings on February 23, 2011, 06:31:34 pm
just say "I work for hamburgers".
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: pixjohn on February 24, 2011, 09:01:41 pm
How do you think they can make good salaries, they use slave photographers.  I would think the travel time around the city would cost that much.
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: Doug Peterson on February 24, 2011, 09:59:56 pm
Even in these times of proliferating cameras and low fees, this is unbelievable.  That's at least a week's work, and it involves a diverse set of skills.

I looked at their web site and now I understand why they pay so little.

It's only a week's work if you have any desire/need to produce a quality product. I'm sure based on the level of pay offered that they will receive (and gladly accept) very mediocre work. From that stance a starving 1st year or 2nd year photo student with  could travel to and take half-assed photos at 8 locations in one day and would gladly accept their 250GBP.

You have to step outside of the role of photographer and think about the overall economic picture. If your business plan includes fighting for such low-end jobs where quality is not important you are surely doomed. High-end and medium-high-end photography are, from my vantage point (selling high-end camera systems) doing relatively well in the last 18 months while low-end and medium-low-end photography are utterly and without a doubt completely doomed to become a barely-scraping-by commodity occupation (if that is not already the case).

I think this is absolutely no different than any occupation which started with a technical  based barrier-to-entry at it's inception and has since become much easier to enter, but just as hard to be an expert. In the 90s you could make a small fortune just knowing HTML and basic server-setup. Now there are a million postings on several free-lance websites that offer 20 hour projects of web-programming for $200 - largely outsourced from India and the like. Does that mean that no one makes money in computer programming anymore? Heavens no; those with progressive skill sets and a good business mind can still make an extremely good living, but if you planned on making a living off of basic HTML and CSS then you're in for a rude awakening.

You must extend your skills and cliental past commodity skill requirements. Video, specialized equipment, specialized techniques (3D, video, scheimflug, compositing etc etc), unusual workflow efficiency, good use of next-gen advertising models like social media and email campaigns, extraordinary creativity, good old fashion people skills, all coupled with overall business savvy. Those are the people/business-models I see making lots of money right now - and trust me there are many making LOTS of money off of photography (more often than not they are names that have no public recognition whatsoever).

Of course I recognize that I, in actuality, know jack about any of this myself. My only knowledge is from a vantage point watching many of our customers and potential customers doing very well, and some not doing so well. So feel free to dismiss me as an armchair photo-business consultant - even though I feel I'm spot on.

Doug Peterson (e-mail Me) (doug@captureintegration.com)
__________________

Head of Technical Services, Capture Integration
Phase One Partner of the Year
Leaf, Leica, Cambo, Arca Swiss, Canon, Apple, Profoto, Broncolor, Eizo & More

National: 877.217.9870  |  Cell: 740.707.2183
Newsletter (http://"http://www.captureintegration.com/our-company/newsletters/") | RSS Feed (http://"http://www.captureintegration.com/2008/08/11/rss-feeds/")
Buy Capture One 6 at 10% off (http://"http://www.captureintegration.com/phase-one/buy-capture-one/")
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: D_Clear on February 24, 2011, 11:14:09 pm
Doug,

I continue to be impressed by your ability to analyze and explain some of the important issues we professionals face today.

DC

www.dermotcleary.com
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: fredjeang on February 27, 2011, 03:24:55 pm
It's only a week's work if you have any desire/need to produce a quality product. I'm sure based on the level of pay offered that they will receive (and gladly accept) very mediocre work. From that stance a starving 1st year or 2nd year photo student with  could travel to and take half-assed photos at 8 locations in one day and would gladly accept their 250GBP.

You have to step outside of the role of photographer and think about the overall economic picture. If your business plan includes fighting for such low-end jobs where quality is not important you are surely doomed. High-end and medium-high-end photography are, from my vantage point (selling high-end camera systems) doing relatively well in the last 18 months while low-end and medium-low-end photography are utterly and without a doubt completely doomed to become a barely-scraping-by commodity occupation (if that is not already the case).

I think this is absolutely no different than any occupation which started with a technical  based barrier-to-entry at it's inception and has since become much easier to enter, but just as hard to be an expert. In the 90s you could make a small fortune just knowing HTML and basic server-setup. Now there are a million postings on several free-lance websites that offer 20 hour projects of web-programming for $200 - largely outsourced from India and the like. Does that mean that no one makes money in computer programming anymore? Heavens no; those with progressive skill sets and a good business mind can still make an extremely good living, but if you planned on making a living off of basic HTML and CSS then you're in for a rude awakening.

You must extend your skills and cliental past commodity skill requirements. Video, specialized equipment, specialized techniques (3D, video, scheimflug, compositing etc etc), unusual workflow efficiency, good use of next-gen advertising models like social media and email campaigns, extraordinary creativity, good old fashion people skills, all coupled with overall business savvy. Those are the people/business-models I see making lots of money right now - and trust me there are many making LOTS of money off of photography (more often than not they are names that have no public recognition whatsoever).

Of course I recognize that I, in actuality, know jack about any of this myself. My only knowledge is from a vantage point watching many of our customers and potential customers doing very well, and some not doing so well. So feel free to dismiss me as an armchair photo-business consultant - even though I feel I'm spot on.

Doug Peterson (e-mail Me) (doug@captureintegration.com)
__________________

Head of Technical Services, Capture Integration
Phase One Partner of the Year
Leaf, Leica, Cambo, Arca Swiss, Canon, Apple, Profoto, Broncolor, Eizo & More

National: 877.217.9870  |  Cell: 740.707.2183
Newsletter (http://"http://www.captureintegration.com/our-company/newsletters/") | RSS Feed (http://"http://www.captureintegration.com/2008/08/11/rss-feeds/")
Buy Capture One 6 at 10% off (http://"http://www.captureintegration.com/phase-one/buy-capture-one/")

I agree Doug.
Also, the art market in photography is having good time and prices are better or closer to painting. It's because it's not considered any more by the merchants as a secondary art but fully accepted as fine art. Each year, in the biggest art fairs there are more and more photographic works even in serious galleries that normally worked with painters.
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: tcphoto1 on February 28, 2011, 10:17:40 am
Of course they have published over 90 guides, with content fee's so low they can keep rolling them out as fast as their little interns can edit images and write content. They are pitching their guides to business owners as an inexpensive marketing tool, selling ads and have little production costs. Personally, I would leave it to the housewives and students to shoot because they don't know about the value of images and they think that getting published alone is an honor.
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on February 28, 2011, 10:51:55 am
... I would leave it to the housewives and students to shoot because they don't know about the value of images...

The value of images is what the market says it is, and as of lately, that is not much.
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: fredjeang on February 28, 2011, 11:59:12 am
The value of images is what the market says it is, and as of lately, that is not much.
Absolutly.
There is an overcrowded marketplace. With the incredible massification of photography and video, the access to basic editing for everyone and the diffusion facilities, the volume of "good enouh" and even "indeed good" pictures is such that the value is close to zero. An average pro now does not that much better than what you see in Flickr. In fact I even saw top images over the internet in non-pro websites made by week-end shooters. (if they will be able to reproduce such a level on a regular basis is another story I won't come in because I do not know)

But there is still a value, and a high one, on the top. Averageness is not possible any more for making a living because it's there for free. We need to work hard on reaching a unique look, and the plus that makes people want to call you. As Doug pointed with the html saga, it's the end where people could make a living with a few html and css stuff. But on the top of the programmers, they are paied very well beleive me. Also, the responsability aspect, the legal aspect.
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: Peter McLennan on February 28, 2011, 11:01:31 pm
I used to command a pretty good day rate.  Now, I work for sausage.  Really.  My neighbour makes the BEST garlic sausage, ever.  I take pictures of his kids, he gives me sausage.  Works out just fine.  ;D
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: Andrew Krucko on March 17, 2011, 11:38:29 pm
It's only a week's work if you have any desire/need to produce a quality product. I'm sure based on the level of pay offered that they will receive (and gladly accept) very mediocre work. From that stance a starving 1st year or 2nd year photo student with  could travel to and take half-assed photos at 8 locations in one day and would gladly accept their 250GBP.

You have to step outside of the role of photographer and think about the overall economic picture. If your business plan includes fighting for such low-end jobs where quality is not important you are surely doomed. High-end and medium-high-end photography are, from my vantage point (selling high-end camera systems) doing relatively well in the last 18 months while low-end and medium-low-end photography are utterly and without a doubt completely doomed to become a barely-scraping-by commodity occupation (if that is not already the case).

I think this is absolutely no different than any occupation which started with a technical  based barrier-to-entry at it's inception and has since become much easier to enter, but just as hard to be an expert. In the 90s you could make a small fortune just knowing HTML and basic server-setup. Now there are a million postings on several free-lance websites that offer 20 hour projects of web-programming for $200 - largely outsourced from India and the like. Does that mean that no one makes money in computer programming anymore? Heavens no; those with progressive skill sets and a good business mind can still make an extremely good living, but if you planned on making a living off of basic HTML and CSS then you're in for a rude awakening.

You must extend your skills and cliental past commodity skill requirements. Video, specialized equipment, specialized techniques (3D, video, scheimflug, compositing etc etc), unusual workflow efficiency, good use of next-gen advertising models like social media and email campaigns, extraordinary creativity, good old fashion people skills, all coupled with overall business savvy. Those are the people/business-models I see making lots of money right now - and trust me there are many making LOTS of money off of photography (more often than not they are names that have no public recognition whatsoever).


The only thing is that they approached a top level photographer, not a second year student or similar.  This to me indicates they want very good work but are not willing to pay for it.

cheers

kand
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: donaldt on March 19, 2011, 08:19:58 am
come on guys
must be a typo missing an zero
no?
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: Doug Peterson on March 20, 2011, 11:41:50 am
The only thing is that they approached a top level photographer, not a second year student or similar.  This to me indicates they want very good work but are not willing to pay for it.

Or it indicates that the cost in time/money to approach a photographer by email using a form-email with only the name changed is extremely low.

This is the pro business equivalent of junk email. Very likely they didn't even know who Willem was or what quality of work they could expect from him. Rather they likely emailed an entire database of photographer email addresses in a shotgun approach, compiled a list of those who responded with interest, and from that list browsed work to see who could produce the best work.

Also: just look at www.wallpaper.com to see what such cheapness buys you. It looks like they invest as much in web design as they do photography.

Doug Peterson (e-mail Me) (doug@captureintegration.com)
__________________

Head of Technical Services, Capture Integration
Phase One Partner of the Year
Leaf, Leica, Cambo, Arca Swiss, Canon, Apple, Profoto, Broncolor, Eizo & More

National: 877.217.9870  |  Cell: 740.707.2183
Newsletter (http://"http://www.captureintegration.com/our-company/newsletters/") | RSS Feed (http://"http://www.captureintegration.com/2008/08/11/rss-feeds/")
Buy Capture One 6 at 10% off (http://"http://www.captureintegration.com/phase-one/buy-capture-one/")
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: rethmeier on March 20, 2011, 04:41:35 pm
To be honest,
they knew who I was.
She called me that night as well.
Regards,
Willem.
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: fredjeang on March 20, 2011, 05:03:10 pm
The other day I've lunch with a (big) top model and a stylist. She was telling the last offer she had for a 3 days shooting in the Bahamas for a big brand: 3000 euros ! (net price), they changed the photographer who was supposed to be ....(a big fish) for a young guy that they knew, had some relations and costs nothing.

Yesterday, I went pass a big mall with the sales. They had this 10meters ad on the outside and it was so hugly, so badly done. I know who is normaly the photographer who works for this brand, a very good one. Looking at that it could not be him. Then I phoned and they told me that "Y" does not work any more for them, too expensive.



Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on March 20, 2011, 05:08:38 pm
The other day I've lunch with a (big) top model and a stylist. She was telling the last offer she had for a 3 days shooting in the Bahamas for a big brand: 3000 euros ! (net price)...

Pardon my ignorance (of the industry), but is that too much or too little?

Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: fredjeang on March 20, 2011, 05:12:57 pm
For the model involved, the budget and the brand it's a joke. It just depends. It could be a lot or very little.
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: fredjeang on March 20, 2011, 05:37:30 pm
I  was having something to eat and back. Think that a top model carreer is very similar to a football player. It's a short carreer at the top. To give you an idea, a Gisele Bundchen "weights" 25 000 000 dollards revenues.
You can reasonably establish that an international top model average revenue is 5000000 euros/year. (from 2 to 30) This is the very top right? then...it goes down at the speed of light.
Most of the models are at 10euros/hour wich is the "smic" or "salario mνnimo"

ps: I saw some sources that Bundchen would have make more than 30 000 000 in a year but I doubt about the seriousness of those sources and can confirm with confidence the 25 000 000 in a year.

In the industry here to a basic level, a commercial photographer (with study) can expect without being known about 2000 euros net/month. It climbs according to the reputation. One pic is about 2000-4000euros with a background, but hey, those are indicatives and it can fluctuates a lot.

Now with the "new economy" it's a mess.

The other day I've been giving 300euros per hour for a (really) boring stuff. I considered well paid for what it was. I only had to press the shutter. Then, I've been contacted by a record company to do a 5min movie with editing for 200euros in available light. I laughed at their face. I realised later that experienced videographers where cuying for the assignment. On the cheap it's a nightmare. Even if you are reasonably talented it's just imposible to do something that will not end into an horror. What do they do? Chromas and After effects with a kitch tint but it works. 2 days of editing and send in 720. No thanks.

The trap is that you can't use this material for your porfolio unless you want to ruin your chances but then your name can easily be associated to the cheap. You can't even enhance your skills. You loose in every aspects. Avoid those things. Better earning life doing something else and keep safe the photography, build a serious book away from the cheap.

As we say in french: c'est le bordel ! (it's the brothel=the mess)
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: feppe on March 20, 2011, 06:21:11 pm
I  was having something to eat and back. Think that a top model carreer is very similar to a football player. It's a short carreer at the top. To give you an idea, a Gisele Bundchen "weights" 25 000 000 dollards revenues.
You can reasonably establish that an international top model average revenue is 5000000 euros/year. (from 2 to 30) This is the very top right? then...it goes down at the speed of light.
Most of the models are at 10euros/hour wich is the "smic" or "salario mνnimo"

You hit the nail on the head. To continue the football analogy, Gisele and Adriana compare to Ronaldo and Messi, while mail catalog models are players deep in the divisions - and far more numerous. There are very few models who are worth seven figures, but they are the ones in the news and skew our perception of the business.

It's the same in many other industries, though.
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: Doug Peterson on March 20, 2011, 06:44:49 pm
To be honest,
they knew who I was.
She called me that night as well.
Regards,
Willem.

That is indeed disturbing then.

Emailing a blind list of photographers in a database would be understandable - I liked when I could believe that guess at the background to your story. But calling up an ace and offering them that pittance seems just downright weird.

Out of curiosity how did the rest of that conversation go? Was she just swinging for the fences? Was it a low-ball opening offer with enough flexibility to make a more reasonable offer? Or did she just honestly expect that someone like you would even remotely consider that level of compensation?

Thanks for the clarification.

Doug Peterson (e-mail Me) (doug@captureintegration.com)
__________________

Head of Technical Services, Capture Integration
Phase One Partner of the Year
Leaf, Leica, Cambo, Arca Swiss, Canon, Apple, Profoto, Broncolor, Eizo & More

National: 877.217.9870  |  Cell: 740.707.2183
Newsletter (http://"http://www.captureintegration.com/our-company/newsletters/") | RSS Feed (http://"http://www.captureintegration.com/2008/08/11/rss-feeds/")
Buy Capture One 6 at 10% off (http://"http://www.captureintegration.com/phase-one/buy-capture-one/")
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: rethmeier on March 21, 2011, 01:12:10 am
Doug,
she asked me,if I could do it for 350 GBP and that's including expenses,like taxi etc.
There were 6 locations,probably 6 to 8 images per location.
I told ,I would make an exception and do it for 2000 GBP, as I assumed it would take me 2 days and a 1000 GBP is not bad for that sort of style of photography.

She said she could probably pay me 450 GBP.

I told her I had to decline the offer,

It makes you wonder.

Willem.
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: adammork on March 21, 2011, 04:55:26 am
Or did she just honestly expect that someone like you would even remotely consider that level of compensation?

She sure did - we are talking about WALLPAPER here - they have had a HUGE impact of the world of design, architecture, Lifestyle and to some extend fashion here in Europe. Maybe not so much these day, but 5-10 years ago a designer/architect would give away their firstborn for a 3 line notice in the Wallpaper magazine - they could literally create a designer (not talking about fashion here, I don't have a clue about that) if the wanted. So they are a used to get everything for free or close to - I'm not saying it's right - it's not!! but that's the way it is.

at that time it had quite an edge over all other magazines, by a fair margin, in that genre - in the quality of layout and graphic's everybody looked at Wallpaper and what they did and what they said.

You may dislike the appearance of their website - but you can be sure of one thing - Wallpaper is not doing anything that's not hot - they was used to that they defined what was hot or not - they maybe still are to some extend to the broader mass.

The founder of Wallpaper created some years ago a new magazine Monocle, http://www.monocle.com, it all so have a great impact - it have more content and less surface.

The architectural magazine that is on the top amongst architects is at the moment Mark, www.mark-magazine.com they also have a very different approach to layout and content than the typical american architectural magazine.

It's maybe a cultural thing - and I'm not trying to open up the discussion on european vs. american architectural photography - not this time  ;)

Let me say it again - I'm very found of the idea that client's should pay real money for real work!

/adam

 
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: asf on March 21, 2011, 09:56:10 am
Mr. Mork is right.

But Wallpaper City Guides is not exactly Wallpaper Magazine, and likely has even less budget. Neither pays much for photos, esp the last few years. Nor does Monocle for that matter. Or any UK mag I'm aware of.
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: rethmeier on March 22, 2011, 04:20:16 pm
I had some images published in Wallpaper ages ago and they actually paid an o.k page rate.
That's was when Tyler Brulee still owned it.
The problem one is LOFT.
Either they pay you peanuts for usage or after publication they cry poor and don't pay at all.
I'm still waiting for Invoices from 2007
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on March 22, 2011, 08:43:58 pm
... Think that a top model carreer is very similar to a football player. It's a short carreer at the top. To give you an idea, a Gisele Bundchen "weights" 25 000 000 dollards revenues.
You can reasonably establish that an international top model average revenue is 5000000 euros/year. (from 2 to 30) This is the very top right? then...it goes down at the speed of light.
Most of the models are at 10euros/hour wich is the "smic" or "salary mνnimo"...

Fred, I was looking into something else when I bumped into this statistic: in my lifetime, the Earth population has not only doubled, but almost tripled! That's the last 50 years of human existence, and there are more than four billion people MORE than there was 50 years ago. From 2.8 billion to seven!  That is one huge human inflation. Inflation of people means inflation of models and inflation of photographers too. Couple that with the fall of Soviet Union and the unrestricted access to all the millions of beautiful girls from the former Eastern Block, free to travel and model in the West, and you will understand the model inflation even better. That's the supply side.

On the demand side, however, not much has changed. There is only one spot at the top, no matter how wide the pyramid is at its base. There is only one #1. Now, as before, there are only two major fashion centers in the world: Paris and New York. Now, as before, there is only one Vogue and the handful of other high-end fashion magazines on the demand side. Add to this the new, digital technology that made almost everyone a photographer, and you would understand the inflation of photographers too. This is the disbalance of  supply and demand that is driving the huge payouts for those at the top of the pyramid, and "salarios minimos" at the bottom. And the "mess" is only getting bigger and bigger ;)
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: fredjeang on March 23, 2011, 03:59:59 am
You hit a crucial point. This planet is absolutly overcrowded. It's a plague. If the human race is not able to control it's inflation this planet will become very soom unbearable and the race will be erased in a way or another.

In such numbers, the individual is reduced to nothing. Carreers have zero importance. I guess that the Chaplin intuition was in fact a prediction.

That has direct impact on the business itself and the rules and ways things are moving.

You can object that in the case of photography business, the population inflation is giving more volume but it does not happen that way because as you point there is a broken balance between supply-demand.

Yes indeed. The mess is getting bigger and bigger.
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: PatrikR on March 23, 2011, 04:48:12 pm
Digital took a way the fear of failure of the films latent image.

So what's there left to know for it being a profession? Not much...
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: fredjeang on March 23, 2011, 05:15:13 pm
Digital took a way the fear of failure of the films latent image.

So what's there left to know for it being a profession? Not much...
I think this profession has to reinvent itself.
Digital brings new horizons and imagery that was impossible with film. Motion is not any more an option and new ways of displaying editorials and advertising will bring new needs.
Also I think that the legal aspect, the commitment with client will be more key than ever.
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: Christoph C. Feldhaim on March 23, 2011, 06:07:50 pm
You hit a crucial point. This planet is absolutly overcrowded. It's a plague. If the human race is not able to control it's inflation this planet will become very soom unbearable and the race will be erased in a way or another.

Two planets meet:
Planet A: You look terrible. Whats up with you? Sick?
Planet B: The doctor said I have Homo Sapiens ...
Planet A: Don't worry! Thats just transient ....

 :P
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: feppe on March 23, 2011, 06:44:33 pm
Two planets meet:
Planet A: You look terrible. Whats up with you? Sick?
Planet B: The doctor said I have Homo Sapiens ...
Planet A: Don't worry! Thats just transient ....

 :P

I'm not a misanthrope like most people seem to be here, but that made me lol.
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: D_Clear on March 23, 2011, 10:20:05 pm
I had some images published in Wallpaper ages ago and they actually paid an o.k page rate.
That's was when Tyler Brulee still owned it.
The problem one is LOFT.
Either they pay you peanuts for usage or after publication they cry poor and don't pay at all.
I'm still waiting for Invoices from 2007


Editorial is editorial, if you choose to shoot that area of the market you have hopefully come to terms with the budgets. Hopefully you've given it some thought, rationalized the benefits against the low rates - and those benefits can be game changing if it's the right editorial and the timing in every photographer's career.

To admit you are still waiting for invoices from 2007 is more of a statement about how you run your business and the amount of intestinal fortitude you possess then it is about the publisher. If the publication agree they owe you those fees from 2007, I bet I could get it for you in two weeks, maybe less.

DC
www.dermotcleary.com
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: PatrikR on March 24, 2011, 02:29:50 am
I think this profession has to reinvent itself.
Digital brings new horizons and imagery that was impossible with film. Motion is not any more an option and new ways of displaying editorials and advertising will bring new needs.
Also I think that the legal aspect, the commitment with client will be more key than ever.

The other problem is that photography is a very very popular hobby now. It's something people do for fun and the cost of producing an image no longer exists since all you need is a camera. Also most of the craft in our profession was donated away with the transition to digital. Darkroom was a "nasty" place and printing color was something that required very special skill and was quite time consuming to learn. It took years to have the skill to say how to correct a color print but almost everybody can perform such tasks in photoshop if there is even need for that anymore.

The science and secrets of our trade become common knowledge with the internet's tutorials, cheap digital cameras and hacked copies of Photoshop.

Nobody buys a guitar and immediately expect being a rock star while it seems that just owning a digital camera qualifies anybody being a professional.

Digital is wonderful but unfortunately it's way too cheap and easy. This aspect makes it a bad profession. When something is so easy why not do it yourself and besides it's not like vacuuming which also is easy but most people hate. The photography will probably be divided in to the very high end and to the low end where the careers do not matter.

Amateurs ask me all the time should they buy the new Canon L lens? Would it make them a better photographer. The kit lens is so poor and so on. This happens all the time. No matter where I go. There's camera crazyness everywhere and people invest a lot of money in to these systems. But I tell them as a professional I would check the bargain section. It makes no sense to bring 50.000 euros worth of gear to shoot a 200 euro assignment.

Atleast and exciting and very honest thread!
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: asf on March 24, 2011, 05:00:02 pm

To admit you are still waiting for invoices from 2007 is more of a statement about how you run your business and the amount of intestinal fortitude you possess then it is about the publisher. If the publication agree they owe you those fees from 2007, I bet I could get it for you in two weeks, maybe less.

DC
www.dermotcleary.com

 
Do you have a legal team in Spain?
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: asf on March 24, 2011, 05:09:35 pm

Amateurs ask me all the time should they buy the new Canon L lens? Would it make them a better photographer. The kit lens is so poor and so on. This happens all the time. No matter where I go. There's camera crazyness everywhere and people invest a lot of money in to these systems. But I tell them as a professional I would check the bargain section. It makes no sense to bring 50.000 euros worth of gear to shoot a 200 euro assignment.


On the bright side, I rarely rent backup bodies when shooting on location these days as half the people who stop to ask what we're filming or what equip I'm using have the same (or better) camera as I do. My asst asks them to hang around in case ours goes down ...
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: D_Clear on March 24, 2011, 10:44:02 pm

Do you have a legal team in Spain?

Ah, I can see you have a wonderful gift for exaggeration.... Just to clarify - we are talking about a magazine invoice, not an investment bank collapse correct?

I am based in Toronto and have had to pursue payment on every continent, I have always been paid including unauthorized usage (hello Irish Guardian) and shocking as it may seem - without the benefit of a 'legal team'.

Any of us who do not properly paper our assignments with copyright license contingent on payment-in-full, are really not minding the store.

Dc

www.dermotcleary.com
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: asf on March 25, 2011, 09:02:09 am
Ah, I can see you have a wonderful gift for exaggeration.... Just to clarify - we are talking about a magazine invoice, not an investment bank collapse correct?

I am based in Toronto and have had to pursue payment on every continent, I have always been paid including unauthorized usage (hello Irish Guardian) and shocking as it may seem - without the benefit of a 'legal team'.

Any of us who do not properly paper our assignments with copyright license contingent on payment-in-full, are really not minding the store.

Dc

www.dermotcleary.com


Exaggeration? How so?

Have you had success collecting from a company in Spain or with the company rethmeier is having trouble with?

Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: TMARK on March 25, 2011, 04:22:57 pm
D-Clear,

Damn Dermot, show us how its done.  Step by step.  Seriously.  I want to know. 

Set up:  you finish a shoot, used the advance for expenses, paid your crew out of pocket, delivered the job, submitted the invoice. 

Invoice is good to go, as agreed.  On it is usage, expenses uncovered by the advance.  About $3800.  Terms are 20 days.  License doesn't transfer until payments received. 

Its day 30, magazine is at the printer.

What do you do at this point.
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: D_Clear on March 25, 2011, 10:44:59 pm
D-Clear,

Damn Dermot, show us how its done.  Step by step.  Seriously.  I want to know. 

Set up:  you finish a shoot, used the advance for expenses, paid your crew out of pocket, delivered the job, submitted the invoice. 

Invoice is good to go, as agreed.  On it is usage, expenses uncovered by the advance.  About $3800.  Terms are 20 days.  License doesn't transfer until payments received. 

Its day 30, magazine is at the printer.

What do you do at this point.

Happy-to.

So I can understand the particulars of your situation;

- Where are you based, where did the shoot take place?
- Where is the magazine published, where is the head office for the publisher and if different, where is the editorial office located that assigned you?
- Is the publication still in business, have they restructured since the project you shot?
- Did you register the copyright on the images you created for them anywhere?
- Was the work published, if-so when?
- Did the publication issue a P.O. or provide an assignment contract of any kind? If-so what are their terms of payment?
- Did you provide the publication with an assignment contract, if-so did you get it signed-off?
- Have they given you any specific reason as to why you have not been paid?

DC

www,dermotcleary.com


Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: TMARK on March 26, 2011, 12:04:23 am
I'm asking, not really for myself as I don't really shoot stills anymore, but as an example for the readers.  The hypothetical I gave happened to me over and over again.  It wasn't that I was never paid, it was that editorial always paid very, very late.  Hachette publications paid on time, but Conde NEVER paid without problems.  Only Vibe stiffed me, straight up.

In any case, lets assume the typical Conde Nast situation:

- Where are you based, where did the shoot take place? 
NY, NY.

- Where is the magazine published, where is the head office for the publisher and if different, where is the editorial office located that assigned you?
NY

- Is the publication still in business, have they restructured since the project you shot? 
Yes

- Did you register the copyright on the images you created for them anywhere?
CD to the Copyright Office with a check, pre publication.  Copyright on all metadata with scope of license.

- Was the work published, if-so when?
Any minute now.

- Did the publication issue a P.O. or provide an assignment contract of any kind? If-so what are their terms of payment?
My paper, which is really their old paper, with payment dates and copyright transfer terms modified to favor me.  This was part of the problem, as new PE's moved in they wanted me to use their new contracts which were/are abusive.  The machinery for paying invoices was geared to 90 - 120 days, which was the new contract, versus 20 days on my invoice.  I was tired of being their bank.

- Did you provide the publication with an assignment contract, if-so did you get it signed-off?
My paper, signed off every time.  Terms usually ignored, only key items such as license/scope of delivery/and amounts were ever honored.

- Have they given you any specific reason as to why you have not been paid?
You name it, I've heard it.

How would you handle this situation? 

Now that I think about it, my problems were always solved with patience and sugar, which got me additional editorial and usually got me paid within 60 days.  I managed the process through shame, politics, and over drinks.  The more interesting situation is where you don't want to shoot for them again and they haven't paid at all, and they have exceeded the license.  How did you handle the Irish Guardian or Times?  Lets hear about that. 
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: D_Clear on March 26, 2011, 02:38:29 pm
I'm asking, not really for myself as I don't really shoot stills anymore, but as an example for the readers.  The hypothetical I gave happened to me over and over again.  It wasn't that I was never paid, it was that editorial always paid very, very late.  Hachette publications paid on time, but Conde NEVER paid without problems.  Only Vibe stiffed me, straight up.

In any case, lets assume the typical Conde Nast situation:

- Where are you based, where did the shoot take place? 
NY, NY.

- Where is the magazine published, where is the head office for the publisher and if different, where is the editorial office located that assigned you?
NY

- Is the publication still in business, have they restructured since the project you shot? 
Yes

- Did you register the copyright on the images you created for them anywhere?
CD to the Copyright Office with a check, pre publication.  Copyright on all metadata with scope of license.

- Was the work published, if-so when?
Any minute now.

- Did the publication issue a P.O. or provide an assignment contract of any kind? If-so what are their terms of payment?
My paper, which is really their old paper, with payment dates and copyright transfer terms modified to favor me.  This was part of the problem, as new PE's moved in they wanted me to use their new contracts which were/are abusive.  The machinery for paying invoices was geared to 90 - 120 days, which was the new contract, versus 20 days on my invoice.  I was tired of being their bank.

- Did you provide the publication with an assignment contract, if-so did you get it signed-off?
My paper, signed off every time.  Terms usually ignored, only key items such as license/scope of delivery/and amounts were ever honored.

- Have they given you any specific reason as to why you have not been paid?
You name it, I've heard it.

How would you handle this situation? 

Now that I think about it, my problems were always solved with patience and sugar, which got me additional editorial and usually got me paid within 60 days.  I managed the process through shame, politics, and over drinks.  The more interesting situation is where you don't want to shoot for them again and they haven't paid at all, and they have exceeded the license.  How did you handle the Irish Guardian or Times?  Lets hear about that. 



I was under the impression we would actually be helping to get the unpaid invoice from Loft of 2007 settled, which would be a great thread to be a part of, something practically useful and not just armchair expertize.
For an editorial collection problem each one is too specific for hypothetical examples in my experience.

Based on your comments I will put it to you that there are expectations which need to be managed on the part of every photographer entering into an editorial assignment these days.

1. Yes in practical terms you are the bank, get used to it
2. Long payment terms are the rule, with some rare exceptions, blame corporate governance
3. Agreements are frequently rewritten to reflect changing times, this usually means a tilt in their favor.
4. Some publications hold the view they (may) never pay

As you said, you got tired of this arrangement and it sounds as though you no longer do editorial, we all have that choice it's up to each of us to make our own decisions accordingly.

Regarding the Irish invoice, it was an unusual situation because I had never shot for them, they appropriated an image I had shot previously for a feature in the London Telegraph Magazine - who BTW paid on time, every time.

I saw my work in the Irish publication and contacted them, by this time the portrait in question was very valuable to me as the subject indicated it was his favorite and it was licensed in many countries. So I felt it was important to deal with unauthorized usage firmly.

To make a long story short it took several months of them stalling and dodging me to a ridiculous degree, but I was paid. This was after making clear that I would take legal action - which I was absolutely prepared to do.
I also pointed out that I would publicize the incident in every means possible, including to all of their advertisers - which I would have done no question.

In general, I am told that I'm pretty good at collecting invoices, there is no secret recipe except maybe to properly attend to the business side of the shoot in advance and be prepared to play hard if it gets to that point. I find a lot of photographers to be afraid of the consequences if they go hard at those few clients who really deserve it. I also have seen photographers set aside common sense when a smallish publication from halfway around the world with a brutally long list of unpaid photographers calls for a shoot.

My view is simple, the images are my property, if an unintentional oversight occurred which delayed my invoice, or if there are unforeseen circumstances which precipitate longer terms then what was mutually agreed, then lets work it out.

If on the other hand I come to the conclusion it was a business strategy to not pay me, or pay me at some vague-maybe date in the future, then I will hit them with everything I've got until I am paid, including the individuals involved if necessary.

Ask anyone who knows me


DC
www.dermotcleary.com
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: ziocan on April 23, 2011, 08:17:48 am

Amateurs ask me all the time should they buy the new Canon L lens?

Unless the question come from a very good friend, the answer is always yes.
Spend those lunch money!
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: Graham Mitchell on May 02, 2011, 02:38:56 am
I'm surprised that anyone is shocked by Willem's story - it's normal practice these days to offer photographers nothing or actually ask them to pay to work.

A few days ago I was offered a 6-page spread in a South African magazine. The editor wrote to me "I've also looked over your website - it's very impressive. I'm a keen photographer myself so I have a very good understanding of what it takes to get these kind of shots....Looking at your work I can tell that you are way more creative than most of the other guys I work with and it's quite refreshing to see your creativity."

I asked what the budget was, so I could come up with a concept that matched. The answer? $400. I asked if this was just the photography fee, or did it include location scouting, locations fees, prop scouting, prop fees, wardrobe stylist, assistant, hair and make up, equipment rental, photographer's assistant, travel costs and retouching (he was supplying the model). Yes, you guessed it - the price was all inclusive. He expected me to work for a week and make a loss (and no, the female bodybuilder I was asked to shoot would NOT have worked in my folio!)

So I replied that if he wanted me to do the shoot for that price, I would just head to the nearest beach with the model and shoot her there for 2 hours. In other words, the same boring stuff that he always gets. I wonder why. (And no, I never heard from him again, which is actually a relief).
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: fredjeang on May 02, 2011, 08:37:50 am
I'm surprised that anyone is shocked by Willem's story - it's normal practice these days to offer photographers nothing or actually ask them to pay to work.

A few days ago I was offered a 6-page spread in a South African magazine. The editor wrote to me "I've also looked over your website - it's very impressive. I'm a keen photographer myself so I have a very good understanding of what it takes to get these kind of shots....Looking at your work I can tell that you are way more creative than most of the other guys I work with and it's quite refreshing to see your creativity."

I asked what the budget was, so I could come up with a concept that matched. The answer? $400. I asked if this was just the photography fee, or did it include location scouting, locations fees, prop scouting, prop fees, wardrobe stylist, assistant, hair and make up, equipment rental, photographer's assistant, travel costs and retouching (he was supplying the model). Yes, you guessed it - the price was all inclusive. He expected me to work for a week and make a loss (and no, the female bodybuilder I was asked to shoot would NOT have worked in my folio!)

So I replied that if he wanted me to do the shoot for that price, I would just head to the nearest beach with the model and shoot her there for 2 hours. In other words, the same boring stuff that he always gets. I wonder why. (And no, I never heard from him again, which is actually a relief).
Not surprised either about your story, whatever the location is. IMO it is not only the crisis but a deaper change in the comunication mediums and needs.

There is a reality in commercial photography and I'm quite surprised of the very little impact it has on the forum discutions.

Times are gone when a still photographer and its team where shooting with top models, heavy equipment and high budgets in the Bahamas with the 007 nonchalance any little campaign. The medium is obsolete, substandard, ready for the romantic museum.

Advertising is going to go more and more multimedia and interactive. And equipments cost less and less while their efficiency increase and that means that a photographer (and practises) as we knew it until now is not going to be profitable.

You need to be multitasks indeed, and the ones who (for conservatism or repultion) will resist to embrasse now video will be marginalised because what the market want is interactivity and mediums delivery.
Tasks, by the way, that can not be done by any good 300 euros snapper.

This is something that Michael Reichmann (to take an example) understood not today, but years ago and expressed many times. His intuition was right because he knows the market's evolution. Very little echoes within the comunity and now it's there.

I'm afraid thast the ones who don't see it, who can't adapt, will see more and more how true are those stories about "your work has 500euros of value" even if you are a genius of the still imagery.

And I'm afraid that the brands that don not want to embrasse those changes (Hello MF...) and put their engineer on the design boards in serious instead of increasing resolution will not survive the changes.

We need new devices, not those film age designs in a totally different world.

Yes, you need to be able to put on the table 20-50Mp of high quality still imagery + Red footage and high quality edited motion with a reduced team, equipment and whitin twice less time that you delivered just stills, then deliver many different formats for many different mediums (here for example for videos it is at least 5 formats for the same finished product). The commercial photographer is becoming an image maker in a large sense, has to be more prepared, knowing more aspects of the imagery because there is motion, it will be more like a chief orquestra.  Be prepared for that technically and artistically because the tendency is there and the budgets we knew for just one task are gone.

In less than a decade, we will shoot high quality raw still and motion imagery with the same device with very reduced lightning set, and probably we should get used of brands names like Red or Arri or Panasonic,  and special effects suite softwares will have a killer power to put army of high skilled technicians on the unemployment cues (and it's already happening). Any advertising campaign will be shooted by the same team and displayed in number of medias all interactive with the viewer. We'll have to tell stories. Not just the nice looking girl with the smoked background with stricking legs to sell a collection is not enough today. Interactive stories.

It's time to react, learning new things and put the resistance or orthodoxy into the bin.
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: Rob C on May 03, 2011, 09:18:09 am
Yes,  but who is doing the leading, who is calling the shots?

I sort of wonder if we might be seeing the results of photographer competition more than the results of client demand. It seems to me that the malaise started long ago (at least in the UK), when art schools and colleges began to do photo courses and sell the idea that photography was a common and acceptable way of making a living. It is not; it never was, and those in it in the past tended to be there for two main reasons: it was a family business; they couldnt live without doing it. A third reason was sometimes suggested, I used to think in jest, that also in the business were those who had failed at everything else.

The advent of the schools has, I really believe, bred a student who leaves so indoctrinated with the 'idea' of photography that he doesn't ever give sufficient thought to how it's going to make him money. As a consequence, he works for peanuts in the hope that that will open further doors to vast riches. The usual door it opens is to the labour exchange.

All technology does is make work possible. It was always there, and of itself isn't the monster. The monster is the idiot cutting his own throat and that of everbody else. Art buyers and designers were often people in their forties and older; today, I'm told they retire to pastures new in their twenties. What heritage of high expectations can they possibly have? In an age of instant gratification that need can only be achieved by supplying instant crap.

Now tell me the Golden Age was all in the mind...

Rob C
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: TMARK on May 03, 2011, 01:13:20 pm
Rob and Fred,

For most stills shooters, video is being offered and requested as an add on by people who don't understand the potential power of narrative.  In short, most its more glut being requested by art buyers/PE's or being given away by shooters who have already given away everything else, in one way or another.  So I would say the photographers looking for an edge are pushing video more than it is requested.  DISCLAIMER:  This applies to commercial and editorial.  Photo-J and docs are different.  And again, I say this is a generalization.  I know there are exceptions.

The understanding of narrative, effort, skill and expense required to shoot high quality motion is beyond many actors in the commercial stills industry.  Art buyers and photo editors don't understand narrative, the budgets, the time associated with producing compelling video.  The traditional stills shooters, in the main, don't get it either.  The viewing public is so inured to all forms of visual spam that they simply ignore most anything they don't seek out to view.  Nevertheless, everybody wants to offer motion, the result is (mainly) half assed BTS video or a still image that happens to move every once in a while. 

I think that the need for high quality, highly produced, high concept artistic images for commerce is the same as it was in 1990.  Now we have more people trying for those few spots, while the middle is gone, or is busy giving away what little they have, and in fact finding new things they can give away, like BTS videos.  I'm glad I left the industry when I did.  I've settled into producing commercials and being a DP.  Its a different world from the shark tank of hustling stills jobs in NYC.
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: Rob C on May 03, 2011, 04:01:48 pm
TMARK

I'm glad you've found your niche! I couldn't agree more about the differences between motion and stills, and I think that most of us really know within our heart of hearts just which type of photography is 'ours' and I wonder if trying to cover too much ground just spoils the individual's chances of shining at anything.

Quite a number of the 'big' names of London photography moved sideways and embraced the production of commercials - Bailey comes to mind as a huge example - and in fact if you find some of his writings here or there, you discover that he doesn't even think of himself as a fashion photographer at all... so that should tell the wannabe guys something! Assuming they have long memories, of course.

Rob C
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: fredjeang on May 03, 2011, 04:27:32 pm
TMARK,

I rarely feel in disagreement with you but this time I do. Although your description is exact to my eyes and also matches what I see, I extract a different perspective.

Yes, documentary, photo-J are not over exploiting video. I fully join you that the commercial-editorial (specially the editorial) video uses is more than enough, in its current form.
But the changes are IMO deeper than what you consider more as a continuity of quality need in 1990 than a real break. I smell that what is happening can be compared to the arrival of printing in the renaissance. I'm not sure I'm right, I admit, maybe as you point we are more or less in the same just that there are more people to share the same cake but I'm feeling deeper changes from the very roots. I'm not sure either we measure the impact of the current and short coming changes.

One of the very big difference is that the customer will not be passive any more but active. Campaigns will be build arround this fact and the use of multimedia, included video is not going to be in the same language than the cine narrative neither the useless craperies we are all seeing today. I think that today it is a transition moment where nobody seems to really know what to do and how.

Hollywood or big prods will probably keep exploiting 3D with structures that will be impossible for us, that is not this kind of high-end video I was thinking about.

The costs of production are really going down. Just take a look at what can be acheived by a 2000 euros Canon in available-light, a Red One or Arri Alexa. Not a long time ago it would have cost a fortune to access such imagery that can even be produced by a reduced team now with less cost than a 10 years old still campaign. It does not make anybody a Godard but it gives access to a kind of production that will indeed fully come into the photographer's task, specially in advertising campaigns.

The equipment is really incredible. I'm working now, for ex, on the script tool in Avid with a guy that is writing the scripts on a note-book and if I have 10 takes of the guy saying this or than sentence, the media will immediatly display the sequences so you can take and managed the best takes. The time saving is incredible and time is money in the wonderfull world of Homo-Sapiens and as Rob said, in an age of instant gratification .

Yes, the potential of narrative and being good at it requires a lot of training, learning curve, technical skills etc...it requires as I'm experimenting now, a lot of commitment, dedication, seriousness and years of practise. As you said. This is another story than mastering the C1 and Co fancy buttons and you don't even start to tell a story and that is the hardest. Some photographers won't make it properlly, others will shine. But who said it was easy and fast? At least it is more exiting and potentially creative than the pond where stills imagery is swiming today where the only preocupation seems to be incrementing the number of pixels and DR curves in outdated softwares and cameras and those pathetic lunchs with the make-up artist or the boss that spend all conversation complaining about how bad it is for the profession while they are having fun with their i.phone applications.

I agree that the current results in video are generally not very moving, but T, don't you honestly think that it happens in all? In painting, in dance, in cine, in photo, in fashion, arquitecture, social...we are bombed by an overdosis of everything except the things we would like to have. One of the niche I think they are really doing better is the documentary.

But after all, Recuenco shoots stills and motion for quite a long time now and is very good at both. A today's Loewe campaign done by the same team will cost much less and with much less people involved at equal quality and this tendency will grow.

But my point is that a tomorrow Loewe campaign will differs a lot of the Recuenco's. It will be interactive with the customer and will be displayed in different medias that will require that the team can managed professionally all the aspects. The lightning devices will be hybrid and manufacturers have already put into the market such products etc...I'm not guessing, it's there already.

Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: TMARK on May 03, 2011, 05:46:04 pm
Fred,

I don't think we disagree much, if at all.  I was really addressing the great majority of stills shooters trying to "pick up" video.  Recuenco and Nick Knight are exceptions.  I think the tools are there.  I can shoot a video for $25,000 that would have cost $150,000 - $200,000 just four years ago.  I think the problem is the technology is outpacing the tactics, to use a military analogy.  (The Battle of the Somme would have been a success before the machine gun and barbed wire were invented.  As it was, the Napoleonic tactics resulted in a machine age slaughter.)  I think it will shake out, but it will follow media.  It may be like the days of the printing press, but imagine that paper wasn't invented yet. 

The one point I have about interactive is this:  I've seen the numbers, I've talked to media planners, and interactive is NOT driving sales.  Motion on the web is NOT resulting in sales.  This is a problem, and led to some resignations at agencies, and cast a shadow over the "all digital" agency.  That is not to say there is no value, as interactive tends to build brand interest, but not nearly as effective as a GOOD stills campaign or GOOD commercial on the old TV.  This is right now, not the future. 

I've seen the future in the hands of skaters.  These kids produce these skate experiences, on the web, multimedia, with digital Canon Rebels and camcorders, then edit it all together on pirated software, make web sites and videos that are a little crude but really good.  These kids make little distinction between video, stills, web, multimedia, whatever.  That is where the future is going, but it will take a while to get there because the current structure of media isn't really there yet. 

About the Alexa:  Holy Shit it is a an amazing device.  No doubt about it.  The files LOOK like film, more like film than RED.  The ungraded footage looks great, the graded footage is amazing. 

Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: fredjeang on May 03, 2011, 07:04:09 pm
The one point I have about interactive is this:  I've seen the numbers, I've talked to media planners, and interactive is NOT driving sales.  Motion on the web is NOT resulting in sales.  This is a problem, and led to some resignations at agencies, and cast a shadow over the "all digital" agency.  That is not to say there is no value, as interactive tends to build brand interest, but not nearly as effective as a GOOD stills campaign or GOOD commercial on the old TV.  This is right now, not the future.  

I've seen the future in the hands of skaters.  These kids produce these skate experiences, on the web, multimedia, with digital Canon Rebels and camcorders, then edit it all together on pirated software, make web sites and videos that are a little crude but really good.  These kids make little distinction between video, stills, web, multimedia, whatever.  That is where the future is going, but it will take a while to get there because the current structure of media isn't really there yet.  

Totally agree with both paragraphs. I was also thinking of those skaters. But you are absolutly right, it will take a while.
The analogy with "la bataille de la Somme" is great.

The Alexa...aahhh...I soon (this summer) will start to edit ArriRaw in MC. I'll report the experience in the video section. I'm generally not excited by a device, but this one, I'm ready to go to the church and get married...to Alexa of course.
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: Rob C on May 04, 2011, 05:46:22 am
Brands, and why you select them seems to be the main driving force behind advertising - probably always will be - but even there we find strange backgrounds to the choices people can make.

Take Binaca toothpaste, for example. When I was a kid, Radio Ceylon use to run a music show called the Binaca Hit Parade where my young ears first picked up on Jo Stafford, Perry Como, many of those folks. Now that was around '53. We never bought Binaca products, but in the last couple of years since my wife died I have been buying Binaca toothpaste because the local supermarket stocks it. Why did I swap from family Colgate and habit? Memory; romantic notions of my past youth and the connotations of the musical experiences associated (only in my head) with the brand. What has logic to do with any of it?

My wife always swore that she was totally immune to advertising. She might have been, I could never really decide, but she was a very well educated girl, far more technically minded than I, and I suspect her motivations when confronted with multiple choices in a shop were based on looks, price and practicalities in whatever order was more important as determined by product.

On the matter of computer internet ads, I have disable the damned things as far as I know how, and they offend me very much indeed. This isn't to do with anything moral, of course, but with what I feel to be an almost inescapable intrusion into my peace and quiet. I resent that like hell: it's like somebody breaking into my home to hand me junk mail. I am certain that the end result of such intrusion is to crerate animosity towards a brand.

Rob C
Title: Re: How can this be worth doing? NOT
Post by: pschefz on June 01, 2011, 05:16:20 pm
willem, sorry to hear but it does not surprise me at all...
the problem is that they will find someone to do it...happily...wallpaper and phaidon are big names and everybody with a camera and a lot of time on their hands jumps on the opportunity to get somehow affiliated with those names....will it pay off for them?
the problem is that it has gone too far....when i started shooting in NY(and was still assisting) it was mostly little editorial assignments here and there that none of the people i assisted for wanted to do...but they always paid for my expenses (film and process was handled through labs conde nast or whoever had accounts with) and there was always a rate and no matter how small the image was it was at least $300 (early 90's)....compare that to today and the number willem was offered...which includes expenses and several days of work.....
it has actually become a common practice that photographers "pay" for editorials....they cover production,....
here (http://www.fashionphotographyblog.com/2009/09/ultrahip-magazine-flaunt/) is a funny/sad story/rant involving several people i know and several i have heard of...this is almost 2 years old now....

this is a race to the bottom and as long as photographers keep going lower and lower it will only get worse...