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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Virtual photographer bullies

The business world is very competitive, no matter what kind of business you run. The business world of photography has grown over the years.

When I began my journey as a photographer, I was not aware of what was to become of photography. I'm not even sure if the craze had even hit. my father became a photographer after he retired and when he saw that I was struggling to find how to bring my creativity into a career, he suggested I try photography.

I ended up teaching myself, by reading and reading more, then practising and practising-then, practising even more. I worked hard to get to where I am today and I'm still learning. I think just as any craft learned, you always need to educate yourself.

I have been involved in the blogging world for many years as well. More years than I have been a photographer. I've witness the cattiness with mom bloggers. The mean girls. The popular girls (are these the same?) I tried to stay away from getting caught up in the high school trash and was very selective of who I was friends with.

I also didn't need anyone's approval of whether I was worthy of being a big time blogger. After all, who were these bloggers to tell me? They didn't have any "blogger" degree. They didn't OWN the mom blogging world. Everyone is equal in the blogging world. We all stand the chance to be a big time blogger if we worked hard and built our brand, then we could be just as big as the next blogger.

I see this same pattern happening with photographers. There are definitely the everyone-wants-to-be-like-us crowd. There is virtual fighting. The thing I don't get is, who don ed them professionals? They didn't get a degree in teaching, they are not an art critic, and there was never a course called, 'If I don't think you should be a photographer because you don't have the right camera, lens, talent, etc, then you aren't worthy', is there? Are they calling the kettle black as well?

When I came across "Missy's" videos making fun of newbies, I was sad. (I won't give her traffic by posting her link. You can just type it in Google to find it if you want.)I don't feel that this person should make fun of newbies. Don't quote me, but I heard the rumor that she's the wife of a photographer and that maybe is scorned from loss business.

I know there are way too many people trying to be a photographer. I get it. I fear that pretty soon, the demand won't even be there because there will be a photographer in everyone's family.

I think that seasoned photographers forget sometimes that they were once there, pissing off other seasoned photographers by charging way less because they are just starting out. Nobody starts out charging 1000's. Maybe at the time, it wasn't so noticeable because there weren't as many photographers starting out, I don't know.

I have been hit by an under priced photographer in our area that is actually very good, but has the mind set that she is so successful because she's booked a year in advance. That's great, but I always wonder why she wants to work SO hard to get a decent income. Maybe she makes her money selling prints. I doubt it though, because she gives the CD at a very low price.

I don't know about you, but I don't want to be editing day and night for pennies. Do I get mad at her? Why yes, I do. But, I mainly feel sorry for her because she obviously doesn't get it. If we all didn't under sell ourselves, we ALL could make a decent living.

This year, I still plan on raising my prices, as I do every year. Will I bully anyone in the process? No. I don't believe in it. I just hope that this fad passes eventually for the next big work at home idea.


Kimberly Gauthier said...

Fantastic post. Absolutely amazing. I’m curious about the video, but, to be honest, I’ve heard it all before and just don’t feel like hearing it again.

I was one of those people undercutting professional photographers before I decided to focus on blogging and what I learned was that (1) I knew nothing about running a photography business and (2) I was telling the world that I was worth $50, because that’s all I was charging.

It’s nice to see (and I want to see more) photographers who have added mentoring to their list of services. I would have loved to sit with a professional to see what a running a real business entails. It’s a lot more than running ads on Craigsist offering free photography to build my portfolio.

This was a well written post and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. It’s so important to not only think of ourselves, but the impact we have on the communities we join.

Carly said...

What a great topic. I am not even that expensive, and people ask my price and decide to go to the generic mall photo studio. Oh well, I have better things to do with my time than make pennies an hour.