I'm glad that people such as yourself are reading daily on how to improve all aspects of your photography, and truly I wish you well, every single one of you...
..however, to make a post like this lambasting the 'pro's' for being "rude, arrogant and condescending" is atrocious, and I take exception to it.
If you do read this forum daily, you'll recognize that the same questions are asked, from the same population of people, almost on a daily basis. It is also the same people giving the same answers to those same questions.
Taking time to look through the threads before posting the question, or heaven forbid using the search function, would easily elicit the advice you need. Does it apply to everyone? 9 out of 10 times yes.
Is it so hard for you to understand that over the course of time, these same "rude arrogant and condescending" pro's may actually get a little tired of repeating the same advice on a daily basis? Even more so when usually the poster either never comes back, or if they do, they don't like what they hear?
Of course these pro's have the option of not replying, but is that really what you want? Remember, no one is paying them for their time and advice, often derived form years of experience and time spent reading and learning?
If you feel the need to express your view dripping in sarcasm because you see this happening every day, why should they not be allowed to get chafed by having to read and respond to the same questions every day?
When responses are harsh, it's because it does people no good to sugar coat things. They get a sugar coated opinion from their family and friends (usually the reason that they want to become a pro in the first place); it does them no good at all to repeat the same inane platitudes.
If someone goes ahead and charges before they're ready they run not only the risk of ruining a shoot for a client, but also risk ruining their reputation before they even have one. They run the risk of setting up a business that is doomed to failure because they havent taken the time to research the issues carefully.
Though your camera may come with a manual, and may have an auto mode, businesses do not have manuals, and definitely do not have auto buttons.
Now, I'm sorry if you feel my response to you was disrespectful, however, these threads complaining about the conduct of those offering valuable, legitimate advice on this forum are becoming so frequent that I personally am reaching the point where I wonder whether it's worth the 10 minutes to type up a response in the first place.
Last edited by Niresangwa; 02-25-2011 at 02:14 AM.
It's good to hear the rebuttal, and you're right - my first thought as I was reading your response was "then why respond at all if they are tired of giving the same responses" so I am glad you offered the other side. At the same time we'd be annoyed if no one responded at all, right?
The same as it is frustrating to watch us rookies post our lame questions to this "school" I now understand how frustrating it is for the teachers to answer the same questions over and over - without being able to rap our knuckles.
The beauty of a forum. We can agree to disagree yet I do "understand."
royey, if us grumpy "pros" (which I'm not by the way..well the 'pro' part that is) didn't reply... just whom would give that advice? I don't really see any other advice on this thread that was actually helpful that wasn't also a bit harsh.. do you? Do you actually think your non-rude or arrogant or condescending advice to charge what she thinks she's worth even though it's obvious she has not clue where to start is more helpful?
Best advice I've ever gotten in life, whether it be in my personal, professional, or photographic life, has been the most honestly blunt... sugar coating people is what gets them to show up on shows like American Idol to be laughed at because their fam and friends were nice to them instead of.. honest?
How about this... it's now your job to counter all those comments you take issue with with your advice.. and let the OP figure out which actually helps them. I hope you're right more often than we are so we can post less.
I think part of it is, you are right, there are only a few people who regularly contribute which is good because I mean, if not them then who? But at the same time, I think it does come across as a bit negative. I don't believe in being blunt, if it means hurting someones feelings (awww). You can be honest without being rude. But alas, this is the internet and being honest IS being rude because, we are not face to face with the person anyway, who cares?
For me, my qualm with the "grumpy pros" is that we newbies can't win. You claim we should NEVER EVER WORK FOR FREE!!! Ok, advice taken...so then when he say, "Ok we are just starting out, how much should we charge??" TO which the reply is often, DONT START CHARGING UNTIL YOU HAVE MORE EXPERIENCE!
So which is it? Can't have both. I think thats where the "grumpy pro" persona comes in. You have a problem if we do column a or column b. Make sense? My observations based merely on a month or so being on here
To the OP - if they ask you to work for them, then you are "good enough for them". Let them know you are new, hence a cheaper discounted rate. I would go low because this is for experience, not money to retire with...maybe $50 each person.
I've seen a lot of help given and and have also received a lot of help regarding composition, colors, etc but when the word money is mentioned it's an immediate slap in the face until you are an award winning excellent top notch photographer.
----- I too get frustrated and even have to laugh a bit when I see a post of "got my camera and tomorrow Im shooting a wedding"... I get it, I DJ'ed weddings for 6 years... I saw a lot of fly by night DJ services that thought they could slap on a CD and let it roll for a few hours and collect the money and run. I get it. I just wish there was a better way to tell someone then to be rude about it. You're right, its the fact that we're not sitting face to face and we can say whatever we want to through our computers.
@Royey, agreed, forums are a wonderful opportunity. I appreciate you taking my comments in the spirit they were truly meant. After two weeks of excessive posting on political blogs regarding the situation in Wisconsin, I apologise if some of that spilled over into my reply!
@Fuzzy, the mutual love affair continues!
@fofazoju, In one way I agree with you. The culture I live in right now in the US, it's regarded as a virtue to "tell it like it is", and when I grew up in the UK, and maybe it was just my family, this was anathema, and rude. Some people feel they have a right to impose their opinions on others as though they're facts.
However there is a time and a place for it. Starting a business is serious... business. You're dealing with real money, yours and someone else's, and also facing legal issues, contractual issues and tax issues. That's why the gloves come off, because there are real implications.
Often times, they come from a place where they're patted on the back by friends and family with next to no idea of what they're actually inciting. As anyone will tell you, a photography business isn't about photography, that's only a small element.
When you consult with professionals, you expect to get it straight from the horse's mouth so to speak. If I go speak to an accountant, I want the facts. At some point, you're going to hear something that is contrary to the preconceptions you had, and it's not going to feel good.
Ultimately the stark reality is painful to hear (which is probably why so few posters of these questions do not persevere with their inquiry). Really before you ask the question "when should I charge", you should have done your own homework. To consider charging and starting a business before you have taken the time to read about it, well, it's asanine.
Sometimes that smack in the face of a harsh comment is what you need to really question, deep down, just where you are as opposed to where you think you are. If you can face criticism and justify yourself to it, it builds confidence.
I don't think you'll find a single Pro who has never worked for free. You simply have to understand why you're doing it, and make sure it's a good deal for you. There needs to be an outcome that you need, whether its a tangible result or not.
There are ways to gain experience without going out on a limb, such as working alongside an established photographer. All of your technique can be practiced on family and friends, in order that when you do 'unpaid' portfolio building, you're already at a technical level that will yield positive results...
...however, its unethical to 'practice' on clients (whether they're paying or not).
It's not a black and white situation. There are many ways to go about it to ensure that you maintain the integrity of your work and protect it's reputation.
Not quite. The only time I personally feel it is okay to work for free is for a personal project or to support a cause which you would support anyway.You claim we should NEVER EVER WORK FOR FREE!!! Ok, advice taken...so then when he say, "Ok we are just starting out, how much should we charge??" TO which the reply is often, DONT START CHARGING UNTIL YOU HAVE MORE EXPERIENCE!
Just an example; before I started charging for pet portraits, I shot thousands of portraits of homeless animals in shelters and rescue situations. I owe my ability to get something out of any dog of any temperament to all those rescue "models" that I practiced on and still work with from time to time.
I don't say "don't start charging until you have more experience," I say, "if your work is good enough to sell, sell it for the going rate." Base your pricing on what your work is worth rather than on how long you've been producing it. I also say, "if your work isn't worth charging the going rate, don't charge until it is."
I try not to be a total a$$ and come out with "You Suck!" That said, if you clearly aren't ready, I'll tell you so. Gruff, rude, whatever? Maybe, but it's at least honest.
I think everyone needs to remember that if you post here looking for help or advise you will receive all sorts of opinions, some of which may not make your day. Having all the problems pointed out with the "barn" even after several hours of messing around with it "did not make my day" BUT as a result I now have an image I am proud of. You need to take what is offered and learn from it. Then make your own decisions as to how to proceed from there.
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