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"Professional" Photographers

This is a discussion on "Professional" Photographers within the General photography forums, part of the Photography & Fine art photography category; ...

  1. #11
    thoughton's Avatar
    thoughton is offline Senior Member
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    There's guys around here charging 100 for a "wedding shoot". For that sort of money it's got to be a teenager with no expenses!

    At the other end of the scale I do sometimes think professional photographers, especially weddings ones, have priced themselves out of the market. When I got married about ten years ago I was quoted 2000 for the wedding day shoot (which is a lot, but it wasn't unexpected and we had the budget for it). However the sticking point for me was that the 2000 fee included two sets of prints, but every extra set of prints we wanted would be 350. That's just for prints, no book or anything like that. And we would never get the negatives. I asked him what would happen if we wanted new copies in ten years only to find he was dead or had gone out of business, he just shrugged and said that was indeed a risk. At that point I politely told him to get lost.

    We ended up getting a friend of a friend (ex-cruise ship portrait photographer) to take the photos, he did it for 400 in a reportage style which we loved, and gave us one set of prints and all the (medium format) negs.

  2. #12
    ericmark is offline Senior Member
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    The digital photo has changed so many things that some of the old film guys have had to change over very quickly and it takes time to learn the new system.

    Although aperture, ISO, shutter speed, depth of field, focus are still as valid today as always the dark room options of dodge and burn plus many other dark room tricks were lost as colour arrived as the dark room equipment needed for colour was so expensive and many even professional photographers moved to using printing labs to do their work. The use of lighting and filters become more important as it could no longer be corrected in the lab as one lost control of that process.

    It still of course could be done but it was rare to find it being done.

    As the digital arrived even the amateur could start to do some post exposure work to enhance the result. On the photography course I did most of the time was spent learning how to use photoshop and how to take images with what could be latter done in photoshop in mind.

    I have set exposure a little dark as I know I can lighten but once burnt out nothing can be done. I have also taken multi-shots with stacking for focus, panorama, and exposure in mind and used HDR programs and layers to combine the images. All of course could have been done in the dark room but not with the ease of photoshop. It has taken me about 3 years learning how to process and expose using the digital camera as an amateur. The professional will spend more time per week but it must still be quite a steep learning curve moving to digital. During that time they must make mistakes. As an amateur I have returned to images taken two years ago and re-processed using layers instead of HDR and produced a far better finished product to what I had done two years ago.

    I have looked at professional work many times and considered I could do better. But when I took pictures for a wedding I saw the reverse side and those sitting in prime seats at the front where able to get better photos than I could from the back. And I was not helped as some one else's flash gun set off my carefully positioned slave flash gun leaving discharged when I tried to take a picture. As with all trades there are the chance takers who hope people will accept what ever they take. But in the main they charge well under going rate so are easy to spot.

    This year I have been taking photos in a private wood to help the owner who does not have the skill of the local camera club members to take some of the shots. But when it comes to select which to use it's not the advanced members work he is selecting but a lot from the beginners section of the club. Mainly as he does not want the carefully framed shot where the tractor faces into the centre of picture, and the lines to trees take ones eye to the vanishing point and follows the rule of thirds. What he wants is the signs of re-generation as a fungus or tree grows from the decaying remains of another. The pictures he selects would not win any competitions but they show what he wants.

    This brings us to the big issue. To take a picture to satisfy the customer is a two way process. Not only must the photographer use his skill to capture the image but also the customer needs to say what he wants capturing. If we take the picture of a person. Do you want it to win competitions? or do you want it to reflect the caricature of the person? Do you want it to make some one thin look more well built? or some one fat look thin? We here about the repartee between the model and photographer many times and it is this that produced towards what is wanted. But the client also must have an input so it becomes three way to get what is required. As an amateur I have no need to worry about what others think. Hence why I remain an amateur.

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