Sometimes, the living is easy. This was one of those times. I was sitting by a pool when the clouds started dancing around as a seasonal storm was getting ready to pass through.
I couldn’t even see to focus because the light was so strong. I just pointed my smart phone, hoped for the best and pressed the button. Most of my pictures where about what I wanted. Some are just funny.
I cleaned up the picture in post production because there was a lot of debris floating on the surface of the water. I left the yellow leaf to show a sense of scale.
It’s not a rant. It’s funny. Well, not so much if you are a working photographer or serious about the art and craft of making pictures. Yet, it may amuse you.
A young woman decided that she is a photographer and was going to open a business. She asked for monetary donations as well as a camera, a photo editing computer and other associated gear. Oh, and she’s never taken a picture.
Apparently, she was turned down by the usual crowd funding sources, and Facebook removed her advertising. So, she went directly to the crowd.
The internet was as mean as only people hiding behind a monitor can be. Petapixel — a super blog — published a long snarky story about it. That was mostly a waste of time.
Most working photographers, like me, didn’t say too much. I must confess that I was laughing so hard at her request and the responses that I almost came to tears. I did not reply. I have better things to do.
I’ve seen people ask for funding so that they can travel. So that they can take a vacation. I’ve even seen people as for help with a down payment for a car or a home. To my way of thinking, if you don’t have the money you shouldn’t be doing these things and asking me to pay for it.
On the other hand, I’ve donated to people who are very sick, have insurance, but the co-pay is huge. Or, to a family whose bread winner was killed in an accident. I’ve even helped to bury somebody.
But, start a career? No. I don’t think so. You can do what I did. Study, practice, work and buy gear as needed. That’s what most of us did. Sometimes we incurred debt, but we paid it off. Sometimes if we had a big assignment which left us with unplanned money, we reinvested it our business. In ourselves.
Granted, I would not want to be starting a photo career now. There is way too much competition, especially at the entry level. New photographers are cutting their rates to get a job to the point where they actually lose money.
They are underselling everybody.
Not only does it kill their nascent businesses, but it hurts old pros like me. My stock sales are lower even though my volume is higher than it’s ever been.
I won’t lower my creative fees because I sell myself as you get what you pay for — you know, my clients get what they want and beyond. Sometimes, I get called in towards the end of the creative cycle to fix what a low priced photographer broke.
As much as dislike cleaning up a mess, my pay is very good because the creative team is now getting desperate. No worries. I never overcharge. I do make a point to tell them that if they’d worked with me in the first place, the job would be done and for less money.
Guess what happens next time? Either I get the job or I lose it to another veteran professional who I know will do a good job. That’s okay with me. We established a beach head and took back the bidding process.
To wrap this up. Could you imagine hiring the photographer who is asking for gear? What could she bring to the table? Sheesh, she thinks that there are photo editing computers. I don’t know about you, but I use my main machine for everything.
That’s the story of the day. I hope it got you thinking. No. No. No. Don’t even think a bout donations so you can buy gear.
Wait a minute…