another inane question

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by mysteryscribe, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    so who do you think has made the most money of faux portraits... olin mills... walmart....kmart ... someone else...
     
  2. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Interesting question. I think Olin Mills is really the only one that started out as photographers. I'd guess they've been around the longest.

    I think the others are little more than a souce of negatives in order to sell prints. In other words, it appears thier main business is lab work. And you've gotta have negs to keep a lab busy. Sooo.... make a bunch of negs for little or nothing, and you keep the lab busy.
     
  3. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    You are right olin is older but the other were printing packages long before one hour labs..

    They kmart was doing it in the seventies I'm sure. Probaby they were doing it even earlier.

    Kmart had specials where the guys showed up in the store and shot packages for a few days. I once interviewed with one of the subcontractors. When I said something about the properties of a light ray, the interview was over. I found out later that they didn't hire anyone who knew anything about photography.

    My friends and I used to say olin mills could be selling steak knives and do as well it was the marketing that made the business work.
     
  4. dewey

    dewey TPF Noob!

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    I guess you'd have to define faux portraits... Olan mills has a good share but it's hard to beat the volume PCA does (walmart studios).

    I need a sign on my neck that says, NO I WILL NOT TAKE YOUR OLAN MILLS COUPON... or NO I DON'T SELL PHOTOS BY THE SHEET.

    :madmad:
     
  5. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I guess we will have to work on my difinition. A real portrait says something more about the subject more than that they wore a blue dress and had on a diamond necklace.

    Inversely a faux portrait says this person had a red dress and is cute or this person has a blue dress and is a dog. Do not get me wrong, I made my share of faux portraits in my studio, but no where near as many as the above named studios. I didn't make it my trade mark.
     
  6. andy77888

    andy77888 TPF Noob!

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    I would say the highest volum is CPI otherwise know as Sears Poratrait. Since converting to fully digital studios they have become the largest digital photo company in the US and in Canada. The compition however is firece. Everyone is trying to out do the other guy.
     
  7. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Cute topic. Certainly KMart and Sears makes money hand over fist shooting portraits. As photographers we need our work to rise above that. Who cares what they are doing. Concentrate on what you are doing.
     
  8. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    These places provide what the public wants - inexpensive likenesses. It's good business. I wouldn't call them faux anything. They have the lion's share of the portrait business. I never argue with success.

    I think the major reason I chose commercial photography when I did it for money was that I didn't have to compete with these places for portraiture and with amateurs for wedding business. I shot all kinds of executive portraits and still didn't have to compete with these folks.
     
  9. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Okay then I'll change the wording. Who do you think of the assemblyline portrait shooters, whose photographers do not know anything about photography, make the most money. Like that better?...

    Before you go off on me for that, let me say that from experience I know that's their approach. I was told of all things that I know too much, even after only a year in the business, to work for them. All they want the photographer to do is to say smile and push a button. It is the ideal place for digital photography. They don't have to wait a week to correct the setup errors.

    Yes I used their business model and even their lighting setup with film... Yes they make a lot of money in their studios...Yes when you look at a picture on granny's wall it screams assembly line photography. Yes I consider them inferior to what I see here or what I sent out of my humble studio.

    Nobody completes with them. If that is the most a person can afford then it is what they buy. There is no competion for their customers. The people photographers compete for is the people who can afford more. However there is a another layer I worked in for years.

    The preacher whose church is paying for the shot and doesn't want the same shot that granny has of her grandson. Still he doesn't want to go out into the woods with my son in law. I chose not to drive a half hour and walk around in the park but to sit in my heated studio and shoot a shot in ten minutes. I charged more than walmart, but less than the man who did the custom portrait. I like to think the customer got a little better service and a lot more knowledge than from a ford motors type portrait.

    So a compromise how about, of the assemblyline portrait studios who do you think makes the most money. Actually I think the answer has already been given.
     

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