Anyone With A Digital Camera And Facebook Is A Pro

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by smoke665, Oct 2, 2017.

  1. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    It used to be that Craig's List was littered with the wannabe pros, now it seems they are showing up more on FB. I understand everyone needs to start somewhere, but the quality of the images is sadly lacking, confirming the axiom "you get what you pay/don't pay for". Don't get me wrong I don't consider myself good enough to charge anyone, but I have learned the basics of a good exposure. I've had friends, family and acquaintances (who know photography is my hobby) ask me what I thought of their engagement/wedding/baby/family....etc photos that they paid their hard earned cash for. It really puts me in a moral dilemma as to what to tell them. Do I lie and tell the truth, or bite my tongue knowing and "say oh those are great" ? So far I just mumble something like "those were good", and changed the subject, justifying it with the fact that my opinion was after the fact anyhow. How do others handle this touchy subject?


     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    I don't lie.
    But, I temper my comments and explain why the photos are less than professional grade images.
    Many gauge the quality of an image by the degree of emotional attachment they have to the subject.
     
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  3. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'm shooting a wedding this Friday.

    I've been spending countless hours prepping and worrying. I've purchased new equipment -- flash brackets, accessories, memory cards. I rented a second camera. And made sure I have redundancy for everything, and a backup plan. I've scouted the location (and made notes about the sun location). I took my assistant to the location and went over all my equipment and needs from her. I've been in constant contact with the bride to make sure I capture this right for them. I have a pretty good game plan of how I'm going to shoot the events as the day progresses -- there's so much you need to be able to shoot: details, rings, prep, portraits, ceremony, reception. Each presents all sorts of challenges and techniques. How are you going to light each, where will you take shots, how will you pose people, what images MUST you capture, etc etc.

    I've been shooting for 23 years -- maybe the last 5 more seriously. I've been waiting to increase my skill and equipment level is to a point were I felt "morally responsible" to take paid work. I'm incredibly nervous and still with everything above don't think I'm ready.

    So I have a bit of disdain for people who buy a $200 camera, then start charging for really crummy work.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
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  4. zombiesniper

    zombiesniper The camera takes the Pic. I just point the way. Supporting Member

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    Fully agree with above.

    I have everything I need to provide quality portraits to a client except the experience.
    So my solution is to practice, provide free images to family and friends until I think I am at a point where I can guarantee that when someone comes into the studio that I will provide them with my best work. Work that will surpass their expectations.

    I couldn't in good conscience charge before that.
     
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  5. waday

    waday Do one thing every day that scares you Supporting Member

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    Depends on who you're talking to and whether they'll be receptive or not. And whether they're asking you to JUDGE their photos, or to simply take part in their happiness.

    I'd probably just say something like:

    "That was such a happy day; you looked beautiful/handsome. You two must be so happy [to start your life together/bring a new human into this world/etc]. I'm sure you'll cherish these moments for the rest of your life."
     
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  6. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I couldn't agree more with everything said. Even though I have no intention of doing paid work, I can empathize with those who want to. Not only do I feel bad about lying, but I feel like it perpetuates the continuation of shoddy work.
     
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  7. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg Hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I do similar to Waday. I say something like "Oh how cute" if it's a child's portrait. Or "You guys look so happy!" if it's a wedding photo etc. I avoid commenting on the quality of the work unless it is great.
     
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  8. limr

    limr Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Unless I am specifically asked about the quality of the pictures, I don't bother commenting on anything other than the content of the photo. And if I am asked specifically about the quality? Well, theoretically, if I didn't like the photo, I can always hide behind excuses: "Well, it's not really the style I would shoot, but it looks like this person did fine" or "I'm not a portrait photographer, so I am not really qualified to judge." ;)

    ETA: I say "theoretically" because outside TPF, I have literally never been asked what I thought of wedding or portrait pictures, and have only occasionally been asked about my thoughts on a landscape or cell phone snap.
     
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  9. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    @limr and @SquarePeg one of my favorite lines from Ron White - "I had the right to remain silent but I didn't have the ability", pretty much sums me up.

    I had it come up recently from a friend who runs a wedding venue, that asked me to comment on wedding photographs at a recent event. The photo was terrible, not a good composition, and the groom had horrible blown highlights on the face. Kind of hurt her feelings because I think she might have recommended the photographer.
     
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  10. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I don't see how those two things are mutually exclusive with quality...
     
  11. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Smoke, I clicked on 'funny' while reading, so the first part of your last post was what was funny... not necessarily the rest. I suppose it depends on the person and situation, I haven't been shown wedding photos and asked (thankfully!). Probably wouldn't give a critique but something like 'it's more processed than my tastes' or whatever. I think the person asking might know the photos aren't the greatest or are unsure about it if they're asking.

    It's different too if its someone's pictures of their family, kids, etc. If the person asking owns a venue, then maybe she's wondering if she should have recommended that photographer. Guess it's better that she finds out even if it may not be what she hoped to hear.

    From what I've heard, not only are the 'people with cameras' on craigslist and Facebook, but now on Instagram too. Not just that, people are on there selling stuff.
     
  12. CherylL

    CherylL No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Good answer! No use raining on someone's parade after the event. I've been asked my hobbyist opinion and I usually say looks like a great time or very memorable capture.

    Just yesterday on the local town's FB page someone asked for senior portrait photographers. Many were listed in the replies. I had no idea our small town had so many. Most were $45 to $100 with 3 changes, edits, digital files, etc.

    Five years ago when I first got a T4i an old friend asked me to shoot her son's wedding for free. I declined and referred her to a few local pro photographers. She went with a friend of a friend and I did not get a wedding invitation.

    I think some can not afford a quality photographer and some do not value quality photos.
     
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