Competing with ultra-low-budget photogs.

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by RMThompson, May 28, 2008.

  1. RMThompson

    RMThompson the TPF moderators rock my world!

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    Wow.

    So a recent visit to my local craiglist's "creative" section has scared me. I always knew Photogs were posting ads there, but I had no idea how many discount/budget/new photographers there are in my area.

    Literally dozens of postings litter the front page. I looked through some of the photogs, and while some of them certainly were new or untalented, some of them were people whose work I'd seen before and highly respected.

    However, how does one compete with them? Being a small business myself, I do most of my advertising online or through word of mouth (hopefully). Some of these ads are for 50 dollar sessions, or 250 dollar weddings, or FREE PHOTOGRAPHY!

    Any suggestions? I'm not sure I am looking for any, this may just be me venting! LOL
     
  2. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    There will always be customers who will pay for quality. Keep your prices high and people will know you mean business.
     
  3. Emerana

    Emerana TPF Noob!

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    I think you keep your prices where they are and people will pay for them. When looking for a photographer, last thing I look at is the price, first thing are the galleries. I looked at your site and its nice, but it isnt very picture heavy. I would see about pitting more photos in the website and make galleries easier to view.

    I like your business model. I think that in itself will help you get business.
     
  4. jlykins

    jlykins TPF Noob!

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    I'm biased because I am into photography. I would look at the galleries/work of the photographer before I did anything with them. I am a firm believer in you get what you pay for so I would never work with someone that is asking what seems to be a "too good to be true" price. My wife however is not into photography, and frankly doesn't care about pictures like we do, so I asked her to get an outsiders opinion for you. I asked her what she thought about a photographer asking $250 for a wedding, and her reply was this: " I don't think I would ever use a photographer for my wedding without talking to somone with an established business. I would want to know both ends of the spectrum, the very high end as well as bottom dollar. I would pick someone in the middle that had good references." I would keep your prices the same, and focus on quality. When you do talk to someone that brings up a "budget" photographer, politely explain to them why you are more, and what kind of quality they get for their money.
     
  5. Rhys

    Rhys TPF Noob!

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    When you're starting out, any business is welcome. Don't turn your nose up at $100 weddings.
     
  6. husky_mom

    husky_mom TPF Noob!

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    when I was getting married... I looked for a good cheap photographer... but when I looked at their stuff.. I RAN to a more expensive one which was definately worth it!!

    sure I did spent a whole lot more $$ but I wouldn´t have it any way else... I wouln´t have eanted my "special day" pics ruined just to save some cash....

    if I were able to find a good quality cheaper one I would´ve take them but they were non...

    so more about the price is the quality so even if they cost 100 or 1000 quality is what matters to me
     
  7. jlykins

    jlykins TPF Noob!

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    I was just browsing my local Craigslist here in Cincinnati, and I clicked on the first three photographer for hire ads. The first two had either things spelled incorrectly or bad grammer. The third ad was for a free photographer who said that he just wanted to get some experience and he would photograph any event, portrait that you wanted, but "if you would feed him that would be cool". Ha ha ha ha ha I about fell out of my chair when I read that. If someone is going to pay $100 or $200 for a wedding photographer, I wouldn't want to deal with them as a customer anyway. It would be more of a headache than it is worth.
     
  8. RMThompson

    RMThompson the TPF moderators rock my world!

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    Thanks for the opinions... I tend to agree with what is said, quality wins out, but in some cases, I AM willing to lower my prices to get the business... I just don't want it advertised so.

    For instance, I do a LOT of modeling photos. I don't want to advertise to the models that I will shoot for 75 bucks, because then every girl whose ever had a guy hit on her enough to join model mayhem will be calling me for discounted shots.

    On the other hand, if the model is truly remarkable, I would WANT to work with them... discounted all the way down to free, if they are what I'm looking for (I'm talking to you Megan Fox!)

    Anyway, thanks for sharing my frustrations!
     
  9. THORHAMMER

    THORHAMMER TPF Noob!

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    let the bottom feeders eat the little food.
     
  10. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

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    If you photograph Megan Fox, please Photoshop out that tattoo on her forearm... ugh.

    This trend you guys are talking about isn't just in photography. Many careers go through these trends. And all of you professionals out there are going to start making less money because the market is saturated, and there's really nothing you can do about it except for ride it out. It only takes ONE person going to that discount guy to take a client away from you. And those clients add up. If 10% of people went to "Andy's Bargain Photography," then you're only gonna have 90% of the client base you once had.

    Its gonna be rough going for a while with all of you professionals out there. Just ride it through, swallow your pride, charge a little less, and come out on the other side when this bubble bursts.
     
  11. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Exactly. I've done a few weddings for $200 but I never stole a customer from a real wedding photographer. If they couldn't have gotten me or someone else for that price they simply wouldn't have had a dedicated photographer there.
     

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