Quality vs. Quantity

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by keith204, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm not necessarily planning on getting responses, but mainly just thinking aloud.

    As you see in my signature, I shoot race photography. The photos people are buying aren't necessarily the 'good ones' (artsy, framed right, good color, good contrast) but rather just....all of them. This drives me nuts.

    If a shot turns out a hair blurry, I will often WANT to discard it immediately, but I don't, because every now and then, those pictures still get bought. And, at $5/4x6, I would have drained a lot of money if I would have deleted photos I didn't think are 'keepers'.

    For my race track photography, quantity is much more important than quality, as surprising as that sounds. That's what makes the big bucks at the track. Of course, there are a few select drivers who request and truly appreciate the 'artsy' pictures (and I am super thankful for that).

    It's just an interesting concept. This race photography doesn't STRETCH me to keep getting better and better pictures, but rather to invest the time and resources it takes to get more and more and more pictures. Obviously, I have to focus on quality to an extent, but taking 500 pictures (5 pics per car * 100 cars) per event...quantity becomes a more precedent factor.

    Is anyone else in this same boat with their style of photography?
     
  2. Interesting situation. No, I can't say I'm in the same boat, but I like hearing about it from you.
     
  3. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    And don't get me wrong, I enjoy race photography. I'll keep doing it because A) I like it, and B) it does bring in a good amount of money.

    However, it gives me a desire to do something more creative.
     
  4. castrol

    castrol TPF Noob!

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    Same boat doing children's sports type photography. Dances, baseball, all that
    kind of stuff. I have done some motorcycle racing with the same outcome. Its
    not a big thing to be complaining about though. I stretch myself with my own
    aspirations and goals. :)
     
  5. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    Living with a "Soccer Mom", I have experience the same-o same-o at soccer tourneys. Parents will buy anything as long as they can say it's "Little Johnny or Baby Mary".

    Have been a pro photog and having shot soccer pro bono for the team(s) over the years ... I have a philosophy that if the shot doesn't cut my mustard or standard for quality I will delete the image (period). I know you're making monies ... but you still need your own pride as a professional. remember that everything you do reflects upon you the person ... so if you are willing to sell "crap" to an unsuspecting market ... what does that say upon you ... please don't get me wrong I am not attacking you in any way ... hell I don't even know you ... but just as you are thinking aloud ... I also am reflecting my thoughts on the subject aloud ... and what works for me may not work for you.

    Okay ... that being said ... if I was in your shoes and needed to maintain a certain percentage of return for my time invested ... I would delete the OOF shots and only show the better stuff ... stuff that I was reasonably proud of putting my name on ... but then sell the better stuff at a higher price ... maybe in a paper frame. I'd install a sign at my booth with an explaination of why it's ten bucks not five ... cuz you won't sell crap. Just my two cents ... anyway good luck to ya.

    Gary
     
  6. HatMan

    HatMan TPF Noob!

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    I have to say it is exactly the same thing here.

    I shoot between 800-1200 photos during a 10-12 race day between the superbikes, vintage and motards. I've even tried to explain to some of the guys I know really well that the shot looks "faster" if their a bit to the right or left (depending on the corner) or more interesting if things aren't always zoomed really tight and centered. I still delete a lot of the dogs but still end up with hundreds or shots from each race day. And I'm always surprised which ones sell.

    They all - without exception - like the ones that according to the regular rules they shouldn't.

    Go figure...
     
  7. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hey that's super advice. Thinking in the long term, it would make sense to go for my 'name' rather than making money 'right now'. Super thought. It actually makes me wanna shoot like crazy (1,000+ each Saturday) and then I can delete the half of them that turn out like crap, and still have 500 good ones left.

    :thumbup:
     
  8. LokiZ

    LokiZ TPF Noob!

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    With the type of musical slide shows I do I am in the same boat.

    You need lots and lots of poses and different angles. When you are only flashing pictures up on the screen for a short amount of time until the next beat of the song. You need a good amount of pictures, so as not to repeat images over and over or have images show up for long amounts of time (kinda of like awkward silences)

    Definitely don't want to totally throw out the need for quality but the lack of quantity can also make the cumulative quality lack. Luckily in a slide show situation you can afford to resize the image down a bit which can help some with the blurry to a limited amount.

    When it comes to rules - I agree there are rules that help guide what makes a good image capture... but you can never put rules as to what a person will like. Do that and the world becomes dull. Do that and individualism spirals downwards towards non existence.

    Think of it this way. if we had rules as to who is the right mate to marry and everyone was required to follow those rules. Hmmm there would be a whole lot of people who never would get married just be cause so many of us may have one or two "flaws" that would go against "the rules"

    I can honestly say I am glad that there are those who chose to like what may be unlikeable by others. :) My wife comes to mind.
     
  9. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    ^5 Keith ... and if it doesn't work for you you can always go back to what makes you the most money ... you gotta like/appreciate your own work ... if others like it also ... well that's just icing on the cake.

    G
     
  10. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ok we the photographers on this board (I hope anyway) are perfectionists. Always trying to improve things. But I find we now live in a world where people don't actually know quality. $13000AU for a Car, $15 for a set of headphones, $100 for a digital camera, $99 for a mobile phone that'll break within a year, $400 for a 5.1 surround sound home theatre, and most importantly ALL of it disposable.

    I look for quality where I can afford to. Friends who have heard my HiFi a "modest" $10000AU piece often exclaim that they've never heard something sound that good. Well this hasn't really changed. I could build something with components from the 90s and probably get the same quality. Yet after having it for 5 years now people still ask me why I spent so much on it, the same people who are on their 2nd or 3rd home theatre now simply because 5.1 surround is sooo 2001.

    What I am getting at here is that at $5 / print you'll find someone to buy anything. Frame it ilfochrome it to 1m wide, and slap a $2500 price tag on it and you'll find your customers start questioning the subtle errors in focus and composition.
     
  11. THORHAMMER

    THORHAMMER TPF Noob!

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    hes got a point,

    Its simple marketing

    you probably have at these events 80% impulse buyers and 20% actuall people.

    The impulse buyers prob would buy it at the higher price, but if you only sold the higher quality prints to half of the 20%, you could equal the sales of the 80% cheap prices. its the 80/20 rule. I just made it up... lol

    So, make 2 products, differientiate it with a frame, or something nice. Only frame the nicer shots. And charge twice as much. See what happens. ?
     
  12. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Welcome to the world of the professional.
    The conflict is generally between doing what pays the bills and doing what makes you happy. Rarely do they co-incide.
    For example, you get asked to do a pencil catalogue. A large number of pencils to photograph in two days. Flat fee and no expenses. So it becomes an exercise in just banging the shots out. You set it up, put the pencils in take the picture and repeat.
    You do a professional job but you don't have the luxury to make it 'art' - it's not worth it. So you hit the deadline and move on to the next job. And as it's only for a catalogue it will be in the trash in a month so who cares if a few things aren't quite right. The client is happy and the check's in the post.
    But then you get a job where the AD wants input and wants you creative. Big budget and expenses too. High profile shot and you smell the chance of an award so you pull out the stops - but you still have to hit that deadline... what? They're flexible about that because they like my stuff? I'm in Heaven.
    But then it's back to pencils, or fish, or make-up until the next biggie.
     

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