Who does the photography for advertising?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by keller, Dec 6, 2005.

  1. keller

    keller TPF Noob!

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    So I'm reading the paper and I see all these full-colour pictures for advertisements (and this is just a local, free paper!). Who usually does the photographs for ads, especially the real estate ones? Do advertising companies do it themselves, hire professional photographers, or hire freelancers?
     
  2. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Most people now buy from stock libraries which pay a pittance for internet submitted work. This has seriously depleted the revenue stream for stock photographers as idiots are running around with digital cameras submitting images for which they get $0.01 for each rights-free lease purchase. We did our entire corporate website for under $10 - simply because as a photo buyer where cost is important, you can't afford any other route. Big ad agencies running a big contract will have either an in-house photog or they will hire a name. Real Estate is a different thing. In the UK the agents are given a ZLR or a pro-sumer with a very wide lens and take the pictures themselves (which is why they are mostly crap). Better estate agents use a photographer (typically when the property is over £650,000) and a lot of PS (blue skies, removing cables and other dodgyness). Rob
     
  3. merlinphoto

    merlinphoto TPF Noob!

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    Hey, As of last week I became one of those idiots... I sell photos at microstock sites!

    Surely if the quality of the shots was that bad advertisers would not buy them in the first place. I have to agree these sites probably are not the best thing for professional photogtraphers but they are great for amateurs and part time pros who would like to make some cash for there photos. Ive actually done the maths based on my sales at these sites and I think if it were a full time interest a very good income could be made from them.

    For reference heres the best one Ive found so far.. Im sure that if many of the people I hear slating these kind of sites actually created an account, submitted 50 photos and then started watching the pennies accumulate would change their mind...

    http://www.shutterstock.com/?rid=55429
     
  4. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    There is a difference between stock photography that sells and being what I will call an art photographer who produces a product. Stock is a service, ok you can produce it on commission, but essentially your best bet is generic images - children playing in a classroom, an office worker, a perfect green hill with a white picket fence.

    Art photography, if you'll pardon the expression, to my mind supplies a client with a vision from your mind which satisfies them to the point where they want your style, not a particular image - the exact opposite really - you're showing a uniqueness which people want to purchase.

    I don't doubt that you can make a few quid here and there with stock and that if you devoted yourself 9-5 to producing stock images then you could make a living of sorts for a while. However you have no relationship with your customer and no control over your work's application. I prefer to do a couple of model shoots every now and then and the odd wedding or party and get a few thousand.

    My point about the online stock market was not that all people who use it are idiots, it was more that people can and do submit second-rate images virtually rights-free. This cheapens the lower end of the market to the point where people stop worrying about quality and start thinking how cheaply they can buy their images. It also makes it much more tough for anyone who wishes to be a full-time professional to make money.

    You are obviously interested in producing product or service advertising photography - you're probably not going to be able to make a living out of this, precisely because of people like yourself selling images for pennies. It affects the industry as a whole, by spreading the money wider and through more hands.

    Rob
     
  5. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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  6. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Professional photographers and 'freelancers' are the same thing, surely?
    No advertising company that I know of has their own Photography department.
    Who gets to do what in advertising is almost entirely to do with the budget. If it is a big account with prestige then they put their best creatives on it and get a top ad photographer. As the budget gets smaller you use photographers from the 'lower ranks' until you get to 'cheap and cheerful' when you use a stock photo.
    Shoestring ad agencies tend to use stock (mainly because they get those kind of clients).
    I speak, of course, about the UK. It may be different elsewhere (but not that I've heard).
     
  7. shell23

    shell23 TPF Noob!

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    There are a few ad agencies that have in-house photographers (in the U.S.). Also a more recent trend is for agencies to have in-house retouchers. Stock is often not just about cost (it can be very pricey, especially when you get into usage and rights-managed images, etc.) Often it is about simplicity. If a Women's magazine needs one shot for an article about a new yoga exercise it's alot easier to take a few minutes and do an image search on Getty than hire a photographer and book a shoot. And you would be surprized how much of the advertising photography that you see these days is actually stock, even for huge corporations. The telltale signs of stock images are: fairly nondescript happy "pleasant" looking people in nondescript/minimal "pleasant" looking environments (think bank ads).
     
  8. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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  9. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    Exactly, Rob!!! :D
     
  10. merlinphoto

    merlinphoto TPF Noob!

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    Rob, Darich,

    I agree with both of you in part, Interesting how the two threads compared like that :). There is no doubt that an increase in the number of photographers is going to increase the competion, Its the same as the effect ebay had on the antiques market for example... I do enjoy taking pictures, and I can see the apeal of a quality piece of stock material, Some days when im out with the camera I have my stock head on and other days Im looking for the perfect shot.. It's a different game. I dont sell the later on stock sites... I actually sell prints at craft fairs mainly. As you say, I doubt it would be possible to make a good living from cheap stock alone, but combined with other ways, weddings, portraits, or prints it can be a useful and quite consistant regular income.

    Doug

    http://www.shutterstock.com/?rid=55429
     
  11. Artemis

    Artemis Just Punked Himself

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    Personally I still feel things like shutterstock are hurting the pros...youll never get real quality through faceles photographers!
     
  12. JohnMF

    JohnMF TPF Noob!

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    i design ads for a newspaper and that includes real estate. All the estate agents send in their own photos taken by the estate agents and reps themselves. Its easier and cheaper for them to just buy a consumer digital camera for the office and take the photos when they go to value a house rather than pay a proper photog, this goes for the really expensive houses too. Like rob said they ask us in the design department to add things like blue sky.

    more and more retailers and department stores are doing it too. They send in awful photographs of lawnmowers, sofas etc. Then complain that the images that end up in the paper are not good enough quality and refuse to pay! Even though they took the pictures themselves!
     

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