Always the photographer...tales of the lowest bidder..

mjhoward

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"The bitter taste of poor quality lingers, long after the sweet taste of low price has been forgotten."

I have heard your story about 10 times over the years.

Really??? only 10 times!?
 

runnah

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I have a raft of home electrical questions that I am dying to ask.
 

jake337

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Competition is good. If someone can genuinely find away to accomplish a job with the same quality but spend less money doing it, that's wonderful! ........


I'm not anti-competition. I'm against the guys who claim to be 'in business' who really have not the first clue about what that means. As far good ol' Henry, he did far more than just make cars. He attempted to control every aspect of the car manufacturing business. He bought up steel mills to make his own steel. He also bought the mines that dug up the raw materials. He purchased railroads that were used to transport these materials. Whatever went into making a Ford, Henry wanted 100% control of it.

Sorry, I'm with you, I guess I didn't say it clearly. In other words, I was saying exactly what you were, people THINK they understand how competition works and how some are able to charge less than others but still remain in business, but they really don't. Competition works when people figure out better ways to do things. Not when people just charge less and think they can just shirk costs that the others seem to need.

It's kind of like the 'It's not the camera it's the photographer' addage that is used by so many to justify professional photography without the serious equipment investment that is needed. If that was true, no self-respecting business person who spend tens of thousands of dollars on equipment, if they could simply get away with a rebel, kit lens, and the pop-up flash. It would be a complete waste of money. It takes talent, it takes knowledge, AND it takes the right tools for the job.

One of my relatives is a superintendent for a construction company that hires workers who have to provide their own tools. (I don't know if that's typical or not, don't know anything about the construction field!) The new guys always come in with the cheap tools, and scoff at the old dogs with their high dollar tools that 'do the exact same thing'. They figure it out when they bang out a cheap hammer all day long and are sore, and it eventually breaks anyway, and the dumb-ol-dog who spent too much is whacking one-swing to one-nail with a perfectly weighted and balanced hammer, it finally clicks! But you can't tell anyone that until they experience it... I'm sure the same is true in the world of professional photography. You might have taken some GREAT shots with your camera, but what about when you HAVE to take a shot for a client, and the conditions aren't right for your gear?

It's still the photographer!

Sorry had to jump in and say that.

Why? Well there's no point in having all those fantastic tools if you still don't know how to use them!

A good photographer knows which tools to carry for the job at hand before the actual job.
 

John27

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It's still the photographer!

Sorry had to jump in and say that.

Why? Well there's no point in having all those fantastic tools if you still don't know how to use them!

A good photographer knows which tools to carry for the job at hand before the actual job.

Well, I'm sure you can agree that it's both. (Sorry, I know my posts are a long read), but as I said, it requires both tools AND talent. And usually, those who justify using a cheap camera to do professional work, have neither.

A long time professional could take pictures with my rebel that'll blow mine out of the water. But they'll still go back to their tens-of-thousands-of-dollars worth of equipment, because in order to generate professional quality work, they must also have the right tools!

Great gear doesn't make a good photographer either though. I've seen some pretty crappy pictures come out of some pretty expensive gear!
 

jake337

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It's still the photographer!

Sorry had to jump in and say that.

Why? Well there's no point in having all those fantastic tools if you still don't know how to use them!

A good photographer knows which tools to carry for the job at hand before the actual job.

Well, I'm sure you can agree that it's both. (Sorry, I know my posts are a long read), but as I said, it requires both tools AND talent. And usually, those who justify using a cheap camera to do professional work, have neither.

A long time professional could take pictures with my rebel that'll blow mine out of the water. But they'll still go back to their tens-of-thousands-of-dollars worth of equipment, because in order to generate professional quality work, they must also have the right tools!

Great gear doesn't make a good photographer either though. I've seen some pretty crappy pictures come out of some pretty expensive gear!


Yes, yes and yes!
 

Tee

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Pixmedic: I understand you feeling bad but your wife went as low and one can go. Regarding the friend who didn't feel comfortable doing it, she should have nutted up and said no and the bride has no grounds to be pi$$ed. After all, the bride got free pictures. I'm seriously blown away by people who can't suit up and say no.
 

John27

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Pixmedic: I understand you feeling bad but your wife went as low and one can go. Regarding the friend who didn't feel comfortable doing it, she should have nutted up and said no and the bride has no grounds to be pi$$ed. After all, the bride got free pictures. I'm seriously blown away by people who can't suit up and say no.


I really think a lot of people don't understand what goes in to a good picture. They don't understand how a camera that takes great images outdoors could perform poorly in a low light setting. They also don't understand the amount of skill and experience it takes to successfully do something like a wedding! People look at a pose with no technical knowledge and can't understand why it doesn't look as nice as the one done by a photographer. Even posing is a skill!

My wife and I have been approached by family members and friends wanting to do different stuff, even weddings! They get upset when you say no. It's not about being unwilling, it's about being unequipped. Frankly, I can't give you anything with my set of talents or my equipment! But in the end, we have done some stuff for free and had some happy people. Ashley did my little sisters senior portraits, for example. Mom couldn't afford it and neither could my little sister. They turned out okay. Nothing stellar, but they were really impressed. I certainly wouldn't feel comfortable charging for the results we got though, there were only a couple images that I think belong on a wall, and even then it's perhaps only because of the subject, not because of how good the picture is!
 

kathyt

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I see this every day as an electrician. "We can hire someone for a third of what you're asking!"

"Fine, I can't compete against laid-off second-year apprentices who have no license or insurance and won't be around six months from now. Go ahead and hire them"


Honest-to-God, at least twice a month I get a call back from these people, crying in their spilt milk. "Can you come over and finish this up... I paid the other guy, and he's not even halfway through and won't answer my calls or reply to my emails...................."

Photographers deal with Best-Buy "Pros", electricans deal with Home Depot "Pros".

Sparkles, my washing machine just stopped working during a cycle. No power or anything. It is two years old. The breaker is fine. What gives? I am crying in my milk. (a.k.a. wine) Can you come over and finish this up? p.s. I tore it all apart. :)
 

TheFantasticG

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My wife had two good friends get married last Saturday. My wife told her to consult me as I know of quite a few wedding Photogs around Houston and could help her pick someone who will be the most awesome inside her budget. Needless to say she was Bridezilla up until a few days before the wedding. I don't know how she found the photog she did but in the contract he wasn't going to shoot the pre-ceremony images. She wanted me to do it -- for free. Did I mention they were getting married on my birthday and because of that I didn't get to spend the first one I've been home for in four years with my wife? Yeah, that happened. Needless to say I went under the knife for some surgery on November 19 and recovery time is 4-6 weeks (which is why I'm not at work right now). I told her I couldn't do it and would not be attending the wedding. Even if I did go And had no surgery I still wouldn't have done it. She ended up having to pay a few more hundreds of dollars to get the photog to cover her getting ready to walk the isle.

The photog had some nice images of the venue and a few nice candids. Did off camera flash for the portraits but the flash wasn't diffused enough and composition was lacking. Still, overall not terrible images just not stunning or awesome. Just good. I made the wife ask how much she paid but she refused to tell. So, not sure if she got her money's worth or not.


480sparky said:
Another problem is the perceived pay rate. I just did a hot tub hookup earlier today. I charged $250 to install the disconnect, and provide/install the wiring between it and the tub. I did the whole job in about an hour.

Of course, the homeowner thinks I'm paying myself $250 an hour. They don't realize I had $75 in material, as well as my vehicle expenses (gas, insurance, repairs, etc.), usual business overhead (liability insurance, licensing and CEUs, etc.), tools, travel time, the whole nine yards. So when all is said and done, I maybe brought home $100 for the afternoon, and that's before the gubbamint takes their cut.

I can charge $250 for an hours work because I've spent the last 23 years learning how to do the work that fast.

And that's why I'm an electrician off shore in the oil field. I don't want to deal with all that mess you just outlined. Granted, I've only been doing this type of work since 2005 and I've only worked in the industrial and marine environments, but still. No thanks. I turn down lots of friends who want me to do electrical work for them as I have to remind them that I do NOT dabble in electrical out side of my job. When I am home it is time to rest :D
 
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John27

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You know this all reminds me of my very first job. Ya know I used to own my own company! When I was 9 years old I started cutting the neighbors grass (little old lady), paid me $15 a week to come cut the grass. Figured, hey! This is a way to make some money, so I started knocking on doors and found a few clients. Called myself the 'lawn barber'. Worked great! I was rolling in the dough. My dad was a graphics designer and he even made me up some business cards!

One day I was cutting a guys grass, for $20, and I saw a big ol' Ford truck pulling a tandem axle trailer with a zero turn mower and some weed-eaters mounted on it pull in front of the next house over. Side of the truck said "$99 lawn cutting special". I thought, WOW! That guy is making a hundred bucks to cut grass! I'm happy to make $20!

Of course, it was my dads lawn mower, and my mom put the gas in it.. and I didn't pay any taxes, and you had to be within walking distance because I didn't have a truck, you know, 'cuz 9 years olds aren't supposed to drive. Heh, growin' up puts things into perspective. Back then I just thought they had the coolest job in the world and had to be the richest guys on the planet!
 

Awiserbud

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even by todays standards $99 for mowing the lawn isn't a bad way to earn a living, 10 of those a week and your laughing even once you've covered your overheads.
 

skieur

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I have a raft of home electrical questions that I am dying to ask.

I can tell you what NOT to do. Don't screw a light fixture into one of the main house electrical cables when it is live. :lol: That was an interesting experience for me.

skieur
 

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