Yesterday I blogged about the importance of setting yourself apart in today’s tough economy. In a world where the barriers to entry are so low, anyone with a DSLR can be a photographer and a filmmaker.
Many people who take up the craft of photography (or filmmaking) as a “business” are those whose spouses’ salaries cover all the living expenses. I made reference to this group of people, stating the challenge is that many of them do not charge for their services rates commiserate with the work involved. These are the people who can charge a couple of hundred dollars or less for a photo session and a CD full of images because they don’t need to charge more. As anyone in this business can attest, there are lots of photographers/filmmakers out there that fit that description. And as any veteran in the business can attest, there has always been some segment of the competition that makes the business challenging like this. It could be stay at home moms/dads. It could be college kids with little to no living expenses and gear bought by mommy and daddy. It could be retirees with lots of cash who want to take up photography/videography and don’t really need to charge that much (nor are financially pressured to do so). Whatever. This is the type of people in the industry to which I was referring. I was just stating it as a fact. I in no way meant to belittle or even denigrate these people.
Just so there’s no misunderstanding, here’s where I stand on the topic:
- I’m huge defender of the family unit and investing time in one’s family.
- There’s no greater defender of newbies in the business and chasing one’s dreams. (Note the name of my company and blog).
- If you’re in this to make a living, regardless of where your household income is derived, make an effort to charge well for your time and financial investment.
- If you are blessed enough to not have to charge “market rates” for your services but prefer to offer your services at low rates as a service to your community, more power to you. I would encourage you to serve those truly under-privileged, and charge everyone else market rates.
- If you’re a photographer or filmmaker trying to make it in this business, and are frustrated about newbies, stay at home spouses, rich college kids, or whatever, who are not charging enough, stop whining about it. Be different, set yourself apart, and go after the clients willing to invest in what you have to offer.
Now with that said and done. Go out and stand out!
[Note: I have no idea who the woman in the photo is. I just needed a Creative Commons photo that fit my blog description. :) ]