The pro vs. amateur issue has been covered many times, but recently Fotoseeds came up with an excellent graphic which does a great job of illustrating many of the assumptions and mistakes that aspiring photographers can make in their desire to become a professional.
Image © www.fotoseeds.com – Check out the site, it’s excellent!
These days it seems that just about anyone can go and buy an entry-level SLR and suddenly they think they’re a professional photographer. I’ve met loads, and seen many more posting their ‘work’ on Facebook etc, usually emblazoned with an ugly inch-high logo filling ⅓ of the photo with their made-up company name.
Well, there’s actually a bit more to it than simply sticking the camera on auto and adding the watermark later, yet sadly these faux-tographers are doing a lot of harm to the industry by lowering the value that clients put on a photographers work by undercharging for their poor quality photographs.
Obviously I’m always pleased when someone likes one of my photographs and wishes to use it on their website etc. For personal sites and non-commercial use all I ask is that someone is polite enough to ask first and to credit me properly with a link to this site. The important thing here though is personal use by a private individual on a non-commercial site.
This week I received another (all too frequent) email from a company who would like to use one of my images for promotional purposes. But they ‘can’t use the low-resolution web image so could they please have a high resolution copy?’. Part of that message said “of course we’ll credit you when we use it”.
Oh really, how very gracious of you!
I guess I’m supposed to be flattered and grateful that someone wishes to use my photo. It was after all a good photo that a large international company thinks is good enough to use for promotional purposes, whilst apparently placing a value of ‘nothing’ on it.
Maybe next time I go for a nice meal they’ll give it to me free if I promise to mention them on my blog, or perhaps I can get my car serviced free if I say how nice the mechanic is on Twitter?
Let’s be very clear: Getting credit for my work isn’t compensation. If I created the image the right to credit is automatic, it is not something that someone does for me as a favour.
Credit doesn’t pay bills. I spent thousands of pounds on my photographic equipment, insurance, training etc. And years learning how to use it. No amount of ‘credit’ will reimburse me for that investment, and it certainly won’t pay my electricity bill or council tax!
The work of an experienced photographer isn’t free. I don’t expect you to do your job for nothing, please don’t expect me to to mine for nothing either.
If you’re interested in licensing my images for use in any commercial context you will need to obtain a commercial use license. You can find more information about this on my sales and licensing page.
Another little sneaky peak..
This morning I took a trip down to Cardiff to meet the lovely Simmie V. She’d wanted to shoot an ‘alternative Bollywood’ style.
I’ve not edited the set properly yet, but this was just a first teaser that I’ve uploaded to whet the appetite..
A few of the mono images from last weeks little shoot with the very lovely Emily
The title of the post? Well, that’s a reflection on the reaction I got from Emily when I mentioned chocolate.. ;-)
Recently I’ve been getting a lot of requests from students asking about work experience with me.
I’m afraid in the majority of cases this really isn’t possible right now.
The key thing that prevents this is simply the fact that whilst I am a semi-professional photographer, that’s is only part of what I do, and therefore I don’t work to regular hours and can’t really predict what I’m going to be doing at any particular time. I don’t run a full time studio, I work from home or rent studios if I need one for a specific shoot (see my Flickr for recent examples). Most of my photographic income actually comes from teaching others which is mostly in the form of specific one-to-one training days and location workshops.
This week I’ve been secreted away in a local studio working with four fantastic models on a workshop with the Royal Photographic Society.
I’ve got a bit of a backlog of editing to do before I can sort out a full set from this event, but here’s one of my favourites from Thursday. The delightful Miss Pixie
Once I’ve had a chance to edit some more I’ll add a gallery, but in the meantime you’ll find a few more from this shoot on my Purple Port profile..
Had an interesting day of networking, experimenting and generally nerding around with expensive lighting tech in Bristol yesterday with the multi-talented Dave Kai-Piper and the lovely Ms Chloe-Jasmine Whichello. The even was hosted by our good friend James Madelin of Enlight Photo, inventor of the amazing Orbis Ring Flash.
We spent most of the morning discussing the various merits of different types of lighting, from the obvious natural light opportunities, through small speedlights, portable strobes, constant lighting etc. Along the way we touched on some of the more recent innovations such as small daylight balanced video lights and some of the higher end solutions such as the amazing Westcott ICE Light. Here’s Dave demonstrating the Westcott ICE light to add a little daylight-balanced fill –>
Here’s an image I shot of the lovely Ms Whichello: