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Get Paid for What You Do/ Don't undercut for credit


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#21 cor

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 12:37 AM

Yep, he sure did. I'm shocked.
Steve


Im not shocked at all. If i need something and someone offers it for free, why would I not at least consider it. I use free software all the time, because the quality is often good enough, and you cant beat the price. If the quality turns out to be bad, I can reconsider and pay for it.

I dont see the point in complaining. It's not going to change. It's going to get worse. So you either roll with it, create a niche or some solid set of customers, or actually convince customers of your added value, or you are going to make a lot less money.
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#22 echeng

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 02:29 PM

Not only is this true, I'd also point out that MANY professional fields have these issues. People starting out often give away their services for exposure. Not only can you do little about it, it's not even a bad thing. As a pro, you have to understand competition. If amateurs are destroying your market, then either your work isn't good enough or the skill required isn't justifying the pay grade. Capitalism at work.

My sentiments exactly! Thanks for summarizing. :huh:
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#23 wagsy

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 02:48 PM

I give stuff away as well no problems but I just get annoyed when a commercial company or station offers you peanuts. Like O yeh mate I will give you a couple hundred bucks for a few minutes of footage or give ya $150 for a days filming...

Yes it will get worse as it's so easy now for anyone to shoot underwater, then again it's so easy for anyone to do anything now days. Gone are the days where a certificate on the wall means that you are good at something. :huh:

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#24 SimonSpear

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 03:20 PM

I've given footage away for good causes that I wanted to support etc and I've received footage from others to use for free because of similar reasons. A number of people have contributed footage or time for free to "Sharks in British Seas" on the basis that if we ever actually make a profit out of it then we'll remember them. Because our intention is to plough back as much profit as we can into shark conservation projects many contributers have said they don't want anything anyway, which is a blessing as unfortunately we're many, many thousands of pounds in the red at this point!

There are a lot of small production companies out there who work on a shoestring and I'd always be inclined to go easy on them too, but (and this is a HUGE but) I refuse point blank to give footage away or to work for free for decent sized commercial media companies who despite the claims to the contrary often have enormous budgets. Like many on wetpixel I'm constantly bombarded by requests for free footage often from household internationally recognised media companies. If they don't want to pay you, its only so that they can order that extra bottle of vintage champers next time they are out on expenses so don't be fooled into thinking otherwise.

Cheers, Simon

#25 rtrski

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 03:25 PM

Eric: You can use any of my pics you want for free. Of course, it would have to be in a blurb on "what's wrong with this picture?" :huh:

Actually, although OT, that's not a bad idea for the mag. An "almost" pic, say an amateur's favorite, with his/her description of why they like it and what they wished they could've done different...followed with response commentary from more established photogs with suggestions for different settings or things that might've made it go the final mile? Kind of like a boiling down of some of the image evaluation threads into a 1 subject per page spread including before and after images for those that PP could 'save'.

Edited by rtrski, 10 February 2009 - 03:28 PM.

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#26 Paul Kay

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 09:15 AM

Well the costs of the UK 'HSE commercial media' cert and medicals puts alot of people off... But thats only valid in this country if you want to 'work' in the media industry shooting U/W ... Although i've heard the BBC insist their shooters have it worldwide...

Does any other country have an equiv or can you just pick up a camera and get on with it ???

Dive safe

DeanB


Dean

The Part IV (which I DO have) is just another bit of paper and IMHO a pretty meaningless one - its one of my pet hates and originates from the commercial diving world where Health & Safety was originally a necessity in an industry well known for accidents and deaths. Now its more of a protectionist mechanism and is in my opinion is all too often used in order to protect people from 'unfair' but better competition - it certainly has little to do with 'real world' health and safety. I have nothing good to say about the controls placed on diving in the UK. They operate harshly on those who adhere to their requirements but fail entirely to control those who don't, and as usual with UK legislation, are as full of holes as a cullinder! The medical's not a bad idea regardless though and isn't that expensive.

On pricing I'd still make my usual comment, I sell information not images these days, or if I do film work, I'm shooting stuff because I know where it is and what it is. There has always been and always will be, cheap competition - as ever you simply need an edge, a good reason to sell yourself and your work above the cheaper opposition.

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#27 John Bantin

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 09:42 AM

University of Life.

We were all young once.

When I started as a photographer I did assignments for nothing or very little. Those that commissioned me always thought of me as someone who'd work for free.

Later I charged a hell of a lot. Those I worked for knew me as being very expensive.

Very expensive equals good. Cheap equals cheap.

We all have to learn the lesson.

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#28 cor

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 09:58 AM

Very expensive equals good. Cheap equals cheap.

We all have to learn the lesson.

Only good equals good. The rest is just perception.

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#29 craig

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 10:13 AM

I find that very expensive rarely equals good.
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#30 Steve Douglas

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 12:34 PM

This is a great thread, guys! I've wanted to talk about this for some time.

Aside from the issue of charging standard rates (which always is proceeded by the question, "What are standard rates?"), there is another element that sets apart shooters: courtesy. At the last couple of DEMAs, Eli (co-editor at Wetpixel Quarterly), Matt and I were accosted rudely by two well-known individuals in the industry who had nothing good to say about what we were doing. After taking (free) copies of Wetpixel Quarterly, they proceeded to pry into financials and fee standards, which are none of their business anyway. In particular, they talked about the OWU/DEEP contest issues, and said that we were taking advantage of photographers by publishing their images (didn't matter that the images end up in more than 50 publications worldwide, all tied to the contest announcement). But everyone who was published as a winner of those contests won prizes with values far exceeding what a low-circulation magazine would pay. Compensation isn't the issue, though. The issue is that we state up front that we can publish winners to announce, celebrate or promote the magazine (and we certainly don't have rights to use them in any other way). But it's right there in the rules, and it's easy to just not participate if you disagree.

In any case, the negative people are few (and you can believe that I won't ever have anything to do with them in the future). I'm sure there are many others who disagree with us about our policies, but at least they are polite about it (e.g. they just don't participate). The fact is that we are a struggling magazine in a field where no other magazine like this has ever survived more than a few years. I am unashamed about asking friends for favors to make this work, as we are all making tremendous sacrifices for the product.

So having been on the publishing side, I am suddenly much more understanding. I still get requests every day for free imagery, but the tone of my responses has changed a lot. And during the rare instances that I give something away, I sometimes even get something for it. The last time I gave out images for free, the company was so impressed with the images that they took me on as a photographer for stock. Now, I get checks from them every quarter.

Aside from creating a union, there isn't much you can do about an eager, young photographer or videographer wanting to get published to get experience or to create a portfolio. All you can do is to outshoot them and be more consistent as a resource. Those organizations that rely on free work get all the baggage that comes along with it -- they are more likely to get shoddy, inconsistent work. If their products aren't designed to take advantage of that, they will suffer over time, along with the success of their business. It's capitalism at work!

I realize that this is a discussion about video, but all of this applies to commercial media in general. Just exchange "image" for "second of footage." :huh:


Very well said Eric. There really isn't much we can do about others undercutting just to get a credit name. However, for the large number of contributers on this forum there can be a sense of 'That's something I won't do'. While I have met in person very few of all those here, I really do feel a fiduciary obligation to keep my end of the bargain and not just be a sucker for a credit. Sure, I've donated footage to schools and a couple of charities but that is another story and really not the issue at hand.
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#31 SimonSpear

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 01:13 PM

Dean

The Part IV (which I DO have) is just another bit of paper and IMHO a pretty meaningless one - its one of my pet hates and originates from the commercial diving world where Health & Safety was originally a necessity in an industry well known for accidents and deaths. Now its more of a protectionist mechanism and is in my opinion is all too often used in order to protect people from 'unfair' but better competition - it certainly has little to do with 'real world' health and safety. I have nothing good to say about the controls placed on diving in the UK. They operate harshly on those who adhere to their requirements but fail entirely to control those who don't, and as usual with UK legislation, are as full of holes as a cullinder! The medical's not a bad idea regardless though and isn't that expensive.



Couldn't agree more Paul. I've got HSE part IV (as does Dean), but so far I've found it a hindrance rather than a help. Those that require it as a prerequisite still wont employ me, the only difference being that their excuse has gone from "You need HSE Part IV" to "Ah, erm, we like to use our own guys...". While at the other extreme clients that don't know about HSE diving at work regulations boggle at the complexity of it all and baulk as their budgets jump from manageable to unaffordable. I know of at least two projects that were cancelled and the main suspect is the cost of complying with HSE regs. We all want to be safe at work that goes without saying, but when you need a 3 or 4 man team just for bimbling along in 5m it does make you want to scream at the red tape...

Cheers, Simon

#32 DeanB

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 02:41 PM

We all want to be safe at work that goes without saying, but when you need a 3 or 4 man team just for bimbling along in 5m it does make you want to scream at the red tape...

Cheers, Simon


I hear you mate... It was ment to open doors not scare people off... Should have been presenting my own series by now...Thanks HSE :huh:

Dive safe

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#33 Warren Elliott

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 07:07 PM

well some interesting threads on a general topic guys. Im new to this industry and yes have been quilty of doing one for pro rata. Still i then on sold some of the images to local media that repaid the time so I quess it all worked out. I don't want to undercut the industry eith but do agree that experience and what your shooting with plays a part in what you should be asking. But it seems that already I need to rethink that level.

Oh and it does get confusing as my parents used to say, give and you shell receive, where as my old sales boss demanded, never give with out getting first.....Time t go for a dive. Cheers

#34 DeanB

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 12:51 PM

I've given footage away for good causes that I wanted to support etc and I've received footage from others to use for free because of similar reasons. A number of people have contributed footage or time for free to "Sharks in British Seas"

Cheers, Simon


Subtle piece of advertising there me old mate :pardon: I mean to say "Sharks in British Seas" in mid convo is a bit obvious well to me... I mean Saying "Sharks in British Seas" is okay really i suppose because the mention of "Sharks in British Seas" is for a good cause and im quite excited about the release of "Sharks in British Seas"... So in reflection "Sharks in British Seas" is defo worth mentioning on this occasion whether intentionally or not... :)

Dive "Sharks in British Seas" Safe

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#35 SimonSpear

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 03:41 PM

Haha :pardon:

.....like you've never mentioned Pike before..... :)

Cheers, Simon

#36 jonny shaw

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 08:27 PM

To right Mr Spear... keep pluggin and good luck with 'Sharks in British Seas' I'm sure it will be a massive success.

Any news on a release date?

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#37 SimonSpear

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 11:53 PM

Heya Jon

Release date is Feb 27th at all good retailers :) (always wanted to say that hehe).

Cheer, Simon

#38 peacedog

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 04:35 PM

Guys, trust me - it's not always about how good you are. I think I'm a decent underwater shooter and a great storyteller, but there are a ton of people doing what I'm doing that are better than me on the technical side that don't get the gig because they're dicks to work with. I can't tell you how many shoots I've been assigned and then been told afterwards that it wasn't so much that I was a good shooter, but that I was a pleasure to have on-location.

Get good at your craft, yes. Always. But never, ever give into u/w imaging snobbery. It'll be your downfall quicker than a bad air fill.

Edited by peacedog, 16 February 2009 - 04:36 PM.

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#39 Mike L

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 05:47 PM

VERY WELL SAID ARRON!! Ill never forget a rental I did last year where the photographer rented a system from us, claimed he was a professional, needed no instruction on the equipment that he picked up because he was a "pro shooter", only to have him come back with the rental a day later demanding his money back because none of his shots for the magazine were in focus, and of course it had to be the equipment's fault (until I snapped a picture in focus first try right in front of him). Needless to say, I did not refund the rental.
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#40 TheRealDrew

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 01:24 AM

Heya Jon

Release date is Feb 27th at all good retailers :) (always wanted to say that hehe).

Cheer, Simon



Is it going to be available in the U.S.? Will make sure to pick one up when it comes out. Looking forward to seeing it....