Why Don’t We Teach Photographers What to Charge for Their Photos?

street photography

“The position I come from in writing this article stems from the opinion that a lack of openness about pay, the cultural norm condemning disclosing financial information, is what allows pay gaps to develop, continue, and exist.”

I’ve heard countless versions of the same story: a photo assistant discovering that the photographer charged the client double what they paid the assistant in regards to the assistant fee on the client’s invoice, a tragic problem frequently encountered and rarely remedied. When I first began photo assisting, I was massively underselling myself without realizing, and people took significant advantage – it was only when another female photographer pulled me aside and told me what my rates should be that I realized how much I had been selling myself short. And in a world where women’s requests for what we’re worth are rarely met, though asked for just as often as men, having a lack of knowledge and confidence about how and what you should be charging makes it that much harder to keep our industry healthy, vibrant, and lucrative.

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Surprise! Photographer Listed Among the Worst Jobs in the U.S.

Photographers are among the 25 worst careers in the country due to factors like low pay, high levels of stress, low job security, and public scrutiny. 

If you’ve been enjoying your career as a high-earning photographer, reports are suggesting that you could be an exception to the rule. In fact, it’s important to keep in mind that most people who get into the business while leaving their day job know nothing about the actual business side of things. I mean, God forbid you need to pay a photographer so that they can eat, pay their bills, and have a comfortable life. With the proliferation of so many images on the web these days, people often forget that they need a professional photographer in order to achieve the best results and have the most pleasant experience. Along with that comes a host of things–and perhaps that’s part of what makes being a photographer one of the worst jobs in the US.

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UPDATE: Did Yashica Just Tell Kickstarter Backers That They’ll Need to Pay More to Get Their Cameras?

Photographers are very, very angry with Yashica right now.

The story of Yashica is one of an underdog riding on the sympathies of many people. But they probably just made one of the biggest mistakes in Kickstarter history. The company told backers earlier this year that their cameras and the production was being delayed. The reason: they wanted to make a better product. Fair enough, I guess. So instead of May 2018 we were supposed to receive our cameras at the end of July, which is now. I say “we” because I personally am a backer, and to that end, I’m the source of this news. Today, we received the weirdest and perhaps most perplexing update ever.

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You Can Now Get Paid to Follow Rich People Around on Vacation And Create Better Instagram Photos For Them

You guys: people are starting to finally realize that they suck at Instagram enough to warrant needing to bring a photographer with them and ALSO HIRE THOSE PHOTOGRAPHERS!!! This is one of the latest new trends in photography that’s come after birthing photography, family documentary, etc. So if you feel you’ve got the chops and the documentary experience, then you’re probably talented enough to rub shoulders with some talentless rich kids–at least when it comes to Instagram.

Warning: a fair amount of good natured snark is ahead.

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Why Should Someone Pay For Your Images?

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon PIXMA iP2850 printer review product photos (4 of 10)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 3.2

Rights grabs, payments, and more have been the talk of the town for the past couple of days. But this all brings up an even bigger question that deserves a very big answer:

Why, in 2015, with the prevalence of so many images being taken each and every minute, should someone pay for your images?

Now, let’s put some specific emphasis on this sentence and get right to the meat of the problem:

Why should someone pay for your images?

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On the Importance of a Photographer’s People Skills

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony NEX F3 review photos mermaid parade (10 of 10)ISO 200

There are times where I hear horror stories from other photographers who fail and are crushed by interactions with other people when it comes to their photography. What are these interactions? Appealing to editors, trying to get paying clients, asking someone to take a picture of them, collaborating with another photographer, wanting to learn from another photographer, etc. It’s devastating for sure, but it will only be disheartening if you look at it the same way and approach each situation in the same way.

Consider this: approach every single interaction about your photography like a job offer, but do this within reason.

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