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Are Venture Photography fooling their customers?

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User_Removed
29 Jul 2009 - 7:06 PM

Over the last couple of years i have heard many people complaining about the prices that venture have attempted to charge them for photos. I beleive that in business honesty is the best policy and as a photographer it irritates me that as a market leader within this profession they continually fail to be upfront with potential customers about their prices.

I was in a shopping centre today and they had a studio set up. Their photoshoot was free and what they were doing was sending the best photo to the persons phone. Usaully they only have one or two sales reps at their stands but today they had 1 tog 1 editor and about 2 reps to pull the customers in. There are numerous threads been created on consumer forums from people who have been lured in to parting with money from pressure sales tactics.

Many people have signed up to a finance agreement that basically puts them in debt with a finance company meaning that once something is purchased it is nothing to do with venture. I personally dont like the tactics they employ and feel sorry for all those people who get roped in to all this. I think that there should be some sort of regulator for businesses like this to ensure that products are not mis sold.
james

Last Modified By Moderator Team at 29 Jul 2009 - 8:09 PM
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keith selmes
29 Jul 2009 - 7:24 PM


Quote: a market leader within this profession

I wouldn't call them that.

MikeA
MikeA  91150 forum posts England
29 Jul 2009 - 7:31 PM

When someone is after my money, I find it easy to walk away, that's all you have to do + my phone does not do pictures Wink

bigalguitarpicker

It's called "business" James.
I wish I was getting even half of what they are. Someone I know once had a customer ask for 10 A4 copies of a print they liked. These prints were priced at £14 each. The photographer in question was thinking "Oh this is terrible! £140 for a few bits of paper!" Should really have been trying to talk the customer into taking one or two more!

Last Modified By bigalguitarpicker at 29 Jul 2009 - 7:36 PM
Nickscape
Nickscape  8693 forum posts England9 Constructive Critique Points
29 Jul 2009 - 7:41 PM

To be honest people I have spoken to have been very pleased with Venture and the photos they have produced for them. I see the prices as rather high but joe public are willing to pay this - Venture are such a big organisation for a reason and its mainly about being so good at business which at the end of the day it is, forget taking lovely portraits its all to do with making money - perhaps something to take note of?

Last Modified By Nickscape at 29 Jul 2009 - 7:43 PM
guidoa
guidoa  121321 forum posts United Kingdom
29 Jul 2009 - 8:03 PM

James- I am sure your threads would be read by more people, if you, broke the endless sentence down into paragraphs. I just find it most difficult to follow, and I generally lose interest after a while.

stevem
stevem  10238 forum posts United Kingdom
29 Jul 2009 - 8:06 PM

I got talked into a free photoshoot & pic at Venture Leeds. The shoot was enjoyable, the tog was very pleasant & produced a few excellent shots. The viewing was a week later & all very upmarket. I actually laughed out loud when they told me the prices!

It was something like £300 for an A3 shot!! I just said that would go a long way to a very nice lens & we agreed that I wasn't the target client. They wern't pushy tho' - or maybe he could sense no chance Smile To some folk that kind of money is no problem & that's their target clientelle. IT"S BUSINESS!

Last Modified By stevem at 29 Jul 2009 - 8:07 PM
chris.maddock
29 Jul 2009 - 8:14 PM


Quote: James- I am sure your threads would be read by more people, if you, broke the endless sentence down into paragraphs. I just find it most difficult to follow, and I generally lose interest after a while.

There's nothing wrong with the sentence lengths in my view. Although a few extra commas would help with clarity (not to mention making it correctly punctuated) it's pretty clear and legible as it is.

stix
stix e2 Member 9924 forum postsstix vcard United Kingdom86 Constructive Critique Points
29 Jul 2009 - 9:18 PM

I have to agree with James , blimey never thought I'd say that.
There is something rather underhand about giving you a price after the shoot, when you have invested the time, and then could feel pressured to buy something. Its Business I agree, but rather unsavory.

Bucephalas69
29 Jul 2009 - 10:22 PM

Venture eh? Has the same number of letters as VULTURE.

But on a serious note though. We (those of us earning a meager wage from photography) should be grateful for Ventures existence (hear me out!).

Traditionally they have always aimed at the higher end of the market. If you go buy yourself a new BMW or Merc next week, there's no doubt you will find a lovely free sitting offer sat in the glove box when it's delivered.
If you go into a Merc dealership and look around at the cars, you shouldn't be surprised when the assistant tells you the price.
If a shop window displays products without a price, then the general rule is - if you need to ask, you can't afford.
Venture have entered the market with a niche product, or at least it was before many togs rushed to PS tutorials on the web to try and replicate what they do.
They have raised the perception in peoples mind that studio portraiture is an expensive business which should benefit us all (especially as we can under-cut them).
What they do, they do VERY well. Sell the sizzle, not the steak! (Called the Venture 'experience for those who don't know)

Before they actually get you in the studio, they have already spent £500 in getting you there to begin with. Add that to rent, electricity, business rates, marketing costs and the wages of all the staff (they are labour intensive) and you can begin to appreciate why they charge so much.
The other thing to remember is that they are a franchise. Each studio has no control over the prices they charge. They have the products printed and framed by their head office who charge them a princely sum for it.

Now i've got that off my chest;- My opinion.

(Deleted a paragraph to prevent legal claims against me).

Any of you who have become working pro togs will now know that photography skills are almost irrelevant to the business. You could always buy in a pro/semi-pro tog, as long as you are a good business manager you will succeed.
"..... spent a full day wandering the studio and meeting and talking to the staff, but noticed all too well that when the manager walked into the room the body language and atmosphere changed immediately.
He (manager) had 3 electronic timers on his desk. When the PP lad started work on the last shoot he would give him 20 mins then go and advise him to work quicker (i'm being very polite here).
The staff did appear to be ruled by fear. Not a great way to do business imo.
All of the negative things witnessed didn't dampen (said person's) enthusiasm as he could remedy them once he had his feet under the table.
That was until he sat in on a viewing session, then things changed.

I won't go into detail of what he was privy to, but i will give some examples of the work practices he found whilst conducting research before he refused the offer of employment (which he did).

At viewing sessions, try and get the whole family present, including Granny, grandad etc etc.
Try and get them to take the bus (because parking is a nightmare), that way when we get the complimentary bubbly out all will partake (loosens the wallet).
Have a pre-completed credit agreement ready.
If mum is resilient to the £1300 package, try the shame method and then maybe grandma will stump up.
If all are resistant try mentioning that little Jonny's portrait has already been printed but we can destroy that when it arrives.
If all else fails, try pure aggression!

When people talk of their 'experience' with Venture, unless money is no object they will no doubt be riddled with guilt at having been done. They would be embarassed at their inability to resist the high pressure sales techiniques and will deal with this by telling you that it was an enjoyable experience (which the shoot usually is) and that they are a little expensive but are very happy with the end product.
How many people are honest enough to say "Yep, i was a muppet and after a bottle of Cava signed on the dotted line"?

I know two women who have had the treatment. I wasn't aware of either (even though they know i'm a portrait photographer) until I visited their home.
On one occasion i was admiring the prints and asked the said wife if she thought that £1300 was good value. She immediately pulled me aside and begged me not to mention the price again as her hubby had no idea what she had paid.
The other tried to get a full refund from them because they had cloned out a birth mark on the face of her youngest and it was causing her mental anguish (more like the price caused this).
She didn't get her money!

So. All bow down now and be thankfull that;
A- They exist. We have a great benchmark to proved what value we offer.
B- Stick to your guns and market your business as an ETHICAL one. Differentiate or be damned!

(For guidoa, i have tried my best to break down the paragraphs and add a few commas. Wink

Last Modified By Bucephalas69 at 29 Jul 2009 - 10:27 PM
User_Removed
30 Jul 2009 - 12:15 AM

My personal thanks to the Moderator who took the time to go through the OP and make it more readable by applying simple English composition standards to the text.

Thank you.

It's not like this is the first time of asking either James...
Smile

Last Modified By User_Removed at 30 Jul 2009 - 12:16 AM
Bucephalas69
30 Jul 2009 - 12:26 AM


Quote: My personal thanks to the Moderator who took the time to go through the OP and make it more readable by applying simple English composition standards to the text.

Thank you.

It's not like this is the first time of asking either James... Smile

? I know i've had a wee dram but i don't understand??

I thought this forum was a general discussion forum. Didn't realise we were being judged on our gramar and spelling (intentional mistake there....).

Last Modified By Bucephalas69 at 30 Jul 2009 - 12:30 AM
rossd
rossd  111061 forum posts England
30 Jul 2009 - 9:43 PM


Quote: make it more readable by applying simple English composition standards to the text.

I agree. I assume the OP is a professional tog and therefore I would further assume that his written communication with his customers/clients is of a higher standard than his posts.

But then I'm in a grumpy mood tonight......................... Sad

User_Removed
30 Jul 2009 - 11:22 PM


Quote: I have to agree with James , blimey never thought I'd say that.
There is something rather underhand about giving you a price after the shoot, when you have invested the time, and then could feel pressured to buy something. Its Business I agree, but rather unsavory.

removed by epz. There's no such thing as a free lunch. If the shoot is 'free' then the time spent on it has to be recouped somewhere.

Last Modified By Moderator Team at 31 Jul 2009 - 5:40 AM
stix
stix e2 Member 9924 forum postsstix vcard United Kingdom86 Constructive Critique Points
30 Jul 2009 - 11:45 PM

Charming.

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