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Second shooting


julesm 10 1.7k 7 United Kingdom
11 Dec 2012 9:29PM
Hi folks,

I suppose this as much a moan as a wish for comment.

I recently second shot a couple of weddings for someone I thought was a decent chap and a pretty good photographer. He was apparently offering to give people experience by letting them assist for free. I gladly did a wedding and got lots of great images, which he then asked for the finished files. I didn't mind that, I was assisting, but he then proceeded to include every image of mine in the portfolio, and it soon dawned on me that I wasn't sure who was gaining the experience?

He then asked me to help with another wedding, and again, I spent 6 hours on the road, and all day, running around helping him get more great pics, this time I did ask for some money to cover travel expenses, as it was obvious he wasn't going to get a lot of his shots without an assistant.

I got requests from guests for prints, and I politely asked the tog if I could sell some of the prints, to which he agreed. However, the client then went cold on me and has cut off all communication, and I can guess he's sold my images.

I feel cheated at all the effort I put in and when he contacted me to do a third wedding (he new he was on to a good thing here!), I politely asked if I could be paid anything beyond the petrol money, and he declined, pleading poverty, (having just returned from a two week holiday).

I remember when I started doing weddings and had an assistant with me all day, I paid them 100 for their trouble. I only got paid 150 myself..
Some people?

It seems to be my lot in life being shat on Sad

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julesm 10 1.7k 7 United Kingdom
11 Dec 2012 9:29PM
Why are people so mean? Sad
Paul_Anthony 2 369 4 Wales
11 Dec 2012 9:50PM
I'm wondering why you agreed to assist / second shoot in the first place. Were you doing him the favor or was he doing you one. You do not strike ma as needing to gain experience.
Coleslaw e2
9 13.4k 28 Wales
11 Dec 2012 10:02PM
I too, am not sure why you assisted to start with.
Then, I am not sure why you assisted the second time after the first one.
parallax e2
5 119 United Kingdom
11 Dec 2012 10:32PM
You sometimes give people the benefit of the doubt, and they still continue to take the piss.

If you've still got your shots, then I'd put them in a portfolio and or on your website and hopefully get something out of an unpleasant experience.
julesm 10 1.7k 7 United Kingdom
11 Dec 2012 10:36PM
Thanks both... kind words.

I guess I did it because no matter what I do I cant seem to get any work? Its like I've become a leper or something. I don't understand it.

He seemed to be a much vaunted photographer buy the great and the good, and I thought it would help me keep my hand in, and thought I might find out what the magic secret to his success is. I didn't find one, but it did strengthen my resolve to keep going, but I just don't know what I'm doing wrong? It feels like I cant get out from under a cloud, and everyone I meet sticks the boot in (metaphorically). I get customers for lifestyle shoots that love their pics and rave about them, but then don't buy them, I get customers slagging me off because I don't hand them a free disk of images after they've bought a pew prints.

It just seem to be my lot at the moment, but I'm refusing to give up, because to do so would be to resign myself to failure, and stay with my day job, and I cant deal with that.
dathersmith 7 550 12 England
11 Dec 2012 10:40PM
Hi Jules,

Not convinced why you needed to second shoot but I guess you knew what you were getting in to as your opening statement says he was allowing you to second shoot for free. This indicates that he wasn't going to charge you for the privilege and likewise you weren't going to get paid so that is that for me.

Again I would question why you repeated the exercise if you weren't happy the first time but if you felt you needed the experience then that's what the photographer was offering. Personally I wouldn't like someone second shooting for me if I didn't know them really well and then I wouldn't be offering to pay them but doing it to give them some experience, which is what it sounds like this guy was doing although asking you for a third time does sound like he is possibly starting to take advantage. If you don't want more experience with him and he doesn't want to pay you then simply don't do it, maybe he doesn't feel like he's being mean but genuinely thinks you want experience and that's what he is offering.

Darren.
nevtrev 1 14
11 Dec 2012 10:44PM
sounds to me you dont need to work on your photography skills - instead you should seek help on marketing and networking.

can I ask who you most aspire too?
Sooty_1 4 1.2k 202 United Kingdom
11 Dec 2012 10:48PM
Perhaps a salutary lesson for all considering doing this second shooter thing, to agree on the terms before you start?

If you knew this was going to happen, you would never have done it in the first place, or would maybe have negotiated to sell the images yourself, or get a percentage cut from any of your images used. It seems some photographers like to take advantage of peoples' good nature (not just photographers, other trades are available!).

Out of interest, do you agree with your customers exactly what your terms and prices are, before the shoot? If so, then they should know what they are getting for the money and should have no reason to complain if the pictures they get are what they want.

Nick
mikehit e2
5 6.8k 11 United Kingdom
11 Dec 2012 11:03PM

Quote:Thanks both... kind words.

I guess I did it because no matter what I do I cant seem to get any work? Its like I've become a leper or something. I don't understand it.
...
I didn't find one, but it did strengthen my resolve to keep going, but I just don't know what I'm doing wrong? It feels like I cant get out from under a cloud, and everyone I meet sticks the boot in (metaphorically). I get customers for lifestyle shoots that love their pics and rave about them, but then don't buy them, I get customers slagging me off because I don't hand them a free disk of images after they've bought a pew prints.

It just seem to be my lot at the moment, but I'm refusing to give up, because to do so would be to resign myself to failure, and stay with my day job, and I cant deal with that.



The tone of that post, combined with the questions others are sending (why did you do it a second time), hints at what may be the problem - business acumen. I have lost track of how many times I have read gripes by hard-up professionals compaining about how AN Other is inferior in technique but doing a roaring trade: and the answer is they know how to sell, how to network, how to control costs (and by refusing to pay you, the other guy is clearly able to do that!) and how to get them to pay the money. Almost any successful business is 90% business and 10% skill: and photography is no different - sad but true.
If you have clients who love your work but don't buy that is failure to close the deal: either you end up photographing the 'tyre kickers' (the wrong client) or you are not convincing them to buy (poor salesmanship).

So I would say do not give up the day job until you have been able to solve these elements.
LVanDhal 2 126 1 United Kingdom
11 Dec 2012 11:13PM

Quote:Thanks both... kind words.

I guess I did it because no matter what I do I cant seem to get any work? Its like I've become a leper or something. I don't understand it.

He seemed to be a much vaunted photographer buy the great and the good, and I thought it would help me keep my hand in, and thought I might find out what the magic secret to his success is. I didn't find one.

It just seem to be my lot at the moment, but I'm refusing to give up, because to do so would be to resign myself to failure, and stay with my day job, and I cant deal with that.



Confidence, he's got it, and you NEED to build yours.

People are running roughshod over you because you have not yet decided on what terms you are truly willing to deal with, on the one hand you want to be paid, which is a good thing, but on the other you seem reluctant to make this a priority, seemingly preferring to avoid saying out right that you expect recompense, if you rely on peoples innate decency where money is concerned then....... big disappointments await you.

develop an idea of boundary's, yours as much as others, and having decided what they are , apply them at all times.
Don't accept praise over payment, you are a business not a volunteer, do not be afraid to walk away from a no brainer, forget other peoples reputations, keep your focus on building yours, not theirs.
All business is primarily about deals, and in all deals there is something for you, but the question is, do you want it ? will it fit with what you want to achieve ?
You have to sell the value of prints to the customer, you have to remind them constantly how great a print is, A free disc of images ! are they mad ? they have got these beautiful archival prints to display, and by the way have they got a frame for them yet because they would really shine in a black frame with a thin beading of silver , sterling of course, and yes of course you could get that done for them- capish.

Get yourself over to youtube and watch a few motivational videos.
And remember unless he employed you in which case its illegal not to pay minimum wage, then doing something to help out is entirely up to you, as in how long you "Help out" and what you shoot and who you sell the prints to, he is not your Guvnor, why treat him like one.
Don't give up, or give in.
wishing you all the best.Smile
julesm 10 1.7k 7 United Kingdom
12 Dec 2012 10:11AM
Thanks all. Lots for me to think about.
Im not a businessman, I give to much if myself and too much away. The trouble is no one seems to pay no matter what I produce!

If I have to become greedy and selfish to succeed, then I guess I'm going to fail.
Spencer1966 2 72 1 United Kingdom
12 Dec 2012 10:34AM
Jules
You need to change your mindset if you yourself dont value your work and charge a decent rate then it wont come across to potential clients. As such you will spiral down because you will only be dealing with people who dont have a large budget or want something for nothing.

You need to find where you want to be as a brand and believe in yourself. Your work is good and you should be charging for it, by doing this you will slowly get in the circle of clients through referals that will appreciate your work and pay for it - you simply are being held back by yourself Jules. Sad
User_Removed 4 4.6k 1 Scotland
12 Dec 2012 11:00AM

Quote:
If I have to become greedy and selfish to succeed, then I guess I'm going to fail.



You don't have to become greedy and selfish to succeed. Indeed, greedy and selfish plonkers inevitably fail eventually. They may make a fast buck but no-one uses them twice.

What you may need, rather than becoming greedy and selfish, is to become assertive and savvy. It has been said a hundred times on this Forum that 90% of the would-be professional photographers who fail do not do so because of lack of photographic skills but, rather, as a result of a lack of business skills. Almost certainly, in your area, there will be a Local Enterprise organisation that offers free courses in business administration, marketing, accounting, law, etc., etc. You also must obviously have sufficient seedcorn capital to get the business side established. Once again the Local Enterprise people will be able to point you in the right direction for this.

Good luck.
User_Removed 4 4.6k 1 Scotland
12 Dec 2012 11:03AM
...after writing the above, I had a look at your website. It may not be an effective marketing tool but, by Jove, it certainly demonstrates that you are a very skilled photographer indeed. Awesome work, if I may say so.

And if, by asking a question, I may perhaps give a pointer to be thought about.

How do you market your website? In other words, how do you drive potential customers to it?


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