Stumbled on some light reading today :)
Well… I’ve harped on before about cheap prints with photography and disappointed to see such a photography great as Ansel Adams caught up with this.
For those that don’t know Adams is Americas Landscape Photography Master. He has since passed away and his family run a business selling his images from what I gather. I think he passed away in 1984. He has some fantastic shots and is an inspiration.
People baulk at buying photography prints for a few hundred dollars. I’ve had comments of “Id never pay for then 5 bucks for a photo when I can get it online for free.” Hence why photographers watermark their images. Recently I saw a framed print no bigger than A2 for sale for a tad under 5 grand and nearly choked so Im guilty as the rest. In this case though, you were paying solely for the name of the photographer as he is quite famous in the UK. It was a great shot, not one of a kind though, is it worth that much money? Maybe to the right person, but this is on the other end of the spectrum.
But thats ok, their choice, Im trying to run a reputable business with a long lasting product and thats my stance. I earn enough to cover my costs, to be honest I should probably charge more, however I would actually like to sell something on the odd occasion too. We don’t live in a society where people have diamond rocks falling out of their pockets like lint (if you know where this actually happens please let me know so I can move). I charge what I think is a suitable value to the print. this is about 1/2 the cost of other photographers but Im not as “famous” as them either… not just yet anyway :)
Even I will go out bargain hunting, so I do understand to a point. The one thing I wont scrounge on is my camera, computers and printing gear though. The old saying of “You get what you paid for” holds fast in the photography world.
But when you see a “bargain” like this don’t be surprised you are getting something that you actually paid for… that something in this bloggers case is a big can of “stuff all” by the looks… or is it?
Genuine Inks alone on a large format printer for a print this size doesn’t cover the sale price, then include a matte… even at US prices it doesn’t come close…..
This is the blog Im referring to (it will send you to another page) To be honest Im going off this blog as being factual and taking it at face value.
To me, the business hasn’t done anything legally wrong however there is a moral factor I have issue with. I still think it would be a worthy place to go visit so the blog hasn’t deterred me on that front either.
All it takes is one bad egg and everyone is labelled the same. We see this everyday with keyboard warrior comments on facebook, twitter and other social mediums, so Id rather everyone be up front and honest.
Now in hindsight the blogger probably doesn’t know that value of what he is purchasing or just thought he got a “steal”. Is he at fault for not knowing this? …. but…. does anyone actually know? And what are you paying for with this “illustrious” prices of a few hundred or even thousand bucks.
Well you cover the materials, computers, software, cameras, lenses, calibration equipment, servicing, insurance, time, storage space, power, phone lines, internet service, website licences, registration, business registration , vehicle maintenance (photographers just don’t walk out their front door and take a snap and walk straight back in again… yeah I know, shocking isnt it?), fuel, car insurance, flights in some occasions, visa’s, accommodation/ camping, food, clothing and a heap of other stuff and thats just the away stuff… And thats just to cover what is used to get the photo from the camera to what you see on google and other web engines. This hasn’t covered putting food on the table for his/ her family via a wage or even covering the monthly bills to exist or even a business profit. Unfortunately most businesses do not work on good faith and favours Without the last couple there is no chance that the business would have even started or the customer may have seen the shot on the web.
If it was as simple as clicking a button and printing it onto paper whilst taking everyones money than everyone would do it….
This piece is purely a discussion on the topic of photographic business and should not be considered to demean the Ansel Adams family name or the original linked blogger.
Photo by J Malcolm Greany (wiki)