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Photographer
Cliff from NJ
Posts: 1,430
Clinton, New Jersey, US


Hurray, I'm the 1,000th poster.
Jul 29 09 02:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Digital Czar
Posts: 933
Oak Park, Illinois, US


Chris Macan wrote:

Not always,
I think the image on Time worked quite well.

as a production dude......
I can see no cost benefit advantage to paying a better photographer to re-shoot it.

Some stock images are perfect for some layouts,

Note I haven't said every photograph should be a custom, commissioned work. Stock can be just fine. My objection is what's paid to the photographer (in this case) vs. what they would have paid had they commissioned the work. The difference is far, far greater than HUGE.

The issue lies in several places, the photographer not thinking his work is worth more, the stock agency trolling the bottom of the barrel, and the stock agency not charging the appropriate fee to a national, weekly newsmag like TIME.

The only ones who really benefitted was TIME and iStock.

Jul 29 09 03:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Digital Czar
Posts: 933
Oak Park, Illinois, US


Christopher Hartman wrote:

I believe that too.  But you know what, I couldn't afford the V8 GT Mustang.  The V6 suited my budget limitations.

I've love to have a Nikon D3 or D3x, but right now the D300 is more of my budget and I'm working on affording the D700.

I always try to get the best when possible.  I could save money by buying 3rd party lenses but so far I have stuck with Nikon.

Knowing about component reliability, I focus on mid-range established company components when I upgrade my computer.

I don't know if the iPhone 3Gs is the BEST phone out there, but I do believe it's the BEST phone for me.

I like Levi's jeans.  They are far from the worst but I have no idea if they are best, they are certainly not nearly as expensive as some of those designer jeans. They are definitely good enough for me.

I don't think I bought the BEST golf clubs but I did spend $799 on Calloway Big Bertha irons.  Maybe that was a mistake because I till suck at golf.

Some people think the Sony Playstation 3 is better than the Xbox360, but they don't have Halo.

My HDTV supports 1080i but technically is just slightly higher than 720p.

My lighting is a couple of Nikon SB-800 speed lights and an Alien Bee AB-800.

I change my lenses while out on sandy beaches and sometimes it's windy.

I've shot in the rain with my Nikon D200 without covering it.  It still works.

I am, without exception, always right unless a girlfriend tells me otherwise.

Why do I think your last line says it all...

Jul 29 09 03:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Digital Czar
Posts: 933
Oak Park, Illinois, US


Chris Macan wrote:

Ok..... you might need two 283s,
some white paper and a piece of white plexi.

The point is...... there are people working with next to nothing in the micro market,
and some of them produce decent images in their guest-room.


They are not your competition for custom work.

More than 2-283's for this to do the photo a bit right. They aren't really powerfull enough unless you want to shoot at 400, which I don't. I'd never use paper and plexi, just a large sheet of plexi, much better since there is no horizon line and color shift between the plexi and paper.

That's the cheap version.

Just so you know, back in early 80's a lot of us in Chicago worked for Wards. I shot a lot of their automotive, jewelery, kids toys and such. One job was 60 auto items, from thermostats to radios(in a full dashboard and with the radio lit up). From 5pm to 8am the next morning 60 photos were done on 4x5, no digital in those days(Don't I wish), polaroids on every product and so on, some in packaging, many not. So, I know production and it worked only because of pre-production planning, good assistants and so on. You can do the math on how long each took, and it wasn't just plopping things on the background and hitting the shutter. Every product had to get fill cards for lighting to separate parts from the background or shadow and so on.

Even what you might think is simple, isn't.

Jul 29 09 03:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Lumigraphics
Posts: 32,652
Detroit, Michigan, US


Digital Czar wrote:

Doesn't matter, something is paying for the space. In your example, the furniture store is paying for the space. It's still not really free. Try thinking of cost accounting.

However, lets say a buddy lets him use his studio, equipment etc. and he does his photos. And his buddy has the jar, coins, background etc. Maybe then I'd consider his costs nil, though he probably had to drive to the studio.

There's no free ride.

If he already has the space and isn't using it, then marginal cost is close to zero. If you allocate cost to the photo business, that offsets expenses for his furniture store and makes the store more profitable.

Or maybe he shot in his home studio and it SAVED him money, because he can now expense part of his rent and utilities. smile

Jul 29 09 03:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Lumigraphics
Posts: 32,652
Detroit, Michigan, US


Alvah Burlas B A P  wrote:
Looks like you have more money in the jar then you made off it. LOL

Oh well thats what the stock photos are there for atleast you can say it was on the cover, a lot more then I and most the photographers on MM can say.

B.A.P.

He can license that image more than once. His expense on this image is ALL sunk cost. The disadvantage of sunk cost is that your money is gone. The advantage is that anything you make now is 100% profit. smile

Jul 29 09 03:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Christopher Hartman
Posts: 53,735
Buena Park, California, US


Eduardo Frances wrote:

How about rethinking your strategy instead  of quitting? your port isn´t bad at all and with some marketing and business training you could make some money, or are you to used to let the image be there and get revenue from it? (not trying to be ironic or harsh, is a question without meaning to hurt).

No no...I'm saying in general.  If you currently are unable to compete with with something, you either need to change, adapt, or quit.  Quitting would just be the result of being unable to make changes that would keep you in business.  If I want $1,000 for a photo but no one wants to pay more than $250 and I can't afford or am unwilling to do it at $250 or find away to get someone to want to pay more than $250 to make it affordable/worth my time, there isn't really anything left other than to quit.

I'll use my baseball analogy again.  You're 60 years old.  If you can hit .250, punch out 15 hrs and drive in about 85 RBIs, you're gonna have a job in the MLB.  But if all you can do is .125, 1 hr, and 17 RBIs, they're gonna cut you lose whether you choose to quit or not.

Jul 29 09 04:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Christopher Hartman
Posts: 53,735
Buena Park, California, US


Brooks Beauty wrote:
Hey Chris! You're not that bad at all! :-)

Thank you very much sir!!  That calendar I was talking to Curt about though when I last saw you...total crash and burn...ugh.

Jul 29 09 04:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Christopher Hartman
Posts: 53,735
Buena Park, California, US


Digital Czar wrote:

Note I haven't said every photograph should be a custom, commissioned work. Stock can be just fine. My objection is what's paid to the photographer (in this case) vs. what they would have paid had they commissioned the work. The difference is far, far greater than HUGE.

The issue lies in several places, the photographer not thinking his work is worth more, the stock agency trolling the bottom of the barrel, and the stock agency not charging the appropriate fee to a national, weekly newsmag like TIME.

The only ones who really benefitted was TIME and iStock.

That's supply and demand economics with a bit of good enough tossed in vs quality.

Jul 29 09 04:05 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Christopher Hartman
Posts: 53,735
Buena Park, California, US


Digital Czar wrote:

Why do I think your last line says it all...

I don't have a girlfriend right now so you'll just have to accept that I'm right. big_smile

Jul 29 09 04:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Digital Czar
Posts: 933
Oak Park, Illinois, US


Christopher Hartman wrote:
I don't have a girlfriend right now so you'll just have to accept that I'm right. big_smile

You don't want me to reply to your list of things.

I'll say this though, Sinar View Cameras, Hasselblad 2 1/4, 7-8 Balcar 2400/1200/600 packs Macintosh computers/scanners, Dicomed/Better light scan back, Fuji S2, Nikon for film and so on.

Jul 29 09 04:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Digital Czar
Posts: 933
Oak Park, Illinois, US


Lumigraphics wrote:

If he already has the space and isn't using it, then marginal cost is close to zero. If you allocate cost to the photo business, that offsets expenses for his furniture store and makes the store more profitable.

Or maybe he shot in his home studio and it SAVED him money, because he can now expense part of his rent and utilities. smile

Still doesn't mean his costs are negligible. There's no free ride even if he's in his home. There's a mortgage, and taxes, utilities, insuranace and so on, none of which is free even for a small room in his home.

Jul 29 09 04:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WIP
Posts: 15,111
Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom


26 pages, I wonder if Time has picked up any new readers.
Jul 29 09 04:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Christopher Hartman
Posts: 53,735
Buena Park, California, US


Digital Czar wrote:

You don't want me to reply to your list of things.

I'll say this though, Sinar View Cameras, Hasselblad 2 1/4, 7-8 Balcar 2400/1200/600 packs Macintosh computers/scanners, Dicomed scan back, Fuji S2, Nikon for film and so on.

There is always something better.  Sometimes you have to accept reality. 

You, to me, sound like someone that essentially wants to unionize the industry to establish set prices based on a criteria decided by a few rather than be decided by market forces.  You want to protect what is yours and anyone that is willing to do something for much less than what you find acceptable needs to be impugned.

Jul 29 09 04:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Monito -- Alan
Posts: 16,524
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada


Justin Foto wrote:
I'll type it slowly this time.

I  d i d n ' t   a s k   f o r  y o u r   o p i n i o n.

If you don't want opinions, don't post in large forums and especially in active threads.  Duh.

Jul 29 09 05:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Monito -- Alan
Posts: 16,524
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada


Chris Macan wrote:
Go to Istock Photo and type "Coin Jar" into the search,
It will yield you 370 similar photos most of which have been downloaded multiple times.
Some have been downloaded 50, 200, 500 times. This particular image has been downloaded 3 times in the last year. and I think it is safe to say it will continue to be downloaded for years to come

I expect the low download factor appealed to Time, as the picture would not have been seen before except by a very few.

Jul 29 09 05:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Leo Howard
Posts: 6,728
Phoenix, Arizona, US


I cant believe this is still raging on.


Hey Hartman, one of these days you will be awesome, just keep working at it wink
Jul 29 09 05:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Richie Rich B
Posts: 1,521
Largo, Florida, US


Didn't read through all the replies. Just saw that they are discussing this thread over on Sportshooter and also posted this:

http://www.time.com/time/mediakit/1/us/ … index.html

The ad rates for Time Magazine. Microstock has killed portions of the industry...Congratulations!
Jul 29 09 06:05 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Chris Macan
Posts: 12,786
HAVERTOWN, Pennsylvania, US


Digital Czar wrote:
More than 2-283's for this to do the photo a bit right. They aren't really powerfull enough unless you want to shoot at 400, which I don't. I'd never use paper and plexi, just a large sheet of plexi, much better since there is no horizon line and color shift between the plexi and paper.

That's the cheap version.

Just so you know, back in early 80's a lot of us in Chicago worked for Wards. I shot a lot of their automotive, jewelery, kids toys and such. One job was 60 auto items, from thermostats to radios(in a full dashboard and with the radio lit up). From 5pm to 8am the next morning 60 photos were done on 4x5, no digital in those days(Don't I wish), polaroids on every product and so on, some in packaging, many not. So, I know production and it worked only because of pre-production planning, good assistants and so on. You can do the math on how long each took, and it wasn't just plopping things on the background and hitting the shutter. Every product had to get fill cards for lighting to separate parts from the background or shadow and so on.

Even what you might think is simple, isn't.

You just don't get it.......

Go look at the Photo before Time retouched it.
The Mona Lisa it is not.
It's a nice technically adequate quick set up photo.

Could it be better.. Sure...
I'd have kicked a little more light onto the front of the jar.
But would that have made any difference in the effectiveness of the cover..
No it really wouldn't have.



Ohhh and if my math is correct....
60 products..... 15 hours.....
Wouldn't that be exactly the 15 minutes each that I said this shot would take?
And this shot was much easier and not done with a view camera.
Imagine how many you could have done if you were using the plop and shoot method that some stock shooter use...........

Micro stock is here to stay.... How you deal with it is up to you.

Jul 29 09 06:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Digital Czar
Posts: 933
Oak Park, Illinois, US


Chris Macan wrote:

You just don't get it.......

Go look at the Photo before Time retouched it.
The Mona Lisa it is not.
It's a nice technically adequate quick set up photo.

Could it be better.. Sure...
I'd have kicked a little more light onto the front of the jar.
But would that have made any difference in the effectiveness of the cover..
No it really wouldn't have.



Ohhh and if my math is correct....
60 products..... 15 hours.....
Wouldn't that be exactly the 15 minutes each that I said this shot would take?
And this shot was much easier and not done with a view camera.
Imagine how many you could have done if you were using the plop and shoot method that some stock shooter use...........

Micro stock is here to stay.... How you deal with it is up to you.

I did look at the original...that wouldn't have gone out of my studio. Just not the way I do things as it wasn't finished. The devil is in the details.

As for the 60 items, remember I spoke of pre planning? items were grouped by size, type etc. so they could go in and out with "minimal adjustment" meaning maybe a move of the main light and fill cards so they were specific to the product. Others took time, like batteries (different angles) and the dashboard stuff where radios had to be put in, wired and set up to stations/display, lit and shot and the process repeated for 3-7 radios. Some things are in blister packs and are a devil to light to see the product and have the shot match the others.

IOW, it's not quite a simple as it seems, but when you prepare, there are economies.

Jul 29 09 06:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Digital Czar
Posts: 933
Oak Park, Illinois, US


Christopher Hartman wrote:

There is always something better.  Sometimes you have to accept reality. 

You, to me, sound like someone that essentially wants to unionize the industry to establish set prices based on a criteria decided by a few rather than be decided by market forces.  You want to protect what is yours and anyone that is willing to do something for much less than what you find acceptable needs to be impugned.

No, you're wrong. I don't want folks underselling the business and killing it for the average shooter who, if they're good at their craft, don't have to sell their soul to earn a living and get fair prices for their work.

The other fact of this business is that there are too many folks who think they're photographers, a severe over-supply that so outstrips demand it's not even up to being silly.

Jul 29 09 06:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Christopher Hartman
Posts: 53,735
Buena Park, California, US


Leo Howard wrote:
I cant believe this is still raging on.


Hey Hartman, one of these days you will be awesome, just keep working at it wink

I already am.  My photography isn't, but as you said, one of these days! big_smile

Jul 29 09 09:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Christopher Hartman
Posts: 53,735
Buena Park, California, US


Digital Czar wrote:

No, you're wrong. I don't want folks underselling the business and killing it for the average shooter who, if they're good at their craft, don't have to sell their soul to earn a living and get fair prices for their work.

The other fact of this business is that there are too many folks who think they're photographers, a severe over-supply that so outstrips demand it's not even up to being silly.

I agree with what I bolded.  The rest really isn't in your ability to control other than to become their agent.  So perhaps that is what you need to do.  Instead of complaining, become a photographer agent and start getting photographers higher paying jobs so they don't sell out to microstock.

Jul 29 09 09:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
BCADULTART
Posts: 1,986
Acton, Massachusetts, US


Jul 29 09 11:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Philipe
Posts: 5,189
Pomona, California, US


Lee K wrote:
That's incredibly depressing.

Its very depressing.

Jul 29 09 11:40 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Amazing Productions
Posts: 555
Prague, Prague, Czech Republic


I don't have the time to read this whole thread, but I wonder if people are missing something obvious.

He got $30 for the shot of the jar with coins in it.
Maybe there is $15 dollars worth of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters in the jar.
That is 30 - 15 = $15 pure profit.
But what people are missing is he also got to keep the coins! which just adds to his profit!

How often can you take a picture of $15 and sell that picture for $30 cold cash?
That is better than doubling your money.
Almost like printing your own like Ben Bernanke.
I would do that everyday, if I could
This sounds like a foolproof business plan.

j/k
Jul 30 09 02:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John Harrington
Posts: 2
Washington, District of Columbia, US


Gosh, and I wanted to be the 1,000th commenter!

To the question here:
Original Post

Cherrystone wrote:
What's his MM number? lol

Check: 848539

I'll take the slings, arrows, and laughable remarks (I particularly chucked at "Nice job asshole...just shows how insecure you are in your abilities") because, in the end, everyone is discussing the value of a photograph, and that is a good thing. The vast majority of the discourse here is about the value of a photograph, and that's cool.

If there are 200 of you participating in this discussion, maybe 20 of you will realize it's time to value your work higher, a dozen or so will decide to hurl expletives and "get used to it" remarks, and others won't care, and will post just to get their "posts" number up. There are, however, a large chunk of  you who will just shrug and move on after commenting. However, if after three different discussions like this on the value of a photograph you decide your work is worth more, then I say amen to that.  That means we are 30% closer to that goal, and that is a good thing.

To those of you who suggest "too fucking bad for him", I say that "him" (i.e. me) is, in point-of-fact a member of the group that it is "too fucking bad" for - namely, all photographers. Like "man, that guy should have been looking out when he crossed at the crosswalk, now he's roadkill, too fucking bad for him". You too could get hit crossing the road, so be careful what your attitude is, because you may have to eat those words in the future. In reality, all photographers who are, or ever hope to be earning a living from photography are affected, and thus, yes, it is too bad.

barepixels wrote:
If his photo wasn't at iStock he wouldn't have $30 and a kick ass tearsheet.  Why?  Cause Time would never heard of him.

I've had a number of images in Time over the years. I know that they are aware of me, but thanks. To those that suggest jealousy on my part, I say no. Had he been paid a fair amount for his work, I would have congratulated him heartily.

Lynn Helms Photography wrote:
I also think it was kind of mean to take excerpts from his profile and rag on him

When you're here doing TFP, TFCD, etc, it should be gender neutral. Too many people are searching for young inexperienced women to take advantage of. When you suggest TF* for female models, I have to ask (as I did) "What's with that?"

SLE Photography wrote:
He CLEARLY doesn't understand how MM works & has a skewed perception of it & its members.

Nope. I get it. This isn't about MM, it's about a MM member. Period. MM's forum was the vehicle for discourse (this thread, in point of fact). I do appreciate your taking the time to write extensively on this subject.

Hugh Alison wrote:
I generally think "Business not going as well as it used to?".

Just to make myself clear, I am referring to the supposedly eminent professional photographer making a personal attack on a little guy. That's called bullying.

Business is fine, thank you. As to a personal attack/bullying? I was calling him out on his actions that were unprofessional and/or detrimental to the industry.

Lumigraphics & Christopher Hartman who wrote:
Lumigraphics: I need to get certified!!!  I bet that will change everything!!

Christopher Hartman: I need to get certified!!!  I bet that will change everything!!

It might seem to not matter, but to a lot of the paying clientele, it does. I presume you see little value in an AA, BA, or MA degree too?

Dark Life wrote:
it's a great accomplishment...your photo on the cover of one of if not the world's most prestigious news magazines is priceless.

I agree it is a great accomplishment, but it's not priceless, it's priced-FAR-less than it should have been!

-The Dave- wrote:
So no photographers credit in the issue huh? That sucks!

Indeed. Sad that the Time staffer who added the masking tape and lettering gets credit, and Mr. Lam remains in obscurity, save for threads on MM and iStock.

PYPI FASHION wrote:
Nobody is going to go looking for the photographer upon seeing that image.

Indeed! I have never, in 20 years as a photographer, EVER gotten a call after a client saw a photo credit. Oh, but Lam won't get that call, because Time didn't properly credit him.

Digitoxin wrote:
RF Microstock allows billion-dollar companies with millions of dollars in ad budgets to pay pennies for images and use them anywhere they wish.

Indeed.

Derick Hingle wrote:
Getty would have only charged almost $2000, for the cover of TIME, my how this industry has slipped

This is where One Getty sale would have earned the more than 500+ iStockphoto sales, and which is why Getty is struggling so much that they just became agressive with their FREE Stock site! Next up? Photographers paying for their images to be used as Stock.

StephenEastwood wrote:
and this shows that microstock has the ability to be a great potential source of income for those who can. (when responding to "Lise Gagne by my estimates is averaging 120,000 downloads a year.   She's clearly the top earner in the ms universe..."

Yes, everybody loves to celebrate and hold up as examples Lisa Gagne and Uri Arcurs. If they are the Angelinas and Brads of the world, then the rest of the microstock photographers are the servers who can't get an acting job.

Patchouli Nyx wrote:
who needs photojournalists either?

ok for a war or two or a presidential election, maybe....

but otherwise, why not just get rid of photojournalists and just rely on all the people who have camera phones who take photos of accidents and fires and just rely on those shots for publication?

Already happening. Fox's UReport? CNN's iReport? For a spot news thing that may be ok, but soon the pranksters will make up crap and "report" on it just to goof on Fox/CNN/etc. In the end, trusted sources are needed to tell the story.

Tony Blei Photography wrote:
The price was the price. If Bill Gates walked into a candy store and saw something for a quarter, should he pay $20?

Of course not, but the price WAS $1,500 on assignment, $3,000 stock. So Gates tells the clerk he just wants to pay $0.01, and the clerk just says ok because they don't know any better.

Derick Hingle wrote:
am not upset at the OP for getting a cover of TIME I'm upset that people value their images so little that they put them on Microstock site, and to make things worse the photog doesn't get credit for the image, istockphoto does.

AGREED!

The Main Man wrote:
Ive been reading this and learning alot.

And herein lies the value of this discourse!  You pose the question:

The Main Man wrote:
Question is: Photographer shoots model and puts image on this Istock web-site. Would the model then be able to 'buy' that image of themself and use it to print and sell images of themselves?

Yup. Buy the right license, and you surely could. You could use the photo to sell widgets, or your modeling talents.

Legacys 7 wrote:
Fuck it. He's happy.

Yeah, and so were the native americans who sold Manhattan for $24.

Tony Blei Photography wrote:
Thank god that the OP didn't shoot a Model Mayhem model for this shot.  By the time the check came, he would still owe the model.

Yup, and that model SHOULD get paid fairly too!

SLE Photography wrote:
Sadly there're way too many people that will tell you "the invisible hand of the free market" trumps ethics.

That doesn't make it right.

Antonio Marcus wrote:
It is unethical to me because although we competitors, we are also individually responsible for photographers worth as a group. The moment we think "this is my business and has nothing to do with anyone else"... it becomes unethical to the group as a whole.

Amen.

Kymberly Jane wrote:
he sold it to ISTOCK..not time..

NO! He did NOT "sell" it to iStock. They are supposed to be representing his best interests in the marketing and licensing of it. That didn't happen.

James Jackson Fashion wrote:
I don't know of any publicly traded ad agencies.

Among others - Omnicom (NYSE: OMC)

Chris Macan wrote:
Should the lumber yard charge me more for the lumber that is framing the 2 million dollar house or the lumber for the $200,000 house?

No, of course not, because lumber is a commodity. But try taking the plans for that $200k house, running them off on a photocopier, (because you paid for them, right?) and then build a housing development. You'll get sued faster than you can blink.

denisemc wrote:
I'm just learning about usage right now and this thread makes me think I need to do a little more research.

Voila! Another light-bulb goes off! Here's the gist:

Photographer gets hired to take a portrait for a mom-and-pop business: $650 plus expenses, including usage to promote the store around town. Mom-and-pop business becomes Airborne cold remedy and wants to use the portrait in paid advertising in newspapers around the country - that means they benefit more from your creative talents' finished product, thus you get more money. Just like when a musical group gets paid for a CD, then paid again when the song is used in a commercial, then again in a movie, then again in a TV series. Same thing.


SLE Photography wrote:
responses and how he keeps insisting that MM is a haven of predatory pornographers looking to take advantage of women who'd be protected by the agency system...

and
...many "pros" who want to attack amateurs, hobbyists, and part timers, excluding them from their world & saying they're unworthy of notice

I don't think I am alone in suggesting that when anyone, whether MM, OMP, or in the backpages of local newspapers, are suggesting that only one gender can be considered for free photography in exchange for time and so on, that that has the high probability of being shady.

Secondly, I spend a great deal of time helping those just starting out in photography, and have celebrated the successes of amateurs/part-timers, etc, as they have grown into careers as full-time photographers. At no time have I excluded a photographer from "my world". Lam's cover is worthy of notice, and Lam's happy acceptance of $30 for a Time cover is worthy of criticism.


Patchouli Nyx wrote:
What would be an interesting debate would be to get folks like Mr. harrington and ...let them discuss the state of the real industry.

I do it every week on the blog as I have for over 2.5 years, and this thread is an off-shoot of that, obviously.

SLE Photography wrote:
The flaw in his reasoning is that it's based on a biased selection of profiles on MM AND the deliberate glossing over of the fact that most of the models on MM would never be SEEN by agencies.

There was no bias in my comments on the issue of concerns about some members of MM - it was a cursory review that was not scientific. I was illustrating a point, and generally speaking, my point was accurate. If am MM model would never be seen by agencies, then you might want to tell them your opinion, yet I would disagree with you. You're taking the biased approach that models MUST be beautiful and perfect in every way. Not true. I just cast and shot an ad where we needed real people who looked real - not perfect. You do MM models a disservice in saying that "most of the models on MM would never be SEEN by agencies."  WRONG WRONG WRONG.

R Studios wrote:
I am from Vietname came here with nothing. then run three successful  furniture stores at one time. please don't me how to do business...

I am aware of your furniture store, and it's marginally successful, and further, you're not running it. You work there as an hourly worker. Lastly, your hourly wages there are underwriting your photography "business", which is taking a consistent loss. At least be as honest about your "day job" as you are about the $30 you were paid.

Web Inceptions wrote:
Are you ONLY buying your photo gear from "brick and mortar" stores, and BOYCOTTING all of the online stores?

Are you boycotting online travel sites, insisting on going to an old fashioned TRAVEL AGENT and paying their fees while an old lady tries to figure out airline schedules by phone?

Bad analogies. I buy from both types, and I do so with companies I have relationship with, and ALL are making a profit off of me.  This isn't about the internet.

Ma Fotographie wrote:
Good on ya Robert, you even got John Harrington discussing your practice, LMAO. 

Talk about being nickled and dimed

Finally right here, about 400 posts later....   :-)

More importantly, LOTS of other people are discussing usage! This is good for them and for all.

Digital Czar wrote:
If someone licenses an image then manipulates it, or creates a deviation from the origional art, that deviation becomes their "work" and is a copyrightable piece.

It depends. The manipulations/changes to the work are all that they may copyright, not the newer work, generally speaking. If the changes are "deminimus" (i.e. I removed a dust spec from the sky) then that would not be copyrightable.

Why Dangle wrote:
is the front cover as it appears on Time magazine (with the addition of "the new frugality" thing) the OP's creation?

Nope. If Mr. Lam were to duplicate the cover and sell it, with the Time logo, and Mr. Hochstein's contributions, he would be violating Hochstein's copyrighted additions, as well as Time's Trademarked name. not to mention the other images at the top.

Robert Randall wrote:
Name one, just one verifiable career that was ruined by stock. You can't and we all know it.

Al Satterwhite. Penny Gentieu. Oh, and since you weren't specific to photographers - Jonathan Klein, Mark Getty, and so on. Those guys won't be running companies anytime soon after Heller and Friedman are done with them.

Lumigraphics wrote:
Who needs to live on microstock alone? How many people lived on macro stock back in the day?

A LOT!

Whew! That's a lot of responses.

By the way, BIG kudos to all those who did the math and may possibly have caused Time to have to pay more for the cover to iStock (and thus, Mr. Lam) because of the questions about the right license purchased.


Regards,

John

Jul 30 09 02:49 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
intimateimaging
Posts: 58
Northampton, England, United Kingdom


John, Hi.  Firstly I am an amateur photographer from the UK and openly admit that I enjoy the social aspect of meeting  and taking photos of attractive women.  That doesn't however mean that my reasons for doing so are in anyway motivated by an underlying as you would say dodgy reason.

I fully agree with you that Time purchasing this photograph at the cost they have devalues photography and obviously has a knock on business effect to the business of professional photography.  My intention is to build a successful business however this can only make that harder to do from a commercial point of view if end users are able to purchase their stock at ridiculous prices.

I do feel that your comments directed at MR Lam are a little unfair, whilst I can see your argument that if people did not upload work to the stock sites, companies like Time could not purchase at those prices, and therefore would have to pay the going market rate for their stock.  However I think it is probably far too late to stop this from becoming the norm for the future, sadly.  I think that companies like Istock should have more commercially viable rates and tarifs in place when selling the stock and that it is they that ultimately are devaluing the price of photography.
Jul 30 09 03:32 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Digital Planet Design
Posts: 291
Saint Peters, Missouri, US


John Harrington wrote:
A LOT!
John

What is "A LOT"?  Why would you think there is not "A LOT" making significant money off of new models now?  Just because they aren't all in your small circle of old school "pro photographer" friends?

Jul 30 09 03:36 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Boho Hobo
Posts: 25,351
Portland, Oregon, US


Patchouli Nyx wrote:
What would be an interesting debate would be to get folks like Mr. harrington and ...let them discuss the state of the real industry.
John Harrington wrote:
I do it every week on the blog as I have for over 2.5 years, and this thread is an off-shoot of that, obviously.

Yes....but a lot of the people here, reading discussions and forming thoughts regarding business practices and the craft of photography will never make it to your blog unfortunately.  Neither will a number of the pros here on MM.


So when you have a group of people, some of whom might want to get more serious about the next step in their photographic endeavours, its good for us to hear lots of POV.

Patchouli Nyx wrote:
who needs photojournalists either?

ok for a war or two or a presidential election, maybe....

but otherwise, why not just get rid of photojournalists and just rely on all the people who have camera phones who take photos of accidents and fires and just rely on those shots for publication?
John Harrington wrote:
Already happening. Fox's UReport? CNN's iReport? For a spot news thing that may be ok, but soon the pranksters will make up crap and "report" on it just to goof on Fox/CNN/etc. In the end, trusted sources are needed to tell the story.

What I wrote was a sardonic musing, but whether heartfelt or sardonic, unfortunately no one other than you and maybe one other person seemed to lament the cutbacks and necessity of professional photojournalists.

Jul 30 09 03:42 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Chris Macan
Posts: 12,786
HAVERTOWN, Pennsylvania, US


Chris Macan wrote:
Should the lumber yard charge me more for the lumber that is framing the 2 million dollar house or the lumber for the $200,000 house?
John Harrington wrote:
No, of course not, because lumber is a commodity.

Just as generic images like this that are listed in online libraries that anyone can buy from are commodities.

This image is nothing more than a generic building block that a graphic designer uses to build a page layout from (just like lumber is used to frame a house)
Time had a choice of like 300 similar generic coin jar images on Istock alone.
Time was not looking for something "Special" just something that fit.

If they wanted something special they would likely have had to pay more for it.

This is the reality of commodity pricing...
Generally speaking the more there are the less valuable they are.

While I would agree that Istock should make sure that Time pays every penny due for the usage that they used........ all this sour grapes saying that they should pay more.... is just sour grapes.
Istock sets it's rates according to its business model and it's photographers agree to them. (that's kinda the free market model)

Jul 30 09 06:45 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Christopher Hartman
Posts: 53,735
Buena Park, California, US


John Harrington wrote:
Business is fine, thank you. As to a personal attack/bullying? I was calling him out on his actions that were unprofessional and/or detrimental to the industry.

You're saying it's unprofessional for uploading a simple photo of a jar of coins to a stock site that managed to find it's way to Time magazine earning him about $30?  How unbelievably selfishly shallow of you to say that.  I suspect your regular rubbing of elbows with politicians might be an explanation for that.  You're so far removed from the "commoners" that when one of us shows up to your parties you accuse us of crashing and try to get us tossed out.  It wouldn't surprise me if you're already trying to work with someone in gov't to have some stupid law passed to force us out.

John Harrington wrote:
It might seem to not matter, but to a lot of the paying clientele, it does. I presume you see little value in an AA, BA, or MA degree too?

Are you equating some sort of photo certificate with what people have to go through to get an AA, BA, or MA degree?  Really?

it doesn't surprise me that some clients want to see some certificate with a fancy font.  I suspect most want to see a quality portfolio to determine whether or not they want to work with someone.

I run into ignorant people that have college degrees all the time.  I run circles around some of the degreed people at my work.

I have no doubt that there are certified photographers who lack quality when it comes to their work.  Oooh, but they are certified.  Probably have won International Awards too!!

I think the real truth here for you and many others is, you're not as special as you used to be.  All these uppity kids and their digital cameras just going out and taking photos.  They didn't have to cut their teeth old school by working their way up from a high school darkroom and assist for years before breaking out on their own.  How dare them!

Jul 30 09 08:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Why Dangle
Posts: 2,791
Manchester, England, United Kingdom


Just by way of an example of what rate people think, they should get and what rate the market dictates you get.

In the UK a few years ago, there was a tussle between Equity (an actors union) and broadcasters, particularly radio. In effect Equity were operating a monopoly and if anyone needed a voiceover they had to use an equity member who would charge equity rates ( an artificially high rate ) and no one had a choice. This was challenged and Equity lost, allowing anyone to be used as a voiceover, the rate dropped dramatically from the artificial to the actual market rate.

Good or bad…….. I don’t know, it depends what side of the fence you were on.

What I am saying is you cannot maintain an artificial rate forever and at some point you have to let the market dictate, this is what is happening in the photography for stock business IMO.
Jul 30 09 08:45 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Boho Hobo
Posts: 25,351
Portland, Oregon, US


John Harrington wrote:
Business is fine, thank you. As to a personal attack/bullying? I was calling him out on his actions that were unprofessional and/or detrimental to the industry.
Christopher Hartman wrote:
You're saying it's unprofessional for uploading a simple photo of a jar of coins to a stock site that managed to find it's way to Time magazine earning him about $30?  How unbelievably selfishly shallow of you to say that.  I suspect your regular rubbing of elbows with politicians might be an explanation for that.  You're so far removed from the "commoners" that when one of us shows up to your parties you accuse us of crashing and try to get us tossed out.  It wouldn't surprise me if you're already trying to work with someone in gov't to have some stupid law passed to force us out.

It's a different POV Christopher.  And the conclusions you draw from it are...well....a bit creatively extreme.  lol.

Jul 30 09 09:05 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Christopher Hartman
Posts: 53,735
Buena Park, California, US


Patchouli Nyx wrote:

John Harrington wrote:
Business is fine, thank you. As to a personal attack/bullying? I was calling him out on his actions that were unprofessional and/or detrimental to the industry.

It's a different POV Christopher.  And the conclusions you draw from it are...well....a bit creatively extreme.  lol.

A different POV?  No kidding!  because he presents a different POV are you suggesting I shouldn't provide a retort?  He's calling him UNPROFESSIONAL! He can claim it to be detrimental, that is fine.  But to accuse him of being unprofessional?  GARBAGE!

Jul 30 09 09:19 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John Harrington
Posts: 2
Washington, District of Columbia, US


Christopher Hartman wrote:
You're saying it's unprofessional for uploading a simple photo of a jar of coins to a stock site that managed to find it's way to Time magazine earning him about $30?  How unbelievably selfishly shallow of you to say that.

Gosh, so quick to jump to an erroneous conclusion.  No, it's unprofessional to just want to TF* with female models, it's simply really bad business practices to accept less than it costs to produce photography - especially for a multinational corporation.

Christopher Hartman wrote:
Are you equating some sort of photo certificate with what people have to go through to get an AA, BA, or MA degree?  Really?

No. An MA does not equal a BA, does not equal an AA. So too, a certification does not equal an AA, however, if you dismiss so easily certifications, then it would stand to reason that you might have a similar disdain for degrees.

Jul 30 09 10:31 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Christopher Hartman
Posts: 53,735
Buena Park, California, US


John Harrington wrote:
Gosh, so quick to jump to an erroneous conclusion.  No, it's unprofessional to just want to TF* with female models, it's simply really bad business practices to accept less than it costs to produce photography - especially for a multinational corporation.

No. An MA does not equal a BA, does not equal an AA. So too, a certification does not equal an AA, however, if you dismiss so easily certifications, then it would stand to reason that you might have a similar disdain for degrees.

Gosh John, I'm not sure how to respond to this. big_smile

It's not unprofessional to just TF with female models.  It's probably just a preference.  What would be unprofessional would be for someone wanting to take photos merely to try and take advantage of getting them into bed.  And I bet high end very successful photographers are guilty of the casting couch routines too.  That's bad business practice but some manage to get away with it.

What if the photographer told you that it effectively cost him $5 to produce the photo in question, would you lay off?  I doubt it.

And back to degrees...while it is possible for someone to be a fantastic heart surgeon without a degree, it highly unlikely and I'd probably feel a LOT more secure and save in having heart surgery performed by someone that I know has gone through medical school and pass all the other types of boards and certifications are required for someone to reach the level of performing heart surgeries.

When it comes to photography, I want to see your book.  I don't care about the certificates on your wall.

Jul 30 09 11:19 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Lumigraphics
Posts: 32,652
Detroit, Michigan, US


Glad to see Mr. Harrington decided to chime in. I just happen to pretty much totally disagree with both his point of view and his conclusions.

You strike me as the Ivory Tower type, who will make proclamations all day long about ethics and what is right and what should or should not be.

Give us a fucking break. You are posting those opinions out of pure self-interest. That's fine, but don't lie about it. YOU have concluded that YOU could make more money if you didn't have competition from microstock. Since you can't make it go away, you'll resort to fancy language and invoke ethics and all that other crap.

Too bad that many of us think you are full of shit.
Jul 30 09 11:34 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
R Studios
Posts: 53
Los Angeles, California, US


Post hidden on Jul 30, 2009 01:51 pm
Reason: not helpful
Comments:
Not cute. Not helpful. Not your place to make those types of calls.
Jul 30 09 12:07 pm  Link 
Photographer
R Studios
Posts: 53
Los Angeles, California, US


Lumigraphics wrote:
Glad to see Mr. Harrington decided to chime in. I just happen to pretty much totally disagree with both his point of view and his conclusions.

You strike me as the Ivory Tower type, who will make proclamations all day long about ethics and what is right and what should or should not be.

Give us a fucking break. You are posting those opinions out of pure self-interest. That's fine, but don't lie about it. YOU have concluded that YOU could make more money if you didn't have competition from microstock. Since you can't make it go away, you'll resort to fancy language and invoke ethics and all that other crap.

Too bad that many of us think you are full of shit.

+1

Jul 30 09 12:13 pm  Link  Quote 
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