Should photographers be worried?


This video is worrying a lot of Photographers, But should it really? a couple of very smart guys have found a way to cross pollinate Uber with airBnB and allow consumers to have cheap photography within 12 hours of ordering an "Expert'. Now please watch the video and explain to me how anyone is making any money? The photographers signing up to this are getting work, but any job they do is costing the photographer a lot more in real terms than Snappr is making.

They say photographers are being vetted to make sure the clients get very good quality images, but I can see flaws in this that are cavernously wide, Photographers taking on work and not being able to complete as they are overbooked. Not being paid on time as cash flow will be critical. No allowance appears to be made for MUA/Props/Wardrobe/travel/food/equipment hire/post processing/sales products/delivery to client the list goes on and on.

So many of the industry giants warn that under pricing yourself is commercial suicide, there is a cost of doing business and each job has to exceed that figure in order for you to make any profit at all. Real Professional Photographers will continue to provide a superior client experience and provide the best quality service and products on the market. They can do this because of their experience, skill and technical know how plus their relationships with vendors and ability to communicate and direct and coach their client to Illicit a response that is worthy of the clients needs within the image(s) final purpose. I can see a lot of Photographers signing up to this and a lot of subsequent casualties along the way.

I could be wrong of course, but when you see how much controversy has surrounded Uber and the people who work for them, I am only worried for the long term well-being of the Snappr employees.

Have a great day!


A little goes a long way!

As I write this blog post my mind is wondering how many times I have sat thinking about what every other aspiring photographer does when they see others in the profession with the latest piece of photographic wonderment. Commonly this misplaced envy is referred to as G.A.S, or Gear Acquisition Syndrome. This is where you convince yourself that if you have the latest camera, strobe, modifier, software or fad gadget it will make you a better photographer. Lusting after material things is, I have come to the conclusion; a natural quirk of Mother nature and something we just have to deal with.


Now I am lucky enough to belong to a group of photographer friends that get together every month or so and photograph two or three willing victims on a Wednesday evening, in return the said subjects get free images. This is a great exercise as it is a bit like speed dating, in that you only have a couple of minutes with the aspiring models to gain a rapport, direct them, illicit a response and capture the moment, before the next photographer tries to do the same thing.


Inevitably the lighting is set up in a generic fashion to accomplish a high key and a low key lighting scenario, adjusting the lighting is pretty much restricted to turning lights on and off as there is no time of much else. Despite these restrictions we manage to get some very pleasing images along with the numerous disasters along the way.

So last night I thought I would try something different, What if, I thought, would happen if i restricted myself to cheapest and simplest lighting set up I could. So where the other photographers were relying on expensive studio strobes, professional modifiers, soft boxes and grids etc, I would make do with one light stand, a 60" umbrella, a Nikon SB800 flash unit set on manual mode and a trigger/reciever to fire it.


Anyway the images you see here are the result of that exercise. Save for cropping and a little contrast adjustment these are not re-touched. The camera was in manual mode set to the maximum flash sync speed ( 1/250/sec), ISO 100,The aperture was F4, the flash was set to manual and bounced into the reflective umbrella at about half power which was kept the same distance from the subject but moved around for effect. To add drama I occasionally collapsed the umbrella half way so it acts, as the great Zach Arias says like a "poor mans soft box". 


So I suppose the Moral of this story is you can do a lot with very little, there are no bad cameras any more and anything you have that can fire a flash would do the same job. The umbrella cost £30.00, Any flash that can be remotely fired would do the same job as well. 

So don't worry what gear the next guy or lady has got and rock what you have. I have three simple studio lights etc but this was so refreshingly simple and satisfying that I think I will be making a lot more use of this simple rig. As I said: 

'A little goes a long way!'

Have a great day!