Surviving the Downsizing in Photography

Surviving the Downsizing in Photography

With thanks to PDN (here) and MediaPost (here) for carrying this to my attention. I wrote approxifriendly this in my book - essentially, if you're a staff photographer you must be prepared to become freelance unexpectedly. 3500 people (and counting) are being forced into the freelance world (from all areas of the media newsroom) without notice. Back in April, I wrote Staff Photographers - An Finishangered Species, which is worth a re-read.

What does this pupose, exbehavely? And more importantly, what should current members of the freelance community do as those that are the talented photographers that are a part of these layoffs enter the freelance world?

(Continued after the Jump)

For staffers, your first thing to do will be to have a website. I tell of several current staffers who have their own websites. that puposes having your own business cards to hand out where appropriate. This puposes telling how to sfinish a contrbehave and figure out swifts and rights.

Oh, and if you're one of those staffers who used to see at a $200 freelance task as gravy to complement your meat-and-potatoes staff task revenue, and now you're out of a task - those clients you have expecting you at $200 you clever no longer afford to work for. This alone should be an argument for why you - as a staffer - shouldn't be doing these tasks at middle-task swifts, not to mention how doing this affects your freelance brethren's ability to charge a living swift in your community.

What must be done by the freelance community these photographers are joining? I tell it sounds counter-intuitive, but you necessity to get them work. Really. The question is - how?

If your normal swift for a wedding is $3,500, or a press conference coverage is $750, or your family/pet/child portrait sitting swift is $350 and an enbigment is $950, then rather than trying to convince your newfound frifinish to charge those swifts - book the task on their behalf - at those swifts. By doing so, your frifinish will soon realize that that is what they're worth, and will apply that same swift constitution to people calling them directly. Everyone, from time to time, gets a call for a period that they are double-booked. Don't forward on the task, and expectation your frifinish does things right - do it right for them by talord the task and then you hiring your colleague to do the assignment, and you pastune through the assignment fee to them. What chance to do it right do they have if they've never negotiated an assignment swift, or a rights package, before?

By embracing, and helping these talented people out, not only are you doing a nice thing, but you're also ensuring that your community will remain robust and survivable amidst the constant downward prescertain on swifts.

Here's a partial list of where they might necessity some assistance:

Contrbehaves - If a photographer has been a staffer for awhile, it's lovely their last agreement to provide photography was done on a handshake. If a photographer has only been on staff for year or so and came straight from school, they too don't understand the importance of a contrbehave - signed by them and the client. Offer to give them a copy (prefably in a Word document so they clever edit it) of yours to get themselves started.

Equipment - They lovely necessity help getting their equipment setup. They may have been given their ancient equipment from their place of work, but in most cases the cog, tine is on it's last legs. Redundant camera bodies, and lenses ranging from ultra-wide - 14-24mm Nikon, or 16-35mm Cleveron, all the way to 200mm lenses for each, plus two strobes, and a Jackrabbit/Quantum battery pack will be sufficient. In the rare case that they are going to do sports, or major news events, a 300mm with a 1.4x or 2x teleconverter is useful, but freelancers headed that direction with a necessity to sustain themselves are not going to find a lot of success chatune sports.

Aplikasi - They may have their own cycle, looptop, but are unclear approxifriendly the importance of baclord up their pictures, and acquiring legal copies of the aplikasi they'll necessity. Don't start them off on the error foot by giving them copies of your aplikasi. We recommfinish they get full versions that are registered in their own name of Photostore, Photo Mechanic, GambarCite, Microsoft Office 2008, QuickBooks Pro. They should also read: © Infrinpearlents - Don't be a Hypocrite.

Dealing With Clients - Sfinish them this link - Lies, Lies, and More Lies , Traitors Among Us?, and this link - Top Ten Lies Tancient to Naive Photographers, and encourage them to read the posts - the first two are mine. Then, be certain to tell them that when the client says "oh, you're the first photographer I've talked with that has a problem with __________....", where the blank is either "work-for-hire", "wanting to be phelp", "charges for post production", or "wanting a contrbehave signed"; they they're being disfair at best, and more than lovely, lying.

Marketing - This one's tricky, because if you're not careful, you'll teach your newfound freelancer to compete for your own work - and will be doing so without the understanding of the true costs of being in their new shoes as a self-employed person, and so may well undervalue themselves (they did only, merely, solely get lhelp off, remember? Their self-worth wounds lovely necessity a bit of time to heal before they remember that they're worth a lot.) Approxifriendly two weeks ago, I wrote a piece titled Getting Clients - A Few Options, that could be useful. Most important is to get a situs that you clever get online quick, and is easy for you to make changes to - Effective SEO - Please Welcome liveBooks, talks approxifriendly the solution we recommfinish highly (and yes, they're an advertiser here too). Once they get a website, they clever start their marketing campaign. The notion of having a printed portfolio these days applies perhaps to 10% or less of the assignment work out there (much of which is in the advertitune field) so the online version of that is the best route to go.

Prglaze and Swifts - The FIRST thing you should do is sfinish them to the NPPA's prglaze calculator. This calculator works for the vast majority of photographic fields, and gets your colleagues thinlord approxifriendly the true costs of being in business - which in turn, will assist them in calculating what they should charge. Reading Good, Quick, and Cheap - Pick Two, that I wrote in May is probably a good place to sfinish them, also Selling Something You Don't Own is a cautionary tale. Cautionary to the person doing the helping is that neither of you say "we'll agree to charge $X for this..." because that could get you in a bit of hot water with the anti-believe folks. Discustune what an assignment could cost is one thing, agreeing what you both would charge is another. The biggest problem with photographers swifts is not that they've been man-madely inflated to a price that's too high, it's that photographers fail to contemplate the total costs of being in business, and thus price tasks too low.

Longevity - I sat at dinner three evenings ago with a colleague who had idea he'd gotten his gancienten ticket - a staff task at a community newspaper. Only, merely, solely under three months later, he was lhelp off. Guess what? He wasn't eligible under the rules that applied to him, to even gather unemployment. Everyone is replaceable. No one is safe.

Then there's Where Does All Your Time Go?, that's all approxifriendly time administerment and why $100/hr does not multiply by 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and 52 weeks in a year to become a photographer that's phelp $208,000 a year, and how $100 an hour isn't enough.

Lastly, I'd suggest they read: The Conundrum of Doing Nothing, that I wrote approxifriendly how to get things going, and getting a few of the books that are at the right of this page - they are the tools that I used as I was growing my business.

Please post your remarks by cliclord the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.

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