Educated Competition is Tough, Uneducated Competition is Tougher!



Educated competition are those professionals in your area that understand profit and loss.  They are those photographers who have taken years to perfect their craft and realize they can do nothing and break even, they don’t have to work to lose money.  Educated Competition realizes that every time someone accepts a photography job that is priced  way below the industry standard it lessens the value of what we all do and ultimately reduces the price that professional photographers can charge.  Educated competition realizes that while a “low-ball” job or assignment might put a few dollars in their pocket today, it is reducing the value that the buying public has of what we all sell.   Educated photographers sell their clients on the concept of buying the image that was created, while uneducated competition gets clients looking at the number of files on a DVD or the price of an 8×10 as the primary reason to base your decision on selecting a photographer.  When the buying public selects their photographer based on the image they create, it elevates what we sell to a form of art that clients are will to pay handsomely for.  When clients look at our work based on the number of files on a DVD or the price of an 8×10…we are screwed.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see an 8×10 at Costco is about a buck.  With that mindset, even $7.50 for an 8×10 sounds pricey!

To some degree I blame the photographers of my generation for all the uneducated photographers of today.  For years photographers of my generation guarded any and all information they might give to young photographers like they were protecting the “Holy Grail”.  Successful photographers acted as those they had found the secret to success and they weren’t sharing.  While I really don’t expect business people to reveal all their business secrets and train their competition, it is always the job of the current group of professionals to teach, advise and help those who are coming into the profession.  We all now see the price of not helping those coming into the profession.  Many young photographers have a “screw them” attitude because of the frustration they feel toward the established professionals about trying to get direction, advice and/or encouragement from working professionals who only worry about today and don’t want to take the time to help plan for tomorrow.  The problem with this “screw them” attitude is that they are really only screwing themselves, because the future of this profession is really based on what the younger photographers make of it.  Sooner or later the delusion of photography being so much fun you would do it for free starts to wear off and you realize you can’t live on your mother’s sofa or on the kindness of your wife or husband forever.  To be considered a “real grown-up” you must make money for the work you create.  At this point, the profession that all of us have created is the profession you will have to live with….or leave!


~ by jeffsmithbooks on July 21, 2012.

2 Responses to “Educated Competition is Tough, Uneducated Competition is Tougher!”

  1. Great post Jeff. I immediately shared it on my Facebook and on the Profession Photographers of South West Ohio PAGE that I Comanche with another board member (PPA affiliate).

  2. Your Facebook is full!

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