Stumbled into this blogpost from Chris Council. It’s not that long of a post, please take some time to read it. Key quotes:
Aspen is a small town, and the photo community here is small and fairly tight-knit. I was first in line for the job, and after I turned down the “job” the other local photographers gave the same response as me, except one, who accepted.
Which brings me to my main point, which is that it only takes one person to drive down rates and lower the bar. So instead of the chamber of commerce budgeting properly for this event next year, they will once again assume they can get free images.
If you take a photography job without pay, or below market rates, you had better have your reasons, and they had better be damn good. And make sure you think long and hard about how your actions affect the industry as a whole, as well as the other photographers in your community.
This is happening all over the industry, all over the world. But I believe there are still good clients and photographers with pride. If not, how do we end up here with all these great clients of ours? 🙂
Not coincidentally, Seth Godin just wrote about the race to the bottom:
There’s always the opportunity to cut a corner, sacrifice lifestyle quality and suck it up as we race to grab a little more market share. You might make a few more bucks for now, but not for long and not with pride. Someone will always find a way to be cheaper or more brutal than you.
The race to the top makes more sense to me. The race to the top is focused on design and respect and dignity and guts and innovation and sustainability and yes, generosity when it might be easier to be selfish. It’s also risky, filled with difficult technical and emotional hurdles, and requires patience and effort and insight. The race to the top is the long-term path with the desirable outcome.
Top and bottom is not about the price.
Expensive vendors could be going to the bottom, and cheaper ones could be going to the top.
a place where great ideas are allowed risk,
where clients are surprised by how good that risk turned out,
where workers doing jobs for more than just the money,
where clients feel the price is fair for what he’s getting,
where workers are happy to keep on creating and moving the business forward with the profit they’re making,
and where respect is the currency for both parties.
a place where workers pressed by monetary needs allow clients to do whatever they want,
where workers just want to make it to the end of the day,
where workers are lazy and just copy and do things that has been done before,
where great ideas and potentials die everyday,
where quantity triumphs over quality,
where clients feel they can get a better bargain if they keep on pushing lower and lower,
and where money is the bottom line.
Will you have some dignity, long term thinking, some respect for yourself, and for the community?
Will you support the brave workers? Those willing to take the risk by taking the high road? To have a longer look? To consider more than the price?
Those going down will meet at the bottom, those going up will meet at the top.
For us, as always: We see you at the top, GO DIAMOND!