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Old 10-17-2013, 11:48 AM
Location: North Pinellas
627 posts, read 1,176,508 times
Reputation: 637


Originally Posted by PhotoProIP View Post
I don't think it's fair to have high expectations from someone charging $4 for a photo package. The reason it takes them 2 weeks to deliver is because they send your files to India or China to get processed! That's why they can afford to charge $4! If they were processing your files in the US it would not cost $4 for a photo package I can assure you of that. We charge anywhere from $25/hr to $150/hr to process photos. It takes a long time to process thousands of photos even with Photoshop actions and various other tools we have now for bulk processing.

However, it it also not fair to expect "extra creativity" from studios like JC Penney, Sears types...Creativity doesn't come from 3 walls, and a few props.

I doubt you can take the same basic portrait shot considering that you need proper Lights to do it. THIS is one of the great assumptions people make these days about photography, and then they get in trouble. A 400lbs person cannot be photographed with the same light as a 90lbs person. Same goes for people of color...you need different lights for different folks. I saw an article posted on a website a while back that completely destroyed this African American couple's wedding because they overexposed for their faces (instead of using proper lighting) and then bleached out every other detail those folks put into their wedding. Lighting is a very slippery slope, and a lot of wedding photographers today think that "overexposing" is going to save them from using proper lighting which is a HUGE mistake. (and a rip off at consumer level). You cannot expect to photograph people in this digital age without using proper lighting.

BTW I am not comparing an independent photographer with a JC Penney type studio either; usually a good independent portrait photographer understands people's best angles, and has a lot more to offer from a creative stand point than those studios; The problem I was pointing out was that unfortunately for most of us, the internet has made it impossible to spot and find a good independent legitimate photographer. Money is the last of my issues when it comes to photographing my family; finding a real photographer is the problem. I have seen folks who don't process any photos, and for some reason keep thinking that it's done in camera for them...which is preposterous, and who have no understanding of proper posing, angles, light variations, balancing different light sources, white balance OMG...and whole mess of things, so I can't find myself wanting to risk family shots on these people. I rather just go to a basic studio, than have someone trash my photos. Also, usually it costs a lot of money to BE an independent photographer, so as far as I am concerned these folks should really be the best they can be or they have a lot to loose....this is just a small sample of what it is costing us to BE in business on our own:
Why Wedding Photographers' Prices are
This guy is not even quoting $7000 top end cameras...or destination weddings...portraits etc.

Rezfreak: A photographer's best friends is an IP Attorney. Sadly if a photographer tells you you have "all the rights" without you signing anything that is not a real pro photographer, I am very sorry, but is just someone with enough money to afford the rent on that space. See you have to sign a license; "do you agree to have your photos used to further promote this business?" If you did not sign a model release, or were given a written license allowing you to print photos at Walgreens, mpix, etc., these folks are not for real. My job as a photographer is also to make sure that wherever you go to print extra photos after I delivered what my package offers, "I" am the one who has to make sure that IF you're going to print extra photos on canvas, metal prints, or just another 4x6 that the place you go is not going to do a crappy job printing my photos. That is why when I deliver the photos I include web (social media watermarked versions), I am not allowing you to add instagram filters and destroy my work, and always give you print versions. My job is to make sure that whatever you do is going to warrant the same high quality I want you to have from me, because it is "my name/reputation" at stake here. If you go to Disneyworld and have your photos taken by their park photographers, and then you go online and order photos, and/or a JPEG file, when you download that it comes with a license allowing you to print your photos elsewhere. Not having that license means that your photos can be used wherever without your permission to further promote a business. In wedding photography you have sign a contract and in that contract you specify is you agree that this photographer can use the photos to market him/herself in his/her website, if he/she can post on their social media site, if he can sell your wedding/portrait photos as STOCK (which a LOT of wedding photogs do, and which is why less qualified folks buy and pas as their own)....., and so if you don't specify what the photographer can and cannot do, you can't really sue them if you see your photos plastered somewhere online without your permission, because you didn't sign anything to the contrary, and so they can do whatever their want with your photos. Would you want your kids photos plastered in advertisements for companies you never heard off in Japan? because if your photographer post these online on social media sites THAT is exactly what will happen. I don't want my kids photos plastered anywhere online.

My suggestion, is that you go back, and ask to sign a license and specify the terms of their use of your photos.

And when you say they're good, what do you compare them to? good compared with Annie Leibowitz? Anne Geddes? Kimberly Whiley? Frank Salas? Joe McNally? Peter Hurley? Tamara Lackey? who are you judging them by? I for one won't spend a dime on a photographer outside a JCP type place unless these folks compare to some big names! I also happen to know behind the scenes stuff, so for me it's easy to spot a scammer...but I am really concerned with the fact that people end up being screwed out of money by folks who don't know the first thing about being a photographer!

I watched the video on their website about the location shots, and noticed quite few questionable poses. Not something someone fully educated in photography would do. You can't pose a guy with his legs wide open as if he was in an OB office! Notice black bars running through his head, because there was no attention paid to the backgrounds etc. When you go on location, and you're being posed, look around you and see what can grow out of your head that your photog is not telling you. This is not the kind of stuff you want to spend money on. JMO.

My only advice is that when you look for a people photographer, pay close attention to their posing techniques, how well they paid attention to the backgrounds, clothing, if the colors are real or messed up, look at how they handle people of color...because NO, you don't need to overexpose them...that's the last thing you want to do, and verify their licensing, and business status. It's easy to go online and find out if they're paying taxes or not, and also find their profit status...that too can tell you a lot about them. Know that photography is visual, and if they're cheap...that means two things: 1. they're not fully educated and 2. they're not a real business/pay taxes. A professional camera costs between $3000 & 8000, with medium format going into 5 figures, if they're charging under 4 figures they're not a real business. BTW you can check PPA too, but know that a simple google search for the PPA logo gives you a ton of PPA logo's to put on your site and pretend you're a member. Are they certified PPA?
Ask for their licensing, and ask any IP attorney to look it over, most won't charge to do that. Or Ask PPA to look it over, they too can tell you without charging if it is a legitimate contract and license.
Don't be duped. They didn't work for your money, you did.
So after all of that....this is what I understand. OP- Dont have high expectations or expect creativity from JCP, fair enough. I agree! Thanks PhotoPro.
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Old 10-17-2013, 12:15 PM
4,586 posts, read 4,606,359 times
Reputation: 4358
Originally Posted by kdubose View Post
So after all of that....this is what I understand. OP- Dont have high expectations or expect creativity from JCP, fair enough. I agree! Thanks PhotoPro.
No, but expect a much better quality basic portrait than from a random Google search.

OP: shop around really, assist to sessions to see how they work with kids where possible, etc.

Rezfreak, I don't understand why the defensiveness? I am explaining something others might find useful; not all people are the same! If you're happy, great...if you don't care what the photog is doing with your photos great too, just know other people (not professional photographers) do care.
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:06 PM
3,923 posts, read 10,292,874 times
Reputation: 5212
If you want a long lasting memory, the very best Photographer in this area (IMO) is Pepito of Masterpiece Portraits. He's a master portrait artist, he's a well-credentialed professional, he teaches some of the Photography Courses for USF, but he's extremely humble and approachable. Here's his website with contact information --> http://pepitomasterpieceportraits.com/galleries/. You will not be disappointed. I'd also suggest that you get what you pay for at Penney's, Sears, WM, etc. I have photographs of my grandchildren from there and the colors faded badly in just a short time. That said, the photographs I have taken by Olan Mills (are they still around?) look good after many years.
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