Just the Disc?

Okay, I’m going to put this as lightly as possible, okay probably not.  Here is the problem with digital photography in general, and when I say in general this means that this is my opinion and you may or may not share the same view as I do.

Everybody is a photographer these days.  Years ago, if people would ask me what I did, I said photographer and musician.  People would always ask me about my photography, not my music simply because everyone else was also a musician, especially a guitar player!  Today when people ask me what I do, I say photographer and the first thing they usually say is something like, “oh, my cousin-sister-brother’s friend-uncle’s neighbor is a photographer too, but they’re just getting started, but they seem to be doing pretty well so far.”  So being a photographer these days has many more battles to fight then it did 20 years ago.

Part of this whole lack of respect for the trade actually comes from people in the trade itself.  Photographer’s are just giving away the disc with any “package” that people buy.  I understand, we have to give a disc of images with weddings etc… I’m cool with that.  What I am not cool with is giving it away so cheaply.  Just think about this for a minute.  When someone asks you, “oh, I just want the disc” what does this say to you?  To me it says that they are not going to be buying prints, they are going to design their own album online for 1/4 of the price and 1/8 the quality of what we can give them, but that’s okay.  It is their decision to make.  So even though this is a business, I won’t be making anymore sales off of this client.

So when someone says to me “Just the disc” this is what I hear in my head, “I would like every photo you took, edited, for a really low price”.  I’m not blaming the consumer, I’m blaming photographers and this industry.  Nobody wants to think of the work that goes into our craft, including several photographers I know.  I’m all for shoot and burn studios, where you only get the disc, but the thing is this, make sure your prices are high enough.   Just because you can buy 100 CD’s at the office supply store for under $20 does not mean that is the actual cost of the disc.  Time and effort are what we call “bill-able hours”, lawyers do it, why can’t we?

Now I’m not saying we should all drastically raise our prices on the disc, just put more value on it, they are the images you have created and if someone cannot see the value in the price of your disc then they are not seeing the value in your work.  It’s pretty simple.

But let me put it to you one last way.  I’ll put it into a sexual metaphor, “Just the Disc” is equivalent to a teenage boy saying to his girlfriend “Just the Tip”, it doesn’t really matter, both ways mean you’re getting f@cked.

On a lighter note, here’s the image of the day today.  One of my favorite models ever!