Some of you peeps in the interwebs may have seen the post that I scratched together earlier in the year titled “How does a photographer calculate their fees?“.
In there I skimmed through the basics of how a business can create a simple spreadsheet showing how to work out how much they need to earn to keep their company alive, so they can continue to provide a valuable service to their clients.
Forgetting the required creativity, skill, technique and equipment that is required for any profession that you choose to follow – this is what happens in the background long before (and after) someone picks up the phone with an enquiry.
Photography is the example here, but the core knowledge transfers to virtually every business.
Should we allow images used in media to be extensively edited?
From my perspective, absolutely.
Creating a perfect image is a key element to making a product or service desirable.
Can it cause problems in society where being constantly subject to seeing these images can affect our perceptions?
In the same way that a percentage of the population are more susceptible to hypnotism or subliminal messaging, we will all be influenced at some level by what we see every day.
Should we put disclaimers on images that are edited in magazines, billboards etc….?
Yes, I believe that we should have a something on the images so we know they’ve been retouched.
How can we find a middle ground that doesn’t have ugly distracting banners taking a percentage of the image in the same way cigarette packets have the warning labels on them …. which don’t work. I know friends that bought skull&crossbone cigarettes because they were perceived to be more dangerous (go figure)
I thought of a possible solution:
Rather than obscuring a part of the image with a white warning box, why not put small colour (or greyscale) circles/squares subtly in the corner of the image or page which relates to the editing work that was carried out.
It could be ISO standardised so that it’s the same for everyone to use, or alternatively each magazine could have their own key chart shown in the bottom of the MastHead.
Blue: Colour change (e.g. eyes, clothes, skin)
Red: Blemish Removal
Green: Texture alterations
Yellow: Shape changing (Liquefy/Stretch/Shrink, bigger eyelashes, narrower thighs etc..)
Grey: Added extra elements (CGI, blending other images)
Here’s a rough example of how it could look.
Everyone should be happy
Advertisers keep their perfect images and consumers subconsciously know it’s been enhanced away from reality.
So, what’s your opinion on how images should be shown in the media? Edited or warts ‘n all?
Providing (or hiring) Photography as a service requires a minimum fee which is calculated the same way as any other business.
Divide that by 230 and you have your average daily minimum requirement.
Why 230? … 5 days x 52 weeks, minus 20 days vacation and 10 bank holidays = 230
This is also assuming you have daily paid work, print sales or licensed image income
Social photographers often work for 2 days in order to generate 1 complete day’s portrait work and Wedding photographers will work for 1-2 weeks on each wedding, but spread over a 6 month period.
We also have to take into account that photography is often seasonal. Busy summers and quiet winter months. Plus there are many days when business owners have to work on accounts, marketing, meetings, networking, testing, blogging and so on …
None of which is time generating a direct income.
So….. below you’ll see I made a simple table showing estimated costs from a hobby photographer up to a studio +1 assistant where the photographer wants to earn the UK National Average salary of £24,000.
The numbers look a bit whacky, but thanks to the lovely tax man they do add up.
I even kept it conservative by choosing the lowest marketing budget where it should really be the biggest spend (existing business owners will know of the many tax benefits, but I’ve kept it simple)
So there you have it.
Try it with your own expenses and numbers and you’ll find your own minimum day rate
I should point out that I’m not taking anything away from highly skilled hobby photographers, but if someone is hiring you for work then you should at least get insurance to protect yourself, your equipment and also your client … and also put a proper value on your skill.
… and pay tax
It’s inevitable that there are times when people let you down and unfortunately this happened today in chez CallumW.
Some of you may know my other half as a bubbly happy-go-lucky girl, quick to smile and easy to share a conversation with.
Others may know her as a cancer survivor who had the incredible strength of character to tackle her cancer head on, beat it, then go on to make drastic changes to her life so she could share her experience as well as try to help and improve the lives of everyone she meets.
Yet today I saw her reduced to tears for the first time.
She compromised her own finances to provide short term help a friend start a business. The friend didnt work on their business, so naturally it failed, yet somehow they blame my other half for it’s lack of growth?
This betrayal turned out to be a cut deeper than any of her surgeons blades reached.