Exploitation of Photographers...

Discussion in 'Business of Photography' started by hjoseph7, Feb 20, 2021.

  1. Because of our passion for photography, we are vulnerable to many scams and schemes that take advantage of our skills and our equipment. Many Marketing firms filled with "slick-willies", are out there promising to get you the experience you need to make it into this field. These marketing firms are there to do dirty work for you such as the paper-work, sales and editing, however they rarely contribute to the deterioration of your equipment. No matter how good it sounds, you are basically dependent on the assignments you get and/or the skills of the marketing team.

    These marketing teams usually down-play your skills considering them minimal and highly replaceable, whereas their marketing skills is what seals the deal. This is highly arguable since you can market yourself just as well as they do, usually at a lower price because there is no over-head involved. Of course this is not so easy and is one of the most negative aspects of being on your own.

    The same thing is going on in the IT industry, where many and I mean many Marketing companies have taken advantage of the large pool of Programmers, to start up businesses mainly consisting of contractors who are more like hired servants and a few recruiters, accountants and sales people who do the dirty work.

    The good thing about this business model is they can get your foot in the door. The bad thing is that these people are making HUGE profits based on you efforts and only give a damn as long as you don't rock-the-boat, or upset the Client. You are basically a hired servant often without any legal rights, regardless of the rights that are in the book for regular employees.
  2. What/who exactly are you talking about?
  3. Welcome to globalization and commoditization.
  4. Because we are humans ...

    Latin recognized human vulnerability centuries ago, with the phrase caveat emptor. Still applies.
    mikemorrell likes this.
  5. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

    Hmm... I give Vincent all
    my photo copyrights, and
    he gives me some bananas...
    mickeysimpson likes this.
  6. PapaTango

    PapaTango I See Things

    Take a deep breath. Watch a couple of Hallmark movies, and have a short nap. It's not as dire as it seems...
    mickeysimpson likes this.
  7. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    I get amazing offers daily, just last week I got instructions on how to get my share of £18.5 millions. No regrets on deleting!
  8. Perhaps the most important tool in your bag is an effective bullshit detector?
    mickeysimpson and mikemorrell like this.
  9. The new way of doing business this is just the top tip of the ice burg in the IT industry:




  10. AJG


    First of all, it is easy to spot these scams and say no. Or quote your real price that a business has to charge to make a profit after covering expenses--that will get rid of almost all of these people. Second, the ease of entry into the photography business was vastly increased when digital imaging became cheap and ubiquitous, and that won't change. A lot of basic documentation that required skill and knowledge 30 years ago simply doesn't any more and that won't change either. What to do? Pick a specialized area of photography where you either invest in the equipment and the knowledge of how to do the work efficiently and well, or you can't compete. Then you can make a reasonable living. Anything that ordinary people can do reasonably well with their phones or a base level DSLR or mirrorless and kit lens isn't going to pay very well, and lamenting that fact won'r make it go away. The whole history of photography is one of increasing ease for photographers in making images, along with established photographers complaining about the young upstarts taking away their livelihood. I'm sorry to be harsh, but this is the society that we live in, and I don't see it changing any time soon.
  11. Thanks AjG , the reason why I posted this is because I'm thinking about signing a contract with a wedding Photography agency that is requiring "exceptional" skills while they do the dirty work behind the scenes(sales, editing, paper-work), There are NO educational requirements involved . A GED, or HS diploma is all that is needed with proof of shooting 5+ weddings .

    Now 10-15-20 years ago I would have jumped at the chance like "eager/beaver" , but now that I am semi-retired I'm very skeptical. Having worked for various of these agencies in the past, I got the impression that squeezing as much money as they could from your skills was their main objective. Not only that, your equipment or car took a hammering from the abuse. Not to mention your confidence and integrity.

    The good thing is they allowed you to build your portfolio so that you could go on your own if you wished. I'm not even going to go into the "Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein" episodes but they do come to mind. IMHO maybe going at it on your own might be more beneficial tour psyche and mental well being ???
  12. Ever hear of self-exploitation? This is an age-old grift, mostly pivoting on "flattery will get you anywhere." No one legit works this way, OK? Pour a drink and forget about it.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2021
  13. C-watson demons like you is why i'm glad i'm retired see you in hell my brother , although I might not be there, I will send you kisses...
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2021
  14. Me too. Do you have a contact address?
  15. I fear you don't even need to wear a camera to make all the experiences you are describing in the field of temporary employment agencies. Working for somebody's subcontractor seems a secure way to avoid making fortunes.
  16. Jeesh! Better pour yourself a double, pal.
  17. Maybe a triple, hee hee !
  18. PapaTango

    PapaTango I See Things

    I am surprised that this turkey has lurched along as much as it has.

    My suggestion is that the OP Google "Capitalism." The entire premise of capitalism is to exploit the labor of others to accrue wealth to the director of that labor and their collaborators. There's no surprise here, and whether one falls prey to the game has more to do with their own situation and critical thinking skills than whether something is legitimate or fraud.
    johnfantastic likes this.
  19. Another name for it is alienation. Alas, not only is the surplus product of photographers appropriated, but photographers themselves often do it to their subjects.

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