As some of you will have read in my last two Journals, I was trying to make sense of an article about the “Weekend Warrior” and how that could undermine what a Pro does. It was quite an article that really did produce a negative response from me and from some of the comments, they did to you too.
However, I was delighted to get an email from Paul Sanders, the author of the article. Have to admit I was kind of apprehensive about what I was going to read in case he had taken offence but it turned out to be a very honest and thought-provoking one. This was followed by a couple of further emails that clarified and expanded on the article.
In fact, Paul has graciously agreed that I could quote some of what he said so I could write this Journal for you to read.
In his first email, he wrote:
“On the other points you raise about the articles in PP (Professional Photographer) I can only say that perhaps some of the comments on reflection weren’t worded as well as perhaps I should have done. The people with lack of commitment aren’t the amateur photographers who enjoy taking, making and improving at image making, in fact I totally encourage these photographers and enjoy sharing time shooting with many amateurs, many to be fair better than I am. The people I was aiming at really are those who come into the market and viciously undercut other photographers doing work for less money that it costs to actually do it in the first place.”
In another email, he wrote:
“I read the article back last night and can see how it could come across as a bit if rant.” He then explained that it probably was in a way as he had been undercut on a job massively in a way that would have not even covered the cost of doing the work.
I suppose what he is saying here is that what this guy had done wasn’t at all sustainable in itself but also by quoting a such a low price, the client’s expectations in the future is to look for similarly priced submissions. The knock-on is that it further reduces the margins to next to nothing and makes it impossible to earn a living from Photography. This undermines what a Pro does – I would imagine that the client would suffer in the long run in quality of work too.
I have to say that it takes a lot of character to write such an email in the face of what was written – something I would like to think I would do if I was in his shoes. More so, it takes integrity to see and accept the faults that have been shown to you in order to grow.
This is the integrity of a Pro Photographer – have to admire that. I’m sure you will agree.