Life as a Visual Storyteller

All content © Roger Overall unless specified

How To Get Cheap Photography

© 2014 Roger Overall

© 2014 Roger Overall

Are you looking for cheap photography? I’m talking real bargain basement stuff. I’m your man. I can help you.

Let’s say you’re “not-looking-for-anything-special”. That’s a popular assignment description at the moment. And you don’t want to spend more than €400. That’s a figure people have in their heads a lot. You want the copyright as well.

Here’s how we can work together.

First, don’t tell me what you need. If you tell me what you need, I’ll have to spend time on preparation. That’s just going to add to your bill. Let’s cut that out. I’ll bring some gear along to the shoot and we’ll muddle through.

Second, let’s slim down the time I’ll be with you. You say we can do 30 products in two hours? Lovely. I believe you. That’s one every four minutes. It only takes a fraction of a second to trip the shutter, so four minutes is oodles.

I’m thankful I didn’t bring any lights. Setting them up only wastes time. It adds to the bill.

Besides, who needs lights? My camera is pretty special. It makes phone calls. I have a bigger, more expensive one too. It’s not as clever, though. I can’t upload selfies from it. It slows me down. I need to process the files on a computer. You don’t want the cost of that. I’m on your wavelength now.

Obviously, we’d like to make sure your products look the best they can. That’s more euros, I’m afraid. So just pop them in front of the camera and we’re good to go. The photos are only for web use. That barely counts, does it?

We’re flying through this.

No, you can’t see off the back of the camera what the pictures look like. Don’t start wasting time now. We’re on a budget here.

Done. Thirty “not-looking-for-anything-special” snaps in the bag. Boy, oh, boy – I can’t wait to see your website.

Post-production? We’ll have none of it. That’s only more money. I’ll upload the files straight from the camera to a Dropbox folder for you. What’s your WiFi password? You’ll have them before I’m even out the door. Besides, I don’t have internet in the office. Can’t afford it.

What’s that? The snaps look awful? I agree. Completely. They could have been much, much better. But then I’d have had to fire up my most expensive piece of kit. But I knew your budget wouldn’t cover it.

What is it, you ask?

My brain. It holds all my photographic experience, skill and creativity. Stocking it took a lot of time and money.

You might remember that you said you didn’t need any of that, erm, “shit”.

Now, who do I see about delaying payment on my invoice for 90 days?

2 Comments

  1. I’m sensing a bit of frustration here… not to mention sarcasm. :)
    It seems to be in this “digital” world that has instilled an instant-gratification complex in us has been our undoing. We’ve become accustomed to paying next to nothing for everything… but the reality is that good things cost good money… and for good reason: they’re good.
    Photography seems to be hardest hit by this digital trend… but I’m hoping that there are still people out there like myself who still are willing to pay for quality for things that we value highly and want a good product/job done.

  2. My father-in-law told me what is likely an apocryphal story from the early days of main-frames.

    Seems a certain high-end computer was on the fritz. Would. Not. Work. Business is in a tizzy. Computer technician is called in to assess the problem. He walks around the behemoth, makes sure its plugged in, then kicks it on the side. The company manager sighs relief as the computer fires up. When the technician tells the manager that the bill will be $5000, the manager demands that the bill be itemized. This is how it was invoiced:
    Kicking side of mainframe: $10
    Knowing where to kick: $4990

    Knowledge is power. Knowing how to use highly technical tools is how I feed my family. Relying on years of experience to do it better than most helps me feed them well. Clearly you were not the right sort of person for their job at hand. They should have had the administrative assistant snap pics on her/his cell phone.

Leave a Reply