Commercial Photography and Billing Insights and Questions

Started Nov 29, 2006 | Discussions thread
Jeff Behm Veteran Member • Posts: 3,306
Re: Commercial Photography and Billing Insights and Questions

andybuk99 wrote:

What do you need to retouch? If its converging verticals, well Im
afraid you should be using the right equipment (5x4 or 10x8, yes
its still available I used it this morning) or swallow the post
processing costs along with colour correction blown highlights etc.
The problem is now a days people are trying to charge for
everything! You shouldn't charge for blown highlights (that's just
purely bad lighting technique) or technical cock ups, that's down
to the photographer to accept the costs. I charge a flat retouching
fee for things beyond my control, for example the wrong labels on
products etc but not for any errors I may have caused.

I see so many so called photographers just snapping away digitally
and actually forgetting the basics of photography of exposure,
composition etc and deciding to sort that out in post production.
Thats wrong totally wrong.

In a perfect world you'd be right, but as someone who's been doing this for 22 years and started with 4x5's, I watched the demand for those evaporate. When shooting 4x5, I shot sailboats, candy, food, furniture, dishes, railroad cars, trolleys and ladders for national corporations. With the exception of one, all those large corporations no longer exist. Kaput. I still have to make a living though. Adapting to the needs of the market broke my heart as I sold off my Linhoffs and Schneider optics, my Fujica GX 680's and closed my 22,000 sq.ft. commercial studio complete with multiple labs etc..

Lighting still has to be precise, of course, but if the client wants digital furniture shots and I have to do parallax manipulation because it's no longer shot on 4x5, that's on the client, in my opinion. It's not about my abilities, but the choices of the market in demanding a format that is great in areas like immediacy and less so in the fine details we could have provided with 4x5.

Wholeheartedly I congratulate you and those like you whose top clients are still in existance, want the best and are using large format. I envy you.

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