Craigslist Ad of the Day - 9/25/12

Started Sep 25, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Michael Thomas Mitchell Forum Pro • Posts: 11,615
Craigslist Ad of the Day - 9/25/12

This ad is about just plain old bad business planning. The photographer calls it an "end of the year blowout". Uh huh. Because he had extra inventory which he needed to dump before next season?? Anyway, the package is $600. Not the lowest we've seen, by far, but it is rather what it includes that seems to show he's more interested in taking pictures at any cost than actually making any money. The fee includes:

  • Unlimted hours (I recently spoke to a photographer who regretted that one big time. Offered it to get gigs and got hit with a sixteen hour wedding day for next to nothing.)

  • Engagement session

  • Two photographers (Wow. That cuts the fee for any one photographer dramatically.)

  • A "framed" 11x17 print. (As if the print alone were not enough, he has to keep an inventory of big frames, too... just to give them away.)

  • A "big screen" pre-ceremony slide show. (Presumably, he brings both a screen and a projector. Who operates this stuff while pictures are supposed to be taken?)

  • "Real time feed" of the pictures at the reception as they are being taken. (Obviously the same screen and projector, along with some pricey wi-fi instant uploading going on. Again, however, who is monitoring the equipment? Forget the second photographer... this job needs an assistant just to transport, set up, operate, and monitor all this stuff.)

  • THREE THOUSAND PLUS images representing "every photo taken", with 200 fully retouched and enhanced.

  • A "slideshow of your special day".

The big bonehead move here is obviously the "unlimited time". That sort of carelessness can result in the photographer having to be at the bride's house early in the morning for preparations, followed by a trip to the hair and nail salon, then to the venue hours before the ceremony and all the way to the end of the reception. Easily twelve hours or more. Add three more hours for the engagement shoot, and at least 10 more hours for image editing, slideshow preparation, album creative, printing and framing, and other miscellaneous work, presumably done by just a single person. That's about 37 man hours total. But then there are the expenses of the album, print, frame, images, etc. In the end, this guy is barely making above minimum wage, and that still doesn't go very far to paying for all this gear. Of course, he could get lucky and pull a short wedding day, but I wouldn't count on it after advertising "unlimited". Plus, he's promised "3000 plus images"... even non-stop shooting of the same thing over and other takes a little time to do that many!

Lots of promises here for a dirt cheap fee. This sort of thing would NOT have happened fifteen years ago!

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