NEWSLETTER NO 59
RECESSION By John Pforr Chromatek Brisbane.
"Plan And Promote"
AND THE BACKYARD MOVEMENT
instance, if a guy goes into George's Camera store to purchase
situation where he is being strongly advised to go and make
a buck from photography simply on the basis he has the equipment.
Also there are Labs which openly promote this, and thus we have
don't care what anyone has to say, history proves certain facts
about the backyard movement and history will do nothing but
repeat itself in the future.
"moonlighters" I don't mean the photographer who is
in a small town and has some other career which he follows.
Such small towns cannot support a total photographer anyway.
I mean towns such as Rockhampton or Newcastle.
who is particularly concerned about this developing opposition,
really should have nothing to worry about. If you do one thing
and one thing only which is -STAND BY YOUR GUNS. Your guns being
quality of your professionalism. Price in the long haul does
not have a great deal to do with
For anyone who wishes, I can repeat points of history which
will prove this so.
JUST WHAT "Professionalism" is.... It starts
from the moment someone comes in to see you. As you know I am
a person who first questions myself before I go questioning
anyone else. Am I right in what I'm doing? Is it right? There
are too many people who think they are doing the correct thing
without questioning themselves. This is obvious in many things
we see on a day to day basis.
a long hard look at the way you display your work. Do you continually
change your displays? Are they static month after month, year
after year? Are you creating traffic simply by the fact that
you have changed your display. Create a constant interest in
yourself as a photographer.
the moonlighter may start putting pictures in the paper. Have
you given that away over the years, because you didn't think
it was worth it. Yes, I have heard that - "We can't get
it in our local paper". Do you constantly keep up with
the "Getting Married" segment on the radio on Saturday
morning. Do you do this every Saturday? Have you given away
writing to engaged couples a short hand written note. What I
hear is, "Oh yes, we have to get something printed,"
but you don't. Just a simple humble note and a little offer
of a free engagement photo. Usual comment is "But I don1t
get a return on these" - But you will get the wedding in
most think they have to get all the money before the wedding,
and scare the hell out of the customer. The majority of people
in the world you can trust. Still today, it seems by saying,
unless I get $xxx I will not do the job! Remember to accumulate,
one has to speculate.
you say to yourself, that you cannot sell a lot of pictures
and therefore you will only take x number and edit your shooting
down to that number instead of having the situation where your
customer sees that you do shoot a lot of pictures, therefore
you have got additional appeal. These are all points which count
if you are fighting competition, and this is all part of "Professionalism".
about your posing, different pictures and different ideas. I
often hear "Yes, I do those pictures", and then I
see what comes through the Lab, and that's a different question.
yourself and question the negative quality. Some people are
still using an automatic flash - great! What about professionalism?
That's like an engineer throwing a peice of string with a rock
on the end of it to get a measurement because he is too lazy
to accurately work out the distance.
couple of photographers recently came to my attention when they
said photography could only get better, if photographers had
to do a series of matching black and white and colour photos
of similar objects taken under the same lighting conditions
to come up with matching sets of prints. I simply say that it
would be very good for all photographers to have to shoot their
Weddings in transparencies. It would be interesting to see how
many had enough courage and professionalism to have fixed time
premier proofs or fixed time supa-proofs made at the Laboratory.
you have to do the brandy balloon, because everyone wants it,
but add to it some other creative approaches. What about a candle
or a cross, double-exposed over someone who is having a Nuptial
about checking more often, that your camera is sharp. Something
in the order of 12% of wedding negatives are not sharp. The
reason for this is just lack of care to detail in focusing too
far back or too far forward. We see a number of prints through
the Lab where the print is sharp, the grain is sharp, but the
negative isn't sharp. Some people send the print back saying,
it isn't sharp, but look at the grain and you'll find it is.
Unfortunately, we cannot, as we are at times asked to do, wave
a magic wand. Check your focus! Care to detail!
to detail extends very much into the clothing. How many times
do we see where trousers haven't been hitched up and seams aren't
straight. Uneven coat seams, buttons not done up, dresses showing
an uneven hemline. Very simple things - veils and trains which
haven't been correctly placed, show a lack of professionalism
in our work. It is a photographer's duty to remind people to
fix this little thing or to attend to that little thing, before
the photos are taken. How many times do we see a tree which
appears to grow out of a persons head? We must constantly look
out for these things which make a big difference to your customer.
Such details should be pointed out and taken to advantage. Another
reason you get the job rather than the price factor.
us consider the purchase of a door handle. All door handles
look alike, but what is in a door handle? Most of it when fitted,
is where you can't see it. With a photograph you could consider
a piece of paper for the price alone, but all those things on
the piece of paper are important. The Lab can only have 2 effects,
the colour and the density. Remember you have to make a good
negative to make those two things possible.
there are all the other things that go to make up a door handle.
It is not only brass but coated to keep its lustrous look. Is
the mounting flanged pressed metal or cast metal? Is the return
spring big and strong, will it stand a lot of use? Are the tumblers
in the lock machined or just pressed? Is the sprint in the latch
a coil or loose spring? Are further replacements available if
something should go wrong?
the same way I believe we photographers should point out to
our customers the difference between our selves and others.
Simple things such as the back One of these is the clock analogy
where he reminds customers that the face of a wall clock has
to be at least 4 inches wide to be seen from any point in the
average room. Smaller clocks are frustrating, he removes his
wristwatch and holds it to the wall to demonstrate.
important part to remember is that once you approach life size
in a portrait for some unknown reason yourself and you clients
will feel uncomfortable. Sure they will remark on the dramatic
and they will notice it, but will they live with it.
believe that Phil Charis's concept of seven-eights head size
as the maximum head size in any print is true and should be
adhered to. I.P.W.)
means is you want to make a large print for sale then you have
to put more space around the photograph.
of doing a head and shoulders photograph do a full length.
of doing a full length outside move away and make a picture
instead of a photograph perhaps even include a full house and
make a 6Ox8O photo.
about what is available in New Zealand and pass on for general
consideration Donald Jacks comments.
asked for a Flash Unit for his demonstrations with a maximum
power output of 50 watt seconds.
put this into perspective the lowest power on a Bowens
400 Mono-light is 100 watt seconds, and Donald wants the 50
watt seconds as his maximum power output.
this Newsletter is being read by Wedding and Portrait Photographers
it makes me wonder why Wedding and Portrait Photographers are
unable to buy a flash unit that is more in keeping with the
amount of light output that they need.
average GP studio that has 4 Bowens Mono-lights or their equivalent
and has therefore a total output of one thousand six hundred
watt seconds, enough to shoot all of their portraits at f45
at 10 feet.
Jacks words in his last letter was for portraiture keep the
power down, f45 at 10 feet Don says is ridiculous.
YOU GETTING STALE?
were done a fraction better and some a fraction worse. But the
style was basically the same.
said was getting weary of this feeling that he had to produce
this sort of work all the time because thats what the public
suggestion to him was that he allocate 2 exposures from every
sitting to himself and he takes those 2 exposures to please
himself and not necessarily what he feels would please his client.
In this way he may find that his technique changes and his concept
of photography changes and that he does become a much better
photographer for it.
IS a certain amount of sameness to the photography in New Zealand
and whilst this is not a bad thing because it establishes a
good solid base for people to work to I feel there is not enough
experimentation done in photography.
feel that various photographers should get together and have
photographic safari's where they experiment at producing the
most different photograph that is still basically good portraiture.
does not necessarily mean bad but a portrait that shows the
most imagination and to this end our next print competition
that we will be having after the one that is announced in this
Newsletter will be for the photograph that shows the most imagination
in its concept that is still a saleable photograph.
ABOUT THE OVER FORTIES
of those interviewed over 40 were planning an overseas trip
within the following year, their forecast spending was from
$2000 to $10,000 on this trip.
points out the over 40s has the largest discretionary dollars
to spend, they do spend more but, very little of the advertising
is directed at them.
should be aiming a large portion of your advertising towards
describes the age group of between 25 and 40 as largely the
young married's The new poor.
next time you plan some advertising ask your self. "Is
it aimed at the over forties", and if not what age group
is it aimed at and why?
you spend advertising any sort of advertising you must be sure
of a good return, and indications are that the over 40s have
the money to spend, do spend the money, but don't assume this
to mean they will buy anything. Most times they are very particular
about what they buy so if you have something to sell them make
sure it is good.
YOU HAVE AN BELLOWS CAMERA?
it does collect dust and if you haven't done this for a while
take the back off, take the lens off, rack your bellows out
to full extension and have a look to see how much dust there
is in the bottom of the each bellows.
if you can't really see it you should make a practice of vacuuming
this out on a reasonably regular basis, of course you will make
sure your mirror is up first won't you.
SORT OF CUSTOMERS DO YOU HAVE?
if they all drive 19514 Ford Prefects and they live in a suburb
which is your equivalent of Mangere or Otara then perhaps you
don't need a 10x8 Wedding Display Album
how many of you have a 10x8 Wedding Album done up in the most
expensive cover you can get with 50 or more photographs in it
you have an Album like this to show your customers how are you
going to ever sell one?
you don't have one yet and you have one on your price list are
you not indicating to your customers that it is so expensive
you don't have one yourself because it is so expensive
You can only sell what you show.
only sell a 10x8 Wedding Album if you have one to show.
that people will buy 10x8 albums if you can show them a good
looking album of a good looking wedding photographs presented