Why Do You or Don't You Compete - Discussion - Page 11
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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd_Reichman View Post
    Thanks Keith,

    That's not so much my opinion but something that was forwarded on another forum this morning. There was a perception that "old school" images were rewarded instead of innovative stuff. I think your explanation is valid.
    I knew you were asking as a general question, not necessarily as your own opinion, and my answer was a general response, not to you personally. We both know that but in case someone else thinks we were speaking personally to each other it's probably good to be clear.

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd_Reichman View Post
    I wonder if the perception has more to do with the marketing of the PPA comps? Its not that there is a problem inherently with the competition, just a perception based on who is currently entering. Keith, do you have any insight or opinion on how competition is currently being marketed and if there should be any reconsiderations or changes to that in order to address your concerns about why people are or aren't participating?

    - trr
    I don't know Todd, in any case I think it's a good idea to understand why people don't enter before PPA would pursue any active marketing to change those minds. I wouldn't say I am concerned why people don't enter, more just interested. But I do think if people don't enter because of misconceptiuons, then perhaps somehow those misconceptions can be corrected. And if there is a particular misconception that is the most common . . . well that's where to start first with any marketing or re-education. I am curious to see what impact the upcoming competition webinar series will have and if it will change anyone's perspectives. At the very least every one should agree that it shows that PEC does listen to the members and responds. The membership wanted more information on how the whole thing works and the response is a 4 part series that looks to be pretty comprehensive. I hope they get huge participation. The cost is the same as the print case fee for national and you get the case fee included as part of the series, so it's like free.

    Keith
    Last edited by Keith_A_Howe; 02-05-2009 at 09:22 PM.
    Keith A. Howe
    M.Photog.,M.Artist, Cr.,D.F.Ph.

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arlyn_DeBruyckere View Post
    Again the PURPOSE of my post is to answer the question "Why I don't compete". I don't expect you to agree, I don't expect you to change the rules , I'm not trying to convince you to stop competing. I'm trying to give information that was requested and have it accepted. I know that I am not alone in my feelings. I DO expect that since my input was requested that it will be received. I do expect that people won't verbally beat me for my decision and try to get me to join the group. If you ask the question you need to be ready to hear the answer. Jumping on me because you don't like my answer isn't going to change my answer, isn't going to cause me to "join up", but might cause me to go away. Trying to understand my answer might even get me to participate more in a discussion and maybe all of us would become more educated.
    Arlyn, in the spirit of keeping things friendly, I just want to be clear that I see this thread as a healthy debate of the 'why' and 'why not' with no ill intent. Hope you don't stop participating.

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael_Gan View Post
    I guess for those of us who went to college, and even for those who went into graduate studies, going after the masters of photography is a drop in the bucket, comparatively.
    I very much appreciate that, having one bachelors degree done
    and nearly a second (that I'm not going to finish) under my belt.

    Hopefully I will be comfortably able to spend the money for competition
    next year, when my clients this year gush about my images to friends.
    (I saw a friend of my last client today who mentioned that her
    daughter is going on 3 and really needs a nice portrait, so the word-of-mouth
    ball may be starting to roll.)
    Chelane Priller
    Photos by Chelane
    www.photosbychelane.com

  4. #104
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    >For your 1st ever competition I suggest that you #1 borrow a print
    >case from someone near you.

    That's a good idea, on the assumption that someone nearby isn't
    going to use their print case. Hopefully there will be someone at
    the local group who fits the bill.

    >#2 I suggest that you look at sub state sized groups.

    The local is quite affordable, and I'll join them and we'll see how
    that goes (they do community critiques but not competitions).

    >If you can't join your state,.or sub state sized group yet you can look at
    >entering another state's competition. Here in Pa., the convention and print
    >competition are this April. Let me know if you want more info.

    Yes, I may be interested in entering that way. I'll get back to you
    once I figure more out myself.

    Thanks!!
    Chelane Priller
    Photos by Chelane
    www.photosbychelane.com

  5. #105
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    Yes! Yes! Join your local pro association! You well learn many things in addition to improving your photography, like *ahem* raising your prices ($29 for a 20x30 is not a good idea, for example)
    Michael Gan,M.Photog.Cr. CPP,
    Meritage House of Photography

    If your business depends on you, you don't own a business-you have a job. And it's the worst job in the world because you're working for a lunatic... You can't close it when you want to, because if it's closed you don't get paid. You can't leave it when you want to, because if you leave there's nobody there to do the work. You can't sell it when you want to, because who wants to buy a job?
    —Michael Gerber
    http://www.meritageonmain.blogspot.com

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael_Gan View Post
    Yes! Yes! Join your local pro association! You well learn many things in addition to improving your photography, like *ahem* raising your prices ($29 for a 20x30 is not a good idea, for example)
    Clearly, I don't agree about the pricing. I'm not a boutique photographer.
    I'm aiming at the folks who have rarely or never gone to a pro.

    Nevertheless, when I can afford the competition I will enter because
    whoever my clients are deserve the best I can do for them.
    Chelane Priller
    Photos by Chelane
    www.photosbychelane.com

  7. #107
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    OK, let me say this one thing then I'll shut up for this thread. I can safely assume that you are relying on another person's income, or you have a full time job. Consider this: If you had to survive purely on these prices (.60 for a 4x6, $2 for 5x7), do you think you can survive? Considering the cost of sales of an 8x10 is around $70 for an at-home studio? Are you selling your image, or are you selling the paper they are on? IRS would look at your books as a hobby, not a business.
    Michael Gan,M.Photog.Cr. CPP,
    Meritage House of Photography

    If your business depends on you, you don't own a business-you have a job. And it's the worst job in the world because you're working for a lunatic... You can't close it when you want to, because if it's closed you don't get paid. You can't leave it when you want to, because if you leave there's nobody there to do the work. You can't sell it when you want to, because who wants to buy a job?
    —Michael Gerber
    http://www.meritageonmain.blogspot.com

  8. #108
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    San Diego, Calif
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    Default well...

    Michael, you might want to move this to another thread, it's getting pretty far away from the original topic.

  9. #109
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    So what you are saying with your prices is that your 4x6's are worth less then the cost of a candy bar and your 8x10's are worth about the same as a fast food lunch. Everybody knows what their own work is worth. It just makes me really sad that you don't feel your time and talent is worth more then a burger and fries.

    Chelane, you have to know Michael and I have anything to gain by jumping on you about your prices. There is no fun in "hey lets scold the new girl!". What either of us say is out of deep concern for your potential success. Please sit down with a pen and paper. Make a list what an average order would be. Add up what the client would pay and subtract your cost to make those prints. Then subtract anything else that went into producing those prints, like a bag or box to put them in, a price list you gave the client, anything that was actually out of pocket expense. Then start thinking about your other expenses that aren't directly related to just that session but still have to be covered by all the sessions you do in a year. For example your camera, your computer, your overhead for whatever space you are working out of - even if it is your home you still have utilities, wear and tear etc, your telephone so clients can call you, website hosting, insurance, etc etc etc. Total that all up and divide it by the number of sessions you do in a year. Whatever figure that comes to also gets subtracted from that total order. Next if there is anything left for profit, you have to pay taxes on that. So now when you are all said and done what do you have left? How many hours did you work on that session, booking, photographing, prepping files, sales session, ordering, assembling the order once it was printed, and delivery. Divide what you have left by the number of hours it took and you will see how much per hour you actually made or lost. This is a really simplistic explanantion, but if you actually figure this all out, I think it will be a real eye opener for you.

    Keith
    Last edited by Keith_A_Howe; 02-06-2009 at 05:53 PM.
    Keith A. Howe
    M.Photog.,M.Artist, Cr.,D.F.Ph.

  10. #110
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    A post on the other thread brought something up I'd like to discuss. State and local competitions are where new people learn how to be a judge. It's kinda like their residency or student teaching or internship. So sometimes on that level you get very experienced judges who have gone through a lot of training and sometimes you get beginners who have never judged beforeand because of that are more prone to mistake. Of course that affects the judging. Is that fair? Probably not, but if every state and local suddenly decides they will only have affliate jurors on their panels, then where do beginning judges go to get experience?

    The other issue is print case fees for those state and locals comps. Many people on here have already complained about the cost to enter. Associations are trying to keep the case fees as low as possible so judges don't get paid very well. I was recently asked to judge a state competition. I needed to fly in the night before, judge all day and fly out the next morning. So I would have had 2 nights hotel, a plane ticket and a few meals as expenses. The state was going to pay me $250. That wouldn't even cover my plane ticket. So in cases like that the only people they can get to come are local so no plane tickets, or aspiring jurors. Aspiring judges are willing to pay their own way so they can get one of their required judgings in to gain affliate status. So you have a panel of beginners again. Nothing wrong with being a beginner, everybody starts there. But that's when you see more of the issues that have been brought up as objections to competition.

    A couple times it's been mentioned about judges getting bleary eyed or glazed over and there being a run of 78's & 79's. Here's something to think about. When you shuffle a deck of cards hopefully they are randomly mixed. But sometimes a bunch of aces and face cards will end up clustered together. Sometimes a bunch of 4's & 5's will come up in a string. It happens. Same thing in print competition, sometimes you get a run of "just missed" all in a row. Sometimes you get a run of high scores back to back. That doesn't mean that they were mis-scored. It just happens. Not saying it isn't possible for judges to get in a rut and a good jury chair will do everything they can to avoid that. At affiliate judgings they rotate frequently and if there are two panels they will often mix up the panels just to keep everyone fresh. At national judging the panels are also rotated every 10 minutes and mixed up four times a day. I don 't know what more could be done other then bring in a whole new panel after lunch each day. I don't think anyone wants to cover that extra cost in their print case fee but it would be a solution.

    Keith
    Keith A. Howe
    M.Photog.,M.Artist, Cr.,D.F.Ph.

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