Web Photographer vs Doing it myself

Hi community!

Thanks for reading my post!

In going that extra mile I want to have some captivating photography for my clients website (BICYCLE RELATED), yet in going through the process of quoting photographers they want to own all rights and charge an arm and a leg. More than the cost of the website design in fact.

I understand that they need to make a living and that means they need to license the pictures to me and not give me/the client the actual images.

I am a good photographer and see an opportunity to increase my skills while also building up a nice cache of equipment if I do it myself.

Of course the pro will have mountable cameras and lighting to bring onto the location and an undenible advantage of experience of me in getting the right lighting, perspective, depth of field etc.

Should I

  • go for it myself, undercut the photographer and build my skills by learning some specific techniques in action photography (pics of bicycle moving)
  • then goto a Photoshop guru for image processing to - fix my mistakes, attain specific looks?

Thank you for your thoughts?

Man, good photography starts at the camera. If you don’t have a good shot to begin with, there isn’t much to do. The idea that you can take some mediocre pics and then have someone else fix them in the box is not a good idea.

If you need specific product photography, then you can find folks who will shoot it and give you a limited use licence specific to the project that you are working on. I don’t know how much you are charging for the site or where in the world you are, but at least where I am there are plenty of photographers who will come in for a day rate and hand you a CD with the pictures for you with an unlimited use license.

Conversely, why not just use stock photos?

Hi romowest, welcome to the forums! :smiley: I pretty much agreee with TexasBob, it’s like with any good hobby/interest, there is quite a bit to learn than just ‘point and shoot’. I work in a camera shot as web developer, sometimes help out in the shop, the amount of people that come in wanting £1500 ($2380) and yet just have no clue! Our sales guys always say to customer, the camera is just a box, that’s all, what really matter is the lens.

Some buy like a $4000 camera and put a $150 lens on it, you do sort of think what’s the point of the high spec camera with that lens on.

In my opinion, I think you need to look seriously at photography, it’s certainly not the cheapest of hobbies. With digital camera now fairly affordable, it’s really made the photography industry incredibly tough and competitive. Best of luck to you anyhow :slight_smile:

Depends really how well you rate yourself as a photographer, how much gear you have already, how willing you are to learn and whether you have an interest in this kind of photography.

If it is action shots that you are after then there are a specific set of techniques you could learn and master. Gear wise you’re likely to need a decent fast lens which will push the price up, but with some good research you can put together a good kit relatively cheaply.

As with anything there are compromises. You might find that you don’t have the interest to do all the work of learning this stuff and find a photographer instead. Conversely you might find that you invest a few k on new kit and find and hone some new skills. Unfortunately no one else can make the call but you.

Thanks for your responses guys!

I want to do the photography work myself for all of the above reasons…

  1. I do enjoy landscape photography quite a bit therefore learning sports/action photography would be an interesting venture

  2. New toys - I don’t want to drop $5k on gear, but I as I have started taking these pictures this week with my Nikon D60 I agree with you that the stock auto focus lens might be one of the limiting factors.

  3. I want to show value to my Internet Marketing clients in all aspects. If that means showing them I can take care of the photography for 1/3rd the price then I’ll have to dig deeper into this.

NEXT STEPS - Of course Site Point has a Web Photography book. I’ve downloaded it and will respond back if I learn anything.

peace out friends friends!

I’d go for it too. In fact there’s no reason why you can’t be the person to get the shots if you are prepared to learn.
The D60 should be more than enough and the stock lens isn’t a slouch either. If you were going to upgrade anything go for a fast lens (assuming you are shooting action) unless you need a zoom this doesn’t have to be too pricey. There are plenty of sites with advice but stick with the tried and true. Make sure you master your current gear and don’t buy into the hype. Most of the gear is small upgrades on ‘ISO’ speed and bulk internal processing. Maybe worth it if the money starts flowing but your current kit should allow decent sharp shots.
As for post processing, nail it in-camera first. Get your techniques down and the styling can be done in post. But you don’t want to rely on it as your savior. If you need some brush up on both skills I’d recommend kelbytraining.com. You get the photography techniques and the post techniques for a very cheap price from real pros.
If you find that you want to extend your kit consider buying and learning to use a flash and off-camera flash.
There is a lot of scope to have fun upgrade your skills and deliver quality products but make sure your primary business doesn’t suffer or it might be worth employing someone who already has the skills. Good luck and let us know how you get on.

That’s great advice from a Slackr.

Kelly Training is AWESOME! I am finding better and better online training everyday.

First Think Vitamin, then Site Point, Now Kelly Training - What’s next?

Great to hear that you;re having fun with the photography-- I like it a lot, and you don’t need a crazy amount of equipment to get going. If you live in a largish city, you can often rent lenses, and there are folks who will ship rental lenses for not a lot of cash. I get most of my work done with a cheap F5 75-300. Most of photography is have enough sense to compose a picture well and not screw up the focus. It helps to be someplace interesting at the right moment, too.

I think that the best thing for my photography was to start going to photograph events. For instance, my wife is a music teacher, and I photograph her students recitals. It can be really demanding to get usable shots of folks moving around, but it also teaches you a lot pretty quickly.

Keep in mind, though, that there is a reason folks charge what they charge for photography. On one hand if you are cheap because you are not as good as a pro, that isn’t so good. And if you are as good as the pro photographers (and, really, I have met several who it would not be difficult to consistently best) then you are selling too cheap.