I tend not to worry about, or comment on, the photography market, but sometimes I shake my head and say “what?”.
One of those times is today. A friend asked me to help her shoot small high-end product for a retailer who sells… small, high-end products. Think thousands, and very small. So we quoted for this – the images to be used for a full-page advertisement.
This kind of shooting is not simple. It involves such things as:
- Camera – a good one.
- Macro lens
- Tilt-shift lens
- Lights – at least three or four available flashes, preferably
- Modifiers: Reflectors, softboxes, umbrellas, lightboxes
- A light table
Oh, and knowledge.
And post-processing software, expertise, and time.
So what did the retailer do? He posted this:
So I’ve decided to just buy a camera, seeing what the costs of a shoot are. Any cameras or lenses that are best for close up macro?”
He later asked:
What is a good DSLR to buy?
And when asked whether he knows how to shoot in manual mode, he replied:
No. How hard can it be?
So there is the market problem in a nutshell. Everyone thinks they can do it. I am not sure how to break it to this retailer, but in fact it is not simple, and it involves a lot more than just buying a camera. “Every professional skill takes 10,000 hours to master”, it is often said. By whom, you ask? By me, and by many others. Because it is true.
I think this retailer may be better off just having us shoot his products, and making it a lesson at the same time. And I do hope he decides to do that, rather than trying it himself.