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Thread: How? - A photo can sell for $5000 a similar one for $2.

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    How? - A photo can sell for $5000 a similar one for $2.

    This isn't a gripe saying "I can take the same photo, why can't I be paid what HE gets for it"?

    But... I can take the same photo, why can't I be paid what HE gets for it?

    Seriously, I have seen a well known photographers landscape photo of an area I have visited before, I truly believe given the chance I could take a photo so similar that the layman on the street could not tell the difference between mine or his.

    I do also realise value is "whatever someone will pay for it".

    My only response to this is "branding". He has built a name for himself and therefore has a brand that people buy (a bit like paintings) there are tallented people out there who can copy a painting almost exactly yet the original will sell for millions, the copy will be used as a drip pan under my mini.

    I realise we need to pay our dues and get out there to make our own brand. That we cant expect to ask for thousands the first time we take a photo of a shipwreck under a sunset with a 3 minute exposure.

    The other solution could be "exclusivity" he sells only 50 to 200 of each photo, which I guess ups the value. So if he can sell 50 for $5000 each, does that mean I can sell one of mine for $250,000? LOL.

    I'm not having a cry over this "Whaahh, whaahh, pay me thousands for my crappy photo of a sunset over a landfill"... I am actually curious to get other people opinions on why your photo is worth "nothing" but the same one taken by another person is worth thousands.

    As a complete sidenote... Once a photographer has made a name for him/herself, do they become lazy? Stop trying and just produce anything knowing the masses will buy it?
    I know nothing about anything, only what I like.


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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    One word. MARKETING. As you state this other photographer is 'Well Known". That gives them the ability to charge more, cause people will pay more.

    There are hundreds of thousands of people in Australia who take photos everyday, but only a handful are 'well known'.

    If I had a Da Vinci painting and I said here, you have it, for free, would you take it? Of course you would, cause of the perceived value inherent in Da Vinci's work. But if I said I have a painting by Graham Kean, you would say..WHO? Just by that alone, we all determine the value of an item, any item.

    PS. Graham Kean, is (was) my dad, he painted watercolours, but as far as I know, never sold any for more than about $50.00.

    Some people pay their dues all their life and never get recognition, others just happen to be in the right place at the right time. Why is anyone famous? Really, they are no different to any of the rest of us.

    It is down to marketing, luck and skill..and you probably need all three to happen to become 'well known'. For most, it never happens.
    Last edited by ricktas; 23-01-2012 at 3:32pm.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    As Rick said, or just be an elitist photographer who thinks nobody else can do what you do, and charge accordingly.

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    Very good point regarding the marketing. I was just listening to a podcast on the subject and they were talking about music artists, how they would pay $2M to produce and market a song based on the hopes that with enough paid airplay it would become a hit. Its no longer, with a good enough song you'll have a No.1 hit.

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    Amor fati!
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    i'd pay $50 for a preserved piece of Max Dupain belly button lint

    become famous, then sell for what ever you like. you are right, their work isnt necessarily better they just charge more for the brand.

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    I went to school with Max Dupain's son Rex, and was quite friendly with him too, even though I didn't know about his father's fame at the time.

    He was a terrific artist, and won many awards at school for his paintings and drawings, and I guess this shows up in his photography too.
    He is certainly well known for his photography, but do any of you know about his painting and drawing skills?

    I remember a school reunion we had for our year a few years ago, and someone had hired a pro tog to take shots of us.
    We were all lined up (about 80 of us) and just before the tog (a youngish girl) was about to take the photo, someone piped up and said why are we paying someone to take our photo, when we have one of the best photographers in our midst?
    The tog asked who that was, and we pointed Rex out to her.
    Well, didn't she swoon all over him for the rest of the night.

    I think we just see the odd photo or picture made by someone famous and think that we could copy that easily, but most of these famous artists have put in the hard yards for many years and their work is worth that much, not just because of marketing, but because of the years of great work they have produced.
    You look at a Picasso, and think it's junk because you can't work out exactly what it is, but have you seen his early work before cubism?
    He was a very, very, good and talented painter of realism too, and because of this, people were very prepared to look at his abstracts and realised what he was trying to say.

    Marketing is important, but years of great work that people like is worth even more, and people are prepared to pay the price to own a piece of those years and years of hard and very talented work.
    All my photos are taken with recycled pixels.
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    Wisdom, is knowing not to serve it in a fruit salad.

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    Thankyou Benny, well put and thought out.

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    Account Closed reaction's Avatar
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    but sometimes an 'unknown' is discovered and sells for $$$$

    so I think it's not that you can't sell a similar photo for $2, it's that you can't even tell the $4998 difference (or maybe less) in the two photos that the expert can.

    how many of us have thought we take pretty OK photos, only to look back at our own prev year's work and want to crawl under a rock?

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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    There are 2 ways to make money from photography (or many other things for that matter).
    One - be a good marketer
    Two - be a good photographer
    One usually makes more money than two, but - money isn't everything - though poverty is a pain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reaction View Post
    how many of us have thought we take pretty OK photos, only to look back at our own prev year's work and want to crawl under a rock?
    My hands up.

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    Yawn


    Another topic where people who succeed in what many want to do, get given the crap treatment - "elitist" "lazy" etc

    Heavens what next ? respect ? admiration.? Nah, some will still be sharpening the same old dull axe

    Last edited by Longshots; 23-01-2012 at 9:12pm.
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