Photography is an expensive hobby even if you only buy the stuff you absolutely need. And like in any other industry, there are things that make you spend even more on completely unnecessary things. In this video, Marc Newton of The School of Photography talks about the four most common rip-offs that are present in the world of photography. He teaches you to avoid them to save yourself some money, but also what to focus on instead.
1. Lightroom presets
Lightroom presets can be helpful, but you need to remember that they only work for a particular shoot, lighting setup, lens etc. So, if they work for someone else, it doesn’t mean that they’ll work for your photography. In addition, Lightroom already comes with loads of presets, and there are plenty of them you can download for free.
According to Marc, and I tend to agree, presets should only be used as a starting point. You can apply them and tweak the settings to get the look you want. If you expect to improve your photos with just one click, then you’re taking away all the creativity from the editing process. Marc suggests you create your own presets instead of buying and using someone else’s, and create different presets for different types of shoots.
2. 90% off
Another thing Marc warns you about is the huge discounts on various photography products. And I’d say this works for all kinds of products. “Nothing is 90% off unless it’s a crap product,” Marc puts it. If you see something that’s on a ridiculous discount, there are two possible scenarios. The first is that it was overpriced in the first place, which means that the company was lying to you from the very start. The second scenario is that it’s simply a crappy product that they can’t sell. In other words – “if it’s too good to be true – it normally is.” And I’d say this works in life generally.
3. Facebook advertising for a local photographer
This is an especially useful tip for photography beginners. Facebook ads can be great, but they’re not the best option for a local photographer, and Marc explains why. First and the foremost, Facebook charges you per click. But, other than potential clients, you’ll have other photographers click on your ad only to check you out. Yet they’re not your audience and they’re not gonna buy from you- so you’re wasting your money and not gaining as many potential clients as you want.
Instead of paying Facebook ads, Marc suggests you focus your energy on getting good recommendations in your area. And I tend to agree.
4. Education from questionable institutes and websites
There are various institutes and websites that provide education and allow you to add letters to your name. But if it’s not a formal B.A, M.A, or Ph.D., it’s just a waste of money. No one will see you as a better photographer if you add letters from a questionable institute to your name. What speaks for you is your work. The thing that makes people hire you is your portfolio, not the letters at the end of your name. So, focus on creating great work and presenting it in the best possible way.
I must say I agree with the most points Marc mentions in the video. I’m only not so sure about the presets: for some photographers, a part of their income comes from selling them. So, you’re supporting them if you buy from them, and it usually doesn’t cost that much. Still, I believe these aren’t the one-click solutions to improving your photos and that I think you should tweak them and use them only as a starting point.
Another thing that can end up as a rip-off is the so-called “vanity galleries,” and you can read more about them here. Are there any photography related rip-offs you have to add? And do you agree that the things Marc mentions are not worth your money?
[Photography Rip-offs You Need to Know About | The School of Photography]
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