Crappy Vs Snappy: Photog Uses Side-by-Side Comparisons to Market His Skill


One of the problems photographers face today is explaining to clients why it’s worth it to pay a professional to do a job the client often feels they can do themselves. And while people familiar with photography can immediately give a plethora of reasons why an entry-level DSLR in an layman’s hands is NOT the same as hiring a professional, clients often don’t get it.

That’s why Sudbury, Ontario-based photographer James Hodgins started his witty, “Crappy Vs Snappy” showcase. He either invites clients to tag along on shoots with their own camera or snaps his own crappy images in “P” mode, and then places the results side-by-side with his professional-quality shots. The client rarely needs any more convincing after that.

Here are a few of his Crappy Vs Snappy examples:







It’s a smart marketing tactic that Hodgins has expanded past the mining images you see here. According to PDN Pulse, when photographing business clients, he’ll take one picture with a camera mounted flash and his subject against a wall, and another in a studio setting. The difference is immediately obvious, and the images help him sell his skill to future clients as well.

To see more of Hodgins’ work, and keep up with his Crappy Vs Snappy showcase, you can visit his website by clicking here.

Crappy Vs Snappy [James Hodgins via PDN Pulse]

Image credits: Photography by James Hodgins and used with permission.

  • Chris

    I disagree. I do agree that going so far as to call the snapshots “crappy” is probably a bit much (though I don’t have the same reservation for pictures he shot without lighting on P). I also agree that I wouldn’t have done as much in post, but I’ll assume he knows his market and that sells there.

    The fact of the matter, though, is that he’s out to sell his services to people who look at National Geographic and think “Wow, that Joe McNally must have a great camera.” If he’s lucky he’s trying to sell to a marketing or press person at the mine operation, but it could just be some random manager. And, as stated in the post, the perennial question he has to deal with is that he charges a bunch of money for images that come from a similar camera to what some random employee owns, so why don’t they just have the employee shoot pictures (they might even get more megapixels that way). For whatever reason if you’re a world class cello player people think you must have amazing talent, but if you’re a world class photographer people think you must have some inside connection to Nikon to get better equipment than they have.

  • Mansgame

    I’ve seen MUCH better work from serious amateurs than from paid professionals. The point is that he’s assuming other photographers are idiots.

    And hey, if an accountant can take a picture that is just as good as what a pro makes, it says that pros need to find new work or adapt. Doctors go to school for years and few people go to an amateur doctor for a surgery because it’s not a skill that can just be learned. What does it say about pros when a 15 year old can do what they do better?

  • Michael Zhang

    We’ve unbanned that account, but in the future, please leave comments more productive than “Laaaaaaaaaaaame”. Thanks! :)

  • Matt

    That one at the top is definately in that situation, all kidding a side. Some though are pretty decent. But, he kind of needs to work on his skills though. Not that I could do as well.

  • Igor Ken

    I know that effect. It’s also valid for this kind of situation: you do your job and deliver the final product, if the price was low, they look at all the flaws of the product, if you overpriced your fees on that project, and deliver the same result, they will be way more happy with it. Ah, psychology ^_^

  • Igor Ken

    yeah, exactly my point in the post above, sorry, I saw yours after posting it.

  • Scott Verge

    So you’ve seen great amateur work. We all have, that’s not a revelation.

    If an accountant or 15 year old can take great photographs as good as or better then a pro then that’s great. Maybe they have some serious decisions in their future.

    Of course a pro doesn’t just take great photographs do they? A working pro would be skilled as a business person as well. Good at networking, negotiation, marketing and such.

    Sometimes that’s all that separates the two, and there is nothing wrong with that.

    Not that any of this has to do with the above photography using regular snapshots to compare to his work and show what a company get’s out of hiring him.

  • Jake

    Fail what?

  • Zos Xavius

    I figured that’s was what did it. In spite of my occasional trolling I do rather like this site. Keep up the good work! :)

  • ace ventura

    wow… both are crappy!!!

  • Mark Wheadon

    Charging too little can scare a client off, I’m certain of that.