Sunday morning: time to survey the damage from last night’s party. As I walked around the apartment picking up empty beer bottles and cups, wiping up spills, and putting the furniture back, I remember having a distinct feeling that something was amiss. A quick survey of the apartment, and it hits me. My DSLR was missing.
Even as I frantically searched every nook and cranny of the apartment I knew the answer: someone had stolen my camera.
Lifehacker featured a great tip today courtesy of Redditor lifedeathandtech that’ll help you avoid scams when you take your chances buying camera equipment from sites like Craigslist. When you see a listing that seems suspicious, or you get an e-mail reply that seems a bit automated, plug the post’s photos into Google Images and see if they’re being used elsewhere.
All you have to do is drag and drop the image into Google Image Search or use the Search by Image extension on Chrome or Firefox. It’s not a foolproof method, but if the poster pulled the photos off the internet you’ll know. Now, if only this would help weed out the people trying to scam wedding photographers.
Photography purists, you might want to look away. For the rest of you: remember that Craiglist listing we shared a couple of months ago posted by a couple looking for Hipstamatic wedding photographers? Among the hoards of enthusiastic Hipstamatic shooters who responded were Keith and Marc, hosts of the iPhoneography podcast TinyShutter. After being chosen for the gig, they drove down to Connecticut from Massachusetts and New Hampshire to capture the wedding with their iPhones.
If you’re a photographer looking for a gig on Craigslist, be careful. As with virtually all the types of “help wanted” listings found on the site, requests for photography services are often used by scammers as a way of luring the naive. Scammers also regularly send out emails to photographers advertising their services.
Would you shoot a wedding professionally with your iPhone and Hipstamatic? If you want to stay in business, probably not. But what if you were asked to do so, and paid for your work?
If you live near West Hartford, Connecticut, this might be an actual gig you can do. There’s a couple there looking for one or two Hipstamatic photographers to document their wedding in mid-September (don’t worry, they also have a primary non-iPhone photographer).
Earlier today my friend and fellow photographer posted a link to a craigslist ad from a woman in Seattle looking for a wedding photographer. The woman was upset because she thought that $3,000 for a wedding photographer was “wack” because all we do “is hang out at a wedding taking tons of photos and editing them” and that we are “making so much money its crazy.”
I first read this post earlier today while I was running errands and my head almost exploded. I immediately started drafting a horribly mean and punishing response in my head, but by the time I got home, I realized that this is probably a common misconception and that maybe I should try to explain why photographers charge what we do for our work.
Photographer Lilly McElroy has a unique series of photos titled I Throw Myself At Men that consists of self-portraits showing her launching herself into the arms of strangers.
For this project I went to a lot of bars and I literally threw myself at men who I didn’t know. I used my body as a projectile, hurling myself toward strong, vulnerable men who were waiting to catch me. Poised in a perpetual state of social awkwardness and in full possession of the ability to subvert stereotypical gender roles, the photographs pose questions concerning relationships, social connection, sex, gender, and the desire to form relationships quickly that are both intense and long lasting.
The project got started after McElroy placed ads on Craigslist asking for men who’d be willing to meet blind date-style in bars and have McElroy throw herself at them.
Photographer James Loveday has a portrait project documenting the people who use Craigslist. Over a period of several months, he placed ads on Craigslist offering free portraits to anyone who stopped by his Brooklyn studio.
Each time a person or people would come, I’d have everything set up and over the course of an hour or so I’d get their portrait taken. Some people would show up ready, knowing what to wear and what they wanted, others had a vague idea of getting famous and wanted to have pictures of themselves for their future careers as actors and models and some people were just intrigued, or bored.
Everyone who participated also filled out a questionnaire about themselves and their reasons for participating. The answers are shown alongside each of the portraits.
Craigslist by James Loveday (via Beautiful/Decay)
Some Atlanta-based photographer posted a humorous Craigslist ad on Monday highlighting the fact that people often assume that photographers will be happy to do work for free.
Poke around on Craigslist, and you’ll find that it’s filled with ads selling professional services at dirt-cheap prices, including photographers offering to shoot weddings for just a few hundred dollars. Does this spell doom for the wedding photography business? Probably not.
Jeff Revell over at PhotoWalkPro writes,
Well yesterday [a friend] called me and I could tell he was kind of upset. I asked what was wrong and he said “Jeff, do you know what they are charging for weddings on Craigslist? How can I compete with a $300 wedding?” I told him flat out that he can’t, nor should he. It took me a few minutes to get through to him but when I did, he finally saw the light. I asked him if he thought that the people that were hiring a $300 wedding photographer would pay $2500 for the same service. Probably not. That’s means that he isn’t really competing for those customers. His customer is the one that recognizes the value of a true professional that will deliver professional results. Get that? The key word here is professional.
His point is that you shouldn’t be competing on price, but on quality. Focus on that, and you’ll be targeting a different segment of the market.
Are Cheap Craigslist Weddings Killing the Wedding Photography Business? [PhotoWalkPro]
Image credit: Wedding Photographer by Kip Praslowicz