15 Minutes to Shoot, 15 Years to Master

I read this on a website this week and i had to share it. I’m not there yet by charging lots of money as i believe you need to have the portfolio of work to show you are worth that much but i am already experiencing similar situations.

The photo above is mine for my portfolio.

Client : Nice shot. You got it in 15 minutes. But isn’t 1,000 bucks for that a robbery?

Photographer : Yes, you are right, but to get it done correctly in 15 minutes it took me 15 years of hard work and dedication to master this art of “robbery”.

When people see photographers at work, they often assume that the results must not be worth as much as other forms of art, since pressing the shutter to capture an image seems so much faster and easier than painting a photograph.

There’s a similar story that’s told about Picasso:

Picasso was in a park when a woman approached him and asked him to draw a portrait of her. Picasso agreed and quickly sketches her. After handing the sketch to her, she is pleased with the likeness and asks how much she owed to him. Picasso replies $5,000. The woman screamed, “but it took you only five minutes!”.

“No, Madam, it took me all my life”, replied Picasso.

Thoughts anyone??

Duncan Clarke - June 3, 2011 - 7:50 am

Art for me has 2 sides – It is the creativity to come up with an idea. A manner in which to portray what it is you want the observer to perceive. However, it is also the technical ability to realise that vision and create something that accurately captures and presents it.

Photography for many is simply recording what is in front of them. For a real photographer it is using years of experience in knowing how to compose an image as much as, if not more so, than a painter, sculptor or musician who are not limited by reality.

dale247 - June 3, 2011 - 7:55 am

That sounds like is almost out of a textbook Duncan but great response. I agree.

Pete Leong - June 3, 2011 - 10:20 am

Great post Dale! So very true. Love the quote. And love the catch lights in the models eyes. Very cool!

Steve Longton - June 4, 2011 - 12:03 am

How often do we pay a specialist $200 for his opinion, do we winge, no because we know he has studied all his life to master his skills. Photography is an “Art”, therefore it is created by an artist, someone who has mastered the art of photography.

Next time your client winges hand them your 1D’s a bottle of bubbly and say, Best of luck with that and here’s two 8GB cards you may need to reformat one though before you get the shot you’re after.

dale247 - June 4, 2011 - 12:33 am

Nice One Steve. Didn’t know your camera store existed. I’ll check it out.

Kristoffer Manalac - July 1, 2011 - 2:52 am

Hi Dale,
Excellent post. I do agree with you 100% One way that I have gotten around that is: When people ask me how much I charge I ask them to take a look at my images first. I ask them if the like it.. when they say “yeah I do.. i lvoe your work” I ask them which is your favourite… they pick one out and I tell them how I got that shot. I tell em things like… how I composed the shot, How I lit it, what I did in post, also not to mention equipment etc etc. “They reply wow that’s a lot of work” I reply I’m glad you like it :) then i give them the price hehehe. to us fellow artist we understand the value of creativity I think for those that don’t it’s a matter of sharing that value with others and allow them to appreciate the art we create.

dale247 - July 4, 2011 - 7:22 am

Thanks for reading. Yeah thats not a bad strategy.

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