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economics of support

 
 
Thomas Garner
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      12-04-2003
I seem to have gotten myself into somewhat of a situation.
A longtime friend of a longtime friend of mine plays in a local band. He
wanted someone to shoot photos of his gigs and asked my friend and I was
recommended. I was using a digital point and shoot with fair to poor
results. Got myself a D Rebel and 50/1.8 in September. Shot a gig in
October with fair to better results, really poor lighting at this club.
Shot a gig last weekend with better to phenomenal results. I sent about
25 of the better shots to the publisher of a local E-zine
<http://www.utahmetalmagazine.com/ew_btb1.htm> covering the local scene
and he put them all up with credit to me and my contact info. Good by me.
Problem is I don't know what to charge these other musicians who aren't
making squat to play. I don't consider myself a pro, nor do I want to
make a living shooting. I want to support the local scene, but don't
want to exploit nor be exploited, nor do I want to cheapen photography.
I have covered 5 shows and haven't seen a pro photographer at any of
them. I probably have as much fun shooting as the musicians have playing.
What I am considering is covering a gig in exchange for admission to the
club and fuel/lodging if very far out of town. Included in covering the
gig would be a CD of lower res files suitable for screen viewing/web
display. Prints by me for slightly over cost of materials. Printed promo
material could be worked later if necessary. If any of these bands
release a CD, we could work out pricing on commercial use of a high res
file. This arrangement could allow me more experience to perfect my
skills, lets me see and hear some good music, and make new friends. It
allows the bands to get some higher quality photos for promotion on the
web, without the higher cost of a professional, but also without the
benefits a pro could offer. When these guys are in the position to spend
money for releasing a CD, they would also be in the position to spend
money for high res files suitable for commercial printing.
What do you pros think of this arrangement?? Any ideas on doing it
differently? Do I need a wake up call?
Thanks everyone,
Tom


 
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Juan R. Pollo
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      12-05-2003

"Thomas Garner" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...

(snip)

I'm not a pro, but my son's been in a few bands so I have an idea of what
you're going through.

Seems to me you've got the right idea. When you're starting out, you need
all the experience you can get and hands-on is the best type. In a year
you'll be a pro and your name will have gotten around to the point the big
boys will be looking you up. In the meantime, enjoy it but don't be a
sucker. The idea is to learn without it costing you too much. Always keep in
mind that you, too, are an artist and develop your own style. Try to make
friends with the band before the gig, they might let you stay with them if
going out of town (a lot of time they stay with friends or fans, there's no
money for hotels). And don't limit yourself to the band, people and places
look totally different at night. Be professional about it, pass out your
business card and you'll be OK. Good luck.

Juan

 
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