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Money vs Art

Lesson 16 from: Commercial Photography: From Start to Finish

Joel Grimes

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Lesson Info

16. Money vs Art


Class Trailer

Day 1


Ten Things That Spell Disaster for a Photographer Part 1


Ten Things That Spell Disaster for a Photographer Part 2


Ten Things You Need to Know about Branding


Shoot: One Side Light Beauty Shot Part 1


Shoot: One Side Light Beauty Shot Part 2


Shoot: One Overhead Light Headshot


Shoot: Edgy Three Light Setup Part 1


Lesson Info

Money vs Art

Money versus art this is a tough one because I said I came through the fine arts right and this is I love this this is that we were talking about the future where I want to go with my photography this is what I love this one I love this kind of stuff and it is not quite as artsy is I'd like to get but this kind of stuff is what I'm drawn to today do a little bit more something a little more I don't know any mate all right so let's go through um there's two different mindsets that I think you need to have when you talk about money versus art and this is important mindset um and again I'm not brilliant but this is something I thought about number one create a body of work or style that meet your potential clients needs can I make sense this is how I started out I want to do any reports and this is what kind of an important rv looks like and I go on to build some anti report looking photography and then I pitched the annual report dr design studios make sense so you build the bodywork or ...

style that meet your potential clients needs you to make good living doing this there's another mindset created bodywork or style that fits your vision as an artist and then find the right clients that want to hire you for the specific look you see the different mindset here so if you're gonna spend thirty years taking pictures what mindset do you think probably would serve you best number two you created by the work that fits you your vision your love your niche and then you get out there and the clients will find you with right specific art director will call you up so he loves surfing you left surfing and you go out you start creating unbelievable sir pictures surfing pictures get out there next thing you know you're shooting for red bull or these companies that have surfboards and all the industry's huge right you do what you love build that bodywork and you fulfill that slot that's a better way to go now but you can make money the other way but you're going to be run around like a chicken with your head cut off as a general rule so that's why I say take on a different mindset and it's going to serve you better take on the mindset that you are the artist and that's in the end the most important thing fulfill that need and it'll like say it'll serve you well all right let's see what else we got here the best this is a this is a term I slide I use a lot when I talk and probably covered it last time when I was here but the best you'll ever get paid as a technician is a technician's wage but for an artist someone who is a creative force there's no ceiling on what you get paid I think I might have mentioned this in the first day I'm not sure but here's my point to this if you think that because you have uh you know, two point eight apple apple, apple, apple, apple lens that is going to take better pictures make you better I guess creative force in the market place that is not the equipment the technique being a two technical wizard of mastery is not there's a limit and what you get paid an artist there's no ceiling what is alien was get paid on a day shoot what why? Because she's an artist in fact I don't know this I say in fact I've heard from people who assisted her in terms of when it comes to technical things there's a lot of stuff she doesn't know she's relying on someone to set the lights up to certain degree that means they maybe not true anymore but I know in the early days I think she'll confess to this she just kind of lets someone help that part of it she's an artist that's the end result she wants it she wants her vision fulfilled she's not worried about all the technical stuff as much as you know so she's getting the big dollars because the creative force behind it now it was a really interesting is last I would say a couple photoshopped worlds ago adobe gives your keynote address and who do they have come out on stage representing adobe as to where the future of photography's going brooke shade and brooke shade will tell you she has a very limited knowledge of photo shop but she has a huge wealth of creative expression she is a creative genius I really believe it she understands exactly where she wants to go and she goes after it and she had all cost doesn't care what people think and she builds a body work that just is rocking the world. Why? Because she puts it all into the creative part of it technically but why is adobe bringing her on stage? There are people that understand photoshopped and know every little thing about it that you could run circles around the best of the best of us why are they on stage? Because in the end it's the creative people because my next slide clients want toe higher creative people over technicians we need technicians we need people that figure it all out but in the end when it comes to creating when it comes to being hired in the workplace you're in a creative industry be a creative force that's the most important thing that will get you further than anything else if you're in it for the money maybe we talked about this day one if you're in for the money the client's going to see through it they're going to see right through it in fact, I had was hired on a job with the client or drive along we just finished the day and she said, what do you think? I'll see the images and I said, oh, we gotta process the film about this back in film days love above, you know, maybe tomorrow afternoon or something and um she said, what do you think you'll invoice me and I said, well, you know, after I get the film deliver and everything and everything's approved us, I'll I'll get a surgeon invoice and she said, you know, I hired this one photographer and we did we did this shoot and um we finished at five o'clock five thirty there was invoice faxed over to me the guy facts he invoiced her before you got her the film she said I'll never hire that person again because he's in it for the money clients see right through it so that's that's, why that's why I was there. The other thing I was I was trying to say is when it comes to people hiring you, they want a creative force they want someone that is going to make their job easier in terms of whatever they're selling is going to make their company money and so be a creative force is my whole point be a creative force over a technical wizard we need to know technical stuff but make sure that you put that in perspective and that's why I love to talk about the creative process probably more than I do technical stuff I love technical stuff I love sharing what I do and I am I feel like I have a lot of understanding about lighting stuff but really the end result is more important all right so how much you get paid should never be a motivation of how much energy you put into a specific project here's why I say this I have been hired on thursday to do a shoot and all I'm getting is a thousand dollars I've been hired on friday I do shoot I'm getting paid ten thousand dollars for the day and the amount of work is pretty much the same so if I'm not careful on the thousand dollars shoot I'm like even me I'm just like not even paying attention it's like it's not that important and then I go really put my energy into the ten thousand dollars shoot I discovered that on the thousand dollars shoot the chances are I'll probably get a better portfolio shoot our image in the end so put your energy into no matter what it is full forced forget how much money you're getting paid that that's secondary to the goal get a really good picture and I've proven that over and over um so let's go to our next one does that make sense? So I think that you know, because the you don't get paid the same amount every day someone who has a passion for the creative process will always outperform someone who has it or is doing it for monetary game keep the passion alive and you will be in it for the long haul we talked about that day one I get caught with the money thing often, but really in the end I want to I want to do it for the fact that I think that I love more than anything to do so if I couldn't do photography what ideo I don't know so I better be big I better be happy doing what I'm doing and I know so many of my friends and colleagues that just end up grumbling all the way through they have a lifetime of grumbling because they did a lot of these things wrong and they ended up trying to do it for the money uh they have big egos and they got trapped they had big studios and they've lost everything and so it is a it is a challenge, so so we're gonna talk about tomorrow we're going to talk about so you want to make a living in photography, we'll talk about a whole bunch of I'm gonna give you some facts about all that and um not as a discouraging thing, but hopefully as an encouraging thing. Well, look at the big picture of it, but for now we are any questions I think I have fifty okay, fifty questions that's a good session, I hope, really amazing. And I just love all this information interesting enough a lot of the things that you're teaching applied a life and just any any career, not just commercial photography, especially love the part about the people will see right through you and I just think that's so important tool because your intentions people know what they are so important to have that so I thought that was really insightful. Why don't we try to do some rapid fire? You and I did not try to get as many questions answered as we can and just a few minutes. All right, so let's, start with let's see here. So chris christian j wanted to know how do you find out that there is a job to bid on? Well, there's your marketing okay, you have to be constantly out knocking on doors, nobody's going to put up a red flag and say, we're putting invents today you gotta go find it, and that goes back to the fact that we said that five percent of creatives market effectively ninety five of us don't ninety five percent of us don't you get in that five percent this goes all back to my other session we did get that session and we'll talk about how to go out and get clients all right? So ej gately had said do you ever consider saying and we did talk about this in your last workshop? What is your budget starting the conversation by just asking the question if you can get the budget that's great but here's the problem with that folks if there's five photographers bidding on that job and they all asked what the budget is, they all get the budget numbers right? So what does that do for you makes it a lot harder for you get the job if they're all coming at the same budget you actually don't want the information out there if you do your research right you and you say you're smart you're fair and you put in the right slot then you'll get the job that makes sense yes ok another question here from erin and casey when do you know whether it's charge hourly versus a bid? Do you have a preference or they really suited for separate scenarios? Well, I would not go hourly I would avoid that at all costs, but if you're in a situation when they say look, you're an event photographer and they say look, we pay two hundred bucks an hour go have it three days of photography chair whatever but what you want to be is a creative force and so you want to get paid for your creative force not just a hourly rate and there are scenarios like I said that like in certain arenas that on hourly rate might serve you well but no get you want that creative fee to be up there you want you want to work your way up the ranks and so on and here's one of real quick thing I'll say when it comes to a day rate well I don't use the term day rate creativity but it's kind of like a date the reason why I don't want to use the rate is because if I end up finishing this shoot I really worked my butt off we get down to six hours I think clients come back go o up by the way we need to readjust your day rate because we only have six hours we'll know I spent a whole day, you know, dedicated to their project but they're really actually looking the numbers right? How many hours but always asking this question what if we did ten hours what I cannot charge him or they go no then forget it then I'm not gonna cut my fee back do you see what I'm saying there? So I say here's what's gonna cost for me to be out for that day I call it creativity but if I get it done in four hours that's not a half day we get paid the creative force yes I'm a creative force the divorce I'm wondering about what resource is there are to look for kind of the standards in the industry as faras what you're pricing should be especially if your brand new and really don't have a gauge for it like I've looked on getty before when I've had people interested in specific images but you know how do you kind of know where toe all right that's a good question there are materials like s and p puts out that they might give you some guidelines and there's been programs that I can't make the name of it but she's a little program you type in any report it's going to be used for four years and it's going to be this kind of market and that gives you what you think you know should be created fear whatever but there's a danger in that because someone's putting in front of the information in hopefully they've done their research and it could be a good guideline but here's what I would say if you put yourself out there long enough you will find out what to charge does that make sense over time you're gonna go this is a slot that seems to work best for me you're the studio mate it may not be the that same rate or the another studio mile down the road it could be a couple of different rate too, so try not to go too much by what your competition is charging but what fits you and can I say one last thing? And I meant to say this and I totally forgot joel, this is your workshop and that is this and I meant to put us title slide in and I really, really feel bad about this when it comes to competition. I have heard for thirty years this term I've been low balled right? And that the soccer moms the camera are running the industry. Let me tell you, folks there's a slot for everyone to fill if a soccer mom with one camera on p goes out and for one hundred dollars to shoot a wedding, let them do it, they're not jeopardizing your slot. Does that make sense? I don't want to hear anyone say I've been low ball all this, this photographer low balls all the time well, they get a little ball and then get away with it, then fine that's the market there, they've found their slot, it doesn't encroach into your slot. If you are a creative force, I forgot to mention that, but anyways love it. This is from matrox who says, I'm adam from portland from poland, sorry, adam joel, how can we transfer this creative force into commercial shots? You've mentioned that brooke shading has it, but in real world scenario it would be hard to bring that creativity into every commercial shot do does every shot need to be important in terms of the meaning all right here's here's the mindset again that he's struggling with he wants to make a living and he's got clients and he's trying to go member that number one is find out what your client needs are and then build the bodywork that meet their needs. He has to go and say, look, this is what I want to do at all cost I will stake my life on it and build a body of work and then as you market it the right clients come to you and say, give me what you can do best and then you're doing what you love there's no there's, no struggle there yes there's certain parameters they say look, we want this athlete standing here and doing this and that but it's still your look is still your vision is still your creative force being, you know, put out there. So I think that's what he's still struggling with again once you get to the point where you've built that brand and you've built that creative look, the clients are gonna let you do it does that. If they're not, then they have hired the wrong person. And I have put bids in where I got to the point where I realized they're hiring the wrong photographer. And I have said, guess what, you're hiring the wrong photographer. I bow out, and we're talking big dollars mutton money here. But I don't want to be on a set completely frustrated, because I'm not doing what I love to do.

Ratings and Reviews


Joel Grimes reflects the true meaning of a passionate modern artist. Seamlessly blending his old school film techniques in todays ever-changing digital world with such amazing realistic results. Not only in his own body of work, but achieving the same outcome while teaching LIVE, even when things don’t always run smoothly, much like the real world. Thank you Joel for sharing your hard work and talents, your struggles, most importantly, your honest open teaching style with such detail in every segment. Much appreciate CREATIVE LIVE for keeping it real with good talent, on and off screen showcasing common humanity in us all. Indeed, a revolutionary company. Manny DaCunha.

a Creativelive Student

As an editorial and photographic professional it's refreshing to find new cerebral information that goes beyond simple instruction. It was motivating to see Joel, a highly respected professional who is successful in "real-life", display his thought process, points to be successful, and insights into his art. When you have been in the industry, working full time, you need those moments to relax, visualize and re-energize so you can look at projects with a renewed vision and passion. Joel and his Commercial Photography course did that and more for me. If my schedule allowed, I would certainly join Joel at one of his workshops. Only thing better than this CreativeLive would be attending live. Thank you Joel.

Student Work