Who pays photographers?
I just got tipped to a new site named "Who pays photographers?", which collects anonymous contributions from photographers and how much they earned for a specific job from different outlets. Needless to say, its depressing to see these low rates collected together in one spot.
However, the more I look through it, the more I agree with some comments about the site, that "only dissatisfied [photographers] ... working for niche websites or newspapers" report their income there. The main problems I see, based on what I read on Shakodo every single day, is that most photographers still don't know how to charge properly and what they actually sell. And this is one of the core reasons why so many photographers have such a frustrating low income.
Lets take for example the concept of "work by the hour". I really, really don't understand why photographers do this to themselves. Imagine there are 2 photographers, a very experienced professional and a not that experienced semi-professional. They both get hired to take the portrait of a busy, high-end subject. The experienced photographer comes out of the session with a great portrait in 5 minutes, because of his experience to grasp the situation, the available light and the attention of his subject. The not so experienced semi-professional needs 20 minutes for the image. Now, who should earn more? The professional who didn't waste much time of his subject? Or the semi-professional, who needed 4 times the time for a picture? And what happens if the semi-professional becomes more experienced? Shall he suddenly earn less, because he can get the results faster?
This is just one example why "work by the hour" is not such a great idea. To quote Jim Greipp again "You get paid for your talent and not your time".
And in the end, it all boils down to one thing: The value of your images to the client.
So instead of complaining about low fees, educate yourself and learn from the people who are busy making money with photography. You probably will not find them on "Who pays photographers?", because they actually have work to do.