This morning I enjoyed a $5 cup of coffee. Really, really good.
Cloudburst cafe. Great little spot, good atmosphere, nice staff. From the first sip to the last I enjoyed that cup for at least 30 minutes.
Even though I talked too much and drank too little and by the end it was a bit cold, it was still quite good.
Next I went to the gas station and vacuumed out my car. It’s a horrific scene in there with two small kids. Food, dirt, rocks, sticky I don’t even know what…. Just a quick go-over to make it a little less disgusting with the gas station vac. For 5 minutes and $2 I sucked like a maniac trying to get the most value for my money.
Honestly I think their timer needs calibration. 5 minutes of vacuuming at home NEVER goes by that fast.
So where am I going with this?
Photography of course. What the heck right? Prices are ALL.OVER.THE.PLACE. There’s no standard.
And don’t even get me started on the digital files.
I mean, how do you put a price on a digital file?
It’s weird really. You can look at it, but not really touch it.
Some photographers include them free. Others may charge thousands for a single file or maybe not even be willing to sell them at any price!
Yet it’s interesting to note that more often than not people would have no issue ‘stealing’ a digital file by copying it and saving it, or even go so far as to try to remove the watermark.
Those same people would never even THINK of stealing so much as a candy bar at the corner store!
Even with a price tag of a thousand dollars, if given the opportunity, a lot….I might even say most people, would copy and save that picture. And I’m not trying to call anyone out and make you feel bad here, I really believe that it hasn’t occurred to most that it’s even stealing.
Is it because you can’t touch it?
Let’s think about that digital file for a moment.
Once you own it it is out of the photographer’s hands. It can be altered. Instagram filtered to the point it no longer even resembles the original work.
There is no longer any control over how it looks when printed. How many copies can be printed. Copies upon copies of files, prints, coffee mugs, t-shirts. It is endless.
In the days of film most photographers didn’t sell their negatives, and if they did they carried a hefty price tag! Your livelihood was dependent on making sure they LOVED their photos enough to buy prints of them.
Back then the first question would be, “How much is an 8×10?” Generally the smallest, cheapest item on the menu.
But nowadays it’s, “Does that include all the files?”
So. About that cup of really good coffee. Is it bottomless? I’d like to share some with my family and friends.
Make it a sturdy one. I’d want to make sure I can pass it on to future generations.