Today, several topics worth a belly laugh came up.
If I have been hired by a school as a photographer to work in another state, do I have to charge sales tax.
- If you're going to work in another state then you need a business license for that state and probably a local municipal license also. Tax could be paid in either state as long as it is paid. There is a caveat here. Government institutions do not normally pay sales tax but the sales tax return has to be filled out Well, the truth is that if you're going to work in another state then you need a business license for that tate and probably a local municipal license also. Tax could be paid in either state as long as it is paid. There is a caveat here. Government institutions do not normally pay sales tax but the sales tax return has to be filled out
- The discussion did not center around that though and it's debatable as to whether somebody serious about business would even ask such a serious question on something as frivolous as an online forum. I've asked several local sole traders whether they bother with forums and the answer is a resounding no and the reason is they don't have time to play around.
- The advice given was, of course, laughable and clearly given by people who never have been in business and likely never in any form of management. The sad thing is that somebody who doesn't know enough yet might follow their advice.
Good enough to fool clients.
This is a very common answer when questions are asked. In this instance somebody had blurred the background of a photo to allegedly make the subject stand out. Several things come to mind here.
- If fooling a client is a consideration then the person considering such an action is thinking in such an immoral way that criminality is going to be the very next move. Fooling people is not something anybody particularly in business should ever consider. The ramifications are too severe and wide reaching.
- If the subject is so insignificant in the photo that it cannot easily be identified without manipulation then the photo is bad in the first place.
- These blurry backgrounds are not artistic. They are a failure of photographic equipment to resolve an image satisfactorily. In the old days, lenses were not well designed and film speeds were slow meaning that anything outside of the prime area of the lens was blurred and especially so in less than great light. Photographers have been so used to the failure of equipment that they now consider a photo that's crisp across the frame to be abnormal.
It seems every day they're posting about some scam via eBay, Amazon or the photographic retailers.
- Usually the alleged scam is because the buyer has not read nor understood the terms and conditions of the deal
- Allied to the above, too many people seem to think its OK to buy an item, use it briefly then return it. Highly dishonest.
Given the above and that's just from today, I would consider most alleged photographers as being a very dodgy proposition. Indeed I am reminded of a documentary about a 19th century photographer who was perpetually broke and who would pawn his camera, pretend photographs didn't come out then use the clients money to get his camera back then actually take the photos. Very dishonest and to be frank, an attitude that seems to permeate photography at every level.
As an example, look at the professional photographers. Laughably, they demand deposits. This is not because they get too many bookings to cope but because clients are so rare that they have to use a non refundable deposit as a hook to snare victims. The actual photography is pretty much nothing. Anybody with a cell phone can take decent photos.
Yes, the above image is a cell phone photo, taken in the dark with a Nexus 4. Now, could somebody with a camera costing thousands have taken a better picture? Possibly but it would have been a close call.
Reading photo forums provides a very interesting view of the world that's so distorted as to make the reader question what substances the writers have consumed. According to forums...
- Clients know nothing
- Clients have to be fooled
- Photography makes money
- There are never enough photographers to satisfy demand
- Only the best equipment will do
- Only the latest equipment will do
- If equipment is more than a year old, it should be tossed out and replaced with new
- If customers aren't coming it's because your photography is bad
- If websites aren't getting visitors it's because your photography is bad
- If websites aren't getting visitors it's because your website design is bad
- If nobody is ringing after you advertised in the yellow pages, your photography is bad
- If nobody is ringing after you advertised on the side of your vehicle, your photography is bad.
Notice there seems to be no recognition of the fact people are not falling all over themselves to buy photography? Seriously, when was the last time you hired a photographer? I can honestly say I never ever have. I appeared in high school group photos but never hired the photographer and very often never bought a photo. I had some guy in Walgreens do some passport photos but they were a sales clerk and they used a compact. That's it - I have never ever hired a photographer. Very few of my friends ever have either. In fact, most friends that get married get the guests to pool their cellphone images and skip paying a bum with a camera.
So, go ahead, read the forums. Have a belly laugh but remember to come back. Reality still needs you!