The principle of ‘Caveat Emptor’ is well established in most business transactions. Let the buyer beware! It’s so easy to be defrauded by someone who pretends he is something he isn’t – or who delivers second rate goods or services. This is certainly the case in ‘professional’ photography where a charlatan can set up a ‘photography business’ with no experience, no training or qualifications, no insurance and still get clients by offering prices that wouldn’t stand up financially.
The end result of this is that the person who thinks they are getting a good deal are just being ripped off, used as someone’s Guinea pig or exploited. It would be tempting to conclude that they deserve it, for demanding work at an unrealistic price, if it wasn’t for the collateral damage that is caused to the whole industry in ruined reputations and overall suspicion. A client who has been deceived by a ‘photographer’ can demonstrate their resentment by smearing all photographers with the vitriol usually reserved for estate agents and second hand car salesmen.
Here’s a case in point. I noticed a post on a photography discussion page, on which a woman was asking advice about a camera. She was starting a photography business so a relative had given a camera. She didn’t know whether the camera was any good for professional photos and was seeking advice from others.
The camera in question was an old, Nishika 3D, ‘point and shoot’ fixed focus, 35mm film camera. Totally unsuitable, even when new, for producing professional images, yet she didn’t seem to know what it was, how to use it or how to make images.
Just imagine what a total disaster it will be for her unsuspecting clients, who book her on some price comparison website.
As with any other transaction, when booking a photographer – Caveat Emptor.
Let the buyer beware!