Serious Question about PRO Use Case

mpfuchs

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With all those discussions going on about the new Mac Pro and other pro-rated gear being too expensive etc. I was wondering if professional photographers that are working for Reuthers or cover the Olympics or similar large scale events, are they required to bring their own gear to be able to do their job?
Or are cameras, lenses etc. provided to them by their employers?

Don't get me started on all the YouTube experts out there complaining about things that in my opinion don't apply in the real world, but seems to me they're complaining about not being pro enough.

I've read articles about the real pros being very excited about the new Mac Pro's capabilities and the price is basically cost of doing business for them. So I was wondering if that was the same in the pro photography business.

Not trying to start any controversy here, but just been wondering...
 

OreoCookie

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When my cousin got started in the business as a freelancer (mainly sports photography back then), he indeed had to buy his own equipment. My uncle sponsored his first camera, computer and a few lenses. His Canon D30 (≠ 30D) and his bazooka lens cost a fortune back then. Perhaps this is different with people who are employed by some agencies, but I was under the (perhaps erroneous) impression that most pro photographers are freelancers.
 
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Apple fanboy

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With all those discussions going on about the new Mac Pro and other pro-rated gear being too expensive etc. I was wondering if professional photographers that are working for Reuthers or cover the Olympics or similar large scale events, are they required to bring their own gear to be able to do their job?
Or are cameras, lenses etc. provided to them by their employers?

Don't get me started on all the YouTube experts out there complaining about things that in my opinion don't apply in the real world, but seems to me they're complaining about not being pro enough.

I've read articles about the real pros being very excited about the new Mac Pro's capabilities and the price is basically cost of doing business for them. So I was wondering if that was the same in the pro photography business.

Not trying to start any controversy here, but just been wondering...
If you are starting out you will need your own gear.
But I do recall some articles about big events like the Olympic.

DB11895D-0DE8-4ED7-BC8F-1AA68FDB95A1.jpeg


https://petapixel.com/2018/02/12/canons-nikons-crazy-dslr-stockpiles-2018-olympics/
 

mpfuchs

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When my cousin got started in the business as a freelancer (mainly sports photography back then), he indeed had to buy his own equipment. My uncle sponsored his first camera, computer and a few lenses. His Canon D30 (≠ 30D) and his bazooka lens cost a fortune back then. Perhaps this is different with people who are employed by some agencies, but I was under the (perhaps erroneous) impression that most pro photographers are freelancers.
If you are starting out you will need your own gear.
But I do recall some articles about big events like the Olympic.

View attachment 844915

https://petapixel.com/2018/02/12/canons-nikons-crazy-dslr-stockpiles-2018-olympics/
Thanks for your relies. I kind of had both of those in my head.
Makes sense, I guess that a freelancer would offer their services and equipment to a customer.
Also makes sense to me that with those big events, there will be "stuff" available to use. Equipment manufacturers might even provide that.
 

Apple fanboy

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Thanks for your relies. I kind of had both of those in my head.
Makes sense, I guess that a freelancer would offer their services and equipment to a customer.
Also makes sense to me that with those big events, there will be "stuff" available to use. Equipment manufacturers might even provide that.
I’ve just had an estate agents photographer round. Nikon entry level camera and Tamron lens.
My head says it’s all wrong, but I suppose they are just going to be compressed to hell on a website.
 

steveash

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Almost all working photographers will own their own equipment in some shape or another but if they are working for a news agency like this they may well have the equipment loaned to them. Newspapers traditionally held all the equipment and had people maintaining it, but these days very few photographers are actually employed full time. Most will work freelance and have to provide for themselves. For big events like the Olympics, equipment will be provided by news agencies for their freelancers and perhaps a few employees. They will have done a deal with the camera companies to get huge discounts as it is vital for people like Canon to have their equipment on the sidelines.

Commercially there are quite a lot of photographers who will hire equipment per shoot. Mainly because the cost of high-end equipment is so high. If they own the equipment they may add their own hire charge to the bill for the client to access it.

Personally, I do a mixture of work. If it is a smaller client then I will use my own equipment and just bill for the shoot/edit. For bigger projects then everything is itemised and it is likely I will need to hire cameras, lenses or at least backups. When budgets get bigger and the cost of redoing the shoot is high (or just impossible) then everything has to be right. If the client has paid for studio hire or a road to be closed, models, stylists, assistants etc, you don't want to get caught out with the wrong lens or a broken camera.

I found that camera hire was a lot more than the cost of hiring lenses and lighting so find it best to own a good camera, a couple of essential lenses and some versatile portable lighting but to hire more specialist items when needed. I am still breaking into commercial work so most of my projects are on the small side still and to a tight budget.

For a business, equipment can be written off against tax as a depreciating asset usually over a year or two so it isn't quite the financial commitment it seems as long as you are earning enough to be paying plenty of tax! Also, while camera equipment can seem expensive as a consumer product, as a business investment it is quite small. There are few businesses that can be run as cheaply as a freelance photographer. Most small businesses require dedicated premises, vehicles and machinery. Driving an Uber or running a coffee shop will likely have far higher overheads.
 

mpfuchs

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Thanks for the insight, @steveash that's what I was looking for.
Cost of doing business vs. "wanting" something are two completely different things.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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I would suspect that pros are allowed to chose the gear of their liking, but they may also be expected to pay for their own gear or have an allowance. What computer they use may be a different story, where bigger companies have contracts or purchase agreements from specific vendors.Big events might also have brand requirements depending on corporate sponsorship.

I'm not a pro to photography, so it's just speculation, but big businesses seem to be moving to BYOD--let the employee buy their own devices, and the employer provides a monthly payment for its use for work purposes. That's how my smartphone is set up for my job.
 

OreoCookie

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I’ve just had an estate agents photographer round. Nikon entry level camera and Tamron lens.
My head says it’s all wrong, but I suppose they are just going to be compressed to hell on a website.
That's just perception for the most part, especially given how capable today's cameras are. What you need is proper lighting and the right focal length.
Commercially there are quite a lot of photographers who will hire equipment per shoot. Mainly because the cost of high-end equipment is so high. If they own the equipment they may add their own hire charge to the bill for the client to access it.
Nowadays my cousin directs a lot of photo and video shoots for German car companies, and the effort you need there is apparently humongous. I don't imagine he owns most of the necessary equipment.
 

Apple fanboy

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That's just perception for the most part, especially given how capable today's cameras are. What you need is proper lighting and the right focal length.

Nowadays my cousin directs a lot of photo and video shoots for German car companies, and the effort you need there is apparently humongous. I don't imagine he owns most of the necessary equipment.
Completely agree. Just when you have better gear in the cupboard than the guy is using it’s hard to not notice.

But when I take a picture (as a hobby) I take my time and enjoy the process.

When a professional takes a photo they are looking to get an image as quickly as possible that’s good enough.
 

steveash

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I would suspect that pros are allowed to chose the gear of their liking, but they may also be expected to pay for their own gear or have an allowance. What computer they use may be a different story, where bigger companies have contracts or purchase agreements from specific vendors.Big events might also have brand requirements depending on corporate sponsorship.
I know that many sports photographers 'wire' their images straight to the publisher/agency from the event without them ever touching an editor (I heard they still send jpegs as it saves time). I worked in publishing at the start of my career and back then photographers uploaded images to an FTP server that worked a bit like Dropbox where we could download them. The old Canon 1D had an ethernet networking socket so images could be sent direct from the camera long before wifi and mobie devices.

Nowadays my cousin directs a lot of photo and video shoots for German car companies, and the effort you need there is apparently humongous. I don't imagine he owns most of the necessary equipment.
That's exactly what I'd like to be doing. I have to say the German car photography is the very best in the world. There is a setup called Staud Studios set up by car photographer Rene Staud. They have everything to do the productions in-house but that is very unusual. Usually most of the equipment and team will be hired per job.

I spoke to a fashion photographer in London a few years back and he actually didn't own a camera. All his work was planned ahead with locations or studios and production team hired. So the camera would just come with that. I guess he was at a level where he didn't have to do small jobs to fill in time between the big projects.
 

steveash

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Completely agree. Just when you have better gear in the cupboard than the guy is using it’s hard to not notice.

But when I take a picture (as a hobby) I take my time and enjoy the process.

When a professional takes a photo they are looking to get an image as quickly as possible that’s good enough.
It's probably not that unusual. Someone working for estate agents just wants to get the pictures done as quickly as possible and to try and turn a profit. I'm sure you could do a much better job but most people won't realise the difference between good and mediocre pictures anyway.

Before I started to try and make a living from photography I had piles of lenses that I hardly ever used. I run a tight ship now that I am specialising in a certain area, I know I can do a whole shoot with a couple of good lenses. Anything I don't use within 12 months goes on Ebay.
 

Apple fanboy

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It's probably not that unusual. Someone working for estate agents just wants to get the pictures done as quickly as possible and to try and turn a profit. I'm sure you could do a much better job but most people won't realise the difference between good and mediocre pictures anyway.

Before I started to try and make a living from photography I had piles of lenses that I hardly ever used. I run a tight ship now that I am specialising in a certain area, I know I can do a whole shoot with a couple of good lenses. Anything I don't use within 12 months goes on Ebay.
Probably a sensible approach. I keep all mine even though they get little use. They’re like tools. You keep them for the one day you need them. Plus I’d never be able to pay the same again for all my pro glass if I did sell it (though I’d turn a tidy profit).
 

Darmok N Jalad

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It's probably not that unusual. Someone working for estate agents just wants to get the pictures done as quickly as possible and to try and turn a profit. I'm sure you could do a much better job but most people won't realise the difference between good and mediocre pictures anyway.

Before I started to try and make a living from photography I had piles of lenses that I hardly ever used. I run a tight ship now that I am specialising in a certain area, I know I can do a whole shoot with a couple of good lenses. Anything I don't use within 12 months goes on Ebay.
What stinks with real estate is that you’re stuck with what you have to photograph. Having done the home buying recently, I’m amazed at how many people don’t get their homes ready to sell. Junk everywhere, poor design choices. It’s actually kinda funny to shop online just to see how weird it gets.
 

Apple fanboy

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What stinks with real estate is that you’re stuck with what you have to photograph. Having done the home buying recently, I’m amazed at how many people don’t get their homes ready to sell. Junk everywhere, poor design choices. It’s actually kinda funny to shop online just to see how weird it gets.
We present very well. It’s all been painted, cleaned and tidied top to bottom.
 

OreoCookie

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What stinks with real estate is that you’re stuck with what you have to photograph. Having done the home buying recently, I’m amazed at how many people don’t get their homes ready to sell. Junk everywhere, poor design choices. It’s actually kinda funny to shop online just to see how weird it gets.
And don’t forget the time of day — a room being flooded with natural light comes across very differently than one at the wrong time of day where it comes across as dinky and crammed.
 

robgendreau

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The computer scenario can be a bit different than photo equipment like cameras, lenses, and lights.

I had a friend who did photo journalism, for example, and while he owned his own kit for the photography itself the computer was provided for him, as well as the software.

And the photographers I worked with had company photo equipment and the same computers we all used, with separate licenses for some photo software (it was site licensing by seat).

From what I've seen the Mac Pro doesn't seem oriented to still photographers. But I imagine it's competitive with work stations or built to spec PCs for the video and 3d and other work that will best make use of it. Time is money and all that.