I thought I'd post a link to a blog entry I read recently on John Loomis' Blog about the bidding process and low priced photographers. It was a coincidence he posted about this subject when he did because not a week before his post I was confronted with the same exact problem he writes about and was discussing it with some other photographers. I guess all photographers who value their work and bid on projects accordingly run into this problem all the time. The problem of course being photographers who bid next to nothing for a shoot and give away all their rights to the images. As a client, I would be worried about hiring the lowest bidder for fear that they don't really know what they're getting into. If you're dealing with a larger production and someone says they can do it for a quarter of what an experienced photographer can do the job , chances are they don't really understand the complexity of the shoot. Once you've hired this photographer, you may not know how badly things are going to turn out until its too late. Not only that, there is usually a reason the low priced photographer is low priced and even if it isn't a big production you can't be sure of the quality you will get.
Unfortunately we don't live in a perfect world and quite often it is the lowest bidder, and thus lowest quality, that is chosen. Not only that, often times "good enough" is good enough as can be seen by the abundance of visual crap we see on a daily basis. I remember not too long ago, after i submitted an estimate for a job I was called by the potential client asking if I could come down in my price. They told me another photographer was significantly lower in price. I asked who the photographer was and looked at his work online. As politely as I could, I let them know why that photographer was so cheap. Clearly they would have been getting a lower quality photograph. The potential client's response to this was... and I kid you not... "how much would you charge to take a bad photograph?" I laughed and told him I just didn't think it would work out.
Here is to the clients that want to produce something better than"just good enough." Thank you!