Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/01/03

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Subject: RE: [Leica] an appeal to photographer (was re: tina's print pricing)
Date: 3 Jan 2001 16:17:41 -0800

On Wed, 03 January 2001, "Frank Filippone" wrote:
> Well, if the market hates your work, you won't sell any price.

That's absolutely correct, and someone who has not found a client who is willing to pay money for the product s/he produces will starve.

> I assume you work for a living, or at least did work when you came
> to your conclusion.... you must work to eat.  You will find the
> best way to do that.

At the end of the day, the great majority of us do whatever we do to make money so that we won't starve.  Whether noble or not, earning money is the most important goal for the most of us, because whatever we do, or ourselves would not be sustainable.

> There IS only so much marketing a single person can do.  But the argument I
> prefer is the hobbyist one..... swap your photos for others you like.
> Try that on Wall Street!

Not too many people I know underwrite initial public offerings or trade billions of dollars' worth of securities everyday for a hobby.  Swapping photos is a great idea, particularly for an amateur like myself.  I even enjoy giving away my prints, play recitals, cook an elaborate meal, and build bicycles wheels just for the fun of it.  However, my trade is off-limits to freebies, and I will always fight to get the last possible penny out of it.  Just as much as I command a salary as high as somebody is willing to pay for whatever I do, I don't see why anyone should be stopped from paying an exorbitant amount of money for a drug-store quality Eggleston print.

I stand by my original comment that there is no correlation between the subjectively perceived quality of product and the cost.  The only reason I see for the bitterness is the J word.

Let me put it this way: in my neighbourhood, there are many new millionaires who made their millions being at the right place at the right time.  Was their work really worth their salt?  Maybe.  Am I envious of their wealth?  Yes.  Should I be advocating that they should not have made their wealth?  No.