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Clients Outsourcing Your Work

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  • Clients Outsourcing Your Work

    I've had several photographers in the last month casually tell me that they have been getting some of their retouching done online through sites who apparently are based in India. Each of these shooters are people who have given me work in the past and we are casual enough to do lunch together and talk about the industry. I like all of them and enjoy working with them. These are also photographers who know what it is like to be massively undercut by others in their own field and are often complain about local competition and point out people who have "taken" work from them.

    One guy was talking about how "I was on the site, you know just messing around and I kept clicking the quote button because it said "Try Again" and I got the quote down to $4!" This is a day or two after I bid on a job for him and got no reply. Another shooter was saying that the clipping was fine but the retouching in general wasn't up to par. I'm not really sure why I should be hearing about this.

    I've know for years that there are services in other countries that do $1 clipping paths up to full scale composite work, I've just always felt that I would not attempt to compete and that people can use what services they want. I think this is a healthy attitude to have but it does bother me when my clients (whom I also have good working relationships with and care what happens to them) seem to be looking for ways to cut corners and spend as little as possible when this is EXACTLY what their own clients are doing to them. Do they actually not realize the apparent parallel in this?

    For the sake of conversation what do you guys think about this? Anyone care to weigh in? I would appreciate the feedback

  • #2
    Re: Clients Outsourcing Your Work

    Go for the high end. Provide superior work with excellent service. Don't compete with the third world, you will lose.


    • #3
      Re: Clients Outsourcing Your Work

      we in Toronto have been losing jobs to offshore clipping/retouching companies for years, there was a time when some shops I worked at had 15 retouchers, now it is in half. Can't really blame the companies for using them, they are in the business of making money and they are getting the budgets slashed every year so they need to find cost cutting. It bothers me too,putting 15 years into a career to see it go the way of the dodo is upsetting.


      • #4
        Re: Clients Outsourcing Your Work

        Benny - Thanks for the chin up. That is what I've been telling some of those same clients when dealing with their work. I dig the positivity of it. If I play my cards right I can hold on to only good relationships. Often we get what we pay for. A shooter saving a few bucks on retouching may ultimately lose quality in their work. Makes more sense to feed others in your industry and community and see everyone prosper. Thanks for the insight.

        Heretic - That is sad to read man. I guess it goes to show that this is an age where we must all be open minded and not scared to evolve. I'm training myself in CGI as well as video now to be more rounded. How do the people in your company deal with losing work? Do you seek work in different ways, or just scale down a bit? Thanks.


        • #5
          Re: Clients Outsourcing Your Work

          people at my old place lost their jobs, and are struggling to find new ones. Not just retouchers either, a few photographers and MAC people as well. Lets hope that everyone realizes you get what you pay for.


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