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Undercutting

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Claire Shipman is off-line
23 June 2009 06:14
ClaireShipman
Make-up Artist
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ClaireShipman
Location
United Kingdom
Nottinghamshire
Nottingham

Hi Guys,

Want to know your views on being undercut by our fellow artists. Over the last few days I have found out that 2 of my most regular clients have booked other artists due to them severely undercutting my rates. One saying I'll do you 2 full days for £160! The other working for travel and images.

Clearly they don't realise that when they undercut the whole business suffers these clients used to book me at least twice a month and now I fear they will never come back with the other artists working on a equivalent of £8 to 10 / hour or nothing.

Hopefully the cheaper artists cut corners and the quality of work is of an amateur standard and the clients will be back to me because of my attention to detail and the fact I care about the quality of an image.

My question to photographers is is your main priority budget or quality? I suppose its the same in all aspects of this business photographers doing weddings for £200 models doing nude for £15 / hour etc.

I like to think I'm not expensive, but I don't undercut other artists. I pass a lot of work onto other artists, if I ever find out who these girls / guys are,  I will never pass on any jobs to them and I will make sure no other artists that I know do, eventually they will need us to count on and no one will be around to support them.

I know sh*t happens, and I need to get over it and I know in the current climate people are desperate for cheap labour and any jobs they can get but does this give them the write to tread on everyone they used to count on when they where let down or needed someone last mintute.

Frankly this forum doesn't quite explain how angry I am about this but i want opinions and a decent discussion, no grief please.

Discuss please emoticon


Dave Laurie is off-line
23 June 2009 06:34
deetvstudio
Photographer
deetvstudio
Location
United Kingdom
Lancashire
Preston

Frankly, it could be worse - you could be a Photographer!
At least you don't often find amateur or hobby make-up artists who are actually paying models for them to practice on.
I've just been looking at a Thread started by a model, asking for advice on if she should go to an Agency (make-over studio?) and pay a fortune for some portfolio pictures. Loads of replies from both models and photographers suggesting she looks for TFP/TFCD work to build up a portfolio, not one suggesting she finds a good Photographer on here to pay for a portfolio shoot. Which in turn means less chance of the Photographer needing a Pro. Make-up Artist for the shoot.
I give up (almost).

Dave.


Claire Shipman is off-line
23 June 2009 06:41
ClaireShipman
Make-up Artist
This member has been reset to pending
ClaireShipman
Location
United Kingdom
Nottinghamshire
Nottingham

Hi Dave, Thanks fr your comments. A lot os trainee mua's pay models and photographers. I have in the past and loved the results. I have seen several of these threads lately and thought to myself for gods sake why doesn't someone suggest she pays a decent photographer instead of telling her she can get it for free I totally agree with you on that one!

SHE IS WANTING TO PAY but you offer to do it for free, that is insane!!!!


Simon Paul is off-line
23 June 2009 06:44
simonpaul
Photographer
simonpaul
Location
United Kingdom
Essex
Chafford Hundred

It's likely that someone working at that rate is not that good. If that is the case, their lack of quality will shine through and it will reaffirm to the client why they used you in the first place. It just isn't worth trying to save a few quid on MUA when you have models, togs, assistants, studio and equipment all being invested into the process.  Stand back, stay friendly and available to the client and perhaps ask them how that worked out for them. Obviously if they were delighted - then yep you will have lost that client - but that is why you should constantly be striving to make sure you aren't too dependent on a small number of clients.

Best of luck. I hope your competitor sticks a lipstick in the model's ear or something! 


Jesfish is off-line
23 June 2009 06:44
jes
Model
jes
Location
United Kingdom
Suffolk
Lowestoft

I'm a MUA and model and it is frustrating when someone undercuts you by price.  I will always negotiate a bit but those prices you stated sound too low to me.  Stick to your guns because you're work is clearly of a high standard and hopefully people will see that they get what they pay for.


Claire Shipman is off-line
23 June 2009 06:48
ClaireShipman
Make-up Artist
This member has been reset to pending
ClaireShipman
Location
United Kingdom
Nottinghamshire
Nottingham

Hi Simon,

Thanks for your comments. As I say the quality of work will hopefully be very different.

Thankfully, I don't rely on a select few clients like a lot of artists do and I feel for them, its just the being undercut that has annoyed me mostly, I don't have any problem with someone requiring another artist for a different style, hell I'll even suggest one for them but girls / guys who are deliberately offering silly rates and ruining the business there in and everyone else's I find very annoying.


Simon Paul is off-line
23 June 2009 06:59
simonpaul
Photographer
simonpaul
Location
United Kingdom
Essex
Chafford Hundred

Quote from ClaireShipman
Hi Simon,Thanks for your comments. As I say the quality of work will hopefully be very different.Thankfully, I don't rely on a select few clients like a lot of artists do and I feel for them, its just the being undercut that has annoyed me mostly, I don't have any problem with someone requiring another artist for a different style, hell I'll even suggest one for them but girls / guys who are deliberately offering silly rates and ruining the business there in and everyone else's I find very annoying.



Just make sure you continue to differentiate your services by offering quality at a fair price. There will be people who will buy cheap rather than quality but honestly you aren't missing much anyway - it just means that you have to adopt a strong posture and make sure people know that when you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.



Lindsay Sian Snuggs is off-line
23 June 2009 07:02
LindsaySianSnuggs
Make-up Artist
LindsaySianSnuggs
Location
United Kingdom
Hampshire
Southampton

Quote from ClaireShipman
. Over the last few days I have found out that 2 of my most regular clients have booked other artists due to them severely undercutting my rates. One saying I'll do you 2 full days for £160! The other working for travel and images.

Clearly they don't realise that when they undercut the whole business suffers these clients used to book me at least twice a month and now I fear they will never come back with the other artists working on a equivalent of £8 to 10 / hour or nothing.




I think that's outrageous and completely sympathise with your anger & frustration.
First of all how can they afford to do that? They will then end up seriously out of pocket, and then not being able to charge enough to make money as once they out their prices up to a reasonable rate I bet their clients then move on.

But, and most importantly I feel, it is rude and highly unprofessional to knowingly undercut someone. This industry is so small that you can almost guarantee at some point you will come across the artist/designer you have undercut; word will get round that that is how you run your business and suddenly all your work will dry up as no-one want to work with someone who undermines the business, hard work & effort that professional (I mean this in terms of attitude as well as ability) MUAs put into their work.

Grrr! Ooh it makes me cross!

Linds xx
Portfolio: www.lindsaysiansnuggs.carbonmade.com


Stylesomega is off-line
23 June 2009 07:09
STYLESOMEGA
Photographer
STYLESOMEGA
Location
United Kingdom
Glasgow


personally I would be more annoyed at the clients that let them know your rates


andyh is off-line
23 June 2009 07:13
andy_h
Photographer
andy_h
Location
United Kingdom
Lancashire
Lancaster

Hi Claire

As someone who worked with you for the first time recently (and an amatuer to boot) I'd like to add that price wasnt the main consideration for me. When I took advice from others, they all said I should be speaking to you for help in getting the best shots I could. I'm glad I took their advice on board, and yours during the shoot as well.

I shoot purely for enjoyment, there's no plan to sell anything and I rarely do TF, so it's usually what I want to do. Whatever makes it easier to get a better result is what I'm going to go for. To me, thats quality of work in that area over price every time.

www.andyh.info/blog.php



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