AllMediaScotland's new website and their offerings. I've been checking into the site on a regular basis since it's re-launch and have been itching to place an entry in the Talent directory. Itching isn't doing though. The directory now has 8 photographers listed, each paying £20 per year to get there. This compares to a much fuller list in the original iteration of AllMediaScotland where we paid £10 for a years listing.
But the increased charge isn't what's giving me the rash. It's the fact that AllMedia seem to be playing gamekeeper and poacher at the same time. Looking deeper into their site you'll see that they offer the services of an 'award winning team of photographers' to suit all potential clients media needs. Unfortunately there are no photographs on display to illustrate the talent on offer so we must take them on their word. They also offer various design services but again without showing a portfolio from the award winning designers or 'celebrated' magazine designer .
But here's where my rash is coming from. They price this service. For £299+VAT you get 'A photography shoot of up to two hours on location, with all expenses, including travel, included' plus either burning to disk on location (sometimes call Dump and Run) or same day post production. Now I charge a bit more than that. But not too much more, in fact per half day or day my hourly rate is lower. But I'd never offer my day or half day rate to include all travel and expenses included in that figure. Nor to commit to post production for free without first seeing a brief and knowing the nature of what's required. So if the AllMedia photographers were to run up £100 of expenses/travel their initial fee would be the ridiculously low mount of £199 in reality.
Hurrah my itch has gone. Gone because of course AllMediaScotland isn't where I should be listing my services. If someone wants to work for these rates with these offerings then fine. If someone wants to commission them then fine. (Photographers looking for a fees calculator can download one here). No it's not for me because why should I spend money to list myself on a website that's promoting competitors offering what can only be a much reduced service at what seems to be hugely reduced fees? Given today's budget led rather than creative led commissioning will anyone on the list offering an upmarket service stand any chance of getting calls?
In fact all you get for your £20 is a link to your website. That's an expensive bit of SEO. Time to rethink it?