Bright light, dark room

That's dark room, not Dark Rome. Working as Web Manager for When In Rome Tours, the boundless pleasure of cobbling together articles has become something somewhat extra to do at the dog end of another day gone by. Not to dismiss article writing as passé, rather that creation thereof takes more of a back seat these days. It's a side issue, some might say a side strain, when workload gets heavy.

Hiring "photographers" to shoot content for our new and established Rome tour websites is a thorny issue. In 2013 I paid a friend with a camera ("a hobbyist") money and fair words for poor results. He proceeded to complain that his "post-production" time and effort was worth more money than we had agreed upon. "Post-production" in this case akin to fiddle-faddling around with Photoshop filters. To add insult to injury, an acquaintance of mine churned out a couple of half-decent video clips, then demanded three times more money for "the next job". There was no next job. Resignation is not really my thing but I did resort to buying some stock photos of Rome and the Vatican from a Shutterstock clone. Since then, with more than a few tour pages crying out for fresh content, a trade partner has offered us half a dozen non-exclusive pix of Rome for $100. No, grazie.

Pardon me for asking, but what is it that photographers do which commands such a high price? It seems that as soon as some random person unknown with a diploma in Photography is geared up, the sky's the limit as regards how much money they think they are worth. I concede that some people are capable of capturing superb images, indeed, I know of several photographers who have achieved global fame for their work, but they are in the vast minority. I've taken better photos on my lowly Nokia 206 than those i've stupidly paid over €30 an hour for in Rome.

Is there a solution? Is it possible to reinvigorate tour pages every few months with great content without being ripped off by a tog with an eye for the main chance? In a word, no. The vast majority of photographers have got it into their heads that what they do is so very creative, so very unique, so very precious. No.

We won't be hiring any photographers in the near or dim and distant future. Mobile phone technology makes it possible for anyone to take high quality photos and this is where our next batch of content will come from, edited where necessary using free image software.

The days of wasting money on woeful pix are well and truly over.

Published on July 3rd, 2014
© When In Rome Tours, article provided by Cajes.

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