WARNING… WARNING… this tutorial isnt for free

My Articles and Babble

I’m not sure what it is about photography, if it is the birth of all these social networking sites, the massive amount of information that is available on the internet about how to do it, how to edit it, but you will be amazed at the amount of flack you get when you mention to people that to watch a video tutorial on how you captured and edited an image has a price tag that costs less than a foot long at Subway.

Just one recent example is this:

Last week I posted an image of mine on a social networking site, gave details about how it was shot blar blar blar and at the end I mentioned that for those interested there was a video tutorial on how it was edited. (I do this as it firstly promotes the site and also let people know that a resource like this exists)

A few days later I jumped back on the site to add another image and saw how someone has provided feedback saying that they liked the shot but I should have mentioned that it was a paid tutorial. Now the comment is fine… but the thing is has photography gotten to a stage where people assume and expect it for free and if it isn’t for free, that you should be providing disclaimers saying as much. Especially when you sit back and consider that this person has clicked on the link I gave, gone to the Rubbing Pixels website home page for the first time, seen all the content on there, searched and found the tutorial I referred to, realized it wasn’t free and then felt so “ripped off” to make them go back to the image page on the community website and posted a comment reflecting their opinion and saying how others should to be warned about this. Now is it just me or it’s that just ridiculous !!

Aside from the design and running cost of a website like Rubbing Pixels, the 70 + tutorials on there with a running time close to if not more than 10 hours and combing over 10 years of photographic knowledge. Is creating, sharing and providing a resource like this worth nothing, especially if your one of the few professional photographers out there willing to share there knowledge in such detail do you really need to put a warning stating it isn’t for free, for all those people happy to spend thousands on gear but not willing to invest a cent on how to use or process their work and gear correctly.

Maybe people who think this way believe they should be able to turn up to a photography course without paying, walk into Dymocks and grab Scott Kelby’s latest book and walk out without paying saying to the checkout person “It’s ok, its just a book on how to shoot and edit photos”.

But to end on a good note and it’s worth pointing out that I do get a massive amount of positive feedback from people who love and appreciate having a resource like Rubbing Pixels at their finger tips and the people who make these kind of comments are few and 99% of the time their own work reflects their lack of investment in their knowledge on how to shoot and edit photos correctly.

13 thoughts on “WARNING… WARNING… this tutorial isnt for free

  1. Well said.
    People need to realize that if they want it for free, generally the quality will be lacking. What you pay is what you get. It’s only a minor percentage out there like that and they probably aren’t your target market anyway. Keep up your tutorials, I think they are great!!!

  2. It’s unfortunate Matt, but the digital age to same people gives them the idea that things come cheap now. Doing sports events, people always ask, “If you got any shots of me, you reckon you can email some?”…..ummmm….no!! Sorry!! People have no idea, firstly about the cost of quality gear to get good images, and about how long you actually send in front of the computer. They think a photographers time comes for free. I find people are happy to look at your pics, and tell you how good they are, but when it comes to buying them they seem to think it’s a bit rude that we ask for money!!

    • Yep that is what the industry is like Jamie. The worst thing is all these people calling them selves photographers on these sites and they have no idea how to act like one or what it really takes to be one.

  3. Hey Matt … the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ always applies – if you want quality information, its only reasonable that you should have to pay for it … and so it is with Rubbing Pixels !

    Don’t let the whining idiots get to you !

    You provide a high quality service.

    I appreciate it and I’m prepared to pay for it, and so are all the other subscribers to Rubbing Pixels

    As we discussed a little while back, Rubbing Pixels is one of the few sites that goes beyond the typical “use this slider, blend mode etc” and actually gives an insight into your photographic process.

    This sort of insight, from a professional photographer, is invaluable to others genuinely interested in improving their skills and deserves to attract a cost … after all, this is your livelihood.

    Keep doing what you do so very well … informing us, educating us and entertaining us … and ignore the idiots 😉

    • Thanks Chris… yea it just pisses you off when people are so narrow minded and greedy.

      I replied to the guys comment asking why he thought it should be free and he then referred to my link as deceptive and no different to a call center trying to trick people without offering anything in return. He said why don’t I at least offer people some free tutorials… don’t just love how they don’t even take the time to look at the site and realize it offers free tutorials.

  4. I totally feel for you, running an online business is incredibly difficult in this current internet age. Everyone expects everything for free. I find it incredibly frustrating. They all go and install flash blockers and ad blockers so they don’t have to look at advertising then wonder why websites can’t deliver content for free… The most ironic part of it all is that they are willing to throw their hard earned cash as junk like Farmville or Webkinz but not useful, helpful information that helps them. I think the internet needs to change as right now the best way to make money on it if you arn’t some titanic corporation is to be dishonest and scammy.

    Your stuff is of great quality, much better than most of the free junk out there. It is well worth every penny. Keep at it!

    • Thanks Ryan… my main reason for making the site was that there was no real quality tutorials showing how this is all done on line. They always used crap images and skipped key processing steps (as they don’t really want to show you how it’s done).

      Glad you enjoy the site and what it offers.

  5. Hey Matt, with the amount of positive feedback you mention you’re getting don’t let one little sour comment ruin the fun. If people want ad free, quality content it’s only fair they pay a small and reasonable price.


  6. There are a small percentage of morons in every society, we all deal with them at some stage. I got flack for charging for my workshops on a flickr site once. There was a real bitch fest going on and I was amazed at some of the comments. People who complain should be shot, Matt do you still have your service revolver :-0)
    It’s like the lady wanting 37 mill from the David jones bloke. I wonder if the families of the soldiers dying in afganistan get 37 mill for their loss. Our society has lost the plot. Don’t get me started, I’ll never stop, oh, does that mean I am a moron too?

  7. I agree with you 100% Matt.

    Photography is your game, you’ve accumulated >10 years worth of experience, trial and error. You’ve spent the time building a website to help share this intellectual property (many other pros don’t do this!!) – in my opinion you’ve got every right to charge as much (or as little) as you want!!!

    I, for one, appreciate the effort that you put in and think that it’s well worth the asking price!!!

  8. Hey Matt,

    You know how i feel about this topic. These people you talk of are masturbators. I really believe that if you want to take your photography to the next level its worth while to even go as far as getting private tuition as i did from you. Is it worth it. Lets do the sums. Camera gear value $12000, in house private training $500. SOLD.

    I remember people laughing at me when i told them i was doing it. The people i mention were beginner photographers like myself. So yes mate, these photographers you talk about i have anther word for them, SPECIAL.

    These special people are the same ones who don’t give credit either were credit is due. I think i will stop now. Given myself a headache ;~)

    The minority + photographers = special / masturbators. Using this equation has helped me immensely ;~) You can use it Matt and i wont charge you ;~)

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