Four of the Biggest Photography Rip-Offs to Avoid

Unfortunately, photography is an expensive passion, but what do you really need to spend your money on? In this video, Marc Newton looks at four of the biggest photography rip-offs you should avoid at all costs, and he doesn't hold back.

There are some things in photography that you will need to spend money on, such as bodies and lenses. There's no getting around that, and the higher you go in quality, the more you'll have to pay. But by and large, you tend to get what you pay for. However, there are other parts of the photography industry that are much more open to debate regarding their use, efficacy, and value. In this outspoken video, The School of Photography's Marc Newton runs through four of them:

  1. Lightroom presets: Newton says you should never pay for them because they will never be exact matches for your particular photos, they take creativity away from you, and Lightroom has loads of native presets you can get for free.
  2. 90 percent off deals: In a way that's sure to gather quite the response from online vendors, Newton says there're only two reasons anything is 90 percent off: it was overpriced in the first place or it's a blatantly crap product that isn't selling.
  3. Facebook ads for local photographers: While not saying that Facebook Ads are entirely pointless, he says photographers advertising locally are wasting their money. That's because most of the people (in his opinion) clicking on the ads are other photographers who aren't going to buy the product and because you, as the advertiser, have to pay for those clicks. 
  4. Education from questionable institutes. Adding letters to your name from any kind of institute that doesn't give you a formal B.A, M.A, or Ph.D is an utter waste of money, according to Newton, and does nothing to help you succeed as a photographer.

One thing I like about Newton's approach, regardless of whether I agree with him or not, is that he looks at the problem and explains why it exists, but also offers his own views on how to solve the issue or avoid it in the first place.

What do you think? Firstly, let me know about the four rip-offs listed here and also about any other rip-offs in the photography industry that people should avoid. I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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Previous comments

Invest in good gear and as much education (school, seminars, mentors, etc.) as possible. But...SHOOT A LOT! I think we all forget that last part and sometimes get lost in the process. Certainly has happened to me.