If you could change one thing in the creative industry right now, what would that be?

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I would put the value back on to certain creative. It’s not about money, but it is about value. You can have it good, fast or cheap, but you can only have two. And people are leaving ‘good’ out of it and want it fast and cheap. I would like everyone to slow it down just a little bit to bring back the quality a bit. To have the appreciation for things that are of quality. Just want job done well and with passion. Nothing is free, the fact that seems to be lost lately.

–Cindy Hicks of The Martin Agency

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There Are 10 Comments On This Article.

    • I was wondering the same thing! (Same goes for the last sentence.)

      I was also wondering about the third option, which isn’t addressed. So [it is implied] you either can have it fast & cheap, but it won’t be good; or you can have it good & fast, but it won’t be cheap…

      …But what if someone –a client, presumably– wants it to be good & cheap, but doesn’t care about fast/speed…? How would that work? (And how does that even begin to address the value of good work?)

  1. Thanks Cynthia for voicing the same question. I really don’t know what it means & my comment is not meant to be flippant.

  2. cindy hicks

    Thank you simon.
    The writer & I had a very long conversation, we spoke about quite a few things. I will try to be more clear. We have come to learn that with certain clients, timing, “only one print ad” etc. that creative tends to get devalued, a throw away if you will. What i was trying to say is all creative concepts matter to the overall brand, if you don’t have the money to do it correctly, we try to encourage clients to wait, often as you well know that is not an acceptable answer. So work is often compromised.

    The other is a saying i have used for years is you can have it good, cheap or fast but you can only pick 2 so….
    if it is good & fast, it MAY not be cheap.
    if it is fast & cheap, it may not be good
    if it is good & cheap, it may not be fast.
    the final one is often achieved by finding someone who wants to do the project & is willing to do it, around other better paying work, or a photographer willing to do it for exposure. This of course works better if it is a pro bono client. I find a tough time as a producer to explain to photographers & illustrators that our corporate clients have no money, but that is what we hear.

    the value of good work is a tricky subject. often times we are locking into budgets that were set buy a financial team or based on last years numbers, not actually based on concepts. So one year, an istockphoto may have done the trick, the next year another team, another client may decide a celebrity on location may be their direction. As most photographers know what you worked for 10 years ago, does not hold up in this economy, sad but true. Do I think that devalues the work, no, do I have $250,000 to do a campaign anymore; No.

    my best advice to photographers is if you feel that you can not do the work for the budget, then don’t say no. problem is someone will most likely say yes, it could be a client who is “good with a camera”, a flickr photographer, an assistant. Ultimately the lack of quality will bring it back around or it will decline that we have no control over, since it is in the client’s court. We has resigned work over this point.

    As for the grammer, sorry I tend to speak in run on sentences, a very ADHD, dyslexic fine art degree gal, forgive me.

    • Thanks for the explanation and additional comments. I do mostly corporate direct, and more often in the last few years I have run into budget issues with clients. Add to that clients that don’t have art departments and often only have one marketing person as a contact, then a need to do more than just provide compelling images arises. The toughest part is conveying how much time and effort is needed on each project.

      Regarding the good, fast, or cheap, I don’t want to put my name behind anything that is not good. I always ask myself: if it wasn’t the for the money, would I be doing the work. As long as I can be interested in a project, and given the chance to produce good work, then I try to fit into the available budgets.

  3. stanchung

    Thanks for the explanation. Agree with your points Cindy. Used this term a lot.

    As for Good & Cheap but Slow refers to using a a smaller team of people or slower finishing services to get things done. Eg. a one man photog that does everything him/herself to save cost.

  4. I couldn’t agree more…
    I’ve been shooting commercially for over 25 years, and I feel that this is perhaps the “worst storm” I’ve weathered.
    The toughtest issue nowadays seems to be finding the clients that either REMEMBER the value of good photography, or who have recently discovered it, (due usually to a bad experience with a weekender, wannabe or student with a camera).
    A number of years ago, when software became easier to use, corporate secretarys were suddenly doing the annual report in Word, and the Mktg. guy was doing the new ad campaign in Print Shop. After people saw the dreck they were producing, the smart ones went back to ad agencies & designers.
    With the plethora of used beginner equipment being sold recently, (along with those stupid little white boxes), I’m starting to see the pendulum swing back to professionally crafted images. I can only hope it’s the beginning of photographys second “golden age” and that I can stick around to be part of it…