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Archive 2013 · Reality of today's photography market
  
 
misty23
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Reality of today's photography market


As much as the industry has changed and the public's perception of photography has changed, is it still a viable profession to get into and make a living, or merely a part time endeavor at best ?
I personally see so many potential clients who just don't want to pay decent prices for photography work. They think that all photographers over charge, that any high school kid can do the same thing with photoshop and the perception and how they think affects their spending decisions.

What are you thoughts on this ? I've been in this industry for over 20 years and can't remember a time when it was like this.



Jan 12, 2013 at 05:42 PM
Skarkowtsky
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Reality of today's photography market


Not another one of these discussions...there are countless threads on the subject.

The short answer: if you're keeping your work edgy and original, are all over your promotional skills and establishing professional relationships, you'll have work. If you aren't, you will forfeit it to others with equal or lesser skill, drive and or experience.

I know many professionals with healthy studios, few without. Those without aren't pushing themselves hard enough creatively, and professionally.



Jan 12, 2013 at 05:55 PM
Dudewithoutape
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Reality of today's photography market


I want to start out that I'm not a professional, I just enjoy shooting friends and family. I agree with what you said about how the modern age, some people think "anyone" can do it; especially with photoshop and more and more affordable cameras. On top of that, I believe professional photography is art mixed with business.

You have to either stand out and stand out well or do cookie cutter shoots with lower pricing. Also with the business side, you have to apply the latest trends into your marketing. Now imagine the Renaissance, I'm sure there were many many artists, countless even. Unfortunately, the average populace only know of a handful, if that. I'm sure it was tough for them as well. Finally, of course, is the economy. At the end of the day, photography is a luxury item. Just my take



Jan 12, 2013 at 05:59 PM
misty23
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Reality of today's photography market


Skarkowtsky wrote:
Not another one of these discussions...there are countless threads on the subject.

The short answer: if you're keeping your work edgy and original, are all over your promotional skills and establishing professional relationships, you'll have work. If you aren't, you will forfeit it to others with equal or lesser skill, drive and or experience.

I know many professionals with healthy studios, few without. Those without aren't pushing themselves hard enough creatively, and professionally.


Is being "connected" more important than being edgy ?



Jan 12, 2013 at 06:00 PM
Skarkowtsky
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Reality of today's photography market


I think it's a balance, also depends on the market. If you're shooting advertising, you have to be edgy, but the agencies have to know you exist, so you need to spend an equal amount of time getting the work in front of the right people.

If you're shooting smaller clients, you can probably win over more potential clients with cutting edge work, one-on-one.

I build my relationships in my own, cold calling agencies, sweet talking my way to the right 'title' in the agency and hammering away emails, mailers, phone calls. My friends think I'm nuts, Bunin my experience, I couldn't rely on people I knew I get me work. I had to get it myself. And now, I don't owe any other photographers favors. Thats the way I like it.

Conversely, I have friends who have friends, etc. and that's how they get work, referrals.

There's no one way.

Edited on Jan 12, 2013 at 06:06 PM · View previous versions



Jan 12, 2013 at 06:05 PM
misty23
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Reality of today's photography market


Skarkowtsky wrote:
Not another one of these discussions...there are countless threads on the subject.

The short answer: if you're keeping your work edgy and original, are all over your promotional skills and establishing professional relationships, you'll have work. If you aren't, you will forfeit it to others with equal or lesser skill, drive and or experience.

I know many professionals with healthy studios, few without. Those without aren't pushing themselves hard enough creatively, and professionally.


In every era, there are always the professionals who are in demand, who are "edgy" and are busy. But that eventually ends. I've seen it first hand. And yes they failed to change in many ways, Their work, their marketing, advertising, connections or a host of so many things that could affect one's business.
They got older, lost their appeal to a younger generation, lost their drive, newer and better competition, the list goes one.

I know photographers who at one time were at the top, They were cocky, edgy, commanded top dollar, did all of the things that a top end photographer did, but now, they are barely holding on.

Is that generational ? Does it happen just because time changes everything ? I'm searching for answers and hope I can gain some insight from members.



Jan 12, 2013 at 06:05 PM
misty23
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Reality of today's photography market


Skarkowtsky wrote:
I think it's a balance, also depends on the market. If you're shooting advertising, you have to be edgy, but the agencies have to know you exist, so you need to spend an equal amount of time getting the work in front of the right people.

If you're shooting smaller clients, you can probably win over more potential clients with cutting edge work, one-on-one.

I build my relationships in my own, cold calling agencies, sweet talking my way to the right 'title' in the agency and hammering away emails, mailers, phone calls. My friends think I'm nuts, Bunin my experience, I couldn't
...Show more

It appears you have that type of personality that can do that. You are young, full of energy, life hasn't beaten you down yet. And you have made your "bones" through had work. Do you think you will still be viable in 20 years ?



Jan 12, 2013 at 06:07 PM
Skarkowtsky
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Reality of today's photography market


It's partly generational. Ever walk into an ad agency? With the exception of partners, the average age is 21-35.

Fresh blood, in touch with their generation. Nature of the beast, unless you have the gift of evolving, which means you're more than a technician, but a visual communicator that can perceive forthcoming change and also shape it in the process.

Not many have the ability to stay relevant.

Edited on Jan 12, 2013 at 06:11 PM · View previous versions



Jan 12, 2013 at 06:08 PM
Skarkowtsky
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Reality of today's photography market


You have to believe you'll be viable. You have to agree to grow and adjust with the times. I don't know where I'll be, I just know where I'll want to be and I'll use the next 20 to work toward it. All I can do.
I still hit many hurdles, but no one is handing me work, I have to be out in front to get it. Responsibility.

Any other school of thought is defeatist.



Jan 12, 2013 at 06:10 PM
markperez
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Reality of today's photography market


misty23 wrote:
As much as the industry has changed and the public's perception of photography has changed, is it still a viable profession to get into and make a living, or merely a part time endeavor at best ?
I personally see so many potential clients who just don't want to pay decent prices for photography work. They think that all photographers over charge, that any high school kid can do the same thing with photoshop and the perception and how they think affects their spending decisions.

What are you thoughts on this ? I've been in this industry for over 20
...Show more


you would have more credibility if you would post your own work instead of someone elses

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1175733/0



Jan 13, 2013 at 02:45 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



misty23
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Reality of today's photography market


markperez wrote:
you would have more credibility if you would post your own work instead of someone elses

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1175733/0


Get the facts first before you post. Your ASSumptions make you look ridiculous.



Jan 13, 2013 at 04:03 PM
misty23
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Reality of today's photography market


markperez wrote:
you would have more credibility if you would post your own work instead of someone elses

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1175733/0


http://m6.i.pbase.com/v3/84/424784/1/45961556._DSC0107web.jpg

I just love this image......it's so...............yeah........



Jan 13, 2013 at 04:06 PM
trenchmonkey
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Reality of today's photography market


it's so............overexposed


Jan 13, 2013 at 04:31 PM
markperez
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Reality of today's photography market


trenchmonkey wrote:
it's so............overexposed


good for you



Jan 13, 2013 at 05:31 PM
markperez
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Reality of today's photography market


misty23 wrote:
http://m6.i.pbase.com/v3/84/424784/1/45961556._DSC0107web.jpg

I just love this image......it's so...............yeah........


stealing my photos now?



Jan 13, 2013 at 05:31 PM
misty23
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Reality of today's photography market


Thats really a great image !! Have you thought about putting it in the best of 2012 thread ?


Jan 13, 2013 at 05:54 PM
cineski
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Reality of today's photography market


I'm not sure if I should take this thread seriously or not with these replies?? Misty, your perception comes from being in the Los Angeles market which is hands down the toughest market in the nation. There are literally hundreds of thousands of amazing photographers in LA vying for hundreds of jobs which has resulted in an underbidding war on an unprecedented scale that has gutted the market here. This is a bad combination to have in most markets, but in LA the cost of living is insane (what you spend in LA to live like a college student could buy you a small mansion on a lake in other markets ;-) and the state has raised taxes across the board on top of it so now the people who are already overextended living here have less money to spend. There's pretty simple math to be done here.


Jan 13, 2013 at 07:12 PM
jefferies1
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Reality of today's photography market


Photography is like any other business. You have to keep up with the times which are changing every few months. If you don't open your eyes then you will be left without business.

Best Buy, at least in my area has totally re-done the showroom with focus on hands on customer support to fight the online stores. Almost looks like an Apple store with someone at every display to help you use the merchandise. A full parking lot and lines at the counter in January must mean it is working.

It is all marketing to reach clients that require your services.

Do you update your portfolio. Do you make it easy for clients, both commercial or consumer to find you by using social media, web site SEO and most of all Google +. Do you take advantage of Googles love of video and study how to use it to boost your views as well as video in general hosted on private sites which provide different search results (Compared to YouTube) Are you taking advantage of the biggest market in the US which is on Amazon. Do you respond to Email within a few minutes or when you get around to it. Are you The Expert in your field.

If not then someone in your area or even out of your area is pulling in clients. 50% of my clients are from out of state. I really don't care about how cheap the local guys have gone. I focus on quality oriented clients, not a price shopper.

Photography can be a great business but not for everyone. Just like restaurants. Most go out of business. Only a few make it long term. People still eat out so the problem goes back to marketing and management just like any other business.



Jan 13, 2013 at 09:09 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Reality of today's photography market


10% photography ... 90% business

This is the reason you see some really good photographers not succeed in business ... they have poorly under emphasized their business practices. Taking a good picture has insufficient bearing on the viability of success in the photography business to not give proper credence to the business side of the equation. Understanding market forces, clients, competition, etc. are not to be discounted. Having a passion & tenacity for photography is not the same as having a drive for business development. It's one thing to enjoy photography and produce good works ... it is another to tend to all that comes with business and produce good profits.

10:90 might be a bit of an over-exaggeration, but it is indicative of the fact that far too many people put a lack of emphasis on business practices, and overemphasize the photography as the criteria for expectation of a successful photography business.

The question isn't the reality of today's market ... but rather the better question is ... what is the reality of your tenacity for a competitive business in any given market.

Today's market will not necessarily be the same as last year's market or next year's market. Even if today's market is a "cakewalk raining gold" ... it won't be indicative of your ability to survive / succeed long term. Neither will a "slow market" keep someone from making their way in it.



Jan 13, 2013 at 10:02 PM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Reality of today's photography market


IMHO (this is about the commercial/advertising/editorial market)
First of all there are not "literally hundreds of thousands of amazing photographers in LA vying for hundreds of jobs" it may seem like it, but thru-ought history the number of photographers has vastly outnumbered the available jobs. Not as bad as actors:acting jobs but close.
LA has a lopsided market, there is a lot of production done here but many of the jobs originate elsewhere. The weather and production support still brings clients in to shoot when the weather sucks in NY or Detroit or London or Frankfort.
There is always room at the top and the bottom but the middle where most of us toil has been decimated in the last 7 or 8 years, for various reasons.
First of all the tech skill needed to create your vision is amazingly easy thanks to the progress of digital cameras. Someone with good ideas and a modicum of tech savvy can, with some effort and some help produce really good work much easier than before digital.
Secondly, clients can find photographers (or stock photos) who in the pre-internet would never be found. It used to be photographers would push their skill towards the clients they want to work with, that took a lot of time and money, most of it wasted.
Today the client can pull the photographers to them, an art buyer can find 10 photogrpahers in about an hour by searching the various sites who are the perfect fit to their project, then decide who they want to work with. I have a client who says there is a short list of people who do the jobs to his standards and there is even a shorter list of people he wants spend days or weeks working with so don;t kid yourself into thinking you are the only one who can do a job, Annie and Mario, Heisler and Platon all have competition.
Edgy is over rated. It may get you noticed but for the most part "Edgy" and it's sister "Slick" are short lived answers to long term questions. (take a look at the Dave Hill look form 3 or so years ago, all the rage for about 8 months until everyone copied it) But if you are noticed for your edgy work you may get booked for the non edgy ad shoot because the client likes you and your ideas. Take look around, edgy work is rarely produced and the further up the food chain the less edgy you get! The only edgy car commercial I recall cost between $5-7m was the Eminem Chrysler super bowl spot from 2 or 3 years ago.
It depends what you consider Business and what you consider Photography but I call BS on the 10/90. If you are only devoting 10% of your time to the lifeblood of your business, the photography you, with all due respect are either a lousy photographer or a lousy business man/woman.

Edited on Jan 14, 2013 at 12:57 AM · View previous versions



Jan 13, 2013 at 11:57 PM
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