My life as a pro

Started Sep 12, 2005 | Discussions thread
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Brian Heys
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My life as a pro
Sep 12, 2005

There are always people posting here wondering what it's like to be a pro, so I thought I'd share some of my experiences here, having become a full-time photographer myself at the start of the summer...

About four months ago I realised I had a strong enough portfolio to start approaching people with a view to getting some serious commissions. I was starting to receive some positive feedback from top people who were coming across my work, and I decided it was time to give up my other job, and focus solely on the photography.

So that's what I did. I started promoting myself, putting my book out, going to see people, getting feedback, etc. In the last three months, my book and website have been seen by some really important folks, and to date, I have NEVER received ANY negative feedback from any of them. In fact, when I try to coax something negative out, and say I don't like a particular image, the person I'm seeing will make surprised noises, and ask me which one, then go on to disagree and say they really like that one! I'm so used to everyone I show my book to gushing over my images that I almost forget to thank them now.

I'm so sorry if this sounds like I'm boasting, because I'm honestly not. Do stick with me, I'm just trying to set the scene here. Hope you understand. I do get comments from other photographers every now and then, so I know I'm not perfect , lol!

Three months ago, when I first decided to turn full-time, my phone never stopped ringing. I got all kinds of crazy enquiries, from people wanting to shoot a point of sale campaign for £250 through to packaging jobs worth nearly £20k. I had so many bids and estimates out there I had to write a piece of software to help me keep track of everything!

Now, three months on, very little of that has come to fruition. I've had bits and pieces of work, but nothing like what I was expecting from that first flood before the summer holidays. It wouldn't be so bad if these were all dead enquiries, but they're not ... when I keep in touch with everyone to see what's happening, most of the time I hear the same thing, it's really weird...

"Yeah, we still want to use you, your work's perfect for us."
"Just leave it with us, we'll get back in touch later in the year."
"We've used up our advertising budget this quarter, but keep in touch."

"Our art directors are really pleased with your book, but we have the next couple of months already planned out, so bear with us until something comes up."
"We really like your work, and have your card up on the wall."
"We will definitely use you. We have your card on file."

I could go on and on.

Am I the only one this happens to?

I could live with it if the people I saw laughed, or told me my work was sh* , or that I should get a job doing something else.

What's going on? Am I about to be deluged, and suddenly find myself so busy I can't cope, or is this all normal, par-for-the-course stuff?

Can anyone recommend a good fortune teller, UK-based?

Bri
http://www.BrianHeys.com

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