Is professional photography dying out?

Started Mar 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
PenguinPhotoCo
Senior MemberPosts: 6,029Gear list
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wrong again
In reply to deleted080512, Mar 27, 2013

Machine Gun Kelly wrote:

While I remember... My website was getting six thousand hits a month according to the web host. That's 200 a day. Nobody was calling so I put a couple of independent counters up. Hits dropped to between 0 and 2 per day. Searches that found my site were few and far between. It was findable and by the time I dumped the website I was on page 2 of Google and Bing. I think 6 search hits a month was big news.

Facebook - I did have a Facebook page but nobody bothered with it so I deleted it in the end rather than have something else to waste time maintaining that nobody looked at. I tried all the social media - Twitter, Facebook Foursquare and a few others that I've now forgotten. I managed to amass about 20,000 followers on Twitter but I do swear not a single one was actually human. I'd send out a tweet to ask if anybody was actually human and no responses. In the end I put them onto an auto-tweeter and left it at that. With combined auto-tweeters and auto-follow/unfollow, I figured I could just leave it adding and broadcasting. I've forgotten how to get into the accounts but for all the good that's been doing it doesn't matter.

You're using it wrong. YOU can say all day long how great you are. Nobody believes or cares. You need OTHERS to say how great you are. To rave about YOUR pics.  This is how all those soccer moms are getting clients. Sally posts Betty's baby pic and bettys friends all rave about the pics - not because they're good but because they are friends of betty and don't want to hurt her feelings. Now 100 other people see this post and see the 'great pic' comments....10 people saying how great Sally does at baby pics.
This is one of the BIG TURNS in advertising and marketing these days. You must get OTHERS to brag about you. Get good reviews, testimonials, etc. and USE THEM OFTEN.

When we start talking about niches, that's when we're talking about very little money.

As for weddings - I offer $300 all in for 2 hours photography and all the images on a USB flash drive - full size JPEGs, RAW files and emailable SXVGA images. If they want to do their own editing from RAW instead of me running things through my software then I drop it to $250. That's still too expensive for some though.

WRONG AGAIN! Ok, maybe you live in vegas and 2 hour weddings are popular. 99% of brides want ALL DAY COVERAGE. And you're charging what appears to be $150/hour....really?  Try "all day coverage w/ album, disk and prints" for $1500. You can do an album for $50, prints totaling $10. RAW? Means NOTHING to them. Like when you go to eat do you ask what pans they use or what temps they use? Nope. You don't care. RESULTS is what you care about and that is ALL ANYONE ELSE cares about too. They don't care what camera, what lens, what education you have.

What can YOU do for ME? is all they care about. Rephrase your pitch to answer THAT question!

Interestingly I put a feeler out on Craigslist to see what would happen if I advertised free wedding photography. I had two responses. One of them told me they wanted photos but wouldn't tell me where the wedding would be though they would tell me when, then lambasted me for not coming when they wouldn't even tell me where it was going to take place. Don't know if that was a joke or not. The other sounded interested but dropped out. What I'd have done there would have been to charge for the prints. Get them done online and make a profit off the prints.

You will fail. You really will. You have NO CLUE, do you? And a bad attitude too. An attitude of failure.

Want a free car?   OK, exaclty what kind of car you gonna get for FREE? A piece of sh_t car, right?

What do you suppose a bride thinks when she see 'free wedding photography'? SAME THING!
Back to the first response to your OP - WHAT DO YOU SHOOT? WHO IS YOUR IDEAL CLIENT?
YOu want $5k weddings? THey exist. You need to go shopping for them and see what is sold for that price. Style, products, service. Where does THAT photog market?
See, they have identified a target market  - their ideal client.

I shot a wedding last weekend for a friend (he had knee surgery a month ago). The reception HALL cost $5000. (a carnegie museum building). Food (from their approved caterer) was $125 per person. The DJ and lighting were only through approved vendors. The reception cost OVER $40,000.  Plus the dress, travel, hotels, jewelry, etc, etc.  he's a furnace repairman. Not some Dr type.  My photog friend got $3700 for all day coverage. Two photogs. All day was 12 hours, 4 locations for him and 9 hours for me (i did the guys) and also 4 locations.

It just seems to me that now everybody has a decent enough camera on their smartphone and can post willy-nilly to Facebook, they just don't care any more.

As far as weddings go, I personally don't know of any happening in my area. I did go to a bridal expo as an exhibitor a few years ago but there were more exhibitors than members of the public that turned up. Everybody was disappointed.

Everyone I know that has a yard has a lawn mower. yet I know a LOT of people that don't cut their own grass.
Everyone has a kitchen. Yet people eat out.
Everyone can wash their own car yet car washes exist.
You need to find something people want. Could be status, edgy, processing, a shoulder to cry on, fire in the pics, smoke, 1.2 lenses, one hour at thier house and prints before you leave - SOMETHING UNIQUE.
Identify your market, your ideal customer.
And then find a way to get the word out.

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Vision without execution is hallucination. T. Edison.
My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value

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