Is professional photography dying out?

Started Mar 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
Marques Lamont
Contributing MemberPosts: 561
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Re: wrong again
In reply to PenguinPhotoCo, Mar 27, 2013

Interesting topic. To the original poster:

I wouldn't say that "professional" photography is dying out. It's just that the old channels of doing business are changing. But the entire creative industry HAS taken a rough ride ever since the advent of digital, I truly believe, and a hit in the pockets as well. Technology has bent the curve in a lot of ways. I feel the practice still has to shift more to digital and inch away from traditional print media as the prime platform, but not completely. And I feel that it will. The medium will change. I mean, TONS and TONS of print magazines haven't scaled over to digital and continue to stay more committed to print, which isn't bad. but online content is where the future is I guess. I feel that we're actually in a digital photography boom actually but businesswise, photography is entering a new frontier.

Photography services have always been a luxury product for consumers. Even so, there still are businesses, individuals, causes, content providers, etc that demand their spot light. That's where the "pro's" come in. It's not so much that photography services in of itself are dead; it's just very saturated. Competition can be stiff and really, not for nothing, but a LOT of the guys who were shooting 30 or so years ago are still shooting today. And when things switched to digital, their clients came with them. But on the consumer side of things, I think photo services to consumers will take a new look, maybe with less money per job. I read on here once about this guy who was busy doing tons of short shoots for small amounts of cash, but making a killing.

As has been said before, art is a business man's game. I think it would help to associate yourself within a trade community that will open doors for you. Not financial doors as a direct effect, but cumulatively open doors over time. For example, PPA, WPPI, ASMP to name a few. It may help your networking to attend a graphic arts or design conference to network with other creatives across genres, like graphic designers, sculpture artists, other photographers, video guys, etc. Barter work, whatever. Do what you have to do to extend your contacts. And submit your work to design annuals, and etc. Define your agenda and work from there.

You may have to refine your branding and marketing objectives. You may have to even look for clever sales strategies. For example, go out and buy 5 or so Dunkin Donuts gift cards and offer a free DD gift card with orders over $XX amount of dollars and include that in your advertising. Toss that gift card in there. Folks love free! It could be Dunkin Donuts, a gas card, VISA gift card, whatever. Offer to be someone's photog for a whole year instead of a just a few hours. I'm just tossing ideas out there, but if you're this thirsty for work, you have to make something work. Free tablet, free iPad, free pizza... whatever! I'm no expert in this area (LOL) but if you're after local consumers and they're spending money elsewhere instead of photography, give them the elsewhere attached to your services. Work out deals with local businesses for discounts.

I'm done.

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