Is professional photography dying out?

Started Mar 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
deleted080512
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Re: If you want to be depressed check this out
In reply to GMartin, Mar 30, 2013

Well, I was sold the idea quite hard by somebody I once trusted. The sale went along the lines of "that woman just charged $500 for a day's event photography". There are such events happening ever week. "I want you to start a photography business". Plus other pressure. Little did I know that I was being fed horsedung.

Anyway, I have subsequently discovered that the price of gear plummets like a lead balloon - very unlike film camera gear which maintained its value and that there aren't events happening every week.

I have very much simplified the situation. If I described it any more graphically then that would definitely not be good. I have to be fairly vague for my own protection. Needless to say the pressure I was placed under was not for the faint of heart and it was a situation I should have run from faster than a cheetah had I known the end result (again this is beyond the scope of the photography business).

Having tried (and spent a bomb on advertising) and not got a single soul to look at my portfolio, it's abundantly clear that advertising does not work for me or for my business. Similarly the networking I have done has not worked either. I get people saying "ooh I saw your website - the pictures were amazing" when the web hit counters tell another story entirely. Similarly I would get the occasional phonecall from people asking for my web address. I'd give it and again, no increase in the hit counters. I know the counters work because they do every time I look at the site, from whatever device I look at it from. I have no idea why people are lying about looking. Questioned closely about what they thought of specific (existent and non-existent) images, they fudge because they never looked in the first place. I can lead a horse to water, I cannot make him drink.

Before I had the website, I had a printed portfolio. People would ring to see it then not show when I made arrangements for them.

I know it's not me because in my other role, I'm a damned good salesman. I can only conclude that nobody in this area that I approach is at all interested in photography. That goes together with the woman I know who runs a studio in a mall and spends most of her time at another job instead of minding the shop.

The business has not failed - it never stood a snowflakes chance of succeeding. In other words, it was a business in name only. While there are things I could try such as exhibitions etc, this would all cost money and I'm pretty much done pouring money into a bottomless pit. One of my friends actually graduated with a BFA and had a photography exhibition recently. She had a lot of people admiring her work and visiting to see it. She still works in Walmart as an associate though rather than working as a photographer. I think people like to see but they don't buy. Art does not pay.

What I appear to have is a business where the price of entry is exceptionally high; the price of leaving (sale of equipment) is overpriced (I will lose a ton on selling the equipment) and where income generated from the equipment is not even going to cover the cost of the most basic components. I have read elsewhere that the photography business model just plain sucks.

My current aim is to get the Hell out of the photography farce and take it back to a hobby losing the least money possible. IE, recouping as much as possible from selling the equipment. The actual studio stuff (which has been used maybe 3 times in 7 years) is the sticking point. I know lenses and bodies are salable. I can't really see who would buy studio stuff at anything like the percentage resale that I'd get for the lenses.

Where I do make money is with the books I have written on photography. They don't make a mint but they are on track to make more per year than I made in 7 years of running a photography business.

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