Is professional photography dying out?

Started Mar 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
PenguinPhotoCo Veteran Member • Posts: 6,284
now you're got a place to start!

Machine Gun Kelly wrote:

You do not know the situation. Do not make judgements. I will not explain the situation.

I think everybody is behaving very well so far in refraining from personal attacks. I am surprised at how many have chipped in. The themes coming out seem to be:

1 my area isn't the best
2 its a bit silly to start with everything before knowing if anything will sell
3 photography doesn't make anybody much money
4 the economy is killing luxury spending
5 advertising doesn't work
6 networking mostly works

See how much more you know now?
There are TONS of ways to make money with photography. Wedding is the most obvious to a newbie and with a bridal show you get access to your target market pretty easily. So many start there.

But there are many other options. Make a list and start doing some research on the market - how large, who does it, what's the going price?  Next decide if you can do that work (I don't want to do schools or boudoir, I can do babies but they don't excite me. I really enjoy sports leagues and HS seniors). I've not tried aerial, indurstrial, legal, church directories. I've done a some head shots, grip and grins, product (small).  Family is OK if I can do it my way, boring to just do it in the studio but there is money to made in it.

Next you need to find a 'gimmick' - not a trick, but something that will attract people to you. This is where personal creativity and vision come into play.  I saw a video a few years back of a photog shooting a 9ish year old girl in the yard in the late summer. Same old thing, right? Nope. She took a full size brass bed out into the yard and a tore open a feather pillow and had the kid jumping on the bed. WOW - not your average kids' pictures!

A couple of years back I got some old prom dresses and did some 'trash the dress' with seniors - great fun and great marketing / PR from it too.

I take my seniors on 'adventure sessions' - spend a day in the city, a day at the beach, a day in a junkyard - sold as a very limited availability thing.

Just heard an ad on the radio for an upcoming Eagles concert. Tickets run $59 to $1400. Yes, fourteen hundred dollars, not a typo.  Cirque du Soleil was in town last fall, floor seats went for $800 each.
I can download an eagles song for $1, buy a cirgue dvd for $20 - so why would anyone spend THAT kind of money for 2-3 hours of entertainment?

Yet people do - regularly.

You need to find a way to be unique, special - in your vision, your processing, your product, your experience, your customer service. Then get the word out. Be prepared - it can take YEARS to get the word out. But this IS where advertising can help - but it costs money of course.

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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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