Is professional photography dying out?

Started Mar 27, 2013 | Discussions
GMartin Regular Member • Posts: 227
Re: I did notice..

PenguinPhotoCo wrote:

knowing when to get out, move on, etc is smart.
I've worked for many small busiensses and I"m still amazed how much marketing effort there is to being a photographer.

This year, as I get wiser, I'm trying a few new things- "paying" folks to post on FB for example - paying for WOM really.

Sounds strange but I"m not the first to try it. Go check out 'viggle' - I saw TV ads for it yesterday for the first time. They pay you to watch TV. Then I suppose you see the ads and will buy the products.

I can buy ads on FB or pay people to post on FB can call their comments my ads. Same cost to me and hopefully better results.

It's a way to get the customers that love my work to TELL SOMEONE! Or so goes the theory.
I tried one of these 'theories' for my bridal shows this year and got no calls, no emails, no nothing. First time every for that. Not sure what to take away from it and what I can do to change that for the future.

If your pricing is in line with your talent, brand and skill level you'll stay busy, but if you are over priced it won't happen. That's the key. Knowing your talent and pricing accordingly.

Although if one is a great salesman, then he could sell snow to an eskimo, regardless of the

profession.

What i've seen, and I'm guilty of this as well, is that people come into the photography "business" with the artistic skills but severely lack the business skills to be successful.

Hulamike
Hulamike Senior Member • Posts: 2,810
Getting Embarrassing

It's even getting embarrassing. I was at a small event in a local park recently where "photographers" (with DSLR not just cellphones) outnumbered guests. Young, unskilled shooters were running amuck, placing tripods with GoPros in the line of sight of other shooters, using flash during a part of the event (fire eater ) where the artist had asked for darkness; acting generally clueless. Part of being a "pro" is knowing how to be invisible at an event, how to shoot it and not bother others. Uncle Bill doesn't understand any of that. In fact he thinks he's "cool" out here dancing around like some sort of bad ass paparazzi.

Its actually become embarrassing to be a photographer in public. God save us From UBill !!

Craig Veteran Member • Posts: 5,934
Re: you DONT know

PenguinPhotoCo wrote:

You don't know anything but what they tell you. And they're likely lying. OK, putting 'spin' on it then.

I had a friend that ran one of those MLM outifts (think mary kay, miche bags, etc). She was doing well, but it was seasonal, and like any business you have your good days and your bad days.

When asked 'Hows business?' her stock response was 'unbelievable!' said with enthusiasm.  She told me that could me unbelivieably good - or unbelievabely bad.

It's like when photogs say "i've booked all I want to book" it usually a lie.

Or on pawn stars when someone says "i wanted more!" but if they sold it they really did get what they wanted - or they'd have turned it down.

I have all the weddings I want (for september, at that price point, at that venue...)

Every story has a happy ending - if you stop in the right place!

Craig wrote:

GMartin wrote:

Craig wrote:

Here is what I am talking about the upper end is busy.

these people are all booked up, look at their prices..

http://www.snapri.com/#/pricing-wedding/

I know several of these "high end" wedding photographers. They have

regular full time jobs and do the weddings on the side. They may shoot 1 or 2

weddings every couple of months. If they had to depend on their weddings to

survive they couldn't.

I know that they are all booked up! They have a huge business.

They did it right, had connections and know how to market and are good, not great..

I hope they are not lying.. If so then I guess that's the prerequisite for having a successful business in this world of massive lying.

I don't think they are. My point being that the higher end, where people still have gobs of money and think that if they don't spend a lot for photography then the people who charge much less are obviously not worth it.  I was told that by a wedding coordinator.

I guess I will not make it since I don't lie and cant stand putting on an air like a phony.

OP deleted080512 Regular Member • Posts: 205
Re: If you want to be depressed check this out

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.

OP deleted080512 Regular Member • Posts: 205
Re: Getting Embarrassing

That's one of the things I like about the new Micro 4 3rds cameras. They're much less obtrusive. I'm not so sure what the image quality will be like though.

Hulamike
Hulamike Senior Member • Posts: 2,810
Re: Getting Embarrassing

Still wouldn't help The Clueless. One of the themes of his thread is that no one wants a pro photographer when they can shoot an event themselves. This has evolved to epic proportions where EVERYONE is shooting everything all the time. Photography's no longer a skilled activity in the public's mind. To succeed today you need a niche. Event shooting, including low end weddings, is gone to the amateur.

mirrorless is good! The stuff I see coming out of the Fuji x100s is better than my Nikons. Zack Arias and David Hobby call it the new Leica. Bye bye DSLR!

Sovern Contributing Member • Posts: 907
Re: Is professional photography dying out?

ultimitsu wrote:

G3User wrote:

RIT in Rochester NY and Brooks Institute should be shut down or sued because they are selling a dream, snake oil to all those paying the tuition because there is not job when they graduate.

People who attend these courses should do more research before hand.

It is not true that there is no jobs, but it is true those who come out of phtography school find no jobs. I know of not a single pro had been to any photography course and everyone that I know who had been to one, do not work in photography. In fact their photos generally arent very good.

Why is that? Because photography is actually a very gear demanding art and a very frontier art. low end gear often will struggle making good image and techniques from 10 years ago do not always work today. You only way to stay on top of the game is not going to those courses but actually learn from these youtube tutorials. they are much more current and more useful.

I disagree. The photographer makes the photos not the gear. A photographer with a kit lens and one flash can do a hell of a lot and can do top of the line photography work if she/he knows what they're doing.

Sovern Contributing Member • Posts: 907
Re: Is professional photography dying out?

RhysM wrote:

Machine Gun Kelly wrote:

Speaking as somebody that has run a part-time photography business for a few years and almost completely failed to attract customers, the question has to be asked.

It's not as though I haven't tried - I just can't get anybody even to look at my portfolio. Let's see what I've done...

Yellow Pages - one or two calls about irrelevant matters

Website - no visitors

Van signage - one or two calls from other "pros" digging for information.

I did get a ton of people calling trying to sell me stuff from my online contact information. The web form attracted loads of resumes and spam. The web phone number attracted loads of people trying to sell insurance, internet services, credit-card devices.

Chamber of Commerce - polite interest but nothing more.

TV advertising - no callers.

Radio advertising - no callers.

It's all a very nice tax deduction but leaves me with very much the feeling that nobody wants photography any more - especially since most people now have a camera on their phone that's really quite acceptable.

One of the major problems is that people only want 1024 x 768 images to put on Facebook. I don't think they care about anything else.

Simple answer is, yes, at least for people like you...

Digital photography is cheap, even full frame cameras that are capable of producing stunning image quality are in financial reach of most people and with so many internet resources available to learn how to use the camera, people are able to grasp the basics and start shooting acceptable images very quickly.

I know this will upset the pro's but the harsh reality is an amateur with a £/$2000 setup can take photos 90% as good as a pro. This leads to "Uncle George" doing the wedding photos for all people on a tight budget, and all other family events.

To my mind the only money soon to be left in photography is a handful very good wedding photographers in each town/city/area who charge high prices for couples spending huge amounts on their big days, along with commercial stuff, nature and paparazzi.

The days of having a photographer to small weddings, christenings, birthday parties, retirement parties, etc are pretty much dead and not a place to be starting a new venture.

Again, I disagree. I see a lot of photographers in my area that use "natural lighting" whatever that's supposed to mean and their photos look junk yet they make a manageable income off it.

Now, if you look at the top guys in my area like Neilvn (based in NY), he has a full blown website where he posts articles on a somewhat daily basis, has excellent lighting and photographs, and he's highly successful.

I think the key to becoming a successful professional photographer is having a love for the photography and spreading that love without expecting a damn thing as first.

A lot of photographers go in knowing nothing and expect to make money or have mediocre photos. If you really love something you will find a way to make it work no manner what it is.

OP deleted080512 Regular Member • Posts: 205
Re: Is professional photography dying out?

It doesn't matter what the photographer can do - it doesn't matter a bit what skill level the photographer has. If there is NO BUSINESS to be had then there is no photography to be done.

OP deleted080512 Regular Member • Posts: 205
Re: Is professional photography dying out?

Business first, photography second.

Hulamike
Hulamike Senior Member • Posts: 2,810
And the Unicorn Award goes to...(nt)

Brother!

GMartin Regular Member • Posts: 227
Re: Getting Embarrassing

Hulamike wrote:

Still wouldn't help The Clueless. One of the themes of his thread is that no one wants a pro photographer when they can shoot an event themselves. This has evolved to epic proportions where EVERYONE is shooting everything all the time. Photography's no longer a skilled activity in the public's mind. To succeed today you need a niche. Event shooting, including low end weddings, is gone to the amateur.

mirrorless is good! The stuff I see coming out of the Fuji x100s is better than my Nikons. Zack Arias and David Hobby call it the new Leica. Bye bye DSLR!

If one has nothing different to sell, then the public will not beat a path to your door. Shoot like

everyone else and you become just another face in the crowd. Stand out with your style and

products and personality and you'll have clients. I have yet to see ONE amateur at a wedding

who knew how to pose a family formal. NOT ONE..........

GMartin Regular Member • Posts: 227
Re: Is professional photography dying out?
1

Sovern wrote:

RhysM wrote:

Machine Gun Kelly wrote:

Speaking as somebody that has run a part-time photography business for a few years and almost completely failed to attract customers, the question has to be asked.

It's not as though I haven't tried - I just can't get anybody even to look at my portfolio. Let's see what I've done...

Yellow Pages - one or two calls about irrelevant matters

Website - no visitors

Van signage - one or two calls from other "pros" digging for information.

I did get a ton of people calling trying to sell me stuff from my online contact information. The web form attracted loads of resumes and spam. The web phone number attracted loads of people trying to sell insurance, internet services, credit-card devices.

Chamber of Commerce - polite interest but nothing more.

TV advertising - no callers.

Radio advertising - no callers.

It's all a very nice tax deduction but leaves me with very much the feeling that nobody wants photography any more - especially since most people now have a camera on their phone that's really quite acceptable.

One of the major problems is that people only want 1024 x 768 images to put on Facebook. I don't think they care about anything else.

Simple answer is, yes, at least for people like you...

Digital photography is cheap, even full frame cameras that are capable of producing stunning image quality are in financial reach of most people and with so many internet resources available to learn how to use the camera, people are able to grasp the basics and start shooting acceptable images very quickly.

I know this will upset the pro's but the harsh reality is an amateur with a £/$2000 setup can take photos 90% as good as a pro. This leads to "Uncle George" doing the wedding photos for all people on a tight budget, and all other family events.

To my mind the only money soon to be left in photography is a handful very good wedding photographers in each town/city/area who charge high prices for couples spending huge amounts on their big days, along with commercial stuff, nature and paparazzi.

The days of having a photographer to small weddings, christenings, birthday parties, retirement parties, etc are pretty much dead and not a place to be starting a new venture.

Again, I disagree. I see a lot of photographers in my area that use "natural lighting" whatever that's supposed to mean and their photos look junk yet they make a manageable income off it.

Now, if you look at the top guys in my area like Neilvn (based in NY), he has a full blown website where he posts articles on a somewhat daily basis, has excellent lighting and photographs, and he's highly successful.

I think the key to becoming a successful professional photographer is having a love for the photography and spreading that love without expecting a damn thing as first.

A lot of photographers go in knowing nothing and expect to make money or have mediocre photos. If you really love something you will find a way to make it work no manner what it is.

Sorry but I have to disagree with that. Having a passion alone will not bring success. ANY business has to be run like a business. Having excellent business skills is far more important than having excellent photography talent. Ask any business owner. Too many photographers think just by having "awesome" work that they'll be successful. Sorry but it doesn't work that way.

GMartin Regular Member • Posts: 227
Re: Is professional photography dying out?
1

Machine Gun Kelly wrote:

Business first, photography second.

When I was being trained by a successful photography studio owner, (she was a single female in her 50's), her work was mediocre at best. I was the one she would send out to shoot her weddings. My work was fresh and up to date. Hers was old and outdated. BUT, she was a top notch marketer and business owner. She belonged to  every local city chamber, group, organization, volunteered her time, did free work and she had business coming out of the ass. Everyone liked her because she was a cute single woman, went to organization breakfasts, luncheons, mixers and dinners and  was the bell of the party.

That's what it took for her to have oodles of clients. Not everyone can do that. I can't I'm not

a social butterfly and not come cute single woman. That was HER niche. And that is what marketing and connecting is all about to build your business. A combination of business AND artistic work.

Hulamike
Hulamike Senior Member • Posts: 2,810
Re: Getting Embarrassing

But that would require discipline, mentoring and experience. Today EVERYONE knows all that matters is buying the right camera...

GMartin Regular Member • Posts: 227
Re: you DONT know

Craig wrote:

PenguinPhotoCo wrote:

You don't know anything but what they tell you. And they're likely lying. OK, putting 'spin' on it then.

I had a friend that ran one of those MLM outifts (think mary kay, miche bags, etc). She was doing well, but it was seasonal, and like any business you have your good days and your bad days.

When asked 'Hows business?' her stock response was 'unbelievable!' said with enthusiasm.  She told me that could me unbelivieably good - or unbelievabely bad.

It's like when photogs say "i've booked all I want to book" it usually a lie.

Or on pawn stars when someone says "i wanted more!" but if they sold it they really did get what they wanted - or they'd have turned it down.

I have all the weddings I want (for september, at that price point, at that venue...)

Every story has a happy ending - if you stop in the right place!

Craig wrote:

GMartin wrote:

Craig wrote:

Here is what I am talking about the upper end is busy.

these people are all booked up, look at their prices..

http://www.snapri.com/#/pricing-wedding/

I know several of these "high end" wedding photographers. They have

regular full time jobs and do the weddings on the side. They may shoot 1 or 2

weddings every couple of months. If they had to depend on their weddings to

survive they couldn't.

I know that they are all booked up! They have a huge business.

They did it right, had connections and know how to market and are good, not great..

I hope they are not lying.. If so then I guess that's the prerequisite for having a successful business in this world of massive lying.

I don't think they are. My point being that the higher end, where people still have gobs of money and think that if they don't spend a lot for photography then the people who charge much less are obviously not worth it.  I was told that by a wedding coordinator.

I guess I will not make it since I don't lie and cant stand putting on an air like a phony.

You hit it right on the head. People with money don't care how much they spend. They have to put on airs to their family and friends and SHOW them how rich they are by buying the most expensive products and services. They DO look down at lower priced businesses. As far as photography goes, in the past, I dealt in upper crust weddings. What they got was exactly what I gave to my lower end clients in terms of style and content. The only difference was that they got a larger package with better albums and products. But the base coverage was the same in terms of how I shot the wedding. But to get those upper end weddings, one has to be connected with planners and venues. And those are hard to come by as they are usually already working with regular vendors and don't like to add new vendors unless they get to know you on a personal level.

Once again it comes back to being connected.

OP deleted080512 Regular Member • Posts: 205
Re: Is professional photography dying out?
1

Sorry but I have to disagree with that. Having a passion alone will not bring success. ANY business has to be run like a business. Having excellent business skills is far more important than having excellent photography talent. Ask any business owner. Too many photographers think just by having "awesome" work that they'll be successful. Sorry but it doesn't work that way.

This is pretty much what I have been saying. I have seen some really awful professional photographs around the place. The thing that sets (successful) professional <insert profession> apart from anybody else is connections. When those connections don't exist for whatever reason, we resort to advertising.

The big problem with advertising is everybody else is also advertising. I drove down a street and really saw all the adverts. I mean, really saw the quantity, the vulgarity, the garishness of all the advertisements. My immediate thought was that it was a cacophony of advertising. None of them was more noticeable than any of the other because they were all shouting as loud as possible. Because there were so many, nobody saw any of them. I certainly couldn't pick out a single one.

I met a fellow who sold aerial photos of houses and villages. He used an elderly Nikon film camera with a single 100mm lens. He would fly over areas and shoot several rolls of film then he would visit the houses and sell arial photos to the people in the houses. He would charge top notch prices and give them a huge print. He did quite well at that despite the fact he really didn't understand photography; just how to focus and expose without blur. His business was heavy on sales and marketing and light on photographic talent but this exemplifies exactly what you're saying.

The big problem with amateurs is that amateurs put too much emphasis on photography and too little on business. Business is 90% business and 10% photography. There are no photographers who are in business but there are a lot of businessmen that deal with photography.

I would challenge any amateur to come up with a great example of marketing a photography business that's not going to cost much money and which will be effective. The internet is going to be their first choice because it's "free". Umm, excuse me? The internet - free? Pull the other one - it's got bells on. Let's have a look at the cost of the internet just to show the amateurs posting here just how much the internet really costs...

1. Computer - if it's a windows box then it has to be depreciated over 2 years as after 2 years it's going to be so slow/bogged down with junk that it'll be too hard to use. So, depreciate about $500 over 24 months. That's $21 approx a month.

2. Internet - it's a deductible. That's about $55 a month for DSL (that's what it costs in my area what with all the taxes etc).

3. Electricity - you have to run your modem and computer on electricity and you need a lightbulb or two.

3. Heat/Air - your office space has to be comfortable. Oh, didn't you realise - every business needs office space, even if it's your back bedroom.

4. Rent - if you rent a house then some of that rent goes towards the office space as a deduction.

5. Water/sewage - yes - if you have an office you have to include access to water/sewage.

6. Domain names - if you run a website. Even if it's $10 a year, it has to be included.

7. Web hosting - if you have a website, you have to pay for hosting.

8. Advertising your website, whether that's via paid online adverts, SEO or whatever, it has to be advertised. Add the cost or the time spent doing that in.

9. Office furniture - the chair and desk can all be depreciated and counted as a cost. For example, I have a swivel chair. No - not a fancy tilt and swivel leather chair. I use a cheap Walmart $20 student swivel chair - it works, it's not uncomfortable and it's cheap. My desk is a $20 desk from a charity shop. My desk lamp was $7.99 in Walmart.

So, is the internet still free? The amateurs all need to think about the real costs of running a business and the operations behind a business. This is all the stuff surrounding the internet. I could go further and cost things like:

1. Transportation - how much, when and where.

2. Insurance - how much, when and where.

And so on - the list is endless.

A photography business is not all about taking photos - that's only a tiny part of the business. I fear that most of the people posting here have never actually run a business as a business. I suspect a great many have done odd photography jobs here and there.

How much did my TV advert cost - That was $1,000 several years ago and I got a great deal.

How much does the Yellow Pages cost - about $450 a year.

How much does the internet cost? Well, at a rough estimate, over a year I'd say about $1,000

The cost of running a business is not cheap - I've not had this year's accounts back from the accountant so I'm not sure how much of what I've spent I can claim legitimately because there are several borderline items that cross over between business and personal. I can say somewhere between $2,000 and $4,000 for last year - if I've not missed a few things - which I probably have.

That's the costs of running the day to day business which does not include losses (theft, wastage etc) and those costs have to be included later. For example, I had a check written on a closed bank account to deal with this year. That bumped up costs because I had to pay court fees etc and I'm still waiting for the money because the whole process is very long-winded.

I hope the amateurs who think they know everything can now see there's more to professional photography than taking pictures.

GMartin Regular Member • Posts: 227
Re: Is professional photography dying out?
1

Machine Gun Kelly wrote:

Sorry but I have to disagree with that. Having a passion alone will not bring success. ANY business has to be run like a business. Having excellent business skills is far more important than having excellent photography talent. Ask any business owner. Too many photographers think just by having "awesome" work that they'll be successful. Sorry but it doesn't work that way.

This is pretty much what I have been saying. I have seen some really awful professional photographs around the place. The thing that sets (successful) professional <insert profession> apart from anybody else is connections. When those connections don't exist for whatever reason, we resort to advertising.

The big problem with advertising is everybody else is also advertising. I drove down a street and really saw all the adverts. I mean, really saw the quantity, the vulgarity, the garishness of all the advertisements. My immediate thought was that it was a cacophony of advertising. None of them was more noticeable than any of the other because they were all shouting as loud as possible. Because there were so many, nobody saw any of them. I certainly couldn't pick out a single one.

I met a fellow who sold aerial photos of houses and villages. He used an elderly Nikon film camera with a single 100mm lens. He would fly over areas and shoot several rolls of film then he would visit the houses and sell arial photos to the people in the houses. He would charge top notch prices and give them a huge print. He did quite well at that despite the fact he really didn't understand photography; just how to focus and expose without blur. His business was heavy on sales and marketing and light on photographic talent but this exemplifies exactly what you're saying.

The big problem with amateurs is that amateurs put too much emphasis on photography and too little on business. Business is 90% business and 10% photography. There are no photographers who are in business but there are a lot of businessmen that deal with photography.

I would challenge any amateur to come up with a great example of marketing a photography business that's not going to cost much money and which will be effective. The internet is going to be their first choice because it's "free". Umm, excuse me? The internet - free? Pull the other one - it's got bells on. Let's have a look at the cost of the internet just to show the amateurs posting here just how much the internet really costs...

1. Computer - if it's a windows box then it has to be depreciated over 2 years as after 2 years it's going to be so slow/bogged down with junk that it'll be too hard to use. So, depreciate about $500 over 24 months. That's $21 approx a month.

2. Internet - it's a deductible. That's about $55 a month for DSL (that's what it costs in my area what with all the taxes etc).

3. Electricity - you have to run your modem and computer on electricity and you need a lightbulb or two.

3. Heat/Air - your office space has to be comfortable. Oh, didn't you realise - every business needs office space, even if it's your back bedroom.

4. Rent - if you rent a house then some of that rent goes towards the office space as a deduction.

5. Water/sewage - yes - if you have an office you have to include access to water/sewage.

6. Domain names - if you run a website. Even if it's $10 a year, it has to be included.

7. Web hosting - if you have a website, you have to pay for hosting.

8. Advertising your website, whether that's via paid online adverts, SEO or whatever, it has to be advertised. Add the cost or the time spent doing that in.

9. Office furniture - the chair and desk can all be depreciated and counted as a cost. For example, I have a swivel chair. No - not a fancy tilt and swivel leather chair. I use a cheap Walmart $20 student swivel chair - it works, it's not uncomfortable and it's cheap. My desk is a $20 desk from a charity shop. My desk lamp was $7.99 in Walmart.

So, is the internet still free? The amateurs all need to think about the real costs of running a business and the operations behind a business. This is all the stuff surrounding the internet. I could go further and cost things like:

1. Transportation - how much, when and where.

2. Insurance - how much, when and where.

And so on - the list is endless.

A photography business is not all about taking photos - that's only a tiny part of the business. I fear that most of the people posting here have never actually run a business as a business. I suspect a great many have done odd photography jobs here and there.

How much did my TV advert cost - That was $1,000 several years ago and I got a great deal.

How much does the Yellow Pages cost - about $450 a year.

How much does the internet cost? Well, at a rough estimate, over a year I'd say about $1,000

The cost of running a business is not cheap - I've not had this year's accounts back from the accountant so I'm not sure how much of what I've spent I can claim legitimately because there are several borderline items that cross over between business and personal. I can say somewhere between $2,000 and $4,000 for last year - if I've not missed a few things - which I probably have.

That's the costs of running the day to day business which does not include losses (theft, wastage etc) and those costs have to be included later. For example, I had a check written on a closed bank account to deal with this year. That bumped up costs because I had to pay court fees etc and I'm still waiting for the money because the whole process is very long-winded.

I hope the amateurs who think they know everything can now see there's more to professional photography than taking pictures.

But how does THIS support your initial question that professional photography is dying out ? It's not......it's just a new ear and has to be run differently. Out with the old, in with the new. It's in everything in life. Not just photography. Adapt or wither away.

OP deleted080512 Regular Member • Posts: 205
Re: Is professional photography dying out?
1

But how does THIS support your initial question that professional photography is dying out ? It's not......it's just a new ear and has to be run differently. Out with the old, in with the new. It's in everything in life. Not just photography. Adapt or wither away.

But professional photography is dying out. The amateurs are taking over. When it becomes a case of not what you know but the quality of your connections then it's a hopeless case.

As an example, my advertising costs more than my income from photography. I cut back on the advertising non-budget - slashed it totally.

Now, there seems to be a ton of amateurs here that are saying "if you're work is bad, nobody will hire you" which is a complete distraction from the fact I can't even get people to look at my work to make that judgement. Zero genuine website hits. No calls to see my portfolio. In conversation "Oh. Your're a photographer. That's nice *yawn*". There is absolutely no interest in photography any more.

Look at what Canon and Nikon etc are doing - they're producing micro four-thirds cameras. They realise that a lot of people are buying superzoom compacts rather than digital SLRs now because they don't want the bulk. People are not buying small zoom compacts any more because their phones can do just as good of a job.

The amateurs will argue over the size of the image sensor versus image quality until well after the cows have come home. The fact is, a picture is a picture and it doesn't matter whether it's taken with a Leica S2 or an iPhone. The rest is all subtle nuances.

I don't have a crystal ball so I can't foresee the future. I wonder whether the rash of ILCs will be another version of the APS SLR debacle of the 1990s where nobody could actually see any point to a camera that cost as much as an SLR but used smaller film. I can't see any cost advantage for the ILCs over SLRs to be honest. Never mind image quality - that's not really that important since all the current cameras take pictures that are of easily sufficient quality. I would say that even the humblest of the phone cameras takes pictures of better quality than was obtainable with Ilford HP5, Kodak Tri-X etc.

The only advantage of the ILCs is of purely size. I would much rather have something small that I can carry more easily without the need for a gadget bag. Women photographers may even find such cameras light and small enough to carry in their shoulder bags. Now wouldn't that be wonderful?

The whole photography market is lurching rapidly toward amateurville now that amateurs can produce what professionals can produce without the business overheads (because they run as amateurs). Out of sheer laziness when I put something up on ebay the other day, I took the picture with my cell phone. I didn't even bother dragging out a light tent to make sure it was attractively illuminated. It just doesn't matter - what matters is that its visible for what it is and that the image was easily uploadable.

Taking pictures has never been so easy and is getting easier. Some cameras have face detection and composition aiding. Some will lighten dark areas and darken light areas to produce a more balanced image. I really cannot see that professional photography can last very much longer. Certainly there will be the top gurus as there will be for every profession but as with the old profession of being a script, professional photography will die out almost entirely. We do not need scripts any more - we can almost all read and write. Those here certainly can read and write.

As far as connections go, I've never found it easy to make connections and never really got anything worthwhile out of the connections that I have. Thus, as far as I am concerned professional photography is in its last dying gasps. So, as I have said before, I'm looking to sell off most of my stuff. I just don't need it and don't see the point of housing it any more. I curse the individual that sold me on the idea of starting but on the other hand, when I was under their spell I would have believe the moon was green and made of cheese. Now I'm not, I see the world for what it is and that I got scammed. My dad was right in his comment that he couldn't see any potential for income in photography. Having tried with all my heart and just utterly failed time after time after time to get people even to look to see what I have on offer, I am in absolute agreement with my dad that there is absolutely no money in photography and that investment in gear for it is a total waste of money. Might as well spend the money on drink, drugs and loose women.

alpha90290
alpha90290 Regular Member • Posts: 255
Re: Is professional photography dying out?

You need to find your niche.

If you cannot compete with amateurs, it means your photos are not much better than them although you may be using the so call "pro" equipment.

Connections don't work if your connections are not rich or don't have many rich friends.

Rich people/ big companies are the one with the the money to engage your services. They will not hire those  amateurs who don't have a proper studio and contracts that guarantee quality result.

What you need is to learn the correct marketing skill to market to these companies.

Don't go after the average Joe.

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