So the news isn’t all bad. We heard back from so many more people than we expected from our last post about the state of the photography industry and if all of this is just arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Not just a line or two, well-thought out emails from photographers around the world. There were a couple different themes we saw over and over in the emails and responses on our Facebook Group.
No one thinks this is easy, but many are still willing to fight the fight.
~”I recently completed Joy’s pricing workshop & am in the process of working through Jaime’s 6 week Marketing Bootcamp . . . my stomach has been in knots for over a month now. As a maternity & newborn photographer, I know two things: 1) I love what I do SO much & very few things bring me as much joy as photography and 2) I simply don’t love it enough to do it for free anymore. This isn’t some egotistical journey for me. I started a business because I love giving people the joy that I feel when I stand and stare at the frames on my walls. It’s so sappy, but so true. That’s when I discovered the crappy business side of business . . . the side that so often tries to crush my joy. So, my prices are going WAY up, I’m gonna work my fat butt off this year, and I’m secretly installing life preservers under each one of my beautifully arranged deck chairs.”
~”I’m much more content with attracting those who get it, and who truly appreciate it…. I’ve since priced myself in alignment with that as well – although most of the kick-ass clients I would connect with on a personal and artistic level – simply don’t have the means to allow me to be outside of the ‘deal-seekers’ circle either… So – It’s yet another losing battle in that regard. However, I’ve decided I’m worth it – and I’m willing to work fewer weddings for a slightly higher yield per wedding – as I refuse to sell my soul to this bloody and puke-laden industry. Do I sound a bit disgruntled? Well – I’m actually not. But I am speaking my mind with full transparency! I figure you’d appreciate that.”
The ones that are surviving admit to having made radical changes to their marketing and lifestyle.
~”As a family we have greatly reduced our costs and last year I gave up my studio. I know the problem is partly my own doing – I got lazy during the flush years but some days it feels like I fell asleep on the beach and woke up surrounded by a sea of photographers. But I’m not giving up — not without a fight ”
~”I don’t need Cloud, the latest camera body etc etc. What I have works just fine thank you very much. Let. Go.”
~It’s only encouraging me to even further stylize my work and make it look completely different from the rest of my market. Which is a good! It’s also forcing me to streamline my marketing strategy so I get the brides in the door I actually want”
The division in the ranks is tearing down the industry, and people are REALLY getting sick of it.
~””To add insult to injury – rather than everyone teaming up to find the cause and patch up the leaks, or at least be supportive of one another as we scramble to do our best to deal – most (not all, obviously – but definitely most) – are scrambling to gather as many deck chairs as they can for themselves, even if it means throwing somebody overboard to get them… The cut-throat tendencies within this field make me want to puke over the deck railings, and I’m not talking about sea-sickness here! I’m talking pure disgust. Love my art. Hate the industry.”
~”I can’t stop the shoot and burn momtographer down the street from doing mini-sessions for $50 and a disk (seriously) But I can stop paying attention to what she is doing and stop letting it eat me alive. If I don’t then I might as well go back to that soul-sucking day job I had. I had to finally realize that there is a great number of photographers who like to spend their days bitching about the newbies or the grumpies or whatever the freak the name is for the hated photographer of the day and I had to stop being one of them.”
There was not a single email where someone claimed to be “super happy and profitable, no problems here!”
(But then again, we probably don’t tend to attract the bullshit shoot and share live your dreams photographers on this blog) Photographers see what’s happening, their eyes are open. They are making changes, making choices.
So what do you think? Are you inspired to make changes now?