How's Business these days?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by JohnMF, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. JohnMF

    JohnMF TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Messages:
    3,009
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    UK
    I know there are quite a few professional photogs on here who run their own photography business.

    Out of curiousity, i was just wondering how has the popularity of the digital camera affected your business in terms of sales.

    I have noticed a couple of small photography portrait shops around where i live, which have been there since before i can remember, have all started to vanish. I thought it might have something to do with the fact so many people have a digital these days and think they can do just as good of a job as a pro

    what are your opinions?
     
  2. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,107
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    it varies.
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    i know the area of houston i live in has had a recent ressurgance, there are lots of new photo places . . . and business is going well for me. what i think was hurt the most was the commercial industry; back in the day there were photogs who got 3 days to shoot beer . . . and spent tons of time getting the bubbles in the glass right, now we just photoshop them. to me thats the saddest part. people blame digital for the loss of business, but there will always be a need for people with good eyes and a creative mind; just think about when kodak made photography possible for everyone. its the same kind of change, while work may lose value at times, there will always be a need for professionals . . . unfortuanatly the workflow is sped up, prices are lower and specialty photographers are not needed like they once were. also the price of $1500 per negative lost is long gone . . . read the artical in this months rangefinder, that guy lost 40 years of film work and was only compensated with $400,000. versus the $22,500,000 he could have gotten before out of the lawsuit.

    sucks for us :(
     
  3. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,107
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    it varies.
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    and people may think they can do it like a pro, but they will never have your eye. go to a jerry ghionis seminar and listen to him talk about this, he will do a ton better job telling you about how amatures can't hold a candle to a pro, even if they have better gear. because of the money you are recieving you will do a better job. . . its what your getting paid to do. and so on
     
  4. JohnMF

    JohnMF TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Messages:
    3,009
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    UK
    thanks for the reply.

    Yes, i agree completely, but it doesn't stop people thinking they can
     
  5. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,107
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    it varies.
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    lol, unfortuanatly true, and once they see a professional that compliment we all hate "you have such a nice camera!" or "wow you must be really good with photoshop" comes right out.

    which is why no body see's any of my work till its done . . . or they pay me super super good and are slightly intoxicated at the time

    . . . they finally appreciate it when i make the bride cry
     
  6. JohnMF

    JohnMF TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Messages:
    3,009
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    UK
    I also beleive the costs involved with a photography studio switching to digital is astronomical.

    I know of one place that simply went out of business because they/he couldnt afford to make that switch and got left behind. So small established business must be facing a very difficult time, i would have thought

    is that when she hears what you charge? :D (sorry mike, i couldnt resist that one!)
     
  7. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,107
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    it varies.
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    lol, nice. sometimes i wish, usually i'm the one crying over the money though :(
     
  8. AprilRamone

    AprilRamone TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,280
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Denver
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Well, I only just started last year and I started right away with Digital (even though I learned photography using a 100% manual 35 mm camera). So far, it's been pretty tough to try and drum up enough business to survive, but I do have to say that I'm making probably the same $ that I would be making at a crap retail or other such 9-5 job with less work and obviously I love what I'm doing. So, in that respect it's been worth it. However, sometimes I do get a little scared thinking about what the future might hold and if I can drum up MORE business so I can survive a little easier. I've really been doing a lot of children's photography. I figured parents would be the easiest group of people to sell images to. Who doesn't love pictures of their own kid? The way I get them to hire me is to show them what kind of quality work I can do. They hire me because of my creative eye and the artistic way that I capture their children. But, I do sense that in this day and age, more people wait longer periods of time in between photo sessions for their kids because they can just whip out their own dig. camera.
    Also, I figure since I am just now finishing up my first year in business and it's slow that it's ok because word of mouth takes awhile to build up. If I'm still this slow in a couple of years, I may have to rethink what I should be doing to make my money!
     
  9. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,021
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Well, if they put people out of business, then I guess they were able to do just as good of a job as the "pros", at least in the eyes of the clients.

    Many pro photogs in the past relied upon their technical skills and expensive gear to keep the edge, and had little in the way of creative vision. Digital has made people think that photography is easier; I don't believe this is true. What is the difference between running a film Rebel on program, or a digital Rebel on program? Absolutely nothing. It was just as easy to learn film photography, the technical basics can be had by reading a sub $20 book, but with the instant feedback of digital it's more fun. What is happening is that more people are getting into photography because they like the new technology, and once they are into it they practice, they learn the technical side, and they are willing to spend more moola on gear. And now the newbies with a better eye are putting the established photogs who relied on the gear out of business.

    Only other photogs care what gear you use. Clients are concerned with content.

    I shoot film or digital, depending on what would be best for the job. My business has doubled this year. It looks like it's going to do it again for next year.
     
  10. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Messages:
    5,600
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Hermosa Beach, CA U.S.A
    My freelance biz is picking up nicely. I can attribute it to a million different things. Not questioning it at this point. Just going with it. We had a colour lab and a couple of camera stores go under in recent years. The colour lab definetly went under because of the advent of digital. I think the other folks wanted to retire after so many years.

    Clients are willing to pay for good work. A couple of them have admitted that they tried shooting the work and had little or no luck. No question that photography is now in the hands of everyone. All of a sudden pro photographers are not the only game in town. The thing that scares me is peoples acceptance of crummy photography. Other then that I say bring it. I love technology and will always try and stay on top of it.
     

Share This Page