Life as we know it…. is different. We set goals for ourselves that we with all intents and purposes WANT to meet. We don’t want to fail, we want to succeed.
After graduating high school, while starting out my college career, I made the daunting decision to start my own side business (I was also working full time). I’d been doing photography for as long as I could remember, I’d taken classes in school and I was, along with my regular college course load for Child Advocacy, going to be taking photography courses as well. I had the equipment, the experience and the knowledge. Photography was something my area had, but not bountiful. It was a good idea.
I did garden and nature photography, put together print products, photo books and calendars to sell as they were ordered. I shot weddings, families, maternity and newborns. I was, by all means a successful photographer. Five years ago the shift started. Digital SLR’s became more affordable. People were getting them as Christmas presents. With the camera in hand, suddenly they were a photographer. Next their “business” would spring up. Their prices were low (remember folks, you pay for what you get) and I started losing business. But where I lost some clientele there, I gained in bigger shoots. I started shooting fundraisers for the animal shelters, I did the Rock Dog’s DockDogs competition. DockDogs contacted me to be an official photographer for them after the event.
The biggest shift has come in the recent year, possibly two. The area is saturated with photography “businesses” now. There are some amazing photographers (shout out to Kari J. Cross Photography!) around here who are managing to stay afloat in the rising photographer sea. I was, from the start of all this, determined to fight to stay afloat as well. But upon signing into Facebook this morning, with 3 new “photographers” in the area, I realized, maybe it’s time to scale my business back. And after a long chat with myself, that’s what I decided to do.
I can’t continue to push myself out there, spend the money to print, matte and frame photos for installations in area galleries, banks, restaurants, etc and never have that money returned. I can’t continue to spend the money for advertising, for websites, etc… Just to have clients cancel the day of a shoot because their cousin got a Nikon and wants to do the photos for free.
I still plan to take photos, but I guess I’m going to take the sit-back approach. I’ll let friends, family, and people who I have had as clients in the past come to me to do the photos. It’s pretty much what it’s been the past few months anyway and it’s a lot less stressful and it allows for time on the quarry for us to start working on growing our family.