prize

Message to photographers

I've been silent for a few months. Well, I was really busy in May and June - business was booming, and it was a good thing. Now it is back to normal... so... not so booming..... ;)

While I have taken this time to sit back and observe, I marvel over and over with the salesman and saleswomen "photographers". There are questions I have that will never be answered but I can't help but to ask them.... and I'm going to ask them. Here.

If you sell to photographers, I get it. It is a way of bringing in some extra money. I sell a few small items as well. It's called supplemental income. That is not what I am discussing here. I'm discussing the salesperson in your face daily online.

The "Relevant" Photographer

A "modern" photographer who has a photography work history of roughly two years and no longer takes photography clients, now doing nothing but selling to photographers - selling how to market, how to run a photography business, how to price, etc.

My Questions:

How can you be a "modern day" photographer when you absolutely do not work in the trenches with other photographers selling photography to the general public? You are selling "How to Do It" but you don't do "IT" yourself.

How can you give advice to current MODERN photographers who are experiencing the changes in the market that you are not experiencing yourself?

Rebutting the Rebuttal:

But you teach valid business information! I know. I get that and that may make you feel better about what you are doing... but that business information is nothing that can't be found for free online or in Business or Marketing for Dummies books, and you are selling it for 1,000 times the price it can be purchased for elsewhere.

You-Are-the-Blame Photographer

Many sellers-to-photographers seem to have a decorative marketing word. "Million-Dollar" "Inspire" "Success" "Thrive". Much of what they post is a passive aggressive attack on your lack of business. The fact is, the Seller knows it (Why? Because they have very little or no photography business themselves!). The Seller is preying on your insecurities about your business. They set you up for feeling like you have to purchase their product because it is that one magic button that is going to take your business "to the next level." It's your fault you are not at that level because you haven't purchased this item that will get you there. "Look inside yourself, I'm still making money as a photographer, look at me in my uber cool videos in my trendy outfit... I'm a SUCCESS... and you could be too if you try harder and buy this!"

Tactics. These are sales tactics.

My Questions:

Hey Seller, if you are so successful with your photography business, why are you selling to photographers?

Why aren't you spending 100% (or even 50%) of your time on actual real photography clients?

Rebutting the Rebuttal:

Don't tell me you are giving back (another buzz phrase), because frankly, that's bullshit. You are selling to photographers because you can't get enough clients to pay your bills. You don't leave a successful business to teach everyone how to take your clientele. And no, there are NOT enough clients to go around. When is the last time you studied economics and the elementary concept of "supply and demand"?

So because you can't get enough clients to pay your bills, you are now selling the idea to these photographers that they need to work harder to get more clients, clients that you can't get yourself. Say what? Pictures or it didn't happen!

Where's your proof of your success? Let's see it. Where are your clients (and no, I'm not talking about your styled shoots or workshop images)? Have you updated those blogs or anything in the past few years?

You can't show your clients because they are commercial or under contract? Then let's see other proof such as your tax returns (and your EIN number can be left on safely, just take your address off - that's no excuse). Let's see proof of your thriving business and we want to see what's actual clients vs. selling to photographers. Schedule C may suffice. But that's the Past!

I saw a photographer who was once huge in the money fairly locally post some of his old client orders. They were five-figure orders. I totally believe he had those orders. I would never dispute that because that was what it was like years ago - that used to be normal. The problem? It's not like that now. The five-figure orders are few and far in between. Showing your past success in order to sell to photographers? When did that become okay? Your past orders are no longer relevant. Regular five-figure sales in this CURRENT market would be impressive, but that's not happening. If it were happening, you wouldn't be selling to photographers, would you? No way, cause the money would be in the photography clients, not the photographers!

The Photographers' Gallery are delighted to announce that the recipient of the 2016 Photobook award is Erica. The award enables her to produce her first book to a value of £20,000, co-published by the Gallery and released at a special launch event in Autumn 2017.

The three runners up are Jenna, Lamie and Luka who each receive £1000 towards the realisation of their projects.

About The Award Now in its third year this significant annual award offers an emerging photographer the opportunity to work with The Gallery and independent UK based publisher to produce their first book.

The annual Award is open to all photographers and artists who have not yet published a book (self-published excepted) and are either studying or have graduated from a UK-based visual arts course within the last five years. Applicants are not required to be living in the UK.