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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 08 Jul 2012 (Sunday) 06:07
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Not busy....anyone else in the same boat?

 
lensfreak
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Jul 08, 2012 06:07 |  #1

Hi, Its been about 5 months now.....not one job. Is anyone else having a hard time getting jobs?




  
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GergReltub
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Jul 08, 2012 07:19 |  #2

two weeks, but yes, it is slow.


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Christopher ­ Steven ­ b
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Jul 08, 2012 12:05 |  #3

Hm-I'm finding it busier than normal, with more clients asking about dates ( mostly 2013 dates ); and I'm shooting weddings every couple of weeks.

There is plenty of work to be had. It's possible you have a marketing problem or quality of product problem.

Where are you located ? Do you have a site ? What is your marketing strategy ?



christopher steven b. - Ottawa Wedding Photographer

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MJPhotos24
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Jul 08, 2012 15:42 |  #4

...and you're shooting what? I'm booked solid year in and out mid-Feb through November, December & January each have a week or so of shooting but try not to do much during that time...but that all depends on what you're shooting.


Freelance Photographer & Co-founder of Four Seam Images
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lensfreak
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Jul 08, 2012 18:37 |  #5

Good point MJPhotos24,


I should have mentioned what I shoot. I don't cover weddings or portraits or family photos. I work on product and event photography on a corporate level.

I keep getting told that I should move on the above mentioned as there is a demand. I would consider portraits and familiy photos but weddings doesnt interest me.


Den




  
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charro ­ callado
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Jul 08, 2012 18:51 |  #6

lensfreak wrote in post #14689006 (external link)
I work on product and event photography on a corporate level.

Whatever you do, if you've gone 5 months without a single gig I would strongly consider giving it up. That is, if you can even technically "give up" something you're not doing at all.




  
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markd61
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Jul 08, 2012 20:19 |  #7

lensfreak wrote in post #14686607 (external link)
Hi, Its been about 5 months now.....not one job. Is anyone else having a hard time getting jobs?

We all have seasonal variance but yours is not a variance but collapse. As you are in the event business my hunch is that two things are at work.
1. Too few clients. Many event shooters get complacent when they latch on to a couple of clients that feed them a lot of work.
2. Business is soft all over for event work and summer is often the slowest as many people are on real vacations and not the corporate junkets that infest the cold winter months.

My suggestions:

Call on as many event planners as you can, network with local businesses to get seen around town. Tell everybody that is breathing that you are a professional photographer. Look in other towns. Diversify the kind of work you will do.
I do mostly architecture but I get busy with portraiture, product and editorial work also.

When I was starting out, I shot everything that would pay money. Over time I was fortunate enough to be able to say no to weddings. My success was overnight. It's just that the night was about ten years long.;)




  
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NorseHorse
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Jul 08, 2012 22:43 as a reply to  @ markd61's post |  #8

I'm curious. What have you been doing over the last few months?


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lensfreak
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Jul 09, 2012 01:04 |  #9

trying to get work. i have a normal 9-5 job and have been catching up with people and handing out business cards.

The funny thing is today I spoke to a prospective client and they laughed at me when I told them the model of camera I use. Yes they asked about what gear I use. Yes they snickered and laughed and said I would never get a job with that camera!!!!! They commented that it was an amateur home model camera and it was rubbish.


My camera is a 5Dmk2......looks like Joel Grimes uses a s**t camera too, along with the many other talented and well respected pros who use the same model. Have we all purchased the wrong camera?




  
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Mike ­ Hoyer
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Jul 09, 2012 01:20 |  #10

lensfreak wrote in post #14690352 (external link)
i have a normal 9-5 job

This could have something to do with it!


Motorsport Photographer

  
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lensfreak
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Jul 09, 2012 01:25 |  #11

Please elaborate Mike.


Den




  
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Mike ­ Hoyer
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Jul 09, 2012 01:46 |  #12

Well, making assumptions, but I am guessing that between 9 and 5 you don't have to time to shoot, market, edit, or do anything else photography related? Also, if you are shooting products and events, a lot of that sort of thing takes place within normal working hours.


Motorsport Photographer

  
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JacobPhoto
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Jul 09, 2012 03:29 |  #13

I'm busier than ever, and turning down some gigs. April to August is my busy season (motorsports), and I've had more new clients this year than in the past 3 years.

oh, and I have a 9-to-5. And I shoot with a 7D and a 5D classic, far from 'modern equipment'.

Some of my photography may even be referenced by a major political candidate later this year.


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~ Some L glass, some flashes, the usual

  
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banquetbear
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Jul 09, 2012 04:56 |  #14

lensfreak wrote in post #14690352 (external link)
trying to get work. i have a normal 9-5 job and have been catching up with people and handing out business cards.

The funny thing is today I spoke to a prospective client and they laughed at me when I told them the model of camera I use. Yes they asked about what gear I use. Yes they snickered and laughed and said I would never get a job with that camera!!!!! They commented that it was an amateur home model camera and it was rubbish.


My camera is a 5Dmk2......looks like Joel Grimes uses a s**t camera too, along with the many other talented and well respected pros who use the same model. Have we all purchased the wrong camera?

...maybe the guy you were talking to was picking up some of the attitude you displayed here, or here, or here, or here, or here. You yourself made assumptions that people who shoot with a 600D don't shoot professionally. I suspect you are giving off a vibe that is putting people off working with you. The guy you met today was simply playing games with you.

As I said to you in another thread you need to put your big boy pants on and suck it up. Being in business is hard and you actually have to work hard at it and work to a plan in order to make things work. A lot of people have given you some very good advice in the other threads, but I'm not sure that you are actually listening to them.

The rule of thumb is that if you haven't booked any work in a month, you need to revisit your business plan and change things up. After two months if you haven't booked any work you need to go out and get some part time work (not applicable to you) and after three months you should be shelving your business until either business conditions pick up or you can bring on board an advisor to help you change up your business plan. You are now at five months with no bookings. What do you think you should be doing?

Have you actually got a business plan? Have you done any financial forecasts? Have you committed any funds to marketing? Have you got back up gear? Have you figured out a "consultation to image delivery" work flow?

My advice to you would be as follows:

1) Loose the attitude
2) Forget about yourself for a bit, and figure out what your customers actually want from a photographer. Do some market research. Network. Things like "events organiser have the job of hiring staff, food and contractors" should not be a surprise to you.
3) Create a range of services and product that you know from your research that your potential customers are looking for. Use tools like theAIPA Base Fee Calculator (external link) to help you figure out your selling prices.
5) Figure out a way to get the attention of the people you want to book you. Once you have figured out how to do this, write it down. Call it a "marketing plan."
6) Take all the information that you have collected and put it together in one document. Call this document a Business Plan.
7) Make some educated, calculated guesses on how much money you are expecting to make and how much you are wanting to make each month and do this for a whole year. Call this your financial forecast. Add it to your business plan.
8) Give your plan to some people who are experienced in business. Let them critique it. Listen to what they say and if need be rewrite what needs to be rewritten.
9) Read your business plan and put it into action.
10) if after a month things are not looking good, figure out what isn't working and change it, or if you think it actually will work, keep at it.
11) Repeat until you are either making money or you think its time to call it quits.

Or you can ignore this and the rest of the advice that I'm sure the other members here will offer you and you can spend another five months waiting for that "next cold call" to bring in the business. Cold calling can be an effective way of bringing in business in certain circumstances, however it has a very low success rate and you should be looking at other ways of getting your name out there.

Finally: in answer to your question, yes, I am booking jobs, and I am booking them in a frequency greater than what I had forecast. And I am going after the same market that you are, in fact I took a booking from an Australian company a couple of weeks ago. If you do your homework, loose the attitude and work smart and hard and listen to the advice offered to you you improve your chances to succeed significantly. All the best.


www.bigmark.co.nzexternal link

  
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gravy ­ graffix
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Jul 09, 2012 19:49 |  #15

I usually get one email every 6 months... and that one dont book...
3 weddings last year, and threes this year. Had a few family shoots in there last year, but had to practically give them away.

Last wedding im doing is this Saturday... and I cant wait not be done with them. If I had a ton lined up I would feel different about it, but 3 a year is NOT worth having the commitment.


Peoria IL Wedding Photographer (external link) Chicago Wedding Photographers (external link)

  
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Not busy....anyone else in the same boat?
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