Getting Real With Photography and Business

Ghost Horse I decided to start writing about chasing the dream. That dream of making a decent living with the craft of photography. Did I just get your attention? Probably because most of us who are not doing this just as a hobby are trying to make a living in a very saturated industry.

I heard this quote the other day." If your business is costing you money it is a hobby not a business, is this true? What about the cost of a start-up? What about the cost of education, equipment, marketing, etc for any new business? I think that you should expect it is going to cost you a lot of money to get to the point of making photography a business. It is also going to cost you a tremendous amount of time in practice and education.  Photography is not like a franchise, this is a craft that will  most likely  take years to perfect. I am going on my 6th year of full-time education and daily practice trying to master  my vision. I will not even say what this all has cost me, just incase my husband reads this someday.

Another suggestion I hear is that if there is no competition there is no market.  Really? So we need to do what everyone else is doing  if we want to make a living?  I had to sit with that for a bit. I suppose that is true if you want to be a commodity but if you're an artist, you want to run and run fast from becoming a commodity.

I feel fear when I think about  my vision for my business because I want to focus my photography on draft horses. Which for a business plan in the so-called "real world" would falter due to it is such a small niche part of the market. Then I watched a podcast  on TWIP about this guy  Don Kamarechka who has poured himself into snowflake photography and is now attempting to publish a fabulous book. This got me thinking.  How big could the snow flake market be? But he is now known as the expert in snowflakes. Who could imagine that for a market?

The world does not need more of what we have already have. We need new stories, visions, art, products, and perspectives.

It is so easy to walk down the path that is well-worn and mapped out. But to follow the path your heart is calling you to follow takes courage, dedication and the wiliness to not listen to the masses. I believe you are experiencing such a calling when you feel fear at the very thought of doing what you have been called to do. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of status and reputation. When you feel these fears it is a good sign that you are on to something and you need to take serious look at this because there is something here  that is designed with you in mind.  It is also a path that you can choose to follow or pass up it is completely up to you but if you pass up the inspiration it will move on to someone else and you will have missed the opportunity. I am sure you can recall such a situation.

Will I be able to pay my bills and live a comfortable life by following my heart? I have no idea, but you can follow along with me as I share with you this dream and vision and the challenges I am sure to face.

Let the journey begin. I will post something about my journey each Tuesday, even if it is just to say I can not post today because of  ???

Hiring A Pro Photographer Is A Great Deal

I was thinking about my profession of being a photographer the other day after reading through some of the photography forums I visit often. The same comments keep reappearing like "people do not value photographers anymore" "no one wants to pay me for my time, education and equipment"  "I can not make a living anymore doing photography". I understand that the new digital world has change this profession but I still thing there is a lot of value in a great photograph. I then began thinking about all the other items that cost much more than a fine art print or great photograph of your family. We do not seem to question giving up a large portion of our salaries to items that barely last ten years. How many times have you broke your budget to by the latest style of clothing only to have them end up here?

Also have you checked out the prices of cars these days? I paid more for a car this last decade then I did for my first house. I am sure that the car will end up something like this one:

I have had appliances that cost a fortune only to end up on the back of a dolly headed to the dump like this:

ready for the dumpAnd remember the thrill of getting that new, and very expensive leather couch? After just a few months it ends up being used for a different reason.

But through out my life the photographs I have taken and framed of not only my family but ones that I have framed to decorate my house still live on and look just as good as the day I put them on display.  I have moved them and rearranged them but they always look great and bring me back to very cherished times and memories.

So the next time you are shocked at the price of a fabulous  fine art print that would look great on your wall, or the money you spend to have a professional photographer take photographs of your family or pets, think back to  all the money you spent on just a few of the things I mentioned here and I think you will agree photography and art are a great investment.

Go hug your photographer today, or better yet purchase a fine art print or book photo  session. It will be one of the best investments of your life. So the money you spend does not just end up here.