I must suck as a Photographer
If thats not the case, then I'm just universally not liked I guess. Some might just read that and say woe is me, quit whining. But then they don't live through listening to other photographers talk about their customers, and how their friends and family referred people to them. They don't spend countless hours working on search engine optimization techniques or doing direct mail marketing research, or attend all the networking events you can for business or the ones for creative professionals. Mostly for naught. These aren't fun things either people.
Or maybe its just Monday, a Blue Monday at that, making me depressed. Or also the day I review my financials and business performance over last month. Or all these things...but one thought keeps ping ponging around my brain...
Truly, in over one and a half years of being in business, only one friend has actually hired me to work for them, and coincidentally that same friend helped me start by providing a foundation of sorts or a springboard to get me exposure. One other friend recently referred me to someone. Thats it. I'm not expecting my friends to go door to door for me but at some point, they must have heard of someone looking for a photographer, no? I've done a lot to support my friends businesses in the past. I've always done anything I could. I just don't see me getting any help on the flip side. Times are tough I know, but my other photographer peers are booking like mad. They are 100% busy, conversely I'm lucky to book 1-2 things a week. Sometimes zero a week. Unless they are lying or working for free or near to it, I can't figure out whats different. I can't afford to work for free, I have bills, equipment and property costs. I work for close to free though, dangerously close. I've tried promotions, discounts, specials, and all sorts of things. Nothing works for me. So, all I can figure is I totally suck as a photographer. I mean, I do get calls not related to referrals. When I do get inquires, I'm at about the 90% booking rate and 100% never happen rate. People book, then text, call or email that they have to reschedule. The reschedule never happens.
Sure, since I do have to charge something for the hours of scouting outdoor locations, or studio set up, not to mention the hours of the shoot, then the hours of post processing after to clean the pics up and make them look good, since I of have to charge for all that and its more than $25 maybe thats why they never reschedule. Maybe people that know me think my prices are too high so they don't refer me either. I really have no clue. I don't divulge my pricing until I talk to a customer so maybe people just think I'm pricey? What the hell ever gave them that idea? Maybe its not price and I just suck at photography.
I've probably been more successful so far, selling prints of photos I've taken at events. Maybe I just need to close up the studio, sell 3/4 of the stuff I have and load the rest in a van. Then tour the states shooting what I can and selling it via a virtual online studio. Find a corner and wear a cardboard sign, "Will photograph for food" when things don't sell. Heh, heh I'd starve given the way bookings go for me.
So far writing this is making me more depressed and the sucky music at the Starbucks I'm typing this at isn't helping. This blog is not read by many so venting here is pretty meaningless. I wonder why I write it even. Again, none of my friends save for maybe three read it. See? My friends or family aren't all that supportive. So maybe its just not photography. Maybe it is me, and I'm just not well liked but people are being PC and not telling me. Whatever, but I do need to get moving onto other tasks. Whining is over. I'm okay with sucking. I have a big event looming for this Friday. I have some photos to deliver to my printer who is working with me to make these cool clingy wall prints. You can just press these things to walls or glass over and over. Kind of cool for certain applications. Maybe getting back to work will help alleviate the depression. That seems to be a popular thought, that hard work will clear the mind and make you feel a part of society again. Maybe. But in my experience, a cheap cigar and glass of whiskey works too. I think getting out and shooting pictures will help. Who knows, if I practice real hard and shoot more, maybe I will, some day, get good at photography.