Yeah…in the beginning it’s all about taking pretty pictures, getting compliments, and maybe even the thrill of buying new equipment. But it quickly becomes being so critical of everything you take you don’t find near as many favorite images, you realize the compliments come from people that aren’t really looking at the images with the super critical eye you now have, and buying equipment is actually depressing…because it is so expensive! Add to that – everytime you buy something new you need a bigger bag…oh, and now you pay more property taxes and insurance because you own more equipment. Fun, right?
Then you learn about a cool new way to retouch a photo, or a new editing option. But that means you need more software. Oh, and now your computer is full so you need a newer, faster, bigger computer. And then you need a full back up system – that’s a fun expense.
Here’s a good one – Wow…wouldn’t it be pretty to have an area you could take photos in that was private – not in a public park with 100 other photographers? Yeah…sounds great! But wait…I have to cut the grass in time for the session? I have to weed the beds? I have to create landscaping? Buy plants? Water them? Trim them? Keep them alive???? Hmmm…
Wow…my own studio would be great, right? Yup. Until you then have to buy samples for your walls- and add cleaning your studio on a regular basis to you to do list each week. Set up a reception area – and now you need lights, backdrops, props…a place for people to change clothes – a bathroom for clients to use. Oh, and taxes again…
Hmm…when I started out it was great to JUST take pretty pictures. It’s a good thing the rest of this came along slowly…but please don’t tell me how “easy” it is do what I love for a job. I love taking pictures…the rest of this is WORK. And hard work. And I do it all to make pretty pictures – but also to make my client’s experience great. That’s the supporting business endeavor…making clients feel great, and comfortable. Giving them more than they can get from the competition. Or at least something different than they get from the competition.
Because there is a LOT of competition. At all different levels – and the public doesn’t know how to compare the “apples to apples” when it comes to photographers anymore. How can they? All it takes is a name and website, and a camera…and someone is “in business”. How does a customer know what else is behind the business.
I don’t have the answers…I just wanted to write it out today.