Having been laid off five times in the last seven years has left me a little jaded about working for someone else. Photography has always been a hobby of mine, and I keep seeing friends who have turned their passion into a profession.
Entering into the photography business at this time is probably suicide, but I’m gonna give it a shot anyway. There have never been more “photographers” in the world as there are right now. Everyone has a decent camera built in to their phones and loves sharing them immediately to their friends and family. At the same time, there are probably fewer professional photographers actually making a living at photography.
It’s a tough business. People have gotten so used to amateurs taking poor quality photos that “good enough” has become common. While my clients see the advantage in hiring a professional to shoot photos, I come across a lot of should-be clients who are satisfied with iPhone photos. It’s hard to compete with free.
When I’m shooting events or weddings, I see guests carrying their SLRs with expensive glass. These are people with professional equipment who are just shooting for fun. Occasionally, those people might get the idea to shoot weddings on the weekend to make a few extra bucks. They might charge a couple hundred dollars then give their clients a DVD full of images. They’re happy because they got some money, and the client is happy because they got some photos. People like me who depend on money earned from these events to feed our kids and pay the mortgage can’t compete on price.
We have to be that much better than everyone else.