This was a post I made on my FB page earlier this week. Admittedly it's a little salty of a post. And probably a tad bit woe is me, but honestly things need to change- my business, my focus... Something. And this is my first step in creating the change. This year, my portrait photography has been lacking. Not because of lack of trying but what seems like a mountain of complications, road bumps, and honestly a little BS thrown here and there.
As of November 1, 2023- I'm changing how I do things. For the better of myself, my art, my business. Photography is one of my creative outlets and I pour a piece of myself into every image I retouch and send back to models and clients. Covid and the pandemic changed the landscape for professional photographers- and gave life to “photographers” that took a couple side hustle Youtube tutorials. They bought themselves a fist full of Photoshop presets and a big fancy camera and charged mere fractions of what actual professionals charge- sucking all the business their way. As high and mighty as it sounds- I will not lessen the quality of my work to fit into the cheap budgets. You get what you pay for.. Add to that a generation of people reaching adulthood that prefer the instantaneous satisfaction of smartphones, filters, and not having to wait or pay for professional retouching of images.
I’ve watched over a dozen professionals like myself cave under the “Insta-photo” pressures and shut down their studios/ photography careers in the past year. Not being able or willing to compete with the new generational disrespect of the newer “models” looking for work, expecting way too much for absolutely no effort. And actually pay someone? Yeah, no, they have smart phones for that. And it's across the board- photographers that pay money for studio spaces and others, like myself, without studios just trying to cover the costs of my equipment and make a few bucks here and there.
The model community at current- expects too much for little and common sense with manners are severely lacking- no longer making it worth my time. I will no longer be tolerating people who prefer ghosting when details are discussed. I've been doing this long enough that I'm tired of the time wasted on people that were never going thru with it. I'm no longer going to actively search and pursue connections to be made with models. If I get contacted by someone based on a referral, great! Let’s chat and see what we can come up with- but new connections and actively looking for models outside of my collection of faithful few- is really not going to be a priority.
I will be stepping away from portrait photography until January. Exceptions being paid clients, or deposits made on booked sessions. Non refundable deposits will now be a requirement for 90% of my sessions. Deposits will show me you are serious about the session, and leaves less room for flaking, ghosting, and last minute cancellations. Paying clients will take priority in my bookings and trades will no longer be a staple, but a convenience according to my schedule. Trade sessions or TFP can be negotiated, but will be getting seriously limited. To be clear, by no means do I want to stop portrait photography- it's one my my genre staples, but hitting the pause button for a while is needed.
I'm going to reevaluate what it is that makes me happy when I hold my camera. Nature... architecture... whatever possible new genres that may be. Maybe the downtime will help me refresh the brain cells and get me motivated again. But the lack of respect lately and the stress brought on by that is making it harder and harder for me to want to pick up my camera. I’m going to a one strike policy for everything if I’ve spent time working on concepts, props, set up… I’m not going to be near as lenient as I have been years past.
Thanks for getting thru to the end of this! Changes have to happen sometimes and this is one of them that couldn't wait until January.