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01/17/2007 04:27:59 AM · #26
For Shiz Leroy....
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01/17/2007 06:25:10 AM · #27
I am about to make a big change to my life. I have two job offers - one to more than double my salary doing what I do now, another to do something that is a long-held ambition for a 25% salary cut. The difference between salaries is a truly life changing amount (the difference alone is several times the average UK salary), but I am going to go for the lower paid, but hopefully more satisfying job.

I am not complaining - it is not a bad place to be ( ;-) ) - but the point I am making is that drastic action is sometimes required. In order to have that choice, I had to make it happen. You do have to take control of your options and ensure that the crossroads appear (I had sat back for some 5 years before finally taking some positive steps to make something happen). When making the choice, you really have to know what you want out of the options.

Good luck in figuring out what you want and what you could do to get there!

Message edited by author 2007-01-17 06:34:08.
01/17/2007 07:10:45 AM · #28
Originally posted by fotomann_forever:

That's where I am now. And not where I want to be. I don't want to be a shoot ten-20-40 clients a week photographer.I want to create... just don't feel I've come near my potential...


why don't you just create? and what do you mean by "creating"?

you are where you are now because you've been walking this way and chose it (yourself?) some time ago. why do you think it's bad? you can never get "too much" experience, everything you learn makes you stronger.
I'd love to answer one day to "what are you doing for living?": I create!
but is it possible?
well, they were extremely poor but proud artists during the Renaissance.
but the world is a bit too complex now to remain the same.
if I understand it right you have to shoot 20-30 clients a day + make some ads + whatever they want you to make + "create"

you can do both.
AND you have that "commercial" part already!

believe me your situation is not that bad:) I'd love to know what you know about lighting and all the technical things and to shoot 10 people a day to be able to buy at least one flash or umbrella or backdrop or whatever - I don't have anything.
************************************************************************
would you like to take part in a 10 days creative challenge?:)

Message edited by author 2007-01-17 07:16:32.
01/17/2007 07:12:40 AM · #29
Originally posted by fotomann_forever:

... I do need to finish my site... that's been two months just sitting there.

That sounds like step one. Have to have a presence before you can make it known. While your online presence is probably not all encompassing, it is a place to start. Once the first step is taken, the next step becomes much more obvious. Just keep taking each step as they come, while keeping an eye on your destination and before long the entire route to take will come into view. But even then, you can not jump straight to the destination. It still must be reached one step at a time.

Don't worry about not being able to do some part of it. That feeling is nearly always the result of trying to skip a few steps. There is always something, no matter how small it may seem, that you can do to take the next step.

Good luck
David
01/17/2007 07:14:18 AM · #30
I agree with what foxy said. I'm still just hoping to get where you are now. I have a lot of hard work ahead of me this year to get close to where you are now.
01/17/2007 07:48:16 AM · #31
Tiny steps make all the difference, truly.

I am a Dental Nurse, I have been a Dental Nurse since I was 17 (I am 35 now). When I was at school I wanted to be an Anthropologist. Problem was that I moved a lot and ended up going to 7 different highschools so my education was mixed and I didn't do very well with the constant change.

I having being saying for the past 10 years that I would like to do this or I would like to do that,but never done anything about it (should have taken a photo of myself for the Procrastination challenge.....doh!!!). Added to that I am bi-polar so half the time I am manically happy about where I am or I am in a blackpit of despair at where I am.

Anyway recently I have taken a couple of little steps to change my situation. The first one was to start taking omega 3 oils which seem to stabilize my mood, the next was to put a stamp on an application form that I had filled out every six months for the past three years and finally post it.

These two tiny little things have massive implications on my life, and things are finally looking up for me (well they might be but then again I might just be in a manic phase just now!!!!..............only joking).

You just may be amazed on what tiny little changes can achieve. The big changes then don't seem so daunting.

Message edited by author 2007-01-17 07:52:16.
01/17/2007 01:00:17 PM · #32
Little steps, yeah... I like that.

What do I mean by create? That's a hard question. I don't care to do the whole journalism bit again, but I want to do work that has more depth than just a someone's photo album.

I can see myself working in fashion. I really think I would enjoy that world.

As far as wedding photography goes. I've found myself in the niche of "Oh my God I need a photographer." Where I want to be is high-end "we are willing to pay for good work".

I guess, I'm starting to fall into the small-town boy with big time dreams category. I feel I've outgrown my settings and my position as a nobody with a camera and crayon hit the nail on the head - the grass looks greener.

The major problem with my web site is that I really don't know HOW I want to represent myself. Do I cater it to get more gigs locally? Or do I tailor it to try to promote myself to something higher? If I choose the latter, what exactly do I say?
01/17/2007 01:24:51 PM · #33
OH MY GOODNESS! You are that close to that big a city and you don't market there? *passed out*

Okay, I have revived.

To answer you:

Creating for you, I gather from looking at your pf, is shooting something YOU want to shoot the WAY you want to shoot it. Am I close here? You are a very creative person and you do well with your God given talent. Fashion would be a great world for you!

Wedding Photography is fickle. *I am a certified bridal consultant* I can tell you that brides don't typically care what you charge as long as you can guarantee EXCELLENT results. Now, there are brides who are working on a budget that would pass you by BUT, if you are looking for high end, you can't just take every Tom, Dick, and Harry that walks in the door. Sometimes, as buyers, we guage *subconciously* the quality of what we are about to purchase by price. See if changing your prices to meet the high-end factor doesn't change your clients. I have a feeling you might be surprised.

Sign up with a bridal consultant in your EXTENDED area and bring her a book of your work to show to her brides along with a price list. Let her know up front you are good and you expect to be paid well.

As far as fashion goes, you are probably going to have to change your location if you want to shoot images like that. Sorry, but that is the way it is. Small towns don't cater to BIG magazines. If you want to get into fashion, DO IT DO IT DO IT. Be like Nike. Nothing is going to happen for you if you don't MAKE it.

I will take a look at your website and PM you with some ideas.

Once again, if you change your prices, people will start looking at you with new eyes. You may not have to "say" anything ;)

I hope this was somewhat helpful!

Jojo

Message edited by author 2007-01-17 13:26:09.
01/17/2007 01:38:04 PM · #34
small steps never work for me. if there might be a change it will be something dramatic:)

anyway, they have just sent me a mail saying my photos are not suitable for superstock. shutterstock is not interested either and I am still waiting for istock. I will try alamy but I don't really think now it is going to be something fine out of it. they really gave me a feelling I produce just some ... well, maybe they are right.

:)cheer up Leroy, at least they BUY your photos. mine are just stuck in my computer. but well, I am not pretending I am an artist, I am not. so what was I expecting?

people will see and understand maximum 10% of how you present yourself.
if your wish is to be a high end photographer why don't you start presenting yourself this way, for example via your website? and why can't you do both: get more local customers and go high end?
you probably should know better what exactly to say to your customers.

if marketing is such a big challenge I would recommend getting and studying hard "the marketing Bible": Kotler and Keller "Marketing Management". it could help you setting your goals, defining target groups, creating marketing plans and promoting. "Advertising management"
(I study at the norwegian school of management:)

ps. 2nd what jojo said:)

Message edited by author 2007-01-17 13:39:58.
01/17/2007 01:38:41 PM · #35
So, you are telling me, I can just simply set my prices to the high-end and the high end jobs will come to me? That is, if I can show Excellent results.
01/17/2007 01:42:30 PM · #36
Dude... we gotta update that website!!! It's nice and all, but if you want to go high end, you need a site that looks high end. If I can help, let me know!!!

ETA: Take a look at my recently updated site to see if you like it.

DowseDesigns

Message edited by author 2007-01-17 13:43:38.
01/17/2007 01:44:59 PM · #37
I'm blessed for having read this discussion. I've been feeling so "blah" lately... tired of making decisions, tired of the day-to-day, tired of so many things. My mind is overflowing with ideas... but I hold myself back. I wish I could just pack up my camera, pick my sweetheart up from work and take off across the country. Fotomann... My prayers are with you! I KNOW that you will succeed in any path you choose! Go after "it"!!!
01/17/2007 01:47:11 PM · #38
Leroy,

I know exactly what you are going through.

8 years ago I left college with a degree in Molecular Biology and thought I was set. Quickly ran into a world that didn't want to hire me with a Bachelors degree because they could hire an 18 year old kid and train them to do the job at 1/2 the pay. I set my sights on grad school. Ran into the end of the Genome project and the near shut down of Stem Cell research. I was told by 14 different grad schools that my education, my grades and my GRE scores were all fabulous- but they could get people with "real" experience that had just as good of an education, grades and GRE scores.

Since then I have kind of floated with jobs that I really didn't enjoy, didn't spark my creativity, didn't challenge me. With my current job I do the same thing every month. I've gotten to the point that I dread the 1st, because it just means starting over.

Like you I don't like selling myself. I am really lucky in that my Wife should be saleswoman of the year. I am being utterly honest when I say she can sell anything. A few years ago she took a job at a carpet store, didn't know anything about carpet, nothing about construction. By her 3rd week she was the top sales person and stayed that way until she quit 6 months later. She had a falling out with her boss that was upset that he had been selling carpet for 22 years and she was outselling him 3-1. When she left sales dropped back to the level before she worked there. The store that she currently manages has seen a 60% increase since she started- the woman sells is what I am saying.

In November I told her "I want to quit my job and be happy." She said "Okay, how do we eat?" Over the next two months we developed our own buisness plan. We decided that in the short term we would need to do a couple of different things in order to replace my salary. We're currently building an on-line storefront, which we'll launch in the next few days (note to self: shamelessly plug website on DPC) And I am getting back into digital photo restoring and touch-ups to help pay the bills.

We're building the restoration buisness through contacts that I made while selling cameras. I've already signed on 5 people. The people that I've signed on love the idea that they know me and that I have no problems with them sitting down while I edit. One of the pros told me that he'll be bringing me 500-600 images per week. My PS skills are actually better than what I seem to be showcasing lately- I think I am just rusty.

Let me try to sum this up....
I agree with the people that say find someone to market you for you. I am going to let my wife do that for me. Also, look outside the box a little. What services can you offer to people to make ends meet- you have PS skills that not everyone has? Set a long term goal. Set a short term goal (mine is quiting my job in May). My long term goal is to be happy with what I do. Things take time, but you have to work towards them.
01/17/2007 01:59:33 PM · #39
Originally posted by fotomann_forever:

So, you are telling me, I can just simply set my prices to the high-end and the high end jobs will come to me? That is, if I can show Excellent results.


Yes, it is marketing 101. Prices=Quality in most buyers minds.
01/17/2007 02:07:58 PM · #40
Leroy - I'm in exactly the same place but in an opposite way. I always know what I need to do, where I need to go, etc. to push myself professionally and in my hobbies and school and whatever, but my social life is the pits. I'm hoping I meet some new people in grad school, especially in the dating realm since I haven't had a date in over a year and the former love of my life just announced his engagement to someone else, but I'm generally so quiet and shy in groups like that that I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much. Maybe I'll surprise myself.
01/17/2007 02:11:26 PM · #41
Originally posted by karmabreeze:

Leroy - I'm in exactly the same place but in an opposite way. I always know what I need to do, where I need to go, etc. to push myself professionally and in my hobbies and school and whatever, but my social life is the pits. I'm hoping I meet some new people in grad school, especially in the dating realm since I haven't had a date in over a year and the former love of my life just announced his engagement to someone else, but I'm generally so quiet and shy in groups like that that I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much. Maybe I'll surprise myself.


YOU haven't had a date in a year?? **yells over shoulder** "Pack it up girls, we ain't got a chance!"

How is that possible? You are so beautiful! Sorry about the ex, I know how that can suck. It can only go up from here tho right?

;)
Jojo
01/17/2007 02:25:04 PM · #42
Originally posted by fotomann_forever:

Little steps, yeah... I like that.

What do I mean by create? That's a hard question. I don't care to do the whole journalism bit again, but I want to do work that has more depth than just a someone's photo album.

I can see myself working in fashion. I really think I would enjoy that world.

As far as wedding photography goes. I've found myself in the niche of "Oh my God I need a photographer." Where I want to be is high-end "we are willing to pay for good work".

I guess, I'm starting to fall into the small-town boy with big time dreams category. I feel I've outgrown my settings and my position as a nobody with a camera and crayon hit the nail on the head - the grass looks greener.

The major problem with my web site is that I really don't know HOW I want to represent myself. Do I cater it to get more gigs locally? Or do I tailor it to try to promote myself to something higher? If I choose the latter, what exactly do I say?


Then move where you want to be. Seriously, pack your stuff and go. Figure out the details on the way.

If you really want to shoot fashion, go to NYC or LA, that's where fashion happens. Assist freelance for some different photographers. If you're good, you'll probably get a regular gig. Shoot when you're not working. Work when you're not shooting. Eat in between. Sleep later.


01/17/2007 02:26:18 PM · #43
Hey Leroy, it's Winter. We all get the blues this time of the year.

I have always been full of big ideas and daydreams, I was going to become a writer...I did, I wrote a column for a newspaper for 3 years. I was gonna be a cop, I did for 3 years. I was going to be a draughtsman, I did for 2 years. Then, it hit me that I was going to drift through life doing work I didn't enjoy or got bored with pretty soon. Then the doubts set in, was I any good at anything at all?

One day it struck me, there is nothing I can't do if I want to. The big problem is getting your butt out of the chair and moving out of that comfort zone.

Go for it! You only pass this way once, do what YOU want, not what is expected from you.

Good Luck!
01/17/2007 02:43:20 PM · #44
A tale from myself,
10 years ago i was in a crap job, crap relationship, very poor health (collapsed lung, heart attack at 21years old!) and just in a mess mentaly, i had no idea what i was was going to do and felt trapped that i had to stay in my job, had to stay in the relationship etc...

Then i made a massive choice to change everything, i gave the job the old heave ho, the Mrs at the time was also dismissed i then moved to Ireland.

10 years later my health is spot on, I have just got married, i have a great boy of 4 years old & the full time job is the most enjoyable i have had in a long long time.

The lesson i learned was to take the bull by the horns and make the choices you need to in order to be happy or focused in what ever area you want improvements in.

The best way to start to to make realistic goals that can be sort after. when you hit these targets you get a boost and feel ready to tackle the bigger steps

hope it helps a little.

Message edited by author 2007-01-17 14:45:50.
01/17/2007 02:50:02 PM · #45
Blah, stuck in a rut, no visible path to follow (although many are right in front of you), indecisive leading to procrastination.
Been there, done that, doing that.
After my sister got sick last yr, I started following a long held dream, but now it's floundering & I'm in search of new ways to go about it. I'm discusted with how the biz has gone lately. Having to put it on hold for over 3 months because of my sister's illness really dampened progress & left me sitting here looking for a direction to start in. I'm not organized, I'm not good at the biz end (book keeping, marketing)....I'm just good at "creating" the items. I have a TON of new item ideas that I just can't impliment cuz I suck at the rest of it.

Unfortunately, I think many of us creative types suffer the same problems. I was hoping the new year would bring a renewed outlook.

A DPC support group might be in order to get us all off our respective butts & back to making some real progress. The exchange of ideas & support could do wonders for all of us stuck in Blah Blah Land


01/17/2007 02:50:14 PM · #46
Originally posted by karmabreeze:

Leroy - I'm in exactly the same place but in an opposite way. I always know what I need to do, where I need to go, etc. to push myself professionally and in my hobbies and school and whatever, but my social life is the pits. I'm hoping I meet some new people in grad school, especially in the dating realm since I haven't had a date in over a year and the former love of my life just announced his engagement to someone else, but I'm generally so quiet and shy in groups like that that I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much. Maybe I'll surprise myself.


I'll date/marry you, if you will manage my career :-)
01/17/2007 03:10:02 PM · #47
Originally posted by fotomann_forever:

Originally posted by karmabreeze:

Leroy - I'm in exactly the same place but in an opposite way. I always know what I need to do, where I need to go, etc. to push myself professionally and in my hobbies and school and whatever, but my social life is the pits. I'm hoping I meet some new people in grad school, especially in the dating realm since I haven't had a date in over a year and the former love of my life just announced his engagement to someone else, but I'm generally so quiet and shy in groups like that that I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much. Maybe I'll surprise myself.


I'll date/marry you, if you will manage my career :-)


Three or four years from now, when I have my MBA, I may be able to manage that! ;-)
01/17/2007 03:12:53 PM · #48
Originally posted by LtHousLady:

I'm not organized, I'm not good at the biz end (book keeping, marketing)....I'm just good at "creating" the items. I have a TON of new item ideas that I just can't impliment cuz I suck at the rest of it.

Unfortunately, I think many of us creative types suffer the same problems. I was hoping the new year would bring a renewed outlook.

A DPC support group might be in order to get us all off our respective butts & back to making some real progress. The exchange of ideas & support could do wonders for all of us stuck in Blah Blah Land


You sound like you suffer from the same pains I do. Perhaps we do need a support group of some type.

Hey there's an idea for a web site. ArtistSupport.com :-)
01/17/2007 03:13:38 PM · #49
Originally posted by karmabreeze:

Originally posted by fotomann_forever:

Originally posted by karmabreeze:

Leroy - I'm in exactly the same place but in an opposite way. I always know what I need to do, where I need to go, etc. to push myself professionally and in my hobbies and school and whatever, but my social life is the pits. I'm hoping I meet some new people in grad school, especially in the dating realm since I haven't had a date in over a year and the former love of my life just announced his engagement to someone else, but I'm generally so quiet and shy in groups like that that I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much. Maybe I'll surprise myself.


I'll date/marry you, if you will manage my career :-)


Three or four years from now, when I have my MBA, I may be able to manage that! ;-)


Did I mention I cook AND put the toilet seat down?
01/17/2007 03:22:03 PM · #50
Yup, I'm trapped too. I've been at my job for 12 years in a big motion picture studio here in LA. Not the greatest job, but the pay gets me by and I get excellent health benefits for my family. I do enough side jobs with my camera to keep me pretty busy when I'm not at my day job and being "dad." All word of mouth and referals, no marketing whatsoever. Many people here ask what I'm still doing here in this "dipsh*t job" after seeing some of my work. I'm just waiting for retirement from this place in 3 years, not too bad at 38 years old. Although I won't be able to collect my pension until I'm older so I won't really be retired, I'll have full health bene's for my family for life. So I've been sticking around just for that. Then after "retirement" I can focus on what I really want to do in life.

Why am I saying all this? Some people are trapped because of current jobs, family obligations, etc. You are already doing what you love to do and the only thing holding you back from taking it to the next level is yourself. Set out a realistic plan of where you want to be next year (or 6 months, whatever), and make a timeline of what you need to do to make that happen. I've seen your confidence displayed here in the "virtual" world so I know you can do it, take it to the other side in the "real" world and let it work for you. Best of luck to you bro.

Message edited by author 2007-01-17 15:36:20.
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