The What/When/Why/How: Question 4

Osguthorpe Barn in Early Winter, Park City, UT

I recently answered several interview questions for a photography student and one of their projects. Thought it might interest some of you readers out there. I’ll post several of these questions/answers in coming weeks. See previous interview questions here and here.

How do you see the market changing, in the past 5 years, as well as the upcoming 10 years?

This is a tough question to answer. I began my career in the digital era. I learned how to shoot on film, but really, the entirety of my experience as a business person in the photo industry has been in this digital era. I wasn’t around for the “golden days” of the photography industry where $30K creative fees weren’t uncommon for deep pocketed commercial clients and five-star imagery wasn’t a green box auto-mode click away.

It’s tough to predict what will occur in the next 10 years, but as we’ve already seen, I think multi-media will continue to play a larger role in making a living as a professional photographer. Competition will likely continue to increase, but an understanding of how to consistently product exceptional, unique imagery and how to do this in a way that is both attractive and affordable to clients will remain key.

As much as things change (and they certainly will continue to evolve in this industry), many things do stay the same. The small things will continue to make a big difference. Things like timely email/phone/image request response, personal outreach to existing and potential clients, timely updates on one’s latest and greatest work and an upbeat and likeable disposition will still be the one last pebble that tips the scales in your direction when it comes down to you and the next guy with equally appealing imagery.

One thing is always for sure with this industry—if you’re not moving forward, you are moving backwards. There is no neutral. You must be aware of what’s going, and you must adapt. There are so many photographers that have said this industry is dead, and that it will become harder and harder to make a living as a photographer. I disagree with this entirely. It may or may not become more difficult, but more than anything else, it will become different. Like I said, adapt, or fail.

A Day in the Life…

I get lots of people asking me what the day to day routine is like for a full time freelance photographer. So, I thought I might share with you the less glamorous side of spending life behind the lens. Today, most of my time will be spent behind the desk. Booooooo!

A hiker watches sunset from the top of Alta Ski Area above Salt Lake City, UT

A hiker watches sunset from the top of Alta Ski Area above Salt Lake City, UT

As I’ve mentioned numerous times in past posts, shooting pictures is the easy part of making a living as a photographer. The hard part lies in promoting/marketing your work and getting all the other “little” things done on a daily/weekly basis that will ultimately put checks in your bank account. Here’s a look at my list of things to do today–and yes I might be a bit delusional thinking this will all be finished before an evening fly fishing shoot…

1. Book appointments for 2009 Fly Fishing Retailer Show

2. Finalize dates with resort partners for 2010 Ski Salt Lake Shootout

3. Create and send out AdamBarkerPhotography August E-letter

4. Burn CD of engagement images for my sister

5. Post this blog entry

6. Send proofs to printer for new fly fishing portfolio

7. Post online gallery/story ideas for Outdoor Photographer

8. Follow up with client “x” for fly fishing catalog shoot

9. Figure out travel logistics for Sept. ski trip to Chile

10. Write blog post for Singh Ray Filters

11. Re-organize web galleries on website

12. Upload new images to “latest images” gallery on website

13. Distribute Fall Foliage Workshop postcards around town

14. Invoice Utah Office of Tourism for 2010 Scenic Calendar image usage

15. Create outline of locations to shoot for instructional DVD shoot (October)

16. Create webinar outline for Gitzo webinar presentation (Sep. 18) on

17. Upload hi-res images for publication in Mountain Sports & Living magazine

And there you have it. The (much) less glamorous side of being a photographer. Still interested???