This is a post to all upcoming photographers, new photographers and people offering photography/videography services in Tasmania.
Firstly let me welcome those new to the industry. I hope everyone is getting the experience I did, that the majority of professionals are welcoming, supportive and passionate in supporting and encouraging you.
Who am I?
Not being someone that likes to talk about themselves i'll keep this short.
I am a 4th generation photographer, coming from a long line of photographers dating back over a century. My grandfather was one of those crazy people that took his camera to war and captured some of those moving images we see from the war times.
My interest really peaked back in the early 90's when the digital cameras first came out and really developed from there. So while i'm not from the classic film era, I did grow up around it and the fundamentals grew from there.
I volunteer with the Cancer Council and other organisations, I also run the Tasmanian Photography Group and participate in other related groups and events. My work has attracted the interest of some larger organisations such as Canon Australia and featured with them and others on a few occasions.
Leading back to the purpose of this post. I was lucky enough to entered the market with a background in business management and marketing, thankfully my mentors also helped me to understand how to appropriately enter the market without having a negative impact on the industry.
Having a positive impact.
As photographers, videographers and artists alike we all naturally want to display our work and get ourselves out there.
There are so many tools these days to allow us to do this, I won't go into details as this is not the purpose of this post. Some tools are Instagram, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter etc.
It's important in promoting ourselves to consider others and the industry. As a collective we are not an aggressively competitive group. Some keep to themselves, others make it known they would like to collaborate and work with others. It is certainly one of the best industries i've worked in.
In considering others, we need to consider your circumstances and goals. Is it to be famous? or perhaps through lots of hard work to just make lots of money. In doing so we need to consider the impact we will have on others to reach our goals in photography. We need to make sure we are having a positive overall impact on the industry too. The industry is what helps us manage our expectations and what we can do and achieve in Tasmania.
The industry standards, expectations and the economy
This is not in reference to quality or style of work at all, purely how we carry ourselves and the standards we show to our clients, friends and family.
No one really is out there to define or manage the industry so it is up to each of us to consider the effect we are having.
One big part of every industry is the economy itself. For example, if we offer our services for free, people will expect them for free and the economy and industry will slowly collapse as we have thousands of people that rely on their jobs to survive.
It is of course ok to circumstantially offer our services for free, we all need to to get started. It does need to be clear why we're doing so however. Why we're offering something of value for free otherwise everyone loses out.
Another example is offering our services for a minimal amount, for example $50 for a photoshoot, which maybe 1-4 hours work. this translates to a possible $10 or so per hour.
No industry has rates this low so in considering offering a service we need to factor in all the time and costs involved.
We also need to consider the impact our charging has on others. Some of us are just doing it for a hobby, others full time. When considering people working full time in the industry the impact our pricing and packages will have on them.
If new and hobbyist photographers come in and undercut the industry standards it actually lowers the economy of the industry itself. Before we know it everyone is charging $5 for a hours work.
It also has and effect that a professional image, created with years of experience is going to be worth a very minimal amount.
Where to from here?
Set forth, or continue on your journey and remember to consider the impact you're having on the industry. Help us grow and increase the standards and expectations so that, if you aren't already if you went full time we can all survive and make a living from photography in Tasmania.