Recently my print sales via the internet slowed to a crawl. Had I priced my work to high? Was the work I offered poor in quality? Was it the economy? Am I not shooing enough for self-assingments? Am I promoting my work in the right way? What was going wrong for Bad Habit Photography? I have 2 business that are closely related. I shoot people with my camera, and I play music. And, I spend roughly 6 to 10 hours each day, at least 6 days a week, on photography. I spend another 3 to 6 hours each day on my music. I have considered making a choice by giving up on one of my passions in favor of the other. I cannot do that. It is not in my blood to give up on anything I believe in. I would rather fail at both while still trying.
My curiosity got the best of my. I lowered my prices, and cut my product list to the bone. When I say lowered, I mean I destroyed and buried my profit by slashing into the bones of it. For my product list I cut out everything that was doing my business little or no good. For the market I reach I figured every client I have has a high dollar/high pixel camera, and settles for what they can get on their own equipment. Today I do not see much of a future in "event" photography for my personal use work. Last night I attended an event where 3 out of 4 attendee's were using their cell phones to get what they wanted. Meanwhile, the photo booth at the entrance to the event had no one in line to buy their products. These good people do not need an 8 x 10's of their sons and daughters doing back flips on a gym floor. All they want is something to post on Facebook so that Grandma can enjoy her grandchildren.
I have spent many, many, many hours trying to come up with an idea of a market that I would enjoy shooting for, and make money with. This field is getting smaller every day. Now, I shoot only what I like to shoot, and hope that someone will come along to make a purchase. All along I have known this is not the way to run a business. The pricing test I recently ran proved this point very well too me. So, I am changing my market place. I still shoot "only what I like" to shoot. Otherwise, I feel I am short-changing my clients. But, I am now shooting as much, or more, for publication and FINE ART GALLERY work. I'm not yet sure my decision is right or final, but I am comfortable with it. It does not change the structure of my business plan that much. It has simply pointed my business to a more specialized market.