Over the years we have made sure we are offering what the market wants.
I started out shooting and selling prints which then led to framing and over the years a various range of finishes. In the last few years there has been more demand for digital files. I have resisted this because I have always felt it was unprofessional to simply sell your files and I had many other concerns as well.
a) would people print them badly and this would be a bad refection of my name
b) would some people actually try and photoshop them and again affect my good reputation
c) I had been speaking to other photographers for years trying to educate them on "NOT simply selling files or giving them away"
d) I felt this burning need to protect the industry I loved so much. It has gradually being dragged down by what we all called the shoot and burn photographer.
There is no ruling on when you can actually call yourself a professional photographer. Someone might tell a mum at school that they take a nice photo and they should be a photographer and soon enough that Mum is handing out business cards calling herself a photographer. Not I might add a PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER. This became known in our industry as the Mummy Movement. All of a sudden the professional photographers had new competition and because they may not have had the skills to photograph or retouch professionally they were shooting and giving everything for a couple of hundred dollars.
During all this time I was standing my ground determined not to give in to what I felt was peer pressure and unprofessional business etiquette.
Late 2016 I decided to include the high res file with the print, at least I was confident that if you were to print more copies for family and friends that you would have the professional print to match it to, so I didn't have total control but at least you had an example of what quality should look like.
I've been working with a internet marketing company during this last year and have made many changes to the website , promotions social media etc.
BUT ....... business was getting quieter and quieter, everyone who didn't book with us wanted Digital File packages and a better price.
Now in 20 or so years I have never checked other photographers websites out, Ive remained focused on what I wanted to offer and felt I had a true understanding of what families wanted. However I had reached a point where I felt I had to and so I researched around 20 brisbane portrait photographers and found to my amazement that they were ALL shooting and simply uploading files to a gallery where you would choose your package of 10 or 20 or whatever. NO printing , NO fine art finishes, NO design consultation.
I was devastated and had a day of completely freaking out!
I wasn't even in the running anymore.
I proceded to do what I always do in times of change - I talk.
I spoke to a range of business women, girlfriends I could trust with total honest feedback.
"Its a Digital World Katrina , get on board"
I knew this in my heart and yet I was resisting. This would be a monumental change for me and absolute. there would be no going back.
I wrote a rather long explanation on a private business Facebook page and was met with resounding encouragement for change and growth. My mate JD's words was what finalised my decision.
" Katrina you are not in the business of selling photographs - you are in the business of selling memories, you've just got to figure out how you want to package that up in 2017"