Bankruptcy & Burnout

August 08, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

Marketing ideas, concepts, and campaigns. Perfect promotions,  wonderful workshops;  Can’t-miss mini-shoots, stylized Sessions that tie in to promotions and create a marketing buzz on a shoestring budget. The success is overwhelming and the resulting stress-free life of photographing ideal clients with problem free kids who are so magnificently thrilled that they back armored trucks up to our newly remodeled and perfectly modern studio in a vintage building in a downtown with a small town, uptown vibe…. Beep, Beep, Beep Beep… The incessant alarm rips me out of my slumber. I am still groggy and not nearly as ready to bound out of bed as I envisioned last night when I ambitiously set my alarm. 

“If we can just stay busy we will have it made. Don’t worry that much about the pricing, just make a profit and we will be set. If we can just hold on for a little while longer." Chasing perfectly concocted plans with nebulous hopes that social media buzz and exposure will miraculously translate into the needed income to pay the mounting bills.” 

The mindset of a photographer in the midst of the “early years” accepting the common fate and mindset of a starving artist. Scared to death that if you dare to charge a living wage no one will hire you. So instead you trade away all semblance of a personal life or financial security. Editing all 267 photos for that free promotional shoot. Desperately hoping the organizers will be so blown away that they will flock to your web page booking shoots. Then demanding 40x120 canvas prints, while eagerly sharing how they have dreamed of spending multiple thousands on personal art for their walls... Thats the way it works in the training classes. In the real world its just crickets and silence except for the incessant phone calls from bill collectors. 

We have been thrilled with the connections we have built with our clients. It has been immensely fulfilling. Unfortunately despite the satisfaction the realities of life have left us both drained and frazzled. Wondering what happened to us and our dream. 

We have sat numbly staring at the numbers and realized that photographing for the suggested “going rate” is costing us. We are in the end paying people to allow us to slave away for embarrassingly meager pay. Our family has suffered. We have chalked it up to our uniquely difficult situation but we have had to stare blankly into the face of the truth. This isn’t sustainable… So. What is the answer to this long preambled dilemma? 

Finally, we accepted sound teaching and advice and are on track to build a sustainable business. One that invests back into itself and to those who operate it. That is an easier said than accomplished dream in and of itself. 

A paradigm shift, changing business models to align with some truths in the marketplace. #1 Photography is a luxury! It isn’t food, or shelter, or any of the essentials of life. Not everyone can afford it and while we truly have a passion for it for everyone, we have to make some difficult choices that will positively affect our family and offer a lifeline to our fledgling business. The mandate: Make it work by the numbers. 

#2 Photography is art! As an artist we have the unbelievably inspiring opportunity to create family heirlooms that will make and strengthen the core and cultures for those who value what we do. We will passionately love and pursue those opportunities to make life art with those families. We aren't trading our lives to produce USB drives that litter junk drawers with aging and corrupting files that have almost a 0% chance of ever being displayed on a wall. 

We have dreams of taking our photography skills and investing them into the causes of changing our world. Providing the opportunities for our family to witness the possibilities of a living and vibrant world. Crossing continents to pursue purpose and having handshake moments with destiny… We believe it is meant to be so much that we named our company after that synergistic concept of Kismet: meant to be. 

 

 


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