My camera has been busy

CDU_5571PMIn my (failing) attempt at being a pro photographer, I’ve done quite a bit of shooting lately

CDU_4963PMWestern, jumpers, dressage…

CDU_3827PMI just wanted to touch base with you friends with a couple of pictures

This is not working half as it should, but I’m having fun. Finding out that everybody wants free photographs, but very few people still want them if they’re not free, even very reasonably priced. It’s just a sign of the times, everybody and their dog got a digital camera and think what they’re doing with it is “good enough” (when truly, it’s often good enough for the trash, lol).

CDU_5123PMI’m not bitter, and I’m not disappointed, I’m just watching this industry of the local event photographer with a neutral eye. It’s a pretty tough job and I’ll be fine doing something else, but I also see how freebies have killed this market, at least have hurt it badly. I do clinic photography, and I see people shooting comparable events and offering access to all the images for free. Nobody cares they’re unedited and often not very good, heck, they’re “good enough” if you don’t have to pay for them. In the meanwhile if I really depended on this business to make a living I’d be starving and bound to the salvation army, no joking. It seems very complicated for normal folks today that a photograph has a commercial value.

CDU_5179PMI may be delusional but I really don’t think the quality of my work is lacking. What I’m probably lacking is the ability to sell myself. Maybe because to me it should be hard to push good images. But I’m probably an old fart stranded in the digital age šŸ˜‰

About marla2008

Shutterbug. Shallow DOF nut. Mother of Child. Student of the Horse.
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12 Responses to My camera has been busy

  1. janesheers says:

    It’s a shame Clare that it didn’t work out for you as your images are really good. Look at that first one – it’s stunning. I’m not a horsey person but love your work. The issues you state seem to be very common. Pros I have spoken to say they are often expected to work for nothing. They also say it takes a lot of hard gut wrenching work to build up a profile let alone a business. At least you can you tried rather than always wondering. Keep going, try selling to magazines or local papers and just maybe….

    • marla2008 says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Jane. I do have customers. Faithful ones, too. I’ll keep on shooting occasionally in those places I know people do buy. It’s been a fun experiment anyway, and as you say, MUCH better than wondering about what it could have been šŸ˜‰

  2. Dave Uhlig says:


    This business is a really tough one. I have found that portraits and weddings are just about the only things left that can actually make some money in this business. Heaven forbid you buy some new gear, because your profit margins have now been shot. I’ve had several good friends ask about getting into the business and I honestly tell them to shoot for fun. I advise that they do not try and become a professional photographer. I’ve been shooting for about 14 years, and if I didn’t have a great full time job, this would not be working.

    Your event work is great. And it is obvious you love and care about horse photography. Have you looked into some stock work in this area? Also, what about getting together with a specific client that you have made a contact with. Setting up a session at their own place and getting some fantastic images of their own horses and them interacting with them? Coming up with a flat fee for portrait work at a horse farm? Also, make sure your twitter and instagram are rocking. Just some ideas. Feel free to shoot me an email with any further questions! Good to see your work.

    • marla2008 says:

      Thank you Dave for the kind, wise and helpful words. I have also been guilty of bad timing, not marketing myself hard enough, being shy instead of bold, humblish instead of braggy, etc… To be honest with you I’ve grown to dislike the crazy amount of “equine photographers” and the hords of freebies. You can’t make a proper living this way. Right now I’m making some pocket money, which helps with my own horse related expenses, and am actively looking for a “real” job. But I think if my husband hadn’t generously financed the purchase of the D750, it still even wouldn’t completely be paid for. Plus, our French revenu and tax scheme is ludicrously bad and unfair, so I’m just throwing the towel. There are a place or two where I know I always scrape a nice little amount, and I’ll keep on shooting for them occasionally šŸ˜‰

  3. Patrice Remy says:

    Sorry for not reading all your posts, but have you ever tried the following lenses (just for fun)?: super takumar 50mm f/1.4, super takumar 55mm f/1.8, helios 44-2 58mm f/2, jupiter-8 red-p 50mm f/2.

  4. fstopeight says:

    Hey Claire, been a while!
    Welcome to the world of pros ^^ I’ll tell you straight up what no one ever told me (and paid for it HARD): Talent is not enough. Look at Van Gogh and look at Andy Warhol…selling one’s self is the difference between thriving and dying in obscurity!
    Shoot me an email =}

    • marla2008 says:

      Thanks Olivier !! I’ve killed the business shortly after writing this post, and in all honesty haven’t been photographing much, since. All my time seems consumed by the current training for a future job (in the garnment industry) and my other hobby, which is horsemanship. I don’t doubt that I can pick up photography later, and I’ll always have better than average vacation pics šŸ˜‰

  5. laurent says:

    Missing your posts…….hope life is treating you well….

    • marla2008 says:

      Hi Laurent !!! Have you had a chance to check the other blog ? The pictures suck (cellphone pics) but the news are pretty good. Missing my readership quite a bit too, but I did it to myself losing inspiration the way I did. Glad to hear from you, hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season !

  6. marla2008 says:

    Been very active on this one, but I’m afraid it will bore you to tears. You can always try it at šŸ˜‰

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