Marketing Q&A

More questions from Dwayne, along with my answers, of course...

Question #1 - Do you have a rep? If so why did you feel you needed one and if not why don't you feel you need one?

I don't currently have a rep, but I do have some pots on the fire.  In my opinion a rep is a double-edged sword.  They find you work, but they take a cut.  Then again, you probably would not have had the work if they hadn't gotten if for you.  I also worry a bit about losing control over the direction of my career and the jobs I do, but I think that's just spliting the hairs of my deep nerosyis.  I'm doing ok with the editorial work, but I would like to do more ad work and that's where a rep would help.

Question #2 -  How do you estimate pricing for jobs, corporate and portrait work?

Oh, that's very very tough and I'm terrible at it.  Some people like to use that software, quotepro or something like that.  Living in NYC, the numbers are not always right from my limited exposure with it.  For editorial work, most publications have standard rates that you've got to work within, and personal portraiture is a gray area between how much you want the shoot and how much your time is worth.  Personally, I'd rather shoot people I want to shoot and charge them a little to use the photos rather than have them pay me for real and then I'm tied to making them happy.

Question #3 -  What type of marketing do you do?

Not nearly enough.  My friend Meg printed and sent out hand numbered postcards a couple weeks ago.  I need to be much more like her.  I do however hear mixed messages on whether mailers work.  Some people get so many they just throw them out and say they prefer to be able to just click on a link to a website.  Others want something they can pin up on their wall if they like it. Art buyers offices are like mini-museums in this respect. On top of all this, I've found that people in this industry move around so much that address lists are out of date and 20% of your stuff bounces back.

I guess you could say that my 365 Portraits thing was marketing, though I didn't mean it as such.  You could consider this blog marketing, though most of the people who read it are photographers themselves, so I guess that's a moot point.  Marketing is expensive and I'm a procrastinator, and that's probably a bad combination.  I've also got a weird opinion of my own work. At my worst, I'm almost embarrased to send it out for people to look at.  I don't want to waste their time.  That is a really bad situation.  I need to buck up and be prepared to look like an ass for my art.  I'm working on it.


By the way, I like this question/answer stuff.  If anyone has any particular questions, feel free to email me at bill at