I have spent the better part of the last 4 years, toying with my photography business. Karina and I began photographing weddings in 2005, and since then the business has fluctuated between a hobby and a real money maker; between a crushing disappointment and an all encompassing passion. One of the things I have learned is that making your passion your profession can sometimes ruin both. Not to say that you shouldn't pursue your passion, you have to be very careful about how you go about it. Because as soon as you start looking at your hobby through the eyes of marketing and cost/profit analysis, you start to loose track of why you enjoyed photography in the first place.
So when I was approached by Wedding Dress wholesaler to work with their marketing team, I was a little skeptical. But I am a photographer, and the manager of the store if a friend of ours so I took the meeting. I could not have been more impressed, Vivi (the owner) really gets it. Her attention to detail and requirement for excellence is complimented by the fact that she will tell you exactly what she wants. If she doesn't like a pose, she will walk up and say "I don't like that," then rush over to the model and make an adjustment. A few moments later you will hear an enthusiastic, "Oh my God... so beautiful!!!" as she is sneaking a peak at the back of my camera.
But most of all she understands that when she approaches retailers, these pictures are the only evidence they have of the quality of her products. Sure she could cart around 2 or 4 or all 50 of this seasons styles, but that isn't exactly practical and it certainly isn't scaleable. This is why I am willing to work with Vivi on a long term basis. Not because she pays me, but because she gets that quality - artisanship - is what people buy these days. Art is what sells, and excellence is what matters.
I am an "old soldier" of a photographer, and I am grateful for people like Vivi; who keep my passion from fading away into profession. What about you? Are you an old soldier looking to stay inspired? Are you a new recruit still a wonder at your artwork?