This week I am writing up a quick post on saturday for a change as I have family coming to visit this evening and wont get chance to write this tomorrow.
I have been on Harris for 9 months now and so I thought I would update you on my situation and how things are developing for me as a photographer and in particular my business.
I spent the first few months out in the hills and at the coast scouting locations and taking images, I was still very much developing my style as a photographer (i still am) and this period really helped me to develop a sense of who I am as a landscape photographer and what style my work would take.
I do tend towards the dramatic, in both light and style and this is born out in my images where a large proportion feature the beautiful dramatic light that we get here in the Hebrides.
As I have previously written in another post I had to consider which route to market I would take and where my images best sat within the market.
In the end I decided that I am a landscape photographer because I love making beautiful images of the stunning nature all around us. This in turn lead me to realise that both myself and my images would not necessarily be suited to the high volume, low price commercial markets of postcards, stock photography and the like. Although I do have some interests in those markets they are not intended to be a primary income.
So I decided after some analysis that I would create high end products and sell them through a limited selection of methods.
Firstly I created my website which has now been up and running for quite a few months and is starting to attract good volumes of traffic and business.
The website is a long term project and initially I planned to go after the local market on harris and the outer hebrides, however after further research I have decided that I can still target local sales but that there simply wouldnt be enough volume of sales to sustain a business from.
Therefore I am now trying to establish the website on a much larger scale and target much broader keyword search terms. Obviously this requires much more effort and patience but I think the rewards will be worth it.
I also sell my images via a local art gallery and the sales are just starting to come in good numbers now.
Setting up the gallery sales was quite a stressful process, having to source stock and materials as well as having to meet deadlines to get everything ready by.
In the end though it has proven to be worth every bit of stress as the sales figures already look to be ahead of expectations.
The owners of the gallery couldn’t be nicer and they have certainly set up what I think will be the premier outlet for arts and crafts on Harris. If your ever on the island then make sure you pop in to Hebrides Art in Seilebost, they have the gallery, gifts and great cakes.
I am also trying to break into the magazine market, particularly photography magazines. This is definately a tough nut to crack with stiff competition but I have managed a little success here too which you can see in issue 109 of Digital Photographer. I may also have a few other things in the pipeline which I shall reveal in due course.
Overall the first 9 months of the business have been incredibly hard work, I probably average 12 hour days 7 days a week. There is always another task to perform but it is very rewarding to be in control of my own fate.
I am starting to see some benefits now from my long hours and I firmly believe that if I continue working my socks off then I can make a success of it.
If your thinking of doing the same as me then be prepared to work every hour under the sun for very little money, you wont have time for a social life or money for luxuries but in the end if you want it enough and have a true passion for it then these things wont matter.
I dont care about being rich or famous, I dont even want flash cars and nice things, what I do want is to be truly good at what I do, to gain the respect of my peers and to leave a body of work after I am gone that is enjoyed by others. If I can scrape a living out of it too then I’ll be ecstatic