Portions of this column were originally written for the May 2008 edition of News Photographer Magazine.
Mark Loundy is a media producer and consultant based in San Jose, California. Full bio.
The opinions in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent the official views of the National Press Photographers Association.
May 2008, Volume 68
By Mark Loundy
"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
Remember the scene in The Perfect Storm where George Clooney and his crew had sailed through meteorological purgatory and survived only to encounter a gi-normous wave, which sends the boat to the bottom? Well, the already failing newspaper industry has encountered the reality of a recession along with a flattening ad market.While the results won't be quite as immediate for the industry as a whole, more and more newspapers are announcing cuts, buyouts, consolidations and layoffs. Newly laid-off staffers are finding themselves involuntary freelancers — often with little business knowledge.
This means fewer dollars available in a market segment that was already barely viable for freelancers.
Two photographers who frequent separate online discussion forums I read recently announced that they were taking up wedding photography fulltime. They had done their homework and will probably do well as long as they stay a step ahead of dangerous market trends such as giving away full resolution files to clients.
Diversification is even more important for freelancers in a down market. You cannot depend on any single market segment, let alone any one client. The more different services that you can offer, and the wider variety of clients you have, the more likely you are to survive rough financial weather.
Please let me know of any particularly good, bad or ugly dealings that you have had with clients recently. I will use the client's name, but I won't use your name if you don't want me to. Anonymous submissions will not be considered. Please include contact information for yourself and for the client.Leftovers
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