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One of the only things I like about business being slow is that it allows me to spend time with Henry. We had BBQ with him on Super Bowl Sunday. Later in the week, Aimee was a little under the weather, so she went to the babysitting bullpen and called me up to the show. He makes me smile and makes things more bearable. And he’s even beginning to use real words. When Aimee came into the room on Wednesday, he turned and said, “Hi, Mama!” Or at least it sounded identical to that. And the bonus: he’s coming over tomorrow for another sleepover. I’ve got to go so that I can get the pony and chocolate fountain booked. Oh, and pick up a big box of Duplos. Henry loves his Duplos.


February 10, 2012 Taking the pulse of my business. DNR or defib?

Well, 2012 is off to a slow start. Part of that is my fault; when i was busy last year, I wasn’t on top of the marketing thing. Now, business is slow. Really slow. Nonexistent. I really need to drum up some work. I’ve toyed with the whole wedding photojournalism thing. I got an account on the Knot as an experiment to see if there was interest out there. I formed a totally different entity so that art buyers wouldn’t see this. For whatever reason, there tends to be a certain stigma attached to doing wedding photography. Even though you make wonderful wedding pictures, you just can’t be a serious photographer or artist if you stoop to doing weddings. I guess among the hipsters, a good picture, no matter where or when it’s made, doesn’t apply to wedding photography. However, it’s probably OK if you do celebrity weddings. Hey, they’re young and haven’t figured out that whole inferential leap thing. Whatever.

Well, that whole wedding things has been pretty disappointing thus far. Maybe 20 inquiries thus far. No meetings. No takers (although I do have a booking in September which was in no way related to the Knot. I’m looking forward to that one; it should be a lot of fun.). The only nibble I’ve had is from someone who used to work for one of my clients. They wanted a deal. Well, I’d like a deal on everything from my mortgage payment to equipment. I have bills to pay, too. So, no deal. This person just didn’t have the decency to ask for a deal. Instead, they sent a cryptic email that essentially said your work is too expensive. And then used a cryptic parenthetical to drive home that point. They didn’t bother to be direct and say something like, “hey, Earl, I love your work, but I just don’t have any money. I would never ask you to lower your prices.” Had that happened, I’d be fairly likely to propose something that might work for both of us. But alas, that didn’t happen. I’ve been known to actually do a favor–for free or at a greatly reduced price–for friends if I’m approached in the proper manner. That certainly didn’t happen in this case. The takeway from this is: if you want something, ask for it, dammit. Don’t make me read between the lines or try to read your mind. Teresa will tell you I suck at reading minds.

On the “real” photography side, I have a teleconference with a portfolio consultant later this morning. She’s highly-regarded. We’e going to discuss to whom I should be marketing and how best to go about this. It’ll be a morning of tough love, but hopefully it’ll point me in the right direction and help me get more work. We’ll see. I’m a bit skeptical that my capital outlay to get some marketing help will pay dividends. We’ll see. Perhaps I don’t need a portfolio consultant. Maybe I need a psychiatrist to determine why I continue to beat my head against the wall in this business. Thank God it’s Friday.

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Well, February is here and the sky is usually grey here in Kansas. I need to sit in front of a SAD lamp and I need more business. The business thing is my fault. I hate to market and I suck at it. And I wasn’t very diligent about it last year. I just hate rejection. I’m fairly modest, so that makes it difficult for me to market. Apparently, modesty is not a good trait to have in this business.

After a decent 2011, 2012 is off to a very slow start. I’m not sure which direction to take the business. I’m not sure who I should be marketing to either. I feel like I’m on top of my game visually, however, I don’t think anyone, outside a few folks in the Midwest, know I exist. I need to remedy that. With that in mind, I’ve begun a re-branding and I’ve actually quit being a cheapskate and I am bringing in some marketing and re-branding expertise to get things rolling again. I love my current clients, however, I need more of them or I may end up being a greeter at Wal Mart. Keep on eye on http://www.earlrichardson.com in the coming weeks and months to see the changes.