For this week’s forum discussion, we were tasked to think about your current market and audience and whether they were the same. We had to think about who we would like to call our market and audience in five years time and how we plan to get there.
I am currently in an in-between space. I am shifting from a passionate amateur photographer, part-time photography educator and part-time wedding photographer to something being defined at the moment.
As Ludre, my current business, I planned to lift my wedding photography to a high-end market and doing it full-time. As an individual I planed to qualify as an an educator. The latter was the main motivation for doing the MA. My market and audience is currently mid-income groups for both wedding and education which is fine for part-time work. However, my photographic classes have introduced me to high-end photographers amateur photographer and business men and that encouraged me to expand this endeavour and they made see the value I can provide to my customers.
I never published any of my private project work. As I prepared my own examples for my photography master class curriculum my portfolio grew and improved as a photographer. Being forced to share my photographs in my lectures and to market my course to prospective students on my website, proved to be a liberating experience. My work was exposed to a new audience, which was not my market at that time. The sharing led to an artist offering to pay me for the rights to use my work to paint. At first, I wanted to give her the rights for free but she insisted to pay me a rate I did not expect. I believe it is this work that helped in my motivation to get into Falmouth University. But financial gain is not my main purpose. Teaching and seeing your students grow is a reward much larger. A student of mine, who purchased her first SLR camera during my class, exhibited her photographs on request in Milan this year. She acknowledged my influence in this and is going from strength to strength. This is priceless.
With my retirement looming, I altered my business plan to engage with the mid to high-end consumer market. My MA in photography is part of my development plan to see I could pursue my new found passion, the education of photographic students. The MA, Gem Thatcher and Lydia Pang have put a major spanner in the works though.
Its dream time…
In five years, I now see myself as a highly capable independent creative that collaborates with young creatives on meaningful visual projects in whatever role I can find, where I can apply my knowledge of photography and my abilities to work in creative design assignments. My customer would now be corporates (commercial and art-based ), which create web-based editorial sites and digital magazines and publish in museums on digital media and if were lucky prints. I hope to generate a living wage from this. I also see myself doing lectures at higher learning institutes with the aim of either creating my foundation or to actively develop young creatives in the art and business of photography. This means I will need to change my business plan, target the corporates and engage with creatives I already know that work in the industry. My next project needs to be a creative project that features some form of photography. I will continue doing self personal projects until I get too busy to doing commissions that leverage of my vision and skills and allow myself to grow as an artist. By that time I want to have concluded my PhD.
In five years time I will be 65. David Goldblatt (80) passed away last year. He is recorded saying that he had a great future for the next 30 Years before embarking on a personal project to to follow his idol, Ansel Adams, in photograph landscapes. I believe that I have 40 years left. And if I don’t it won’t matter. I would rather go with camera in hand when it happens.
“Don’t challenge my goals with “reality”….it’s too limiting. I will achieve more without considering it.”- Andre Nagel
It may seem ambitious, but hell it’s my dream…