I recently had bit of a light bulb moment in relation to who to approach with regards to making money, when doing my photography. I have for a long time been interested in the way capitalism works and live in London, whereas I know that the City of London, is one of the centres for global capitalism, I didn’t for some reason think about working for the financial industry and making that an aspect of my work. I have for a long time, been looking for a market that I can sell my photography to. I have an area of work that I like but I struggled for a long time looking for a market. In the teaching that I do, I tell my students to look into themselves and work out what there interests are. To find the thing that they love or hate and make that the subject for their photography. That subject, which gives you the photographer an editorial (magazines) market and advertisers who can also become your clients. It sounds easy, yet in practice the finding of the market for an interest can be a little harder. I was struggling for a while but clarity has struck and I now have a way forward. This is going to be exciting, I have been developing a specific portfolio, that will let me get the work that I need, to gain access to the places, where I want to photograph.
I have also been having a think about websites, as not so long ago I removed my portrait website and redirected that domain to this website, I know why I have multiple websites it is about branding and functions. This website is my social documentary website, where I do not retouch images and yet on the other website, a commercial website, I use photoshop and retouch my portrait images, to give them an editorial quality. On this website, I will never put up any retouched images, the only things that I do to images on this site is to manage brightness, colour casts, tonalities, highlights, shadow details, etc. In other words, what I could have done in a darkroom to make an image look how I saw it, that is when I was making it with my camera. Yet, if I want to attract commercial clients and they want to see polished i.e. photoshopped images, then I need another website to show that work on. It does not have to be a big site, as this website is my primary focus for my marketing and promotion for myself as a photographer.
The third website, that I use is www.photographyworkshopslondon.com on which, I discuss aspects of photography and this website I discuss capitalism and economics from my perspective as a social docmpumentary photographer. So, I have relaunched my www.mwplant.com website, as a portfolio website with one aim, that is to show retouched polished editorial and/or commercial images, which will appeal to people working in the finance industry.
So, back to my subject heading as a photographer for some time now I have struggled with how to make money as a photographer, I do not see how to make documentary photography make much money, but I can see how to combine my documentary photography skills and my portrait photography skills to enable me to use this in an area that I want to know much more about and that is the one industry in London that seems to keep growing and that is the finance industry. I am able to do events, portraits and other things, so if I have put a new portfolio together correctly, then I will be in a great position to enable me to earn enough money to let me live, life in London, while still being able to make social documentary images that are not dependant on money from clients.