For me a big part of it was diversifying my income as well, because I saw other peers that had one giant client, and if something happened to that one giant client went under, they took a huge hit. And I was like, hmmm. And I saw in the last ten years the stock market world for stock agencies, that is wooohh...gone downhill fast. So, you know, I've tried to diversify myself out in many different ways. Tried to make sure I don't have just one client paying for most of, 80% of my, you know I have a few clients that I work with maybe 20, 30% of the time, but if it ever got up to 60 or 70% with one client I'd get really worried. The more diversified you are, the more stable the business will be in the long run, and you'll actually stay in business. So, for me it's Commercial and Editorial Assignment Photography is probably 60% of what I do...70%. I still have some stock photography. Probably a third of mine is still stock photography, but it's direct to the customer, not through a stock ag...
ent. Because of those newsletters I was telling you about, my SEO jumped to where I was on the first page of Google or number one for Adventure Sports Photography for a long time, and I think I just dropped in two or three. But that helped a lot, because people would see me when they looked up Adventure Sports Photography, call me, and then want to license an image that they pulled straight off my web and said, "How much for this image? For this usage?" And so I could license that image to them. So that was a huge part and still is a huge part of my business. Books and eBooks, I've written four books. Two of which are eBooks, two of which are published. I teach workshops, four or five a year, I'm here at Creative Live, this is part of my income. Fine art prints, I don't sell tons of prints, but I sell a certain number of prints every year, sometimes it's bigger, sometimes it's a smaller part of my income. Sometimes I get paid to write a blog post for usually a manufacturer in the camera world, since I'm kind of, I was a physicist, so I'm super geeky, and I actually worked on the chips that ended up being the sensors in cameras back in the early 90's, so I have deep knowledge of how a digital camera works, and the flashes and all that stuff, so by being sponsored and working with companies in the photo industry, that has opened up doors to that. Which is, you know, you may or may not want to do that. This is an example of an eBook, and I mean it's kind of crazy, I, so early on in my career in I shot an assignment for Adobe. Before Lightroom had come out, they were just coming out with Lightroom, and somehow they saw my work, and there's not time to tell that whole story, but I got the assignment to shoot for Adobe Lightroom before it ever came out. And they wanted me to deliver worked up images, 200 worked up images from the assignment cause they were gonna use them for demonstrations, and some of them would go for ads for Lightroom, and I'd never seen the software before. I'd seen Adobe Camera Raw and it was luckily somewhat similar to Adobe Camera Raw, but I got to sit down with the engineers from Adobe, and have the engineer that designed the software show me how to use it. I was like, the lightbulb went off in my head during this thing, it was like, this is pretty unique. I might want to share this knowledge with some people. So I wrote an eBook, and it's now in it's like seventh edition, so it's just being creative in how you make your income. If you have, you know I am the photographer, but I love to talk about photography and I wrote a book on it just on my own. And in design, made a PDF, and I sold it on my website. So this is just one example, it's not like, this is how you do it, it's just an example. But you know, these days teaching and talking about photography is a huge marketplace. I mean, obviously we're here at Creative Live, that's why they exist.
Michael Clark is an internationally published outdoor photographer specializing in adventure sports, travel, and landscape photography. He produces intense, raw images of athletes pushing their sports to the limit and has risked life and limb on a variety of assignments to bring back stunning images of rock climbers, mountaineers, kayakers, big-wave surfers and mountain bikers in remote locations around the world.
I think that Michael makes creatives take off their rosey sunglasses and see the business of professional photography as it really is. You might not want to hear everything that he says but he shares some very honest and important information here that people coming into the business should only ignore at their own peril. Established photographers are probably in full agreement with what he has said here. This class is a must watch for any aspiring pro photographer! Four thumbs up!!