I have always been a fan of experimenting, of trying different approaches on things i do it to see if i can get better results or to see if i can find new ways of doing things, i have applied this to my business with positive results, so much that what i do nobody in the USA does, i am the only one out of millions, and that has brought me an income that will not make me a millionaire but at least i do not have a supervisor or boss pushing me to do more and more (well apart from my wife who thinks she can control me and push me to make more money, but i really control her, really i do) well continuing with the topic at hand, by experimenting i was able to come up with this new way of working, i work out of my house i do not have to drive to work and i can start my work day sometimes at 6 am sometimes at 7 am and sometimes at 10am, the starting time does not matter actually it’s what gets done during an 8 hour or 10 hour or 6 hour day, there are no standards or any predetermined schedule times, but like i said i do have to have a certain amount of work done on a daily basis, that does not change, i have my clients that are waiting for my services to be completed. I will write more about my very special way of working that i managed to discover thanks to my experimenting, but now about experimenting in photography.
The question that started my experimenting in photography was “Who really cares or who really values my photography” and ” Who am i taking photos for” who is my targeted audience, what type of people. I was applying a bit of marketing knowledge to photography, you see in buisness no matter what you do you better know your intended clientel in order to know what they want and then after you know what they need then give them what they need, and you will have a buisness going, one tip on creating new businesses is to listen to complaints of people, wherever you are, in the mall or in a store, if you hear somebody complaining about something that means that person needs something they are not getting and that is an oportunity to fulfill that need and that is where an income can be created, of course, that you need it to be many complaints of the same thing to be able to really be profitable.
So back to topic, who is my targeted audience for my photos, that question is related to “What do you want to accomplish with your photos” I’ll answer the last one first, I have finally found out the reason i take photos, it was hard to dig into my most inner self and admit the reality,”I take photos because i want to be noticed, i for sure wish to be famous and have people say “That photo was taken by Juan Ortega, the very famous photographer, and then a thousand years from now my name will be named in the schools of photography as one of the masters that left a legacy of a new trend in photography” there you have it, those are my wishes.
But when i am taking a photo i am not thinking of fame and fortune, i am just trying to take with me an image that i think is unique.
Now that i knew why i take photos i had to find out who of all the people in the world would like my photos or would they even see them, so i found out that there are several types of people that are my audience and i had to pick who would be my intended audience and once i find that i would take photos for that audience, so maybe one day i can become very famous and a respected photographer.
I picked 10 photos of mine, the best ones i had in color and black and white, i carried them with me everywhere in a manila envelope, and i would show them to random people and ask them to tell me which ones they liked, i said i was a photographic student trying to see if my photos were any good to the public, which was not a lie because i am a student in photography and i did want to know if my photos were liked.
I printed 10 photos all letter size about 9×11 inches, some black and white and some color, i dedicated 4 weekends to ask people in the street in Oceanside Ca. where there’s more people, i asked them to tell me which photos they liked, then i sent by E-mail the same photos to 10 pro photographers with the same question, on my first try of10 photographers only one answered, so i picked another 10, after several trys i finally had 10 answeres, the random people in the streets were about 60 people, so here are the results, i had a better result from the public than the photographers maybe because there were more or because they had less knowledge of photography.
99% of the random public did not like the black and white photos, most of them thought they were old photos from the 40s and some said they made them sad because it reminded them of cloudy or stormy days.
99% of the random audience likes color, intense color photos, the more intense the better, color is a big determining factor.
From the photographers i found out that;
1.- They liked black and white as much as color
2.- As to be expected they were more into the technical aspects of the photographs
3.- I could not get any determining factor from them, they were all over the spectrum, maybe because there were only 10 photographers, but i didn’t have the time to keep the research going.
It’s very easy to have anybody that does not know anything about photography happy, you just give them a lot of color and most people will be happy with the photo.
For photographers, it’s more difficult and i can’t determine how to get them happy with my photos.
So i decided to target both audiences, why?, why not, so now i take two types of photos, one for the general audience with a lot of colors and another for the photographers, these ones i like to make them more interesting than technically correct, that way they contain more than just lines and shapes and stuff like that. Will that make me a very famous and respected photographer? i am sure it will, without any doubt, unequivocally certain it will.
Here are some links to what i do for a living
Here are the photos i used in the experiment