Every year, we spend the month of November and December, reviewing the year to determine what worked and what didn’t. We examine our financial goals in the hopes of liking what we see and we outline the plans for 2014. Our aim is to review all of this and more with each photographer so that we can set accurate expectations for 2014.
Part of that process means taking a close look at what we noticed while we were out there showing the books, presenting estimates and doing our agent thing. When we present our plans to our photographers, we include this information to them in three parts:
1) Was 2013 a good year for advertising photographers in general?
2) What made a difference in our group this year?
3) What trends are we seeing?
Todays’ post shares with you the insights we shared with our photographers for question #1. Be sure to tune in for the next blog posts for questions #2 and #3.
WAS IT A GOOD YEAR FOR ADVERTISING PHOTOGRAPHERS IN GENERAL?
Overall, yes, this was a good year for advertising photographers. Our group did well with most meeting or exceeding their financial goals. There was lots of new work created and some very interesting projects added to the client lists.
Here are some things we noticed that made the year positive:
BUDGETS DID NOT DECREASE.
Last year we saw an even larger shift towards library shoots with clients valuing shoot approaches that yielded them the most amount of images/options. Budgets were healthy enough to give them those options and variety. Because of that they were able to see first hand how far a healthy budget could go and did not cut back much this year.
JUST LIKE LAST YEAR, JOBS HAPPENED. THEY DIDN’T JUST GO AWAY IF WE DIDN’T GET THEM.
More often than not, jobs that we did not get, went to other photographers. In most cases, they did not disappear or die because of budget reasons.
AGAIN, LIKE LAST YEAR, LAYOFFS AND CLIENT/AGENCY MOVEMENTS WERE LESS FREQUENT.
We did not hear of very many agency layoffs or clients leaving their agencies for new agencies. While we know they existed, the movements did not seem as brutal or abrupt as they have in the past. Freelance art producers are common and many are finding a nice niche in that market.
AND AGAIN. LONG TERM CLIENTS CONTINUED THEIR PARTNERSHIPS
The relationships we have fostered over the years with our long terms partners has grown even more. Agencies and creatives continue to choose our photographers for their very special clients and ask us to partner with them on important, large projects. It is a testament to not only the photographer and the work but to the entire team that creates such a positive experience.
THE END OF THE YEAR WAS STRONG. IT WAS NOT AS STRONG AS LAST YEAR, BUT IT WAS STRONG.
Clients were calling for end of year AND new year projects as well extra usage. Clients had some money to spend at the end of the year and were also planning for January. There wasn’t that crazy need to spend leftover money like last year, (leftover money??) but the requests were steady and consistent, right up until the end. My guess is that clients did not hold back budgets throughout the year as much as they did the previous year so there was less of that last minute rush to spend it or lose it!
My take on 2013, The Automotive industry is back in a big way. After 5 years of very few auto projects, 2013 saw more than 50% of my jobs and 80% of my billings were from the auto industry.