As a follow up to my previous post about success and failure, I’m just gonna rant. I started as a sole trader selling my photographic work in December last year (2019). I attended Christmas fayres with framed prints and other prints, and found a local café which would stock a few copies of my book and a few of my framed prints on the walls to sell. I sold a few of both at first. It was a nice feeling but also reassuring that maybe I could begin to earn a living from this and produce another book or two.

It was frustrating that I couldn’t get a response from the National Trust to my master’s project nature photography book which was a study of the wildlife at a local NT site. I’d had staff at the site say the book would sell well there. I’d had visitors to the site say they would definitely buy my book if it was for sale. However, no response from NT. Nothing.

The framed prints sold very slowly. Then they stopped selling, as lockdowns took hold around the world. The café closed. No one was ordering from my online sales. I linked to it on social media often. I posted my photographic work every single day, to limited response and still no sales. It was a daily effort and I was committed to it.

Months later I was doing the same things day after day after day with no sales and very little response. Why would anyone continue? They wouldn’t. What’s more, it chipped away at my confidence and self-belief until I decided I must be an utterly shit photographer and should just give up photography. That’s kinda where I am now.

What’s worse is having thousands of followers on various social media sites and yet only THREE people ever buying my work. The support is terrible to non-existent. Yet there’s so much talk of supporting new start-ups. I AM A NEW START UP. Where’s the support? It’s non-existent.

I genuinely give up. If nothing else it proves the point that social media contacts are nothing more than that. Facebook friends are mostly just following for something to do and nothing more. I’m utterly disillusioned with sharing work and getting no support. It’s time to practice photography for myself and nothing more than that. I’m very tempted to just remove most social media completely and it’s probably my next move to limit my stress and unhappiness.

Published by Clare Lusher

Photographer. Londoner. BSc. MSc. RHS trained Horticulturist gone rogue.

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