I have made many mistakes over the years, I can admit it. This is how I learn and grow. I refuse to stay stuck in the past just to prove a point or because “that’s how it’s always been”, that is such a bullshit line to me.
One of my biggest mistakes is my hatred of money. This is a terrible way to run a business or to try and sell art. But it isn’t because I need to make more, which I always do, I’m an artist! The simple fact that I pay rent on time amazes me. But people who spend less are usually not as happy. Here is an example.
I bought a new car back in September. But I didn’t want to take income away from my photography business so I decided to start driving for Uber. I would drive 10 hours a week or so, just enough to cover the car payment and added insurance, and maybe some extra cash. From September through December Uber’s rates were normal, and then went slightly up. My ratings as a driver were very good. Then January happened.
On New Year’s Eve, technically New Year’s Morning, just after midnight the surge rates kicked in and what was once a $6 ride just turned into an $80 ride! But, the ratings for drivers stayed high. The following week Uber sent out an email that to “increase riders” they were going to discount the rate up to 45%. Drivers would receive incentives to keep us on the road because our take was getting cut as well. Suddenly the rates went down and so did driver ratings.
People will not give a 5 start rating for a $3 ride. Sure some will, but many more won’t. I drive a Mercedes and people give it 3 to 4 stars, when back in December it was almost always 5 stars. What has changed? The price.
I made this very same mistake with my photography. I wanted to get my art out into the world so I discounted it. I was selling membership to The Archives for just $7-$10 a month. And what happened? People wanted to get the password and share it on the internet so everyone could have it for free. But guess what, the people who pay for my Collector’s Circle and who have paid for a yearly membership to The Archives don’t wish to do this. They understand the value of what they are getting.
From now on, no more deals. My prices are what they are. I appreciate everyone who was honest who purchased the monthly deal, I know not everyone can afford $100 or more at a time. But if I don’t place value on my work then nobody else will either. The Archives are still filling up, today’s addition is Lucy, the wonderful model featured in today’s blog. I have worked with her a few times, and going over these images makes me think I should work with her again soon!
Fun facts, images from this shoot wound up being published by Maxim. Also, if Lucy looks familiar to you, if you’ve ever been in Hooters Casino in Las Vegas, her picture is everywhere in the hotel!