Home > News & Views > News from Jim Clark Photo - March 1, 2017
News from Jim Clark Photo - March 1, 2017
The business of nature photography has changed drastically since the early days of my career. Today, it's not such much selling images for publication or for paper products such as cards, magazines, calendars and posters as it is doing workshops and tours, and an occasional paid speaking engagement. The crash of 2008, the rise of the internet and the explosion of social media all played a part in its demise. The lost of major stock agencies played a role as well in that folks are selling their images for pennies just so they can get a byline. As far as making it by selling books and prints, well, you can forget that these days.
So don't give up your day job if you are thinking of entering this profession. I was so fortunate to be involved during the peak of the nature photography business when I had my hand in printing, speaking, teaching, touring, selling images for cards, calendars and other paper products, writing for magazines and serving as a contributing editor for Outdoor Photographer, publishing books and receiving major sponsorship support from the likes of Fuji, Nikon, Lowepro, Nik, etc. I would never have imagined the success I achieved by believing in myself, working hard, networking and staying involved with all facets of the business. The best part was spending four years with my young son photographing nature for a series of children's books that he and I would do together. Doesn't get any better than that.
These days everyone is a professional nature photographer. If they get two likes on their Facebook page, they automatically assign themselves the "Professional" label. As a colleague and mentor of mine wrote recently, " the nature photography world is over-saturated with wannabes."
With that said, I have made drastic changes to my business. I have the luxury of being very selective in what I do. I have removed my E-Store link as it was more trouble than it was worth. All my books that are still in print are available on amazon.com and other on-line sites. I no longer sell prints on line, but if anyone is interested, just email me. Anyone that says they are making a good living doing that is not being truthful. I still do workshops and speaking engagements, but I'm selective in what I accept. These days, many venues want the photographer to do their programs for free -- these folks always say "the exposure will more than pay for itself or you can sell your books during the program." Well, I'm not falling for that. If you are interested in me talking or leading a workshop for your club, group or organization, just email me and we'll go from there. I'm leaning more to just enjoying nature like I used to do, when all I needed was a pair of binoculars and a field guide.
My 2017 workshop is now posted and I hope you will join me on one of these workshops. You'll soon discover that a nature photography workshop with Jim Clark is really a "working" workshop.To learn more, visit the Chincoteague Bay Field Station
. I will also be the nature photography instructor for a private cruise along the coast of southeast Alaska in July 2017 for the Defenders of Wildlife and possibly for a conservation workshop in Yellowstone as well. The Alaska trip will be second time participating in this event and the Yellowstone event will be my sixth time serving as photography instructor there.
I was the featured speaker at the annual Mountain State Photographers' Conference, July 30 2016 at the Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Ripley, West Virginia. I also presented an afternoon seminar, "Twenty-five top tips for nature photography," at the conference. It was a grand time for all! It is always a pleasure and honor to speak to my West Virginia friends. Thanks to the Charleston Camera Club and my fellow colleague Ron Gaskins for inviting me.
One of my marsh images from the eastern shore was selected for a major exhibit at the new Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center near the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland.
Here's wishing you a great 2017!!!