I couldn't put my finger on it yesterday, but I think I have it now - what was wrong about the British Classic Car Day at Pinjarra.
Don't bristle up - or don't Bristol up, as the case may be - it wasn't the cars, or the raceway, or the visitors, or the enthusiasts, or the food, or the fly-over by the Aero club. It was one of the stall holders who missed out on a good thing. As it happens, he was the chap with the photo business booth.
He did a good job of setting out his booth - a mini studio and advertising for all the services that he provides - weddings, glamour, commercial, portrait, etc. And he had signs and a computer and printer and a soft box set up and a chair to sit in. And no customers.
I sympathised with him - I've been in precisely that position at other field events where the photo business wasn't what they came out for and the punters walked by as if I didn't exist. Indeed, we had that happen a couple of times when the shop sent out a sales display - at least I was getting paid overtime for that one - overtime and all the lizards I could eat. But the chap at Pinjarra might not have had lizards, so his day would have been long and hot.
The thing that hit me today was he was trying to sell the wrong thing to the wrong people - he had no need of that stall at all, either, unless it was to house a busy minion tending the printer. You see his customers weren't the farmers lurching by unheeding - they were the enthusiasts out in the center field with their cars. He should have been out snapping cars and owners.
I did. Got some great car pictures for my personal blog. Could have posed any number of proud Poms with their cars and passed out my professional card - and would have likely got a number of orders for prints or image files. Didn't, because I went there for my own purposes, but the market is definitely there.
People who spend money on their cars want recognition of their cars and themselves - they have their own audience of other enthusiasts at these things but in most cases that are not good enough photographers to organise good record shots of their vehicles. They ALL secretly long to be on the cover of Classic Cars or 4WD Driver or Car Kulture Deluxe and if you provide them with images that are based upon this idea you have a winner.
The same might be said for boating enthusiasts - remember that yachties may easily forget the ages of their children but they can nail to the day the time they bought the fore-deck wing for Saucy Sue II. If you can stand them, they have money.
Airplane enthusiasts might be the same, but getting to meet them is tougher than the car people. they have to be where the airplanes are and anything that aviates is hemmed round with regulations. Research your venues before you try.
As for me and the chap at Pinjarra - we will be wise little photographers if we get a good little portable field flash rig ( and I do ) and some good cards ( and I don't ) and go schmooze the drivers. Automotive ego ain't a bad thing!
" What do you mean you can't make a decent dashboard, Man. Make it out of wood - we'll tell the buyers it is a luxury item. That stuff doesn't grow on trees, Y'know..."
Labels: car photography, DSLR, field photography, portable flash