Commercial photography in 2023 was, overall, much better than the two previous years. Looking back, it felt very much like a year of two halves.
During the first part of the year things were slow, as the after effects of the pandemic, coupled with the huge hike in energy prices, alongside the cost of living crisis, meant we all pulled our horns in to see what the economy was going to do. Nobody wanted to spend money did they?
Then it was as if a switch was flipped and businesses simply decided they had to get on with it if they wanted to survive, thrive or just get by. So the diary filled up, and the second part of 2023 was as busy as any year I’ve previously known.
It’s been fascinating to spend a couple of days going back through the archives, looking at every single job that I shot last year. What conclusions can I draw from what I’ve looked at? Well, there were far fewer events than in previous years. Fewer awards ceremonies, fewer celebratory lunches. Fewer occasions generally where people got together – which is a real shame, as people enjoying each other’s company is a huge part of what makes business enjoyable.
I noticed that a lot more people contacted me wanting photos that showed their work process in action. Manufacturers wanted shots not of the final product, but of how it was created. Marketing teams seemed to all want to emphasise what made their particular product different, special or better. The number of headshots remained as steady as ever, as staff moved firms, got promoted or set up their own businesses. There was also ongoing work taking professional headshots to replace the selfies that firms had to make do with during the various lockdowns.
Overall, there was a real sense that everybody saw the true value of marketing, and of having a clear message. Which please me, obviously, as photography is simply a component of any good marketing mix.
Here’s a quick 60 second trip through some of what I got up to last year. (In fact, it’s even shorter than that, to match the cuts to the beat). As always, a huge tip of the hat to everyone who hired me and wanted to work with me – often on multiple occasions. I mean it when I say thank you for stopping me having to go out and find a real job.
Here’s to a successful and happy 2024 to all of us.