John Lund


When I first started my photography business a few years ago…there was no such thing as an answering machine! Nor did individuals have fax machines…I remember being very excited about getting a fax machine…because now an Art Director could send me a layout without using a bike messenger or Fed Ex!. Now, here I am shooting without film, digitally enhancing my images on a computer and delivering them via the internet.

For twenty years I shot assignments. A huge part of the business was marketing myself to ad agencies and design firms. After the dot com bubble burst I found myself without assignments for a couple of months…but it didn’t matter because I was making plenty of money with stock photography. One gig ended and another took over. Of course, today that industry is in turmoil…first royalty-free stock photos impacted the business…and now micro-stock. I even see pay per click ads that cost the advertiser money…advertising free stock photos! I guess I don’t have much to worry about now…because the prices can’t go any lower than that!

I remember when it took a week and buckets of money to get a good print from a photo lab! Now, if I want to print a funny animal picture I just hit command-p on my keyboard…and get almost free prints that are of far better quality than anything I used to get from the lab! I can make fine art prints that are even more archival than what the labs could offer…and these prints are in my hands in just a matter of minutes.

A few years ago I bought a house…a beautiful house on a hillside overlooking a valley. I was surrounded by horses, deer, wild turkeys, and even bobcats and coyotes! I planned living in that house till the end of my days. A close friend cautioned me though, that I should not count on living there forever. “One day you will sell that house” he said. I laughed. As I write this I am planning on selling the house in the Spring.

My greeting card business was growing like crazy. Each quarter my royalty checks were getting larger and larger. People loved the cards…the company was thriving and I was their number one greeting card artist. Still, a business consultant friend suggested I create a worst-case scenario plan for my business. It was difficult because I could not see any worst case scenarios on the horizon. Eventually the planning stalled and faded away.

Fast forward five years…the greeting card company no longer exists. It was purchased by a venture capital firm that made some bad decisions. I am now with a different greeting card company and we are slowly rebuilding the business. One thing is different this time…I no longer assume that the greeting card business will be around forever.

Two new 35mm digital cameras have just been announced…one by Nikon and one by Canon, that both shoot, in addition to extremely high quality digital stills, HDTV motion.

Who was it who said the only constant is change? That is so true…but I do have a method for coping with all this change. My secret…a good attitude and continuously reminding myself of the need to stay open and flexible.


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