Professional photographer in Luxembourg
Happy New Year, everyone! May you enjoy this well-deserved time off together with your loved ones! 2022 has been a pretty busy year here at Photo Dudau. Let’s see what happened from my perspective:
The year started very slow and with lots of uncertainties. You may remember or not, but at the end of 2021 the pandemic got strong again and some events got canceled. I was hired to photograph 3 of those events, so the cancellations didn’t serve me well, to put it lightly. Catching the coronavirus one week before Christmas also came with a downturn, as I had to find and pay another photographer to show up instead of me for the one event that didn’t get canceled (ended up paying more than I got from the clients, but obviously it wasn’t their fault that I got infected). So, January was pretty dry, with no buffer from previous months.
January is always a bit slow, but in 2022, it was even slower, as the pandemic was still doing some damage around. I got my first clients in late February (!).
Then, it got really slow again, as Russia invaded Ukraine and the whole world was shocked, pretty much everything stopped. Basically, the first half of 2022 has been affected by either the pandemic or the war.
I used all this time off to browse into my large archive and put together a number of videos of Luxembourg to launch the video section of my Luxembourg image bank. I’ve also added a lot of new and older photos, taken over the past years.
The activity cooled off in mid-July, so when I sensed there won’t be much client work to do, I started working on my Luxembourg photographer website.
I’ve spent most of the summer and beginning of autumn redesigning my website, transferring the shop to this main website from the subdomain I was using until now, and hopefully I managed to bring everything into the 21st century. Many nights have been lost trying to make the website and online shop look and feel as simple and easy to use as possible. That’s when I understood that my work on it will never be done. For instance, I only managed to move 5% of my old image archive to the new online shop. I’ve made a nice first selection, but there’s lots of work to be done. So, the subdomain will stick around for a while.
In parallel, I worked on launching the new Luxembourg Magique 2023 calendar, a weekly calendar available in 3 sizes, with 52 pages and 52 images, one per each week of the new year. It has been a success so far, having been sold more than in any other previous year.
I’ve also published 2 new Luxembourg greeting cards for the winter holidays, in a new format than the 2 previously available models. I’ve also published 15 postcards that are available as a set on my website, or as individual postcards in some Ernster shops, especially in downtown Luxembourg city.
And to continue with the website and my online shop, I finally managed to add Amazon Pay, Payconiq and direct bank transfer as payment methods, all of which have been successfully used by clients in the months before Christmas. In the previous years, only PayPal and credit cards were available (and still are).
Autumn came with an avalanche of clients for event photography, business portraits, sports and real estate. Combine that with many new orders for books, greeting cards and calendars and the sleepless nights came back.
It continued like that until Christmas week, Christmas parties included, but I’m happy that I managed to fulfill all the orders and send all the photos to clients in time before the end of the year. The general consensus is that the pandemic is over, so it was only natural that the photography activity will be intense in this period.
I didn’t shoot that many pictures of Luxembourg in 2022, photographing for clients kept me mostly inside for long and probably the best periods, but I sure do have a huge archive of images to process from 2020 and 2021, the pandemic years. That means literally thousands of unpublished photos that will see the light in the coming years. I took this picture below in 2019, but only this year I had time to publish it, so you can imagine the backlog.
And when I say I didn’t shoot that many, it only means that I took some 60-70 photo tours, not that I didn’t shoot at all. I used to photograph Luxembourg almost every day in the past years, but this year I had to lower it down to every week or twice a week instead, having so many other jobs as a photographer. I’m happy that I found some new viewpoints, that’s pretty exciting after photographing Luxembourg for 7-8 years.
I had to prioritize my main activity as a corporate and events photographer, so I can make sure I can pay my bills.
It wasn’t all nice and sweet this year. I’ve prepared many more photo products and gifts for the Christmas and New Year season, but most of them never made it to my online shop, having been disappointed with either the quality of the final products or their delivery times. When a project looks good and makes sense in my head, it doesn’t mean it will be a success in real life, as I depend on large producers as well. To explain, I’m not in the business of selling ink and paper (or whatever other materials), but in the business of selling my photos, designs, ideas, sometimes in digital format, sometimes on various supports or objects. If my suppliers for physical products don’t deliver as expected, I have to take the loss. I do have a list of my preferred producers that I like to work with, but I’m always trying to find new ones or new products. And if they don’t live up to my expectations, I can’t push my losses onto the final clients. In the end, every loss is a lesson learned.
But all in all, 2022 turned out to be a good year, with lots of activity, and the next one looks interesting already, with a few photo jobs set up for January and February, plus many new projects that I didn’t have time to finish this year but are very well contoured to be done in the next year.
I’ll see you in 2023, let’s have a fresh start and a fantastic year ahead.
Happy New Year!