Warning - This whole post is off topic, ignore it if all you want is to read about the delay of the sigma 120-300.
Heh not your average kind of photography, agreed.
Actually I´m not that professional. It´s 10-20% of my income. And at the moment it covers my expenses but not much more.
I shoot everything related to swedish agriculture (tractors, yes. But also landscapes and animals. Hopefully portraits of farmers aswell. Have done som food photography aswell but that is not my primary niche.) My customers are
- Mashine companies who sell tractors, combines etc.
- Organizations like the Federation of Swedish Farmers, Focus on Nutrients to name a few.
- Advicing firms
The tractor images that sell are of modern models. And the tricky part is that the plough or wagon or harrow or whatever is pulled with the tractor needs to be of a brand that my costumer also sell. Some of my best photos are of course with the wrong combination, and unsellable.
I have really not made any advertising yet. When I do I will also try to make banks and ensurance companies interested in my photos, since farmers are great and reliable costumers for them. Then I think I will turn to authorities.
It´s not a big market - but easy to navigate and not too much competition. It´s also quite easy to sell photos since for instance John Deere tractors usually have the rocky mountains or some huge field in I don´t know.. montana or texas or something, and that is NOT what fields in Sweden look like. I simply give my clients more suitable photos.
So... all those guys who tell you to specialize are quite right, specialize like crazy and you buissnies will be easier to manage, your clients will be easier to find and they will more easily find you. Now enough of my friends know what I do, so the clients come to me. So in a year or two, with more work, I hope to go to 50% photography. The rest of the time I work as an advicer and agricultural engineer (Degree of Master of Science (one year) in technology from the Swedish University of Agriculture) with a focus on renewable energy and comunication. My vacation is spent on my parents farm. Working with... you guessed right, agriculture. So photographing and farming in practise and in therory...
That´s me. So basicly, my shooting style has to be fast and my gear needs to be robust. I need fast lenses because I can´t rely on tripods while climbing up and down tractors and combines. Im often running along the tractor I am photographing with a 14mm lens on my 5d mkII or III and the other body is laying in a ditch or in a tractor nearby. It´s dirty, dusty and loud. I had an insect running around inside the viewfinder of my 5d mkII last autumn. Litteraly, it was inside my camera. Then I think it died because it was in my bottom left corner of the viewfinder. Could not see it when I removed the lens, not when I removed the focus screen.... and now it´s gone and since the camera is working, I really don´t mind. Was a bit of a surprise though, seeing the little fellow running around in there.
So the 120-300 is fast and long. I can stay on the edge of a field and compress lines from wheeltracks or whatever to get leading lines to the tractor. It´s also great for shooting cows and sheep; while they are not wild, they behave diffently if you get close. So a photo of a cow shot with a 300 /2.8 is very different from a photo taken with 35/1.4 since the cow would be curious if you get too close, changing her body language. And they might bump you hard if you get too close. But then again, as I said before, I have not sold any photo made with the 120-300 yet and it will take a year or two before I know if it was a good investment, but I have a feeling it is.
Oh, that´s a long reply and way of topic for this thread. I´m sorry fot that. But you asked