Some of the common laments that I hear often from fellow photographers are:
• "there aren't enough clients in my area for me"
• "studio xyz are charging so little that I have to reduce my prices too"
• "the market has been "spoilt" by hobby photographers and shoot & burners
• "people won't pay higher prices"
• "there's too much competition"
Whilst these problems may seem very real and it may seem flippant of me to dismiss them I would ask you to take a moment to really reflect what is going on inside you're mind when you find yourself focussing on one of these problems.
Have you actually performed market research and discoverd what people are "prepared" pay for your services? Do you actually know how many births take place in your local area? - and for that matter, do you know for a fact how far a person in is willing to travel to get to the photographer of their choice. In most cases the answer to these questions will be no, which means that these "problems" are actually fears rather than facts.
Now the good news is fears can be over come. A fear is just a belief. Some people refer to F.E.A.R. as False Evidence Appearing Real. Most of our fears are not life threatening so even if they turn out to be real, what's the worst that can happen? Usually, nothing at all. At best we learn something, at worst we have hide our red face for a while but live to fight another day.
So what if there's a hobby photographer down the road selling cheap images for less than a the price of a pint of milk; Do you think Massimo Bottura (owner of Osteria, the best restaurant in the world) is concerned about the McDonalds restaurant 8 minutes from his fine dining establishment?! Absolutely not! Nor is he concerned about the 100s of pizzerias, coffee shops, bars and other restaurants in the area. Because he is too busy offering his clients his own truth to enter into the story of another. Diners come to Osteria because they share in Bottura's vision, they believe what he believes and for a short while they want to exists in the same world as him.
If what you are offering your audience is truly and uniquely yours to offer then neither distance, price or competition will stand between them and their commitment to you.