If you follow some of my images --- you will notice > for example ::: one year wrought iron was in .... the next few years doors --- etc. I traveled around for about 30 years ... every year another spot. Researched what was "hot" in the major galleries /media > and then packed up to points beyond.
It was very difficult with color work You had to be in the "know' for next Falls' colour schemes ... Can't shoot a field of red flowers :: when pale blue is the future theme
In other words, you decided on your subjects just as a professional stock shooter does. Nothing wrong with that, and it could well be that galleries might even be more rewarding money-wise than sales via a stock agency. Today, I wouldn't doubt that for a moment, and the thought of spending money on travel ceased to make sense many years ago, even before digitial: simply too many guys shooting the same material just as well.
So what changed your mind regarding galleries and continuing to shoot for them? Change of company ownership/directors made huge changes to my commercial shooting, resulting in loss of contacts and their provision of work. Social mores also affected me: political correctness became a killer for calendars, as did rising paper and labour costs, of course.
A friend wrote recently that the entire face of commercial photography has changed... guess the face of everything has changed.