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Thread: Making a good living - Is photography a good career choice?

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    Making a good living - Is photography a good career choice?

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    f o t o w o r x

    People taking the time out to give me CC is always very much appreciated

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    He has a great blog lots of info.

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    I had to laugh when I read this article.

    My daughter is living her dream (she is 24), working in NYC as a photographer. At this point in her life money is nothing, she needs enough just to feed herself and pay her rent, savings is a dream I hope it's a really long time before the reality of this article sinks in, I cannot tell you how proud I am of her.

    Also just an interesting aside, she was published in a fashion magazine in Australia this month using a very old Canon film camera, she does own a 'good' camera (canon of course ) but will fall into the category of not needing to upgrade every year. That old adage, it's what's behind the camera not the camera itself.

    Another also, my daughter doesn't shoot weddings but a lot of other types of photography, so the images she has could very well be worth a lot in years to come - so the equity thing isn't quite correct.
    "Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!"
    — Hunter S. Thompson

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    I am older than I look. peterb666's Avatar
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    It was a fun read, thanks for sharing.
    Cheers

    PeterB666


    Visit my 52/2011 My photos on Flickr. On Model Mayhem now (fortunately not as a model) My new blogsite!

    Olympus OM-D E-M5 with Metabones Speed Booster and Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 - almost as insanely wicked as sin itself.

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    So that is where I went wrong !
    I was never told any of this at school, at home or at trade schooling ??
    I went into my own busines, wore out & dropped out.
    As they say, "When you are up to your armpits in crocodiles, it is hard to remember that you are ment to be draining the swamp".
    Now the rest of the country picks up the tab for my lack of training & knowledge ?
    Pretty dumb isn't it

    Cheers
    Col

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    Shore Crawler Dylan & Marianne's Avatar
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    great read! hence I fall in the part timer category
    Call me Dylan! www.everlookphotography.com | www.everlookphotography.wordpress.com | www.flickr.com/photos/dmtoh
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    what a great article, really gives a no nonsense truth to photography as a career, doesnt it??
    I have now been educated and have come to realise the following.
    1. I will not have much chance at making a zillion bucks out of photography. ( yeah well I figured that out just by looking at the photos I take - no rocket science there )
    2. My expensive camera is now worth jack - yeah knew that, everything depreciates and new versions pop up every day.
    3. Having lots of good photos will not create a retirement wealth, because unless someone really wants them, they are not worth the photo paper, or smart stick they are on. - NONE of my photos have led me to any delusions of grandure at this stage (lol)
    4. I will now go and throw my worthless camera into the bin, because it is not going to be a viable form of making a living. woe is me.
    I think one of the replies to his post was very relevent, you have to make yourself some sort of niche market, or come up with something new that will be "wanted' (not necessarily needed) by every photographer out there and who will just want to go out and buy. Not sure what that might be at this stage, but will get the ol' thinking cap on

    There are quite a few people out there who have managed to make ends meet quite nicely via photography, but I understand where he is coming from, at the end of the day, you may not necesarily have anything to sell off, not like a shop that has the building, lease, stock or goodwill as assets. But at the end of the day, I am assuming that the majority of people that are "into" photography are into it more for the challenge, the fun and enjoyment and the satisfaction of being able to take a photo of something ordinary and be able to make it look spectacular, it is more of an art form than anything. There are a few who become very well known as photographers and who market their photos very successfully, but they are more the minority than majority, and good on them. I would love to be able to take the types of photos that the Steve Parish's, Peter Dobre's, Ken Duncan's and Stavros Pipposes of the world do, and I have seen some photos on this forum from people who certainly do take photos of this callibre, but at this stage of the game, I am just a person who has a camera and doesnt get enough time in the day to really put serious time into something I hope I will have a lot of time for later in my life.
    Now back to reality - work in the morning - ho hum

  8. #8
    are you serious? Shelley's Avatar
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    I tell ya, never went into it for the money.

    Very interesting read.
    Shelley
    (constructive criticism welcome)

    www.shelleypearsonphotography.com


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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    If you want to become a world famous pro-photographer, I would say the adage, T'is not what you know, it is who you know, is extremely true. There are many photographers out there who can take photos with the best of them, but they aren't names like Geddes, LaChapelle, Leibovitz etc.

    These people pushed their skills, came up with creative and original concepts and were lucky enough to meet someone who was in a position to get them 'in the door' of the rich and famous. Once you get someone who is rich and famous espousing your merits, you can soon be elevated to the status of famous photographer, yourself. But it doesn't mean at all, that you are better than other unknown photographers out there, it is all about being in the right place at the right time and going with the opportunities that you encounter. For some this is luck, for others, they have a drive (and the skills) and they make sure they are in places where there is a chance of getting noticed by someone. After all, no use wanting to be a photographer to the Hollywood Stars, and living life in Hobart, Tasmania. If you want to do that, you need to be willing to move to Hollywood/L.A.

    There seems to be this perception that if you are good enough, you will be a famous photographer, or make lots of money. In reality, it isn't your photography skills that get you there (though you do need them), it is luck and determination, meeting the right people and recognising an opportunity and going for it. It is often everything but your photography skills that gives someone their 'big break'.

    There are a lot of very fine professional photographers out there, who are as good, if not better, than the world famous ones.

    There are also a lot of mediocre photographers who think they should be making twice as much money as they do, but are not changing their business plan to achieve that. Rather they lament the outside influences that stop them being so. When really is it what drives a photographer internally, that will make or break them, in most cases. So if you want to be a professional photographer, and have the skills (really have them), then the only thing stopping you is how intense your drive is to succeed. Cause a half hearted attempt will not get you there.

    Is it easy, as the article shows, no it isn't. Is it do-able, of course it is!
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    I'm often surprised at how much attention this forum places on photography as a business. After all most of us are amateurs aren't we? And photography is a fantastic hobby, it's deeply satisfying when you get it right, and it has tremendous depth (that is you can be as casual or as serious as you like, and if you get really serious you will never stop learning, and hopefully never stop getting better at it). And you can even make money from it sometimes.

    But as a business I should think nearly all of us would be better off getting a regular job and using that to finance the hobby...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    If you want to become a world famous pro-photographer, I would say the adage, T'is not what you know, it is who you know, is extremely true. There are many photographers out there who can take photos with the best of them, but they aren't names like Geddes, LaChapelle, Leibovitz etc.
    I think theres a lot of truth in that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    If you want to become a world famous pro-photographer, I would say the adage, T'is not what you know, it is who you know, is extremely true. There are many photographers out there who can take photos with the best of them, but they aren't names like Geddes, LaChapelle, Leibovitz etc.

    These people pushed their skills, came up with creative and original concepts and were lucky enough to meet someone who was in a position to get them 'in the door' of the rich and famous. Once you get someone who is rich and famous espousing your merits, you can soon be elevated to the status of famous photographer, yourself. But it doesn't mean at all, that you are better than other unknown photographers out there, it is all about being in the right place at the right time and going with the opportunities that you encounter. For some this is luck, for others, they have a drive (and the skills) and they make sure they are in places where there is a chance of getting noticed by someone. After all, no use wanting to be a photographer to the Hollywood Stars, and living life in Hobart, Tasmania. If you want to do that, you need to be willing to move to Hollywood/L.A.

    There seems to be this perception that if you are good enough, you will be a famous photographer, or make lots of money. In reality, it isn't your photography skills that get you there (though you do need them), it is luck and determination, meeting the right people and recognising an opportunity and going for it. It is often everything but your photography skills that gives someone their 'big break'.

    There are a lot of very fine professional photographers out there, who are as good, if not better, than the world famous ones.

    There are also a lot of mediocre photographers who think they should be making twice as much money as they do, but are not changing their business plan to achieve that. Rather they lament the outside influences that stop them being so. When really is it what drives a photographer internally, that will make or break them, in most cases. So if you want to be a professional photographer, and have the skills (really have them), then the only thing stopping you is how intense your drive is to succeed. Cause a half hearted attempt will not get you there.

    Is it easy, as the article shows, no it isn't. Is it do-able, of course it is!
    The same can be said of any trade or profession. Some have it, some don't. Grasping opportunities as they go by !

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    I reckon that there would be a bit of $ to be made in post production.

    PP'ing other photographers photos for a fee. All done via email (of ftp) from the comfort of your own home.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimD View Post
    I reckon that there would be a bit of $ to be made in post production.

    PP'ing other photographers photos for a fee. All done via email (of ftp) from the comfort of your own home.
    altready done quite extensively (and cheaply) by companies in the sub-continent.
    Darren
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    How much do they charge Darren? You woudn't happen to have a link would you?

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    altready done quite extensively (and cheaply) by companies in the sub-continent.
    Yep, India in particular has whole centre's setup to PP images at rates way below what you could offer in Australia.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimD View Post
    How much do they charge Darren? You woudn't happen to have a link would you?
    Just google "Photo processing India"

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Yep, India in particular has whole centre's setup to PP images at rates way below what you could offer in Australia.
    But why couldn't someone in Oz do it for the same price? Someone on a pension or something similiar might be a good earner?

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    I guess thy could Jim, I guess it always depends on skill, availability, and rates

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    Just Googled Ricks search words...boy there's a lot of hits and there prices are very cheap.

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