View Full Version : Working semi as a pro photographer?
8th of July 2005 (Fri), 19:48
thinking about my future - would it be sensible to work as a professional photographer part time but also work at another job (say...pilot)?
8th of July 2005 (Fri), 19:51
I do photography as a part time gig. And I have a horse named Pilot. So I would say yes it is comepletely possible to have a full time career and venture into photography on a professional level.
I think that is what makes photography so accessible and attractive to those of us that have "day jobs". But myabe that's just me.
- Digital Prophet -
8th of July 2005 (Fri), 19:53
Well I'm on that same bandwagon. Drive truck to pay the bills and support my family, but earn extra money as a photographer and Designer. I think if you're serious about it though, you should definatley set a plan in place.
8th of July 2005 (Fri), 20:27
Ok, thanks for that!
4th of August 2005 (Thu), 17:03
This is something I'm considering at the moment. I have a full time job with a decent salary, and I know photography could not match that salary for me (not with my level of talent anyway), but it could maybe fund one or two days a week. There are excellent free programs in my home city for people who are thinking of setting up their own business, so I'm signing up for one of those, and have made the initial approach to my employers to see if I can cut back my hours.
It's scary, but I don't get anything like the same satisfaction from anything else as I do from photography. And life is too short to spend 40+ hours a week in a job that makes me wonder what the whole point is.
4th of August 2005 (Thu), 23:42
There are a couple factors.
If you already have a job, no don't quit, ease your way into the field, there is no saying that you will be successful. The thing with photography is, you need lots of talent, a very strong portfolio, and some luck to get noticed. I mean, you might think your pictures are good, but make sure there is a market out there for them. You are not the one buying your pictures.
Are you doing formal education? That is also a big factor. If you want to land a job as a studio photographer for a big ad agency or any other employer, they like to see a formal education or enough experience to equal a degree/diploma.
What do you want to do? Photography, you can take pictures of an empty road or naked women, there is a very wide range of genres you can work in. You need to decide on an area and develop your skills there. Some areas make little money, some make well into the six figures and more. I enjoy most photography so I will go where the money is.
It's something that you really work at, take my word for it, it's not easy work, there are tight time limits, lots of stress and in many cases, very little room for error. I shot a thing for Ford, which was my first big shoot, time is money, models cost money, location costs money, assistants cost money, equipment costs money. So you need to get everything done perfectly in the least amount of time as possible. But for me the final results are so worth it. But then you can do other photography that has very little stress and can make very little. Wedding photography is also another big money maker that has lots of stress to get things done right.
Take your time, make sure it's the right thing for you, so go with your heart.
7th of August 2005 (Sun), 21:57
Bloo, yup, it feels strange to say, "I can't take on any more paying work in my part time business" but I am now saying it all the time! I only have three clients and I can't get everything done in a timely manner. Be careful or you'll be successful ... and then what?
8th of August 2005 (Mon), 20:20
Well, Bloo, in my case, it is unlikely that photography can support me in the manner to which I am accustomed, sigh, so I will have to retire from my day job as a computer programmer for the University of California at Santa Barbara after I have put in enough years to get a moderate pension ... and that's five to seven more for me. So, my plan is to continue to work with my three clients putting all the income into equipment during that time and building my portfolio ... this will include good printers, computer power, top-of-the-line cameras. lenses and accessories as well as outfitting a studio. When I retire from UCSB I will then expand my photography business as far as it will take me. My much younger wife will continue working her good job, probably until after I am long gone! I am actually hoping never to have to rely on photographic income, but once I have retired my income will drop so dramatically that I expect that it won't continue to all go back into equipment/supplies. Got an alternative? :)
9th of August 2005 (Tue), 16:18
I am doing the best I can considering my quadruple coronary bypass in December ... at noontime at work I play tennis three days a week and swim with my wife the other two. On the weekends I ride my bicycle over my training route. I don't smoke (I did for 18 years.) I drink in moderation. I eat too much, my only failing! :-)
However, I do need to take your last piece of advice more seriously!
I hope all this talk helps Calgary somehow ... we've sorta stolen his thread.
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