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Why do a lot of people have this desperate need to make money from photography?

FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk
Thread started 11 Apr 2012 (Wednesday) 19:56   
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fotoworx
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Why do a lot of people have this desperate need to make money from photography? Not talking about professionals of course who make a living from photography, just the hobbiests that seem to have an almost desperate need to get back something monetarily from photography.

I ponder this often when reading a lot of people threads on different photography forums worldwide, this 'need' to make money from photography. Why do so many people have this drive to make money from their hobby? Why do so many people see photography (their hobby) as some sort of cash cow?

Don't say it's a way to recoup monies spent on pricey equipment. There's many many costlier hobbies and pursuits than photography and people don't see the need to charge (even family members!) others to get some money back on their expenditure like many photographers seem to do.

Because they've 'produced' something? Honestly, you've pushed a button on an electronic handheld computer and it's captured an image......good for you (:)) (ok I've taken some liberty there, but you get the idea).

I've given away so many framed prints of images to people who have commented that they liked a photo of mine. I was tickled pink to do this. I didn't start adding up the cost of the equipment used to capture the image, the cost of the software to manipulate it, the cost of the paper to print it, the cost of the ink to print it, the cost of the printer that was printing it. I was just happy being generous to a family member or a friend.

One of my other hobbies is woodturning. XXXXX amount of dollars tied up in machinery, tools and exotic wood blanks. When you've spent hours and sometimes days making something from a rough piece of wood into a beautiful and functional piece of 'art' you can really say you 'made it'. I've made hundreds of pieces and given every single one of them away. I'm not unusual here, in my group of "woodies" they all give their 'art' away for free. They don't see the need to recoup on their outlay of machinery and wood, nor make money from their 'art'.

Another pastime is water skiing and wakeboarding. My boat is worth XXXXXX the thought has never crossed my mind when family, friends and friends of friends are being towed behind me to ask them for a cheque or better yet have a credit card point of sale device on board so that after their go they can pay me for the privilege.......so that I can recoup some of my outlay.

The examples of hobbies and pastimes that cost a lot of money to do could go on and on.

So what is this inexplicable (at least to me) need for lots of people to charge money for photography? What stops people from being generous, even with their own family members when it comes to taking photos and giving images away?

What is it that overcomes some people as soon as they purchase a camera, unbox it and think "I'm going to make some money from this"?

When it comes to photography, some of us do seem a little precious.

Post #1, Apr 11, 2012 19:56:28


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Jim
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airfrogusmc
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Good question.

I do this for a living and have been for several decades now. But what I do for me is very different from what I do living. My professional photography pays the bills blah blah and that frees up what I do for me to be just for me. I have sold some work and have had some success showing in galleries and such but I don't have to sell that work to eat. In fact I couldn't support the family and have any standard of living doing that.

I think in our society we equate success with money so therefore if we make money with our work it must be good. Its a measure of worth though very misguided.

Post #2, Apr 11, 2012 20:05:53




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DAMphyne
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If you're an artist, your stuff won't be valuable till after you die, otherwise, you might as well get what it's worth today.
If I made a picture and gave it away for the Joy of giving, nothing more is expected.
If someone asks me to make them a print, it's for sale, unless she's really cute. ;)

Post #3, Apr 11, 2012 20:14:15


David
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rick_reno
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I have a neighbor who is driven to make money from his photography, it's insane.

Post #4, Apr 11, 2012 20:15:11




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nicksan
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People wanting to make money?!? That's just plain weird man. :lol:

Post #5, Apr 11, 2012 20:24:42


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TooManyShots
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Why? Don't know. We have the same amount of people making some small side money from photography as well as people giving away photos for free.

Post #6, Apr 11, 2012 20:33:18


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fotoworx
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airfrogusmc wrote in post #14250530external link
I think in our society we equate success with money so therefore if we make money with our work it must be good. Its a measure of worth though very misguided.

Thats a good point.

Post #7, Apr 11, 2012 20:37:11


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SOK
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1. Buy rebel kit
2. Set up Facebook business
3. ???
4. Profit

Post #8, Apr 11, 2012 20:46:01 as a reply to TooManyShots's post 12 minutes earlier.


Steve
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brokensocial
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Lots of different motives. We started a business because we enjoyed our hobby and wanted to pursue it full time.

Post #9, Apr 11, 2012 20:46:23


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fotoworx
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nicksan wrote in post #14250632external link
People wanting to make money?!? That's just plain weird man. :lol:

I think you're astute enough to have read my post and differentiated between making a living from and being a hobbiest with sense of entitlement to make even a dollar back for the mere fact that they own a camera.

Again....When it comes to photography, some of us do seem a little precious.

Post #10, Apr 11, 2012 20:47:53


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highergr0und
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It sounds like you've got plenty of money to spend on hobbies. I did not do my due diligence when it came to getting hooked on photography and it is pretty expensive.

That said, I don't expect to make money from it. I imagine that a lot of the money talk here is driven from the fact that to many, money = success, or even lack of offer of money for services = outrage = success.

Post #11, Apr 11, 2012 20:48:25


T3i, Sigma 10-20, Sigma 30 1.4, 18-55 kit, 55-250, YN-565, a few books, some software, and a desire to get good.....

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FlyingPhotog
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...because brain surgery as a hobby is illegal.

Post #12, Apr 11, 2012 20:48:42


Jay
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fotoworx
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FlyingPhotog wrote in post #14250763external link
...because brain surgery as a hobby is illegal.

Now that really is bw!

:D:D

Post #13, Apr 11, 2012 20:49:53


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SOK
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airfrogusmc wrote in post #14250530external link
I think in our society we equate success with money so therefore if we make money with our work it must be good. Its a measure of worth though very misguided.

Seriously though, this is probably the crux of it.

Along with the fact that it's so stupidly easy to make money* from photography.

Other hobbies have significant barriers between the "starting out" and a "making money" phase (think music, sport, fishing, auto, or wood work as per the OP's example), whereas photography doesn't.


*doesn't necessarily mean lots of money, and often doesn't equate to profit.

Post #14, Apr 11, 2012 20:50:38


Steve
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mike_d
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FlyingPhotog wrote in post #14250763external link
...because brain surgery as a hobby is illegal.

And few people will walk up to you and say, "You have a nice knife, can you cut out this tumor for $50?"

Post #15, Apr 11, 2012 20:51:23




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