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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 26 Aug 2017 (Saturday) 22:50
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Architecture and Photography

175 posts
Joined Mar 2009
Aug 26, 2017 22:50 |  #1

I've had this post in my mind for a while. It may ramble a bit, but I want to give the whole picture.

I am an Architect by trade, and have been at it about 15 years to get to the point that I am at in my life. I am an Associate, coming up on partner at my firm. The firm is successful and I feel that I am a big part of it. I love my job, for the most part, and I work my ass off.

Since 2009, I've had an architectural photography business that has gradually ramped up as I've gotten better skills and equipment. It's to the point now that I make about half of my daytime income with this business, and I only do it part time. The best times to shoot for architecture are typically when people aren't in facilities, so nights, lunch and weekends are when I'm available with my own time. I shoot for Contractors, other Architects, Product Manufacturers, and a variety of people in the industry that I'm in. I don't shoot for other people during my day job - 8 to 5 except lunch occasionally.

I really enjoy shooting. I even enjoy the editing and making beautiful pictures of architecture, and I've gotten really good.

Parts of me have considered pursuing the photo gig full time, but I don't think I could make near as much as I do in Architecture in my market. Albuquerque and New Mexico keeps me busy, and people fly me around occasionally to have me shoot their projects but it's not constant and there are months here and there that nothing comes up. That's hard with a family. At the moment, I'm jamming and can barely keep up.

The other option I could use advice on. My company is one that has incubated other businesses as their subsidiary companies. We have in house structural, landscaping, security consulting and interior design firms, that are structured to work for not only us, but for other companies also. I'm wondering if there is a way to incorporate architectural photography into our company in a way that benefits me enough to pitch it to them. As it is now, I operate on my own hours, make 100% of that money, pay my taxes and it's profit. In the other scenario, they are going to want to monetize it in some way to make it worth it for themselves. I suppose I could use some of their connections in larger markets to pitch my photos to them and work under my own heading, on regular hours.

I thought you guys in here might have some thoughts on my scenario. I appreciate your thoughts.

MattO (external link)

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Scott ­ Spellman
203 posts
Gallery: 2 photos
Likes: 121
Joined Oct 2015
Location: Royal Oak MI
Aug 28, 2017 10:05 |  #2

Based on your information, the best scenario seems to be to keep on doing things exactly as they are until you are at least confirmed as a partner in your firm. This maximizes your income, keeps you in the role of photographer, gives you time flexibility, and is very stable. If you were going to make an offer to add photography services to your firm, it would be stronger if you where already a partner. Bringing your photography services into your firm would likely bring you more work as a manager/sales/trainer than photographer, gives you less time flexibility, and only makes sense if the photography income expands by at least double.

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Architecture and Photography
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