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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 17 Jul 2011 (Sunday) 16:58
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Photography: Possible Career? Advice Needed

 
quiksquirrel
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Aug 12, 2011 03:17 |  #16

PeaceFire wrote in post #12801226 (external link)
Wow. This is horrible advice and you must really be miserable if this is how you look at life!

Honestly, I think this is a very naive way to look at things.

True. We should all be able to do what makes us happy, but few people are fortunate enough to make a living from their passion.

In today's economy, it can be difficult enough to find a good job, of any kind. Or even a crappy job sometimes.
Sometimes people NEED to do things that they don't exactly love, in order to get by. and there is nothing wrong with that. Hell,, most of the jobs that almost no one wants, are the ones that keep our society running day to day. Like the garbageman, postal worker, factory worker etc.
Do you really think the majority of these people are passionate about their jobs? Hell no. But I will also guaranty you that the majority of them don't live miserable lives.

There is nothing wrong with following ones dreams. But to think that this is the only way to ever be happy, WILL ensure that you will end up disappointed and miserable.
Unless you are one of the fortunate 0.01%.




  
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Wheeltracks
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Aug 12, 2011 10:49 |  #17

I have to agree with PeaceFire, do what you love if you love photography and want to make a career out of it. do it. I don't think its wrong to do so. Honestly I would rather get burnt out doing what I love then doing something that I am only doing because I have to, to support my family. I was a history major and recently decided that I will go and attend one of the best photography programs in my state, and its at a technical school. MY fiance has graduated from it this year and we are slowly getting our business up and running. I had been going to school for a degree in history and now decided to do this and go to school for photography. Now I am not going to let my history knowledge go to waste and I am going to go back and finish that degree.

Honestly, in my opinion, it is how you take that passion and apply it, it's how you get yourself out there to be successful. That definitely holds true with the marketing/business aspect of things. But if you cannot back up your bad ass promoting that gets you business with a great photograph, then that success you have promoting yourself will not help you.


Wheeltracks Photography-"On Track to Capturing Moments"
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my site www.wheeltracks.wordpr​ess.com (external link)

  
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JWright
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Aug 12, 2011 14:40 as a reply to  @ Wheeltracks's post |  #18

If you wish to make photography your career, I wish you well.

My suggestion would be to major in engineering and seek employment in that field. Engineers are always in demand...Perhaps do photography as a sideline for a part time income, or just stick to it as a hobby. Once you start doing something as a job it rapidly becomes work. Case in point: A friend of mine once asked me if I wanted to help him finish building a home-built aircraft he inherited from his father. At the time I was working as an aircraft assembly line mechanic and the last thing I wanted to do was work on an airplane on the weekends without getting paid for it.


John

  
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mobei
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Aug 12, 2011 14:50 as a reply to  @ post 12921044 |  #19

Tim has good advice. Now if you want to scrape thru life on bread crumbs and food stamps go for.




  
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nathancarter
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Aug 12, 2011 15:03 |  #20

jsilvestri wrote in post #12801043 (external link)
You know my original idea has been to start a video production business. I feel that there are a lot of photographers out there but video hasnt been tapped into its full potential and most people probably dont realize how good it can be. I've been a director of video production job before so i know what im getting into. im just wondering if i should completely skip over photography and dive into video. possibly then keeping photography and my hobby. and using those same techniques and tools to help with video. there really isnt a "video" minor though. just film and telivision production. when thats about the production more than the art of it, and what makes a film look and feel good.

I agree, and I think video is probably a better long-term business route.

I believe there's a niche for it, too - turn on the TV and look at any of the small business advertisements: most of them are garbage, just hard to watch. Technically horrible, and artistically uninspired. If you can produce something that's better, and keep your overhead low, and demonstrate to businesses that there's value in having a quality advertisement on broadcast AND ON THEIR WEBSITE, then I think there's room to run a successful business.

And when you have a weekend free, there's always wedding videography.


http://www.avidchick.c​om (external link) for business stuff
http://www.facebook.co​m/VictorVoyeur (external link) for fun stuff

  
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SaxonIV
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Aug 13, 2011 09:34 |  #21

tim wrote in post #12795993 (external link)
H3ll no. Photography is a really difficult way to make a living, and it's only going to get more difficult. People hire photographers less these days, as everyone has a friend with a camera that takes great photos.

Sure, a few people will make it, but IMHO 90% of photographers drop out quickly, 9% scrape by or do it as a second job, and 1% succeed, at least for a while.

As has been mentioned photography skills are really secondary. Business and marketing are more important. Generally though you still need to be in the top 1% of the population in terms of your photography ability though.

Dang. I sure have a hard time taking advice from someone who does the whole number substitution thing. That was such a drpressing reply. Was that meant to be in a joking tone?




  
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mobei
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Aug 13, 2011 17:10 as a reply to  @ SaxonIV's post |  #22

I don't know what the real numbers are but I do know that Pros income has dropped like a rock in my area. Far too many people with DSLR's these days. The only photogs that are going to make any money are a very few at the top and they will have to starve a long time to get there. Very much like the airlines do with their pilots. Can probably add small town media photogs also.




  
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tim
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Aug 13, 2011 18:56 |  #23

SaxonIV wrote in post #12927925 (external link)
Dang. I sure have a hard time taking advice from someone who does the whole number substitution thing. That was such a drpressing reply. Was that meant to be in a joking tone?

No, I was serious. I've gotten into the habit of not swearing on email because spam and profanity filters mean email doesn't arrive, I guess it's carried over to forum use accidentally too.


Professional wedding photographer, solution architect and general technical guy with multiple Amazon Web Services certifications.
Read all my FAQs (wedding, printing, lighting, books, etc)

  
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JacobPhoto
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Aug 15, 2011 00:57 |  #24

tim wrote in post #12795993 (external link)
H3ll no. Photography is a really difficult way to make a living, and it's only going to get more difficult. People hire photographers less these days, as everyone has a friend with a camera that takes great photos.

Sure, a few people will make it, but IMHO 90% of photographers drop out quickly, 9% scrape by or do it as a second job, and 1% succeed, at least for a while.

As has been mentioned photography skills are really secondary. Business and marketing are more important. Generally though you still need to be in the top 1% of the population in terms of your photography ability though.

I agree 100%. I've been shooting an automotive sanctioning body that has been around for 8 years. In that period of time, there has been around 98% turnover in the photographers who show up at the events. In fact, in just the past 4 years, there's probably less than 10 photographers who are still around shooting the series. There's always another GWC who's willing to come in and shoot for cheap / free, then give photos to the sponsors. After a year or two of that, they decide that they need to get paid, and the sponsors are on to getting photos from the next GWC.

I know I'm very lucky to have shot as many of the events as I've shot (around 75%), and to still be profitable. I have a small group of clients who have come to trust me, and rely on me for what I provide. I've had several people who have tried to steal those clients from me, but the relationships I've built with my clients has kept them committed to me.

PS - I have a day job where I work 9-5 m-f, and my photography is a nice 2nd income (which brings in around 15% of my total annual income). I'd never work as a photographer full time, even on staff.


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~ Some L glass, some flashes, the usual

  
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memoriesoftomorrow
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Aug 15, 2011 07:18 |  #25

SaxonIV wrote in post #12927925 (external link)
Dang. I sure have a hard time taking advice from someone who does the whole number substitution thing. That was such a drpressing reply. Was that meant to be in a joking tone?

Tim is right... as far as making a living goes it is getting harder all the time and I can't see that changing.


Peter

  
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Wheeltracks
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Aug 15, 2011 19:32 |  #26

you have to do it right for it to work. its not going to be easy, but if you do it right. you can make a nice living.


Wheeltracks Photography-"On Track to Capturing Moments"
Canon 7D, 55-250mm, 50mm 1.4
my site www.wheeltracks.wordpr​ess.com (external link)

  
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S.Horton
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Aug 15, 2011 19:37 |  #27

Video is hot. Follow the money. And the jobs.


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Adamora
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Aug 17, 2011 15:08 |  #28

I came here for inspiration and all i got was disappointment, Encouraging posts (as few as they are) aside =/.


[Adam]
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tim
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Aug 17, 2011 16:09 |  #29

Adamora wrote in post #12953040 (external link)
I came here for inspiration and all i got was disappointment, Encouraging posts (as few as they are) aside =/.

We thought you wanted good information, the truth, not platitudes.

Making it as a professional photographer is really, really difficult. Can you do it? Yeah, you probably can. Will it be easy, and will it be a good life? Probably not.


Professional wedding photographer, solution architect and general technical guy with multiple Amazon Web Services certifications.
Read all my FAQs (wedding, printing, lighting, books, etc)

  
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JacobPhoto
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Aug 17, 2011 16:09 as a reply to  @ Adamora's post |  #30

[false hopes]You can make MILLIONS as a photographer! You work 3 to 5 hours a day, 3 to 5 days a week, the pay checks show up minutes after you finish the photo shoot, and you'll be sipping umbrella drinks by the pool or at the beach more days than you actually work! It's GREAT!!! Everybody should become a full time photographer![/false hopes]

Is that what you wanted to hear, Adamora?

I think most photographers would say that the above is quite bw! for all the wrong reasons :lol:


~ Canon 7d / 5D ~ Novatron strobe setup + Vagabond
~ Some L glass, some flashes, the usual

  
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