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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 28 Aug 2011 (Sunday) 23:43
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Really looking to pick up photography permanently as a job but...

 
dannequin
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Location: Sioux Falls, SD
     
Aug 28, 2011 23:43 |  #1

Weighing the positives and negatives if it's worth it...

Ideally I'd love to do concert / head shot / architecture -- and I've been shooting for 3 years, and I've also worked along side of a professional photographer in town -- so I have a pretty good understanding of what goes on.

My problem is, in my town I don't believe there is a huge market for what I'm after, I could do senior stuff (as I've helped out with sessions) but so much of what I'd have to get, cost wise, seems so overwhelming... a bit nerve wrecking to say the least. I have a thought of going to the bank for a loan, but my thought process is -- if I get the gear -- can I make the money to not only pay it off, but survive? This is what keeps me from launching... I see people who are looking for photos, but I don't know if that'd be only a limited thing and eventually I make no money.

I'm tired of working a 9 to 5 job and would love to do something like this, I can't justify as of right now if the risk is worth it...


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Frugal
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Aug 29, 2011 00:07 |  #2

My problem is, in my town I don't believe there is a huge market for what I'm after

Big red flag for any service business. Whatever your abilities don't quit your day job unless you can live for 2-3 years without any income and a modest income thereafter. The market is saturated with people who have just bought their first DSLR and are hanging out their shingle AND are willing to work for free. You may have much more experience than them but they are your competition.


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ImCBParker
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Aug 29, 2011 00:59 |  #3

Frugal wrote in post #13016967 (external link)
Big red flag for any service business. Whatever your abilities don't quit your day job unless you can live for 2-3 years without any income and a modest income thereafter. The market is saturated with people who have just bought their first DSLR and are hanging out their shingle AND are willing to work for free. You may have much more experience than them but they are your competition.

Take that advice. If you do not have the start up capital, or the ability to support your family for the next three years (mortgage/rent, health insurance, car, auto insurance, etc) do not do it. I can all but guarantee you will not get a business loan for photography in these economic conditions (perhaps personal if you have enough positive home equity) so your start up capital is key.

Keep your day job. 9-5 jobs are hard to come by and be grateful for a steady stream of income and hopefully insurance.

Read this article (external link) and come back to us.


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ssim
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Aug 29, 2011 02:26 as a reply to  @ ImCBParker's post |  #4

Any company that is looking to open up in a specific community is going to do market research to see if this area can support them along with businesses already serving the area. Too many people that want to go full time still have a part time mentality and that can be a kiss of death in a hurry. I think you already have part of your answer. If you want to be a photographer who says that you have to do it where you currently live. People move for jobs all the time. I know a couple of guys that went from part time to full time but moved to smaller communities (12-15K people) because there was a good corporate base and there was no established studios, though several people doing it part time. You are going to run into the latter no matter where you go these days.

Have you done a business plan? If you are thinking about going to a bank for a loan or operating line of credit you are going to have to have one, a realistic one. Any decent bank manager will give you the straight goods on whether the plan is workable or not. You might want to read up on the net or get a book on putting business plans together.

I just don't see where there is a liveable salary to be made in concert work. Portrait/Headshots and architecture probably has more potential revenue depending on where you live.

I'm not trying to deter you but give you an honest opinion. I think it is important that people chase their dreams but sometimes they have to just remain that. It is important to have realistic goals and objectives in life so that you have a target. If that means you have to relocate to achieve these then that is what you should consider. The other huge factor right now is the economy. Are people really spending money on discretionary things like portraits. Companies should be spending it on marketing material but many of them don't see it that way. I do predominantly commercial work and I've met with quite a few companies that really want to spend more on marketing but have a hard time letting go of the cash in this economy. No doubt it is a huge step in life and when you do that list of pros and cons do it honestly, don't cheat yourself.


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pkim1230
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Aug 30, 2011 16:50 |  #5

ImCBParker wrote in post #13017145 (external link)
Read this article (external link) and come back to us.

great read. thanks for the post.



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chauncey
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Aug 30, 2011 18:15 as a reply to  @ pkim1230's post |  #6

A free source of information is no further that your local banker, assuming that you have built up some kind of rapport with him. Quiz him on the viability of your plan.


The things you do for yourself die with you, the things you do for others live forever.
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highergr0und
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Aug 30, 2011 18:34 |  #7

What do you have to offer that will set yourself apart from the competition?

What are you willing to give up to chase the dream?

What will you do if things don't go the way you want them to?

Have you researched and written a detailed business plan? You will want to lay out any and all costs.... there are a lot of hidden things.

The last thing you want to do is just walk into a bank and ask for money with nothing really to back it up. You need to approach this like a business professional who want to do photography, not a photographer that wants to be in business.

I know you don't like the 9 to 5, but if you don't have enough capital to buy equipment, I'm guessing you don't have enough to live without income. I would look hard at either coming up with a plan to work towards while keeping the job (save a ton), or I would look for a job with a flexible schedule (think serving/bartending) that would allow you to photograph along with it.


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RichSoansPhotos
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Aug 30, 2011 18:47 |  #8
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Concert photography is one of the hardest jobs to get into, there are literally thousands in the job, whilst there are many more...not wanting to temper your enthusiasm, but that is the hard factor of life. So I wouldn't be giving up your day job on the thought that isn't a market, there is, but it is hard to get in.




  
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Really looking to pick up photography permanently as a job but...
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