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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 12 Jan 2012 (Thursday) 13:16
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Are You Making Money Doing The Photography You Love?

 
samefly
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Jan 12, 2012 13:16 |  #1

So I just watched this interview with photographer Sue Bryce. During the interview she says something along the lines of how people kept trying to pressure her to do photography she wasn't interested in in order to make money. She says instead she focused stronger on the photography she was passionate about and that instead of doing photography she didn't enjoy she evolved her business model/marketing plan, learned photoshop, and changed her business name to something more appealing. She now makes a considerable amount each week doing what she loves. She also credits having the right state of mind and defining yourself.

Interview:
http://vimeo.com/33278​092 (external link)


So that brings me to my question: How many of you out there are making income doing the type of photography you love to do? If not, what could you do differently to be able to allow you to do more of what you love?

Footnote:
I'm new and haven't actually started on the business end. Still doing a lot of research on that side of things. I'm actually still discovering what I'm passionate about and what I enjoy. However, there are some things I'm clearly not passionate about and can't imagine having to do them more than just on occasion. I think if I did it would negatively effect my enjoyment of photography.


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tracknut
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Jan 12, 2012 13:59 |  #2

I'm certainly shooting only what I love, but if I needed to make 100% of my income from performance dog photography I suspect I'd be in trouble. But I can relate, it is very nice to be able to carve out a niche of subjects and focus on just the ones that appeal.

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nathancarter
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Jan 12, 2012 14:39 |  #3

I made $200 last week but then I got a $204 speeding ticket coming home from the shoot.

So... no.


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tracknut
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Jan 12, 2012 14:40 |  #4

nathancarter wrote in post #13693240 (external link)
I made $200 last week but then I got a $204 speeding ticket coming home from the shoot.

So... no.

I wonder if its tax deductible :)


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veritasimg
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Jan 12, 2012 15:15 as a reply to  @ tracknut's post |  #5

Yes.

Without profit it's not a business but a hobby.

For those budding or trying to start a 'photography business'. Stop buying gear each time you get a paying gig. ;)


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samefly
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Jan 12, 2012 15:49 |  #6

veritasimg wrote in post #13693464 (external link)
Yes.

Without profit it's not a business but a hobby.

For those budding or trying to start a 'photography business'. Stop buying gear each time you get a paying gig. ;)

ahh sage advice haha... just to further clarify the question: it isn't just about are you making a profit period/overall but are you profiting for doing the photography you personally love doing? You could love doing architectural photography and hate doing grade school photos but find yourself living off those school trips. So are you making it by doing the one you love or do you find yourself doing more of the other? You could be the type that's just happy being behind the camera no matter what you're shooting, as long as you're getting paid.

So are you making a living shooting what you love?


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Jan 12, 2012 16:31 |  #7

veritasimg wrote in post #13693464 (external link)
Yes.

Without profit it's not a business but a hobby.

For those budding or trying to start a 'photography business'. Stop buying gear each time you get a paying gig. ;)

What fun is that?


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GadgetRick
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Jan 12, 2012 16:42 as a reply to  @ Grumpy_one's post |  #8

Well, I venture to guess about 99.9% of pros out there are doing things which aren't their main passion to make ends meet. I know I do.

It's quite rare when someone can shoot just the things they're passionate about shooting and make enough money to survive. It's possible but not easy to do.

But, then again, just about EVERYONE out there does things they don't want to do in order to survive in their jobs whether it's the actual job or aspects of the job. It's not uncommon at all.




  
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Jan 12, 2012 23:28 |  #9
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I love shooting concerts, and I make money doing so.

I don't make a lot, mind you, but usually enough to cover my bar tab...

:)


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Jan 13, 2012 05:11 |  #10

I have a full time job, so photography is a sideline - I make enough each month to cover the rent on my studio. I'm happy enough with this situation (for now) as I'm still learning studio lighting.

Stop buying gear each time you get a paying gig.

Definitely. I'm still using a 400D, kit lens and a nifty fifty. Can my clients tell from the photos that it's not high end gear? No. They get sharp glossy photos and they're (so far) delighted with them :)


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Jan 13, 2012 07:05 |  #11

when I started, this was additional income to my monday-friday thing

now my monday-friday thing is my additional income to my shooting... weddings have priority over everything else, and I often take days off or leave the office early for photo-related stuff (editing, meeting potential clients, etc...)

I did drop the monday-fritday thing for a while... found myself a bit on the bored side - all friends were at work, I had too much time on my hands... by the time I was done pestering friends to come hang out or go for coffee or something, it was the weekend, and I would have a wedding... so back to work during the week, and keeping busy helps!

oh, and I spend a lot less at work than I would at home!


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Jan 13, 2012 07:17 |  #12

Only recently have I been making enough to consider it a self-sustaining hobby. I'm certainly not a Pro as I still work stupid amounts of hours at a desk. lol

At this point it is just nice to make enough money to be able to upgrade any piece of my equipment at will with a little for the savings.

Luckily it's all been subject matter that I do enjoy. Thankfully I haven't received any requests from friends for weddings, family photos etc so this hasn't been an issue.... yet?


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Jan 13, 2012 07:40 as a reply to  @ altitude604's post |  #13

I have been supporting the family with photography since 1986. It isn't always what I love but it is the base that feeds the family, pays the mortgage, pays the taxes, buys the equipment and allows me to do my own personal work which is what I love and there is times when the two meet. I have gotten to a point in my career where clients are hiring me for the way my work looks and I turn away work that is not my style or what I am really, really good at.

Heres a quote by the great Edward Weston on the subject and it does hit close to home except I don't hate the commercial work the way he did.

"When money enters in, - then, for a price, I become a liar, - and a good one I can be whether with pencil or subtle lighting or viewpoint. I hate it all, but so do I support not only my family, but my own work." - Edward Weston




  
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Higgs ­ Boson
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Jan 13, 2012 13:57 |  #14

I've sold some prints of karting, family portraits and misc stuff. I like that photography. However, my real passion is taking pics of naked ladies. Not only have I not made any money doing it, I've never taken a picture of a naked lady.:cry:


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vomm
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Jan 13, 2012 14:23 |  #15

Higgs Boson wrote in post #13699161 (external link)
I've sold some prints of karting, family portraits and misc stuff. I like that photography. However, my real passion is taking pics of naked ladies. Not only have I not made any money doing it, I've never taken a picture of a naked lady.:cry:

:D why don't you ask a friend? hehe

i think your a privileged/lucky individual only doing what you like. Not just in photography but in life. most people get stuck with some boring 9-5 gig. its making the most of it ;)


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