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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 05 Apr 2012 (Thursday) 14:03
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Underwater Photography

 
DeepWrecks
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Apr 05, 2012 14:03 |  #1

I was wondering if anyone had any comments about the business of underwater photography. I shoot mostly wrecks, but am expanding to macro and people pictures. Any thoughts about what to do with a lot of these images? I do a bit of stock work, but looking of new ways to make money with underwater photography and videography. Also, I tend to do a lot of photography in 200 to 300 foot range. (that's depth not distance) any comments or suggestions are appreciated




  
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ssim
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Apr 05, 2012 17:05 |  #2

You must be a pretty good diver to be working at 300 feet and you also must be working with others in that industry that hopefully would give you some advice on this. I have just started to dive and am not equipped for decent underwater photography and certainly have no illusions of doing it commercially. I've met a few people along the way that do it commercially:
One is doing videos and stills of other divers on tourist dives (have seen this on 3 of the Hawaiian islands)
One man was hiring himself out to photograph the footings on bridges, docks and other structures that are situated in water. He said he was busy as hell and could work as much as he wanted.

This is one of those areas that I think if you market yourself right you can pretty much name your price. It's not like the GWC is going to be taking work away from you. The offshore oil industry always have divers working for them. I think you have a skill that can easily make you a decent living. I spend alot of time at tropical destinations and every diver seems to be selling pictures of underwater nature and ship wrecks. This also seems like a profession that you are going to have to travel extensively to get the work you want. You don't say where you are located in your profile.


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seaninsa
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Apr 05, 2012 17:20 |  #3

As I do UW photography as well and I know a lot that do it. There is not much to be made in it just from the photography stand point. You pretty much would need to lead groups to places, and the other aspects probably to even make any money if any. I am here in so cal and we have a lot of UW photographers. Some of the best in the world I think.

Unless you are doing work directly for the BBC and other production companies it is hard to make money doing this. Do you use a rebreather?




  
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CSMFoto
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Apr 05, 2012 18:31 |  #4

UW at 30+ ft? I'd say you're doing pretty well. I'd try and get into UW videography much more. I wouldn't think there would be that many videographer/photograp​hers being that is it so specialized.

Sadly there isn't UW weddings :-D

Best of luck!


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PhotosGuy
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Apr 05, 2012 22:42 |  #5

CSMFoto wrote in post #14216734 (external link)
Sadly there isn't UW weddings :-D

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DeepWrecks
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Apr 06, 2012 09:13 |  #6

CSMFoto wrote in post #14216734 (external link)
UW at 30+ ft? I'd say you're doing pretty well. I'd try and get into UW videography much more. I wouldn't think there would be that many videographer/photograp​hers being that is it so specialized.

Sadly there isn't UW weddings :-D

Best of luck!

we have underwater weddings here in key largo. not to often, but we do have them




  
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DeepWrecks
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Apr 06, 2012 09:22 |  #7

Hey, I live in Key Largo. To explain more about what I am doing. I am a technical diver not a commercial one. I use a 5d mark ii and next week (hopefully) will be using an aquatica housing. I bought this camera for the video part only. After getting to know this system better I fell in love with photography again. On my spare time I will be going on a boat and shooting video and stills of divers and the dive trip. I am still figuring out what reasonable prices would be for these. Any thoughts on what you would pay on a vacation for stills?
For my personal work is the deep technical stuff. I know there are probably less than a hundred people in the world doing what I am with the photo/video part of tec diving. I've got a pretty good handle on this aspect.




  
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DeepWrecks
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Apr 06, 2012 09:23 |  #8

ssim wrote in post #14216339 (external link)
You must be a pretty good diver to be working at 300 feet and you also must be working with others in that industry that hopefully would give you some advice on this. I have just started to dive and am not equipped for decent underwater photography and certainly have no illusions of doing it commercially. I've met a few people along the way that do it commercially:
One is doing videos and stills of other divers on tourist dives (have seen this on 3 of the Hawaiian islands)
One man was hiring himself out to photograph the footings on bridges, docks and other structures that are situated in water. He said he was busy as hell and could work as much as he wanted.

This is one of those areas that I think if you market yourself right you can pretty much name your price. It's not like the GWC is going to be taking work away from you. The offshore oil industry always have divers working for them. I think you have a skill that can easily make you a decent living. I spend alot of time at tropical destinations and every diver seems to be selling pictures of underwater nature and ship wrecks. This also seems like a profession that you are going to have to travel extensively to get the work you want. You don't say where you are located in your profile.

wanted to say thanks! you gave me some great ideas with the bridges and oil comments. I live in the keys and that's all there is here is bridges.




  
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CSMFoto
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Apr 06, 2012 10:48 |  #9


Get tappin! Hahahaha


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seaninsa
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Apr 07, 2012 18:48 |  #10

DeepWrecks wrote in post #14219832 (external link)
Hey, I live in Key Largo. To explain more about what I am doing. I am a technical diver not a commercial one. I use a 5d mark ii and next week (hopefully) will be using an aquatica housing. I bought this camera for the video part only. After getting to know this system better I fell in love with photography again. On my spare time I will be going on a boat and shooting video and stills of divers and the dive trip. I am still figuring out what reasonable prices would be for these. Any thoughts on what you would pay on a vacation for stills?
For my personal work is the deep technical stuff. I know there are probably less than a hundred people in the world doing what I am with the photo/video part of tec diving. I've got a pretty good handle on this aspect.

Well I also recommend two strobes if using video. I would recommended the Ikelite DS 161. A pair will cost another $2500 or so.




  
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DeepWrecks
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Apr 07, 2012 19:49 |  #11

seaninsa wrote in post #14227181 (external link)
Well I also recommend two strobes if using video. I would recommended the Ikelite DS 161. A pair will cost another $2500 or so.

Strobes won't do the first thing for video. even though the 161's have light's they're not as bright as a basic focus light. I went with two inon -z240's and a bunch of light and motion video lights. I'm boycotting Ikelite for their horrible service and subpar products by the way...




  
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seaninsa
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Apr 07, 2012 23:13 |  #12

I have had great service from them and love my 161s. The 161s are video lights. You can leave them on and the are video lights.

The problem I see with the Inon is they regular batteries. My 161s have built in rechargeable lithium batteries.




  
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DeepWrecks
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Apr 08, 2012 05:42 |  #13

The Inon's are a third of the size. Rechargeable batteries are really handy if you're going to spend a day on a boat doing multiple dives. Also cut down on the weight of the entire rig. As for the lights. 500 Lumens is not very bright. While they might be okay inside a recreational wreck or at night. They certainly aren't enough in shallow water in daylight or for technical wrecks and caves. For the price difference you can get a real light to go with a different brand of strobe




  
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SOX ­ 404
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Apr 11, 2012 00:52 |  #14

DeepWrecks wrote in post #14227386 (external link)
Strobes won't do the first thing for video. even though the 161's have light's they're not as bright as a basic focus light. I went with two inon -z240's and a bunch of light and motion video lights. I'm boycotting Ikelite for their horrible service and subpar products by the way...

I don't have problems with Ikelite service; in fact they responded pretty fast when I sent an email regarding my housing was leaking. About the products, of course it's subpar products if you compare to Subal, Aquatica, Sea&Sea, Nauticam, etc etc. Price never lie.


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DeepWrecks
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Apr 16, 2012 06:50 |  #15

I really hate when people say you get what you pay for or price never lie. When I spend thousands of dollars on a f***ing accessory I expect it to perform. Ikelite doesn't. anyone that likes or still uses ikelite is an idiot and probably can't dive either.




  
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