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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 11 Apr 2012 (Wednesday) 19:56
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Why do a lot of people have this desperate need to make money from photography?

 
Bear ­ Dale
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Apr 16, 2012 18:33 |  #196

BreitlingFan wrote in post #14277067 (external link)
Oh.

I think it's simply your perception, because you're a photographer.

You're not paying attention to the guys who are putting together desktop computers for cash on the side, or the guys doing low-cost brake jobs in their garages because you don't build computers or do brake jobs...

Yes I do get that people like to make pocket money. But not sure if the above examples work (at least for me). Computers might be a hobby for a lot of people (they have been to me since the 80's) but building them and selling them wouldn't be what I would classify as a "hobby" just because I like computers.

Same with brake pads, I can change brake pads (even though it's been many many years since I have) I sure wouldn't classify changing peoples brake pads a "hobby" just because I like cars.

It's been a really interesting discussion and I've thouroughly enjoyed reading everyone's different take on the subject.


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Bear ­ Dale
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Apr 16, 2012 18:35 |  #197

BreitlingFan wrote in post #14277090 (external link)
That happened to me with music. I'm a pretty good guitar player, and played in a local band for the better part of ten years. We were pretty popular and we made a lot of money.

But it was a job, and that sucked the fun out of it.

^ Hence the building computers and doing brake jobs analogies. It's no longer a hobby but a job.


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Apr 16, 2012 20:54 |  #198

fotoworx wrote in post #14277122 (external link)
But not sure if the above examples work (at least for me).

No - they don't work for me either because the analogy isn't even close.

Presumably, someone that builds/repairs PCs (or cars) on the side has some level of knowledge and experience...even if it's not terribly much by professional/full time standards.

They haven't just brought a screwdriver/multimeter​/socket set for the first time and thought; "how can I make money with this?".


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SuperHuman21
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Apr 16, 2012 21:04 |  #199

Because far too many people are quite lazy, oblivious to how bad their photos really are, and foolishly think it's easy to make money from it.


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Apr 16, 2012 22:05 |  #200
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fotoworx wrote in post #14277122 (external link)
Yes I do get that people like to make pocket money. But not sure if the above examples work (at least for me). Computers might be a hobby for a lot of people (they have been to me since the 80's) but building them and selling them wouldn't be what I would classify as a "hobby" just because I like computers.

Same with brake pads, I can change brake pads (even though it's been many many years since I have) I sure wouldn't classify changing peoples brake pads a "hobby" just because I like cars.

It's been a really interesting discussion and I've thouroughly enjoyed reading everyone's different take on the subject.

Well, I can't say for sure about the brakes, but I know more than a couple of people who build and sell computers for no other reason than they like computers.

And money...


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BreitlingFan
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Apr 16, 2012 22:09 |  #201
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fotoworx wrote in post #14277133 (external link)
^ Hence the building computers and doing brake jobs analogies. It's no longer a hobby but a job.

No, of the guys I know who build computers, one is a real estate appraiser, one is a bartender, one is a Navy Chief Petty Officer and another is a driver for UPS. It's not a job for them. They're not paying their bills by selling the computers they build, but they still sell them.

They do it because they enjoy doing it, and because people will give them money to do it...


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Apr 16, 2012 22:11 |  #202

A better question which cannot be addressed on POTN, but is the mother of this thread -- why is anyone desperate to make money?


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Bear ­ Dale
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Apr 16, 2012 22:58 |  #203

I think the massive proliferation of digital photography has put cameras into the hands of the masses, many who would never have even bothered to purchase a film camera.

Compared to an SLR a DSLR gives out pretty good results. The learning curve is definately not so steep (for snap shots). So amateurs can maybe see so "pros" using the same gear as they do leading to the thought "If they can do it and make money, so can I, I've got the same gear".

Between this and the second post in this thread -

airfrogusmc wrote in post #14250530 (external link)
I think in our society we equate success with money so therefore if we make money with our work it must be good. Its a measure of worth though very misguided.

answers .....maybe the question to some extent at least?

Photography - Buy a camera today and call yourself a pro tommorrow.
Golf - Buy the same clubs as Tiger Woods today and call yourself a pro tommorrow.

End result.....your still a hack :)


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harroz
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Apr 16, 2012 23:20 |  #204

I don't know, I've always thought it was a bit weird too.



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Apr 17, 2012 02:17 |  #205

People will try to make money from any hobby where others do it for a living (aka calling themselves a professional). Look at professional sports, video gaming, programming, etc.

Plus, I can't make any money from my other hobby - shooting. Well, not legally make money.


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Apr 17, 2012 03:42 |  #206

airfrogusmc wrote in post #14250530 (external link)
Good question.

....

I think in our society we equate success with money so therefore if we make money with our work it must be good. Its a measure of worth though very misguided.

Definitely. And that leads to stress, angst, plus a disproportionate feeling of despondency when things go poorly. And sometimes the lucky rich interpret their money as evidence of genius for the same reason you cite.

I missed that comment earlier. Best of the thread.


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Apr 17, 2012 06:28 |  #207

Here's what's happening.

The primary consumer of a lot of photography (babies, kids, portraits, engagements/weddings, graduations) are MOMS.

A lot of pro photographers are middle aged men. There's a "creep" factor there. Accept it.

A large part of photography is the experience, and a large part of that experience is the interaction and comfort level with the photographer. A lot of moms feel more comfortable around...well...other moms.

Enter the MWAC (Mom With A Camera).

Now, a lot of you curmudgeons here make fun of MWACs and their Facebook photography pages. Guess what? Facebook is the primary means of socialization for many people nowadays, which means it's also a primary means of product and service referral. So, ignore Facebook at your own peril. A well-connected, "networked" MWAC, with an outgoing personality and a strong social media presence...who conducts herself professionally, and reliably produces decent work is going to kick the you-know-what out of all the middle-aged, guy "pros." It's already happening.

So, here's my experience with this. I'm an okay photographer. I'm definitely a hobbiest. Technically proficient, with a decent eye, but nothing to brag about. My wife is technically inferior to me in photography. She'll be the first to admit that. I'm constantly explaining camera basics to her. She's getting better, but she still struggles with some basics. DESPITE THAT, she's been pulling in more money that I would have ever expected by doing (primarily) a combination of newborn shoots, maternity shoots, and military homecomings (returns from deployment). She's got a better eye for storytelling that me, and she "story boards" these homecomings really well. She's also great with posing, and develops and easy rapport with clients. Her outgoing personality, combined with past experience in sales and recruiting, have also been helpful. She has a decent webpage, but most people who hire her either learn about her from word of mouth, or through facebook (people see her client's pics on facebook, and ask "Who was your photographer?")

What's my point? I think a lot of the reason she's been so successful (2-3 shoots per week, consistently, at $200-250 a pop) is because she's outgoing, personable, and has successfully marketed herself...primarily on Facebook. You all are right: barrier to entry has been low. It's been especially easy for her since I earn a good living, so we've been able to invest 15-20K in photography gear, which (despite what some say) definitely makes a difference and gives her an edge (there are a handful of shots...especially some low light shots...she just couldn't have captured with lesser gear).

Sorry for the rant. I do feel bad for the pros. They picked a line of work that technology has drastically changed, making high-end equipment accessible to the masses. It's a hobby that people thoroughly ENJOY, hence why many (wife included) are willing to price themselves so low. Many MWACs out there LOVE taking photos and don't need to make a dime, and the combination of those two facts are what's driving the prices down. Of course, high-end pros don't have to worry, but I think a lot of local yokel photogs are going to continue to struggle. It's very difficult to compete (price-wise) with people who don't need to make money. (My wife and I are simply using this money to buy more gear, which is AWESOME for me!)


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Apr 17, 2012 06:35 |  #208
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Perhaps it is because photographers spent too much for so little in return is the reason why they have this desperation to make money. i.e. make the money they spent for their gear pay for them.....I know of one person, that is me :(




  
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Bear ­ Dale
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Apr 17, 2012 06:47 |  #209

NavyShrink wrote in post #14279789 (external link)
Here's what's happening.

The primary consumer of a lot of photography (babies, kids, portraits, engagements/weddings, graduations) are MOMS.

A lot of pro photographers are middle aged men. There's a "creep" factor there. Accept it.

A large part of photography is the experience, and a large part of that experience is the interaction and comfort level with the photographer. A lot of moms feel more comfortable around...well...other moms.

Enter the MWAC (Mom With A Camera).

Now, a lot of you curmudgeons here make fun of MWACs and their Facebook photography pages. Guess what? Facebook is the primary means of socialization for many people nowadays, which means it's also a primary means of product and service referral. So, ignore Facebook at your own peril. A well-connected, "networked" MWAC, with an outgoing personality and a strong social media presence...who conducts herself professionally, and reliably produces decent work is going to kick the you-know-what out of all the middle-aged, guy "pros." It's already happening.

So, here's my experience with this. I'm an okay photographer. I'm definitely a hobbiest. Technically proficient, with a decent eye, but nothing to brag about. My wife is technically inferior to me in photography. She'll be the first to admit that. I'm constantly explaining camera basics to her. She's getting better, but she still struggles with some basics. DESPITE THAT, she's been pulling in more money that I would have ever expected by doing (primarily) a combination of newborn shoots, maternity shoots, and military homecomings (returns from deployment). She's got a better eye for storytelling that me, and she "story boards" these homecomings really well. She's also great with posing, and develops and easy rapport with clients. Her outgoing personality, combined with past experience in sales and recruiting, have also been helpful. She has a decent webpage, but most people who hire her either learn about her from word of mouth, or through facebook (people see her client's pics on facebook, and ask "Who was your photographer?")

What's my point? I think a lot of the reason she's been so successful (2-3 shoots per week, consistently, at $200-250 a pop) is because she's outgoing, personable, and has successfully marketed herself...primarily on Facebook. You all are right: barrier to entry has been low. It's been especially easy for her since I earn a good living, so we've been able to invest 15-20K in photography gear, which (despite what some say) definitely makes a difference and gives her an edge (there are a handful of shots...especially some low light shots...she just couldn't have captured with lesser gear).

Sorry for the rant. I do feel bad for the pros. They picked a line of work that technology has drastically changed, making high-end equipment accessible to the masses. It's a hobby that people thoroughly ENJOY, hence why many (wife included) are willing to price themselves so low. Many MWACs out there LOVE taking photos and don't need to make a dime, and the combination of those two facts are what's driving the prices down. Of course, high-end pros don't have to worry, but I think a lot of local yokel photogs are going to continue to struggle. It's very difficult to compete (price-wise) with people who don't need to make money. (My wife and I are simply using this money to buy more gear, which is AWESOME for me!)

Thanks for that post NS, enjoyed reading from beginning to end.


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Apr 17, 2012 07:00 |  #210

^^ Nominal payback there is about 300 weeks or roughly 6 years.


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Why do a lot of people have this desperate need to make money from photography?
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