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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 25 Jul 2014 (Friday) 06:12
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Who Juggles a FT Job and Photography?

 
electricme
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Jul 25, 2014 06:12 |  #1

I do! I am and Electrical Engineer. I have 110Gig of Raws to process, a Proper Portfolio to put together and side jobs to do. How do you others in similar situations do it?

I also have a wife, child and one on the way... Ugg I feel like my plans of the hobby I love being my career are fading away.


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RMH
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Jul 25, 2014 07:15 |  #2

I'm in a similar situation, 60+ hour a week job, wife, child, dog, expensive manhattan lifestyle. I recently decided I would really like start building up a photography business as a sideline, but it's hard going finding the time to do it. I really just have the weekends, but that's also the only time I have for my family and I reguarly take work home from job number 1 to do at the weekends too.

One day maybe it could become a full time job, but I've done the math and I either need to get good enough to charge an absolute fortune for a portrait shoot (preferable),be churning them out faster than McDonnalds sell hamburgers (less prefereable), or leave manhattan and go live somewhere cheaper (less preferable for wife)



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electricme
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Jul 25, 2014 07:22 |  #3

I guess if it were easy everybody would be doing it...


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RMH
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Jul 25, 2014 08:05 |  #4

I kinda feel like I missed the boat to be a professional photographer -- getting started while having a grown-up responsibility set is kinda hard going... feel like something you either need to get into while young, or wait for retirement. Or just do it very very very slowly... I'm taking that route

On the upside, I can easily afford to buy good gear, which is nice :)



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PMGphotog
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Jul 25, 2014 08:19 |  #5

I work FT and have odd shifts, also a wife and 2 kids. I'm not a pro but I like to do live bands and street shots etc. So my FT job and making sure I spend time with my family can make it difficult to do photography sometimes. I tend to try to work my shots late at night when the kids and wife are in bed. Getting to gigs can be an issue if I'm working late and the band are on early too.

To that end I've decided to leave my FT job and study Photography full time. It will be tight financially but we did the sums and we can just about afford it. Also I'm 45 so if I don't change my career now I never will.


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jmikolich
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Jul 25, 2014 08:34 |  #6

I am an engineer too, and I shoot weddings with my wife what is nice is she runs the day to day business and does all the editing for a cohesive feel to our work. So I have to leave work early a few days to shoot engagement sessions and the occasional vacation day for a Friday wedding. I couldn't leave my engineering job for photography unless we were at a world renowned level just because I love engineering and the money ain't half bad either


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bacchanal
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Jul 25, 2014 08:36 as a reply to  @ PMGphotog's post |  #7

I'm a QA manager in the real world.

In the past I had a tough time balancing the hobby/work continuum that is (for me) photography. The more I am involved in things, the more I get asked to work on other projects...and it can be difficult to learn to say no sometimes. I never intended to become a "photographer" or to make money from photography, but I end up doing a lot of paying jobs.

What I've found works best for me in terms of enjoyment, time, and pay is to second shoot or assist for established local pros. I kind of have a reputation around town as being a capable hired gun...I can shoot, set-up lighting, contribute ideas, whatever. It's great experience, keeps me sharp, and it gets me a little bit of money, but the time commitment is far less than running my own business. I don't have to carry liability insurance or set up and LLC or anything like that.


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electricme
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Jul 25, 2014 08:56 |  #8

jmikolich wrote in post #17055089 (external link)
I am an engineer too, and I shoot weddings with my wife what is nice is she runs the day to day business and does all the editing for a cohesive feel to our work. So I have to leave work early a few days to shoot engagement sessions and the occasional vacation day for a Friday wedding. I couldn't leave my engineering job for photography unless we were at a world renowned level just because I love engineering and the money ain't half bad either


^^^ This... great point. I "like" being an electrical engineer its fulfilling in the sense I can provide for my family and im not bored out of my mind. But I guess im having a mid life crisis early, I feel like nows the time for the change if I am going to do it, I am 35.

Have a baby on the way a hefty mortgage quiting my dayjob is not an option. I guess im looking for that success story about being paid ridiculous amounts of money doing what you love. haha.


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electricme
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Jul 25, 2014 08:58 |  #9

bacchanal wrote in post #17055092 (external link)
I'm a QA manager in the real world.

In the past I had a tough time balancing the hobby/work continuum that is (for me) photography. The more I am involved in things, the more I get asked to work on other projects...and it can be difficult to learn to say no sometimes. I never intended to become a "photographer" or to make money from photography, but I end up doing a lot of paying jobs.

What I've found works best for me in terms of enjoyment, time, and pay is to second shoot or assist for established local pros. I kind of have a reputation around town as being a capable hired gun...I can shoot, set-up lighting, contribute ideas, whatever. It's great experience, keeps me sharp, and it gets me a little bit of money, but the time commitment is far less than running my own business. I don't have to carry liability insurance or set up and LLC or anything like that.

Good Advice! i think at this point making enough money to pay for all the equipment I want is a good goal haha. that way my wife doesnt look at me funny when I drop 1500 on a lens


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RMH
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Jul 25, 2014 09:10 |  #10

electricme wrote in post #17055126 (external link)
^^^ This... great point. I "like" being an electrical engineer its fulfilling in the sense I can provide for my family and im not bored out of my mind. But I guess im having a mid life crisis early, I feel like nows the time for the change if I am going to do it, I am 35..

Ha, i'm 35 too and having the same exact thoughts!!



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vengence
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Jul 25, 2014 09:26 |  #11

If you're an engineer, you're going to have a hard time getting a comparable salary out of photography. Keep the day job, take a few saturday weddings to fill the itch and make some side money. But I wouldn't try to go full time if you've already got a much better paying career.




  
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electricme
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Jul 25, 2014 11:04 |  #12

vengence wrote in post #17055170 (external link)
If you're an engineer, you're going to have a hard time getting a comparable salary out of photography. Keep the day job, take a few saturday weddings to fill the itch and make some side money. But I wouldn't try to go full time if you've already got a much better paying career.

Not interested in weddings i would be more interested in Glamour/ personal as well as realty/ commercial photography. But the above makes a lot of sense to me...


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RMH
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Jul 25, 2014 11:33 |  #13

vengence wrote in post #17055170 (external link)
If you're an engineer, you're going to have a hard time getting a comparable salary out of photography. Keep the day job, take a few saturday weddings to fill the itch and make some side money. But I wouldn't try to go full time if you've already got a much better paying career.

Yeah, this is the main issue for me. Money isn't eveything, but I'm not sure how much of my current lifestyle I'd be willing to give up, and I suspect I earn at least 2x - 4x what I could realistically make as a photographer, even if it went very well.



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robots4joey
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Jul 25, 2014 11:41 |  #14

I'm a mechanical engineer with a stay at home wife/mother for our 5 month old. It's definitely been a struggle to run a photography business and work full time. The wife helps a lot- but there's only so much she can do on her own, and all the face to face stuff is done by me.

Honestly I'd love to leave my day job and do photography full time, but I'd be insane for giving up a steady paycheck and great benefits. I'd have to be pulling in some crazy big bucks to even consider it. Not to mention that if one lead source dries up like Google organic did to us- we'd be taking on debt just to get by. Right now we bring in some extra money we put in savings so we can afford to adopt a few more kids :) Plus we're still dreaming of early retirement from the day job in my mid 50's. (I know- I'm a dreamer)

I'm 26 BTW.


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electricme
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Jul 25, 2014 12:56 as a reply to  @ robots4joey's post |  #15

Haha seems like we should change the topic of this thread to:

"How do I juggle my FT job while still paying for my very expensive camera habit?"


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