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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 03 Oct 2011 (Monday) 16:21
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POLL: "What is your individual annual income?"
<$25,000
52
15%
$25,001 - $50,000
70
20.2%
$50,001 - $75,000
66
19.1%
$75,001 - $100,000
51
14.7%
$100,001 - $150,000
55
15.9%
$150,001 - $200,000
24
6.9%
>$200,000
28
8.1%

346 voters, 346 votes given (1 choice only choices can be voted per member)). VOTING IS FOR MEMBERS ONLY.
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What is the average individual income of members here?

 
BaghdadFred
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Location: Baghdad Iraq
     
Oct 11, 2011 01:08 |  #31

mckinleypics wrote in post #13230929 (external link)
Considering how much photo gear costs, I don't find it surprising that there are enthusiasts making over 200k.

Photography as a Hobby is no more expensive than many other hobbies out there. My supervisor owns 4 Harley Davidson motorcycles, Some people enjoy Astronomy, Restoring old cars, Archery, Road Biking, Traveling etc. All these things can be super expensive.

It's certainly not a cheap hobby but also something that is not shockingly expensive that only the top 1% income bracket can afford it.

I easily spend more money on my daughters competitive cheerleading. :lol:


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7D | C 100-400L | Σ 70-200 2.8 OS | Σ 30 1.4 | C 10-22 | Σ 8-16 | C 17-55 2.8 IS | C 28-135 IS | 580EX II | Σ 1.4x

  
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SOK
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Oct 11, 2011 03:53 as a reply to  @ BaghdadFred's post |  #32

Some might classify me in one of the 'well off' categories but like others have said, it's more about disposable income.

I used to invest pretty freely in whatever gear I decided I 'needed', and even though I earn MORE than I did back then, my cost of living has increased too.

Last year my only investment was a Black Rapid Strap. This year my only investment has been some Cactus Triggers.


Steve
SOK Images - Wedding and Event Photography Gold Coast (external link)

  
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mckinleypics
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Oct 11, 2011 08:25 |  #33

BaghdadFred wrote in post #13233229 (external link)
Photography as a Hobby is no more expensive than many other hobbies out there. My supervisor owns 4 Harley Davidson motorcycles, Some people enjoy Astronomy, Restoring old cars, Archery, Road Biking, Traveling etc. All these things can be super expensive.

It's certainly not a cheap hobby but also something that is not shockingly expensive that only the top 1% income bracket can afford it.

I easily spend more money on my daughters competitive cheerleading. :lol:

I didn't say it was shockingly expensive and only the top 1% can afford it, I said I don't find it surprising that there are 15 people in this forum that make over 200k a year, given the fact that it is indeed an expensive hobby. In fact, I find it more shocking the number of folks on here making very little that are actually buying cameras and gear that represent a significant percentage of their annual incomes, especially if photography is not their profession.

That being said, there is a big difference between making 40k as a young single person and making 40k with a wife, two kids, mortgage, etc. etc.


Dave
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NewEnglandPhotographer
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Oct 11, 2011 16:05 |  #34

I don't doubt there are 15 people on this forum what make over 200k. I DO doubt that there are 15 people that responded to this thread's poll that make over 200k.

And, I agree that all (most) hobbies involved lots of monetary investment and photography is probably just average in terms of costs. I know that I have spent just as much on my photography gear as I have on my woodshop in the garage. My friend has spent well more than I have in my two hobbies combined on his auto hobbies... fyi, I make less than 40k, single, 22 years old, likes long walks on the beach... :\


Canon 7D | 70-200mm f2.8is II L | 24-70mm f2.8 L | 50mm f1.8 | 28mm f1.8 | Canon 1.4x TC II | 580EX II

  
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Nathan
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Oct 11, 2011 16:12 |  #35

Sometimes I feel guilty about spending money on photography when my wife doesn't have any expensive hobbies... until I remember she has two dogs, one of which has a congenital disease that requires monthly maintenance and costly prescription drugs! To her, they are her babies... I tell her my camera is my baby.

I'm not too concerned whether the results of this poll are accurate. There's statistical sampling error, whether or not people respond honestly. I'm not sure what the incentive is to misrepresent, though, since voting is anonymous and no one really cares.

Also, the disposable/discretiona​ry income issue is very relative because I think people have different notions of what belongs in the "necessity" category and the "cost of living" category. The latter is much more fungible and there are many things that are part of our cost of living that we can do without. Plus, given any amount of discretionary income, there are still choices in how a person spends it... towards this hobby, another hobby, or none at all.


Taking photos with a fancy camera does not make me a photographer.
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spkerer
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Oct 11, 2011 16:26 |  #36

I don't really see any reason to doubt the general accuracy of the poll. I think a strong desire to doubt the results probably says more about the person doubting than it does about the accuracy of the results.

Incomes are all over the place, and expenses are all over the place. Some people make small cash but have small expenses. Some make small cash but are always broke. Some make big cash and have (relatively) small expenses. Some make big case and are always broke.

Dropping a few grand on a lens doesn't seem that extravagant when compared to spending 20k on a boat or even 5k on marine navigation equipment.


Leesburg, Virginia
http://photos.kusterer​s.net (external link)

  
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ICBuyer
Member
163 posts
Joined Aug 2008
     
Oct 11, 2011 16:40 |  #37

why would someone lie when it's anonymous? I entered my income bracket accurately. Like someone said up there, it's about disposable income.
I have three kids, a house and two cars here in SoCal.... I should have more disposable income than I should. but having these luxuries mentioned above explains why I can't buy that 'L' lens that I think I deserve...:)


I'm so lost

I have: 7D, 50mm F1.4, 24-70L, 70-200L F4 IS, 430EXII

  
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smyke
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Oct 11, 2011 16:48 |  #38

yeah, it would be weird to lie in such poll. why would one do that?
I'm just an amateur but wanted a DSLR for as long as I remember. finally the wife caved in and let me get my T1i with both kit lenses. All our money goes into the same account and she is my CFO.
I fund my addiction with extra little bonuses from work (gift cards for most part).
I would love to have top of the line gear but what I have so far makes me happy.


Mike

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Nathan
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Oct 12, 2011 08:43 |  #39

Also, regarding discretionary income... some of us have saved longer than others to buy what we have/want. It's taken me more than 4 years to put together my gear list. I've seen some new members on this forum who have more money to play with simply go and drop $8k on professional equipment.

I suppose the forum is just to get an idea of what walks of life do members here cover. Based on the responses here, I suppose I'm in the upper middle income category amongst photographers and hobbyists.


Taking photos with a fancy camera does not make me a photographer.
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Shadow ­ on ­ the ­ Door
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Oct 12, 2011 09:33 |  #40
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See, and that's the thing, it's really not about how much you make, but how much you need to live and what you have left as disposable income, even though I only make about $10,000/year, I'm a college student, I have no bills, no student loans, no rent, nothing to spend my money on but what I want and a small savings account, so I bet that even though I'm making 1/10 of the income of some people, I might have more disposable income than they do.


19 year old photographer with a 5D, and some L glass.
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Nathan
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Oct 12, 2011 14:18 |  #41

The purpose of this poll isn't to determine how much disposable income people have to spend on their hobbies or how much they spend per year. The purpose is just to see generally the income scale for people who choose this hobby/profession. You can be a member of this forum whether you have a couple of 1D bodies or a point and shoot. Seems like everyone assumes that you have to have expensive gear to partake in this hobby.


Taking photos with a fancy camera does not make me a photographer.
www.nathantpham.com (external link) | Boston POTN Flickr (external link) |
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mckinleypics
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Oct 12, 2011 14:21 |  #42

I think a more interesting poll would be one that doubles the choices - one set for professional photographers, and another set for hobbyists.


Dave
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MikeFairbanks
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Oct 12, 2011 17:36 |  #43

Elementary school teacher making 58k (after 17 years). It's steady work, very enjoyable, and the benefits are pretty good. I don't really keep it a secret because in my state you can actually look up someone's salary by name. It's in a database. It's interesting. Plus, anyone can find out what a teacher makes if they know the teacher's educational level and years of experience. We're on a salary schedule.

We barely get by (family of four on my salary....well, family of eight if you include the dogs).

But I can't complain. We feel blessed to live in a nice neighborhood with great neighbors, etc. We have never left the country (except the Bahamas and Mexico). Our vacations are more like hitting the Gulf Coast for a few days, but that's nice enough. No worries. We spend within a couple hundred bucks of my take home pay each month. We're pretty good about not spending too much money, but my weakness is fast food, pizza, etc.

My hobby is funded around birthdays, Christmas, and my retired father bought me stuff a couple times.

Just a hobby. Not that serious about it, but it sure is a lot of fun. I used to buy and sell a bunch of gear, but now I'm good with what I have.

But for the record: I'm not interested in a time share.


Thank you. bw!

  
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NewEnglandPhotographer
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Oct 12, 2011 21:45 |  #44

MikeFairbanks wrote in post #13242014 (external link)
We have never left the country (except the Bahamas and Mexico).

lol. funny statement.


Canon 7D | 70-200mm f2.8is II L | 24-70mm f2.8 L | 50mm f1.8 | 28mm f1.8 | Canon 1.4x TC II | 580EX II

  
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Nathan
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Oct 13, 2011 07:51 |  #45

mckinleypics wrote in post #13241124 (external link)
I think a more interesting poll would be one that doubles the choices - one set for professional photographers, and another set for hobbyists.

Yeah, I thought about that, but not sure what the value is. I'm not asking what gear people have. Wages are wages... whether you are professional or not.

I'd also venture to say that most people on POTN tend to be hobbyists or photography is their second, not main job.

MikeFairbanks wrote in post #13242014 (external link)
But I can't complain. We feel blessed to live in a nice neighborhood with great neighbors, etc. We have never left the country (except the Bahamas and Mexico). Our vacations are more like hitting the Gulf Coast for a few days, but that's nice enough. No worries. We spend within a couple hundred bucks of my take home pay each month. We're pretty good about not spending too much money, but my weakness is fast food, pizza, etc...

Thanks for sharing, Mike. This was more the sort of response and discussion I was hoping to have here. Perhaps this thread is less about photography or how much money people have to spend on it... rather, it's more about getting to know each other in a sense.

I used to be a public sector employee in MA and one of the major newspapers set up a database on their website titling it: "Your Tax Dollars at Work." You can look up Boston or State Employees. It's public information, but I never liked the how people were using it to look up what their peers made.

Honestly, Mike, I would have thought teachers in Atlanta would make more money. The teacher's union in Boston is fairly strong and can make quite a decent living... there's a salary schedule based on the number of years. Here's a sample (external link), but I don't know how to read it. I think the cost of owning a house down in Atlanta is much less down in the South, especially if you live outside the city and bought during the 90s.


Taking photos with a fancy camera does not make me a photographer.
www.nathantpham.com (external link) | Boston POTN Flickr (external link) |
5D3 x2 | 16-35L II | 35 L | 50L | 85L II | 135L | 580 EX II x2

  
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