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Thread started 10 Sep 2012 (Monday) 05:27
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what is the most highly paid niche in photograhpy?

 
ekfaysal
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Sep 10, 2012 05:27 |  #1

well, i'm just a hobbyist.
no intentions to do it professionally.
but just asking.
what do you think is the highly paid photography niche these days in your opinion. n how?
lets discuss


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Dan ­ Marchant
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Sep 10, 2012 05:54 |  #2

Whatever it is is will soon be the lowest paid because, as in any thriving market, it will be flooded with people wanting the big bucks.

My guess as to the current one would be celebrity portraits (Annie Leibovitz etc) or fashion.


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ssim
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Sep 10, 2012 06:44 as a reply to  @ Dan Marchant's post |  #3

It is generally felt that the wedding market has been diluted to the point where it is not worth doing them. However, there are some photographers that can still command a hefty price for their work. I will admit that I don't actively chase wedding work anymore because the yields I was getting on them was constantly being reduced. That doesn't mean that I don't do any, I still get requests and if someone is willing to pay my price I will do them. I have however moved my marketing efforts to the commercial market and for shoots and projects that could take days to compete. Companies and ad agencies are not quite as price sensitive as a bride looking for a photographer. The most recent agency that I have started to work with came to me because they were using someone that had a full time job elsewhere and had begged out on a couple of shoots because they ended up being called to that job and wanted to reschedule.

As Dan mentions above, celebrity photography can be quite lucrative. I would think that getting the chance to work in this area is going be very limited but once you get your foot in the door you could do well. I still feel that commercial work is rewarding but that is a fairly wider moniker ranging from the small mom and pop shop that need some photos for advertising to the large multi-national company that needs works for their annual report. I do know a couple of guys that do nothing but weddings and have a very comfortable life style. They get 5000.00 plus for a wedding and they are booked virtually every weekend. It is all about how good you are, maintaining that presence and continuing to market yourself to the people with large amounts of disposable income. I doubt that people having this kind of money to spend on a wedding are looking at craigslist.


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Foodguy
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Sep 10, 2012 07:06 |  #4

If you can make it to the NBA level of commercial advertising photography, 5 and 6 figure day rates aren't unheard of....or at least weren't before the economy tanked.

Annie Liebovitz is probably a good example. She was reportedly paid $1M for the series of images she produced for an American Express campaign in the 80's.


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downhillnews
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Sep 10, 2012 08:09 |  #5

Foodguy wrote in post #14970940 (external link)
If you can make it to the NBA level of commercial advertising photography, 5 and 6 figure day rates aren't unheard of....or at least weren't before the economy tanked.

Annie Liebovitz is probably a good example. She was reportedly paid $1M for the series of images she produced for an American Express campaign in the 80's.


She also couldn't pay her bills and sold all image rights correct?


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sapearl
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Sep 10, 2012 08:17 |  #6

downhillnews wrote in post #14971103 (external link)
She also couldn't pay her bills and sold all image rights correct?

At one time - back in 2009(?) - she howed something in the neighborhood of $24M and relinquished rights to her images. But since then she was able to renegotiate the debt and regain copyright. Still, there were major money management issues for whatever reason.


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Foodguy
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Sep 10, 2012 08:46 |  #7

downhillnews wrote in post #14971103 (external link)
She also couldn't pay her bills and sold all image rights correct?

Not sure that they were actually sold as much as borrowed against, and I don't know where it stands at the moment.

She may have had a tremendous income, but evidently managed to exceed it with her expenditures.

I guess it's all a question of scale.

Funny aside in the discussion of fees. My former full time assistant went out on his own in the early 90's and landed an on-going job shooting footwear for one of the bigger sport shoe companies. Pretty much simple white background silo's. At one point, the designer he'd been working for asked him for recommendations for a photographer to shoot the high end 'lifestyle' images for the company. My friend gave him the name of a top NY advertising photographer whose work he admired. The designer called the NY guy to inquire about shooting the campaign. A few minutes into the call the rep on the other end of the line evidently got the feeling that the designer might not have a good sense of what this particular photographer's fees were and interrupted the discussion to say something like "you do realize that we bill $50,000 per day?" The designer then thanked her for her time and hung up the call.:o

This was in the early 90's when the economy was booming and there seemed no end in sight to what someone could charge. I've since looked at this particular photographers website, and it appears that like everyone else, he's come down to earth a little bit...;)


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kawikao
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Sep 10, 2012 10:29 |  #8

It's probably the one you've never heard of because if you did then an avalanche of others would be trying it. There's almost always a niche you've heard of and one or more sub-niches you haven't. The harder it is to find the less people that are doing it and makes you the big fish in the little pond. GL




  
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airfrogusmc
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Sep 10, 2012 10:34 |  #9

There are some very high end architectural photography firms that bill high day rates, some food guys and furniture guys that bill pretty good day rates and as mentioned some advertising/commercial guys are doing pretty well but as already mentioned many of those shooters rates are not what they were in the mid 1990s.




  
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airfrogusmc
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Sep 10, 2012 10:36 |  #10

kawikao wrote in post #14971725 (external link)
It's probably the one you've never heard of because if you did then an avalanche of others would be trying it. There's almost always a niche you've heard of and one or more sub-niches you haven't. The harder it is to find the less people that are doing it and makes you the big fish in the little pond. GL

Also the more knowledge you need of the particular industry and the specialized approach thats needed will also weed out the herd.




  
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airfrogusmc
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Sep 10, 2012 10:54 |  #11

How many here qualify for this job? For the person that gets this job it will be high paying and the reason is 99% aren't qualified.
https://performanceman​ager4.successfactors.c​om …fuhbmjx98HuGeLf​QdBCA9A%3d (external link)

Find a way to separate yourself from the masses or herd in a field not everyone can get into and then do it better than those already doing it and have a certain look to you work where people will search you out for that look.




  
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EL_PIC
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Sep 10, 2012 10:59 |  #12
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You might consider Photo Science or Photo Engineering for big bucks if you can obtain a BS degree or more.
You can always take a picture while making big bucks.
That was my route and would not take any other.


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Sep 10, 2012 10:59 |  #13

airfrogusmc wrote in post #14971805 (external link)
How many here qualify for this job? For the person that gets this job it will be high paying and the reason is 99% aren't qualified.
https://performanceman​ager4.successfactors.c​om …fuhbmjx98HuGeLf​QdBCA9A%3d (external link)

Find a way to separate yourself from the masses or herd in a field not everyone can get into and then do it better than those already doing it and have a certain look to you work where people will search you out for that look.

WoW Allen - that's a hekuva job write-up. I agree with you about the qualifications. There is the possibility that it's already "wired" for somebody currently in-house...........or maybe they are looking for superman. Either way, forget about a personal life or spare time ;).


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Foodguy
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Sep 10, 2012 11:03 |  #14

airfrogusmc wrote in post #14971805 (external link)
How many here qualify for this job? For the person that gets this job it will be high paying and the reason is 99% aren't qualified.
https://performanceman​ager4.successfactors.c​om …fuhbmjx98HuGeLf​QdBCA9A%3d (external link)

.

hmmm...other than the Panavision ;)


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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Sep 10, 2012 11:39 |  #15

Dan Marchant wrote in post #14970815 (external link)
Whatever it is is will soon be the lowest paid because, as in any thriving market, it will be flooded with people wanting the big bucks.

My guess as to the current one would be celebrity portraits (Annie Leibovitz etc) or fashion.

You can fake your way for a year or two as a wedding photographer or newborn photographer. You can't fake your way as a commercial photographer.

Commercial photographers are easily the highest paid photographers. Most have six-figures worth of equipment, studio space, and decades of experience.

It is generally felt that the wedding market has been diluted to the point where it is not worth doing them.

I don't know about that, but it isn't worth fighting with all the idiots for the sub-2k market.


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