Can a career in photography be rewarding?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by nickb98c, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. nickb98c

    nickb98c TPF Noob!

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    I am facing college decisions as of right now, and one of my major interests are in photography. I will be double majoring in Business Marketing, and Business Management. But my question is, with determination and hard work, can photography be a rewarding career? With out a lot of traveling. I have a high belief in "family comes first", so will successful photography be possible with out much travel? I know a studio is a possibility. If not photography, I was planning on architecture. So could I get some advice? I know with out commitment, it will not go anywhere, but I'm a go-to person, and when I have an interest it gets a 110% effort from me. Thanks for any help!

    Nick
     
  2. dancingsphinx22

    dancingsphinx22 TPF Noob!

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    I'm sure photography can be rewarding. I hope it is, because that's what I want to do as a career and for the rest of my life.

    I think it mostly depends on what you want to get from photography, and if you're capable of acheiving it. For example, if you're trying to capture the most elegant wedding moments, and you're customers believe you did and are ecstatic over your work, then I would say that's rewarding.

    As far as being rewarding money-wise, again I think that all depends on what you're angle is. (pun intended) Some photography fields are more financially rewarding than others, and you have to ask yourself if working in a particular money-making field is something you can commit to. I'm sure there would be travel involved, or doing things you don't want to as well.

    Or, you could always pursue your own niche, or market, and see what that brings you. That's the angle I'm after.

    Good luck in your decision. ;-)
     
  3. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    No, stick to business marketing
     
  4. nickb98c

    nickb98c TPF Noob!

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    an personal reason why you suggest that?
     
  5. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If you go into portraiture, you are up against a TON of hobbyists that undercharge for their service. So, you will have to be pretty darn good to command the prices the pros charge.

    What areas of photography are you looking to get into?
     
  6. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Did you mean financially ? if you read the beginners forum often enough every man and his dog wannts to be a pro.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Only if you work for yourself be it retail, commmercial or editorial though the last 2 will entail traveling. :thumbup:
     
  8. nickb98c

    nickb98c TPF Noob!

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    My highest interests are in landscape and capturing people experiencing nature(rock climbing, sports that go beyond baseball and what not) But then again, who doesnt like capturing these moments? I like to learn new styles, and Im always up for trying new things. I have several people I am taking senior photos for this year, so Ill get an in depth look on how I feel about extensive portrait photography.

    And yes I mean financially, I know I will keep photography as a hobby if I decide to go another route, so the non financially satisfaction will be there. Thanks for all the responses. Im just throwing an idea around in my head.
     
  9. templatephotoshop

    templatephotoshop TPF Noob!

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    I read a statistic that most portrait photoographers are living BELOW the poverty level. That said, if you are committed and focused (no pun intended) then you can be in the small amount of those making a great living in photography.

    To do this you must #1 Set Self apart from the rest of your market.
    #2 Work with passion and let your clients see that.
    #3 Get to know as much about marketing/sales as possible.

    I'm only speaking from a Portrait Studio Experience, but very little of my time is spent actually creating photographs. 50% is in pp, 40% is marketing/customer service.

    Don't let anyone rain on your parade. If you love it than it will never seem like work.
     
  10. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Yes it can, just like anything else.

    Will it be for you depends on a lot of things that only you can answer.

    I'm sure you've heard that it is better to do something you love because you will then find a way to make the money come in too. The only area of photography I would avoid, if you are worried about money, is art. Few art photographers make decent money although, if you are willing to move, they seem to be doing better in Europe.

    Considering where you are located, being willing to move is a major aspect of whether or not you could have a rewarding photo career. Except for retail photo, I don't see much possibilities in Indiana. Maybe in Chicago, but to be honest, I don't remember what is in Chicago photo wise.

    Your photo interests may be a bit of a problem too for what you seem to want. Landscape photography doesn't pay unless you work for NG and then you are gone for months at a time. People experiencing nature in a sporty way would basically be magazine work and that paid me quite well for a while but I also wrote the articles, never worked as a staff photog for a specific mag, and it involved a lot of traveling. I also had a lot of friends involved in weird things (adventurer types) which led to meeting more of them... which led to more articles to sell, etc. Another thing to consider is that I worked 99% in Europe for that. With a bunch of different countries, you can sell the articles a number of times ;)

    Now, you can make very decent money in retail photography (weddings, portraiture, etc) but, for me, it is a kind of hell so I don't often recommend it :lmao:

    How about traveling for a while? Are you willing to do that or are you planning to get married tomorrow? In my case, and I'm not saying you should go my route, I worked as a PJ for the first 12 years of my career all over the world. When I stopped, I had a very good technical basis which allowed me to pick what I did next (commercial/editorial) and make very good money. I did travel but I was home most nights.

    Your idea of combining photo and business in school is good as the biggest problem with a lot of business owners is that they have a passion for something but lack the business sense to make it work. For the career, you have to decide what you are willing to do but that is most probably going to be true no matter what career you go after...

    Best of luck.
     
  11. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Those are narrow niches and the lanscape part is inundated with very competent shooters.

    The sports you want to shoot is an extremely narrow niche and to make much money at that would entail extensive travel.

    Both are doable, but........

    Here is an interesting read: For Photographers, the Image of a Shrinking Path - NYTimes.com
     
  12. Hamtastic

    Hamtastic TPF Noob!

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    With a degree in Business Marketing, and Business Management I bet you'd be way ahead of many of your competition. I've earned 100% of my living from photography for 6 years now, and I wish I had more business skills. I make my money mostly from weddings. I never intended to be a wedding photographer, but that's what folks pay for. It turns out that I really like it. I'm not going to get rich, but I am earning more than I ever made working 9-5, and I enjoy being my own boss.

    I also sell my personal work occasionally. I just had a very nice order for several thousand dollars in landscape prints, but those calls are few and far between. It's a nice bonus here and there, but I can't live on it. I wish I knew how to market myself better, because selling photos I've already taken is pretty easy work! :) My friends who are successful fine art photographers work very hard at marketing themselves. Those who make the best money do a lot of traveling. They find the best art festivals/markets in the country and hit them all.

    So triple major in Business Marketing, and Business Management, and Photography!
     

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