Careers In Photography... Realistic?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Becky, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. Becky

    Becky TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,492
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    London
    Are careers in photography a realistic thing to look into? Can they provide a steady income etc?

    I'm in pre-midlife (quarter-life?) crisis! :grumpy:I have a love/hate relationship with my degree, which has a massive workload generally regular all nighters stuck in front of a drawing board, and in general it causes a lot of stress and angst in my life, it makes me wonder if its 100% right or me. We only get one shot at this life..... so I'm just considering other options for what to do after once I finish this degree.... might as well think about it now before its too late to turn back the clock.

    Photography is something I'd like to persue, but only if its a realistic goal?

    Any advice/experience here?
     
  2. photoboy15

    photoboy15 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    1
    Its an open ended question. So, yes and no. It all depends on what you want to do and how good you are at it. Do you want to be a photojournalist, a fashion photographer, or work at Walmart's Portrait studio?
     
  3. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Messages:
    4,237
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Rochester, NY Velocity: Unknown
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I know several people that get their sole income from photography: one runs a portrait studio and does weddings, another does product and commercial work, another is a photojournalist... Not a one of them would be considered "well off", but it does pay the bills. A few are making more and more of a name for themselves, so their income is going up. It's certainly doable.

    A very important thing to remember that doing photography as a business does not mean spending all your time behind the camera. Unless you have someone handling the business side of things for you, there's a lot not-fun stuff to do, just like with most jobs. And unless you are one of the lucky few that gets a salaried job, you have to budget well. Things tend to run in hot/cold cycles.
     
  4. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Messages:
    5,600
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Hermosa Beach, CA U.S.A
    The above posts laid it down well. I have been in photography for years. Currently I do advertising photography and pre press production for a local newspaper. Freelance work supplements the paycheck. Long story short; I do well. Not like I bought my wife a car for Christmas.

    It really comes down to the direction you want to take. Of course a strong game plan is a start. College? assisting? or both. Photography takes a lot of work. Long nights and stress are certainly part of the deal. Photography is a tough racket that takes a lot of work and perseverance. You should be 100% committed before making any decisions.
     
  5. sobolik

    sobolik TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    1
    No. Do some basic web searching to probably find that this direction is not exactly a lucrative booming growth area. This Wisconsin web site lists all jobs in the State and has Photographers in general making 30k per year. Interpretation required beyond that. Do you want to work as a Sears portrait taker? http://worknet.wisconsin.gov/worknet/daoeswage.aspx?menuselection=da.
    My searches suggested that for stock photography. $1 dollar/per year/per photo. (assuming good photo to begin with) so to make 30K - 30,000 photos would be required.
    I notice you did not mention what degree you have? All my research has shown 2 things. 1) college grad income is better than 30k 2) a degree will get you a good job not in the field of the degree. (no more love hate)
    Now that I have tried to talk you out of it. I acknowledge that if you have what it takes to succeed you will probably do just that. Good luck
     
  6. Islair

    Islair TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Peoria, IL USA
    I have seen several ends of this question. Right out of school I became a photographer. I photographed High School Seniors and did photojournalism at weddings, the pay was crap. It seemed the only way to make money in photo was to have your own studio, even then it was tough for my boss. I really didnt mind this too much but the thing that really got me was this. I never picked up a camera in my free time, not at all. I lost all passion for the industry.....because it was my job.

    Then my life moved me from that job....later on I got a job because of who I know. I ran a photography studio front office. The company didnt have a photography position open at the time, but they knew I had sales experience, this was a good job, but it just goes to show you how cheap people are. The photographer pulled some incredible images of some really ugly people and the person I am trying to sell to is trying to pinch pennies on me. The whole thing sort of angers me. Then life moved me away from this job.

    So now, again, I am out of the photo industry. Maybe I will go back, maybe I wont. I made a living out of the photo lifestyle, but at what cost to my own photo livelyhood?
     
  7. BernieSC

    BernieSC TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South Carolina
    if you truely love photography and are willing to take on different types of jobs you can make money doing it. Now making a steady income sometimes is more difficult. Its like anything though if you truely love doing something and then it becomes a "job" then that sometimes takes all the fun out of it. Unless you can get a job as a photo journalist or maybe shoot weddings etc you might be better off starting out doing photography as a side job for extra money. Most people I know who do photography as a full time job first started doing it as a side line to make extra money then moved into a more full time job as a photographer.

    Most jobs are just that a job but they are secure for the most part you can depend on that paycheck, photography means you are always depending on that next job, that may or might not come. get your name out there with samples of your work and practice on shooting photos of people, friends etc..

    The main thing about photography is being able to show people you know how to shoot pictures once they see you can shoot different types of photos with creativeness then you will start getting offers. It says you are in ireland that is a beautiful country the landscapes alone are priceless I would love to visit someday.

    Good luck
     
  8. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Messages:
    8,345
    Likes Received:
    68
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    What are you studying for?

    A lucrative career is realistic in photography. I know a lot pf photogs doing very good by doing this full time. But it is not like the other disciplines. You learn to become a physician, and you KNOW for sure that you will earn around 100 to 200k per annum for starters. Unfortunately there is no such guarantees in photography. You will have to build it yourself. That requires hardwork and commitment.

    I agree with BernieSC to start this as a weekend/side thing. Eventually when you know/when you have have enough gigs to stand on your own feet, you can set out on your own.
     
  9. Becky

    Becky TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,492
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    London
    I'm studying Architecture... its sort of a 2part degree, to actually be an architect I have to do both parts, which totals 7 years. If I just do the first part then I can do all the computer aided draughting/AutoCad etc, which doesn't exactly thrill me to think about :meh:. I'm definately going to finish the first part which is 3 years, and I'm in my second now, I'll still end up with a degree in Architecture,I just can't technically be one... its daft really. Its not that I'm not doing well, I mean I am, but I'm just not sure my hearts in it, I'm determined not to end up in a career having to dread going to work everyday.

    Yeh thanks for the advice everyone, I'm considering trying to keep photography on the side, and then if it starts to work out I can take it from there. University literally just takes up all my time, so I've been looking at possible enrolling in a part time photography course so give me some time out my mundane routine. :grumpy:

    Thanks again for the advice guys, its really given me a lot to think about. I just don't know if I'm prepared to spend another 5 years on a career that I might not want to be in when I eventually get there, if that makes sense! :blushing:

    On a positive note, I been asked to photograph the annual exhibition for IFC (International Flight Sim Convention) in the NEC Birmingham in December this year.... I really want to do it, get paid etc... knowing my luck I'll be snowed under with university work and won't be able to... but I'm pretty determined to try! :D
     
  10. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Messages:
    8,345
    Likes Received:
    68
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Totally understand your frustration. :D

    I'd say if you complete both the parts, you can always have a solid financial backup plan.
    And there is no rule against architects becoming photgraphers. ;)

    Wish you the best!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Messages:
    4,237
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Rochester, NY Velocity: Unknown
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I'm not trying to disuade you from you current path, just pointing out:

    You don't need a college degree to be good at photography. It does take time and effort, but it involves shooting a lot and paying attention to the results. Classes can certainly help though. Some photographers who go into business simply get a business degree.

    I hope it all works out for you.
     
  12. Becky

    Becky TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,492
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    London
    Hi mark, yeh I know no one needs a degree or qualification to be good at photography, I'm just suggesting it might be a good way to get some "time-out" from my usual schedule and also meet others who enjoy it, I don't have any photo buddies at the minute.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

doing photography on the side

,
how realistic is becoming a photgrapher
,
is a career in photography realistic
,
is photography a realistic career
,

photography as a side job

,
photography jobs that pay well
,
photography side job
,
realistic photography careers
,
realistic photography jobs
,
side jobs for photographers