How do you make photography pay?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by tirediron, Jul 9, 2005.

  1. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Just wondering how many amateur (Amateur as in photography is not your primary source of income, not as in the quality of your work!) make money from their work, and how they go about it? I am to the point now where with about 10,000 images on my computer, and a similar amount invested in equipment, it might be nice get a little something back from it all. I've seen lots of different venues, cards, prints etc at craft sales, freelance work... just wondering what you folks do, and what sort of results you get from it (I don't mean a dollar figure, rather next to nothing, enough to pay for my weekly coffee, enough to buy a new lens every so often, etc). Thanks!
     
  2. David A Sercel

    David A Sercel TPF Noob!

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    I sell matted prints (5x7s and 8x10s), framed prints (5x7s, 8x10s, and 11x14s), and note cards. 8x10 matted prints are by far the best sellers for me. I sell mainly at fine art shows, but have also had good success at gift shops. I live in the middle of a fairly large Amish community, which attracts a lot of tourists, and there are several gift shops in the area that get a lot of this tourist traffic. I have found that scenics (all taken locally, and I make a point to say so) sell very well to tourists who want to take home some sort of souvenir pertaining to ‘Amish Country’. Note cards also sell pretty well, and sell better at shows than at gift shops. I have put together thematic packs of six note cards and six envelopes – six assorted flowers, six assorted butterflies, six assorted scenics, etc. – and sell them by the pack rather than individually.

    David
     
  3. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    I'm not sure if this is the right place for this question. General Q&A might be better.
    I'll leave it here for now and see what happens - but if you don't get much of a response in a few days, I'll shift it.
     
  4. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Getting money back from your efforts and expense may be the wrong way to approach it. I would approach as looking for a job. Research your market carefully. The subject is limitless without some specific details and personal decisions. Do you want to go to college? assist? get on the list of an editor or art director? sell prints of your personal work?

    I went to college and started assisting immediately. If I had any kind of sense I would have started as a PA at Vanity Fair. Instead I ended up in Home Fashion and Product work. I am proud to say that now I am a photographer; I call the shots (sort of) and I make a decent living. Plus 30% of my work is editorial. Of course editorial is everybody's dream.

    I only know for a fact that the work takes a lot of perseverance. Sometimes I wish I worked as a stone mason.
     
  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Craig.. no I'm not looking to get money back, I'm just interested in what/how people do get $$ for their efforts. I'm thinking of going along the lines of David has said, but as a hobby rather than as my only income.
     
  6. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Many years ago I went into wedding and home portrait photography. I learned to hate what I was doing. After several years away from the craft, I started doing more than snap shooting and now love it again. If you want to hate your hobby, make it a job. Very few can say they love the job they have to do, and those are a lucky few. Having said that I will add that I do sell a little of my work. Just enough to let me know what I do is worthy of others praise and there cash. I network with friends who have similar interests. We love parrots, raise a few from time to time and have quite a few as pets. The pet parrot community in our region have bought many of me prints. I also setup and do portraits of there birds at club meetings. I have sold dozens of prints on ebay, but I must admit that there are thousands of others trying to do the same. Its hard to break out and be noticed there. These were just some random thoughts on the subject, worth what you paid for them.
     

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