How long to make a profit?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Jim Gratiot, May 3, 2010.

  1. Jim Gratiot

    Jim Gratiot TPF Noob!

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    A question for all you professionals out there:

    From when you first decided to become a professional photographer, how long did it take for you to actually make a consistent profit from your photography?

    Thanks,
    Jim
     
  2. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hey, Jim.

    That's a bit hard to answer. Of course, every time I shoot I make a profit. I suppose you're asking how long before the habit begins to generate more than you've spent on equipment... or how long before you can earn a living from it?

    There are MANY variables of course. How much have you spent? How much are you spending on fixed, on-going costs (general overhead like rent, utilities, etc.)?

    Can you fill us in a bit more on your particular situation?

    -Pete
     
  3. Jim Gratiot

    Jim Gratiot TPF Noob!

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    You're right Pete, that question can undoubtedly be interepreted multiple ways.

    I was talking to an aspiring "photography hobbyist" last week who has the itch to turn pro. And she was asking me how long it takes the average photographer to turn profitable... in other words, how long would it take her to get to the point where she could live entirely on her photography, and not have to rely on side jobs, money from parents, etc.

    Anyway, I thought I'd come here to get a few real-life answers to her question.

    Hope that clarifies a bit.
     
  4. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    It is often considered that a business takes 6-12 months to get going.

    Other than that there is no way to answer your question. I could tell you it took me about 10 months to stop relying on outside sources of finance but that means nothing whatsoever since you have no idea who I am and how I live.
     
  5. Jeff Colburn

    Jeff Colburn TPF Noob!

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    There are a lot of variables. How good is she? What is she shooting? How much competition is there? Are her clients local or national?

    As a rule of thumb, 1 to 2 years is kind of average to make a photography business self-supporting.

    Have Fun,
    Jeff
     
  6. DanEitreim

    DanEitreim TPF Noob!

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    I started my business because I lost my "real" job and had no skills that anyone would hire me for, so I'd have to say I was self sufficient in the first month. I've been a pro photographer for 19 years now.

    But, that said, it was a hard miserable life for quite a while and I wouldn't recommend the "cold turkey" approach.

    I've since discovered a lot of ways to make money fast - so it would be easier now, but in any event, I'd suggest starting part time and let your business dictate when you can afford to go full time.
     

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