Is it realistic to plan on making money?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by dakkon76, Aug 22, 2007.

  1. dakkon76

    dakkon76 TPF Noob!

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    Hi there! I've been lurking on the boards for a while and finally decided to register.

    I've finally finished college and I'm looking to dump some money into photography and get a little more serious. I'm planning on getting the new 40D when it comes out and start from there.

    My question is... can I hope to actually make money selling some prints? I've got a good eye for art and photography, and I plan to take a class or two as well as dive into as many books and things as I can get my hands on. My thing is... I don't want to photograph people. I don't have the people skills for showing up at a wedding or taking some family portraits... and frankly, I like pictures without people in them :p

    I'm big into macro photography as well as landscapes... and pretty much anything outdoors I suppose.

    So, is there much of a market out there and if so how does it work? Can I hope to sell stock photos in digital format, or am I limited to selling prints? And in either case, is this a reasonable goal to have as a means to simply support my hobby? I'm just wondering how realistic it is before I get all of these delusions of grandeur and whatnot :)

    I know my wife will be much more apt to "allow" me to spend $2,000 on a lens if I'm actually making money off of the project. (not that I plan on running right out and dumping $4-5k on camera equipment anytime soon... but I plan on getting there sometime in the near future)

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

    /dak
     
  2. wildmaven

    wildmaven TPF Noob!

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    My husband and I own an artist co-op gallery, which you might consider. For a small monthly fee and/or commission, you bring in framed work, prints, and/or art greeting cards. Most towns have something similar. It is a good way to get your name known in the town and to start others collecting your work. You can also sell at summertime art shows. From our experience, work depicting sunsets, mountains, and waterfalls sells better than macros of bugs. ;) However, dragonflies are HUGE right now, and butterflies are also.
     
  3. dakkon76

    dakkon76 TPF Noob!

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    See... greeting cards are a great idea. We've got a Boston Terrier, and we have a couple of friends that have them too. One of them wants to collaborate on a calendar with just Bostons... something like that is a pretty limited niche but I think it would be very fun to put together!

    I've always got something witty to say as well, so maybe some funny cards of animals would be good... just have to find a place online that could produce a small enough quantity for a reasonable price I suppose!
     
  4. LokiZ

    LokiZ TPF Noob!

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    It's always realistic to plan on a goal of making money with a hobby that may turn into more then that. Always a goal to have something you love become something that provides an income whether on the side or primarily.

    How much money it will make would be the next obvious question. Especially when justifying to a spouse. Return On Asset can be a very powerful persuasion.

    I show my work too many people locally friends and strangers. Why? The feed back not only helps you improve but also helps you find what could become a product worthy of sale.

    The more feed back the more you can judge correctly the amount you may be able to make. I like to get strangers feedback as they tend to not be as biased as close friends. It goes both ways really.

    I love wildmaven's idea, might also be a good idea to ask the gallery host when their key busy hours are so that you can hang out and possibly be able to overhear any of the comments made. (as long as you can handle the good with the bad ;))
     
  5. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Money and photography have never been comfortable bed partners. Photography is super saturated with great work. If you are interested you have to have a strong personal style that will set you apart from the rest. Develop a style and interest in your work and then consider making money. If you set out trying to make money at first you may be disappointed. Your goal should be making amazing photos. If that works then the money could fall into place.

    If you are interested in commercial and or editorial photography that is a whole other story.

    Love & Bass
     
  6. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I am with Craig on this one. I feel that making good money from landscape photography is incredibly difficult (and nearly impossible from macrophotography). You could probably sell some prints locally but even that is not easy. Making a quality print and framing it is expensive and few people are ready to pay the price, unless the work is really good. As for becoming a professional full-time landscape/nature photographer, I think it requires real talent and a sound understanding of how to run a business.
     
  7. Jon, The Elder

    Jon, The Elder TPF Noob!

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    If you can find and develop a niche market, like I did, then you can make a buck or two.

    It is a very dicey way to make a living nowdays.
     
  8. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    out of curiosity, what niche is that?
     
  9. neea

    neea TPF Noob!

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    This is my most recent goal! I got pictures of all kinds of things but haven't found where exactly my pictures fit into the whole scheme of things.

    As for the topic at hand.
    Don't think you're gonna make money at first. That's kinda what I did and I was always very disappointed in myself and my work until I started to just love photography for photography.
    Once you notice your own work getting better then start to put it out there to show others.
    And a word of advice.... family and friends are not good judges. Of course they love everything you do.
    When complete strangers have positive comments.. then you're getting somewhere.

    It wont happen over night, believe me.
     

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