Making money with your photographs.

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by afghanjohn, Oct 4, 2008.

  1. afghanjohn

    afghanjohn TPF Noob!

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    It's been a while since I've posted on The Photo Forum. I'd like to know if anybody else is making some money with your photographs. I'm not in this full time any more but my photographs produce some residual income every year.

    Anybody have the dream of being financially free so that you can pursue your photography as a full time hobby?
     
  2. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    May sound funny, but I make more at my consulting business than I ever would in photography. ;)

    Kind of a silly question to ask, though... I am sure most people would say "yes".
     
  3. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I havent really tried to sell any of my photos but, I have thought of making some into postcards and, selling them that way. I have a gas station I go to that carries alot of tourist items and, the owner would carry them for me.
    To question two. If I won the lottery then I would be able to just play with my cameras and, telescopes all the time. As it stands work really gets in the way.
     
  4. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yeah, don't you hate that? ...I guess it's better than being homeless though.
     
  5. TUX424

    TUX424 TPF Noob!

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    i would like for one day to be able to be taking photos as my job, but sometimes work and play do mix and you get to seriures and you stop having fun with photography
    but that is the reason most of us started isn't it?
     
  6. mmurdock

    mmurdock TPF Noob!

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    I would love to do this full time.
     
  7. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The vast majority of people who kind of dreamily talk about becoming a professional photographer without doing their homework seriously... have little to no idea about the work involved.

    Believe it or not, it is as hard to become a successful photographer as it is to become the CEO of a major corporation. People think successful photograpgy is about taking pictures.

    Sorry folks, its not.

    - it is about marketing
    - it is about business
    - it is about networking
    - it is about strategy
    - it is about being able to take advantage of the current economy in general
    - it is about about your local economy in specifics
    - It is about being creative

    and LASTLY, way at the bottom of the list...
    - it is about taking pictures.

    Sadly, without ALL of the above (and more) in the RIGHT proportions, you will never get to be a successful photographer in the manner in which the vast majority of people would want... meaning, that all they do is click the shutter a few times a day and the rest of the week they can sit at home drinking Pina Coladas and floating on a chair in the back yard pool.

    :D

    People often love to glamorize things and try to live their dreams. There is NOTHING about living your dreams, in fact I think anyone that doesn't actively try (and try OFTEN)... is a complete IDIOT (and pretty sad, I bet too)... however nothing good comes without a lot of serious preparation and work... even something as simple as becoming good enough and smart enough... to press a shutter button at the right time.
     
  8. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Jerry is right.... "making a living from photography" is more about the business of "making a living" rather than "photography".

    The best chance I see at making it is to find a way to make a living with as little time involved.... leaving the majority of your "free" time dedicated to figuring out all the items Jerry listed out in the right proportions (perhaps business classes). nothing is guaranteed.
     
  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think there are 3 schools of thought

    1) the dreamers - will never actually sell, but will talk the hind leg of a donkey talking about it ;)

    2) the hobbyist - will shoot for themselves and sell on the side - maybe a website, a few local contacts, but won't drop the day job. Aiming just to make a little from the hobby to pay for a new bit of kit

    3) the pro pro! - aims for a job in the photography market with an aim to running their own photography business - though many might work under another photographer for some time to get a feel for the work and the industry in general

    I want to be in 2!
     
  10. bikefreax

    bikefreax TPF Noob!

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    When I started shooting I never gave thought to selling stuff. Well just the other day I had a friend see one of my shots and wants to buy a copy. I was flattered so since she is a friend I sold it to her pretty cheap. I made enough to order me a print of it also. I am not out to make a living out of it but it's cool that someone else likes what I shoot. That in turn has her co-worker wanting me to shoot something for her to give to her son for Christmas and I will do the same price wise. At least this was it is only costing me for the frame to build my own collection for my house.
     
  11. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I feel that you may have forgotten one, the one that 95% of "pro photographers" are... it is right in between 2 and 3.

    They are the ones that are likely talented photographers, open a business hoping to leverage those skills but have little to no business skills and would not know what a business plan is if they tripped over it... lol.

    Sadly enough, if you look at the numbers, 80% of that group doesn't last a year. That number rises to 95% by the end of the 2nd year. The third year... well, if they've lasted that long, either they learned how to run a proper photography business or have a second job out there paying their bills until they can figure things out.

    I am a member of several wedding and portrait photography boards and flickr groups. I would have to say that 95% or more of all wedding/portrait photographers that I see in these environments have a day job or are married to someone that has steady income. VERY few are solely photographers "living the dream".

    It's definitely not easy!
     
  12. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    4) The Bohemian - Does what they love to do and lets nature sort out the survivors. Is aware that there is no such thing as "financial freedom."
     

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