What kind of money can you make being a photographer?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by DZX, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. DZX

    DZX TPF Noob!

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    I really want to be a professional photographer when I get older, I will try to major in college for it (I am 16).
    I was just wondering, what is the income for the average photographer? I need to know if it will be good enough to make a living off of haha. I don't know much about it yet, but I know I like to take pictures of things (nature, abstract art, etc.) Thanks. :hug::.

    Sorry if I sound like a noob.
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    hmm nature is a hard area to get into. Not only is the kit very very expensive (unless you do macro only you will need long range lenses and they cost!) but also its a hard area to get money from as people don't request nature shots - they browes and only part with cash if its spare. This makes it harder to get your name out and get popular.

    Most photographers that are in the industry are fashion, wedding, home and so on - taking pictures of people on request. That is where they can make money in live on a modist to good income (depending on the indevidual).
    However some things to take note:

    1) If you work with photography then you are working not playing. Its means more time working on devlivery of shots, post production editing, getting your name out, meeting clients - very little of your time is (comparativly speaking) spent on photographing

    2) There is no point in shooting something you don't like - photography is at its heart an artistic science - you can get one side of a shot right with skills and lessons - the other has to be creative and it is hard tobe so if your heart and interest are not in it

    3) Many who do make an income often do it as an aside = a website and a little bit of publicity to get a few people buying shots that they took in their free time (I would also add that for many this is how they finance their hobby as the income is erratic and not reliable)

    Go for your dreams, but don't think its easy - its a long hard road
     
  3. DZX

    DZX TPF Noob!

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    I realize it won't be easy, and thanks for the information. I'll take it all into consideration. I wouldn't mind taking photos of people or weddings, I was just throwing out some of the things I like to take pictures of. Also another hobby of mine is car pictures, but yeah.
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Best thing you can really do now is (and you will hate these 2 words) Study and Practice. Those two things will get you further than most else.
    But also don't forget the if you are looking to running a business that something like business studies or economics or some such other course is a good idea as well - something to show you how to make a living with something
     
  5. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There is money and opportunities in every aspect of photography it all depends on you. Lots of people make tons of money right now in all aspects of photography including nature photography. If you are serious about doing this look into schools like Brooks RIT or the like. There are alot of people who make it without but there are also many who make it with an education. Also do not think for a miute that the only way to make it in photography is weddings portraits or fashion as I said there are tons of opportunities you just have to have the talent and drive to get them.
     
  6. DZX

    DZX TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the responses, people are pretty nice here haha. I'm starting to like it. Glad I didn't get flamed like people do on most forums.
    I also need a new camera, and would love a DSLR one, but can't really afford it. I was looking up some cameras and found this, and am considering getting it later on when I have the money. Is this a good idea? I know the lens it comes with won't be the best, but it will still get me started and be better than my 5.1 megapixel Nikon. Heres the link: http://www.bwayphoto.com/viewproduct.aspx?id=9551798
    I think its pretty cheap for an SLR.
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I agree...there are plenty of ways to make money with photography. There are a few things to consider though. Will it be working for someone else or working for yourself (your own business)?
    In Wedding photography, for example, the most successful photographers are often the best salesmen, not necessarily the best shooters. To take it a step further, when the good ones reach the top, they make money by writing books or doing seminars etc. Again, they might be better at talking than actually shooting.

    The point is that it might be a good idea to educate yourself in business & sales as well as (or instead of) photography.

    A photography education will certainly open up some doors, but many find that actually learning the craft is best done with a mentor and/or real world experience.

    As mentioned, it will come down to how much you want it and how hard you work for it.
     
  8. Mullen

    Mullen TPF Noob!

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    Don't buy from Broadway Photo, it's a scam site. Use a trusted site like B&H or Adorama.
     
  9. DZX

    DZX TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the heads-up. Would I be able to find a good DSLR body & lens kit for $500 or under?
     
  10. KD5NRH

    KD5NRH TPF Noob!

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    Do you have a ski mask and/or handgun?

    Seriously, though, spend a lot of time bouncing back and forth between Craigslist and dpreview.com until you find something close enough and with a seller who will meet up and let you look it over before you buy. If you're willing to put up with a little more risk, you can buy sight-unseen from eBay or Craigslist.
     
  11. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Jip said it best and I second that emotion. It will take time and perseverance. Good money can be made if you give it your all. Of course there will always be nay sayers. Do as you feel and never follow.

    Love & Bass
     
  12. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    #1 if you are serious about a real career in photgraphy an education at a school like the ones I named in my original post is a good way to go. A school like that can give you a very comprehensive education with all the business that is important and in a photography context. Here are a couple of points from the Brooks website showing how programs like theirs cover the things that the photography education detractors (no offens to you meant Big Mike) always tell you to study instead:

    Describe the business, research and academic practices of the photographic field

    Communicate in writing and orally in a clear, effective, and professional manner within the academic and business photographic fields

    Describe and articulate the business, research, and academic practices and developments of the photographic arts

    Now as far as gear goes remember you are buying into a system that could follow you for a long time so it is a big decision on wich way to go. I would not take it lightly and base your decision on price alone.
     

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