Do photographers make good money?

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Coupon92123

Coupon92123

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Hi morning,
Sorry to burst your dream. You say that you want to study photography and then earn your living from it
Either you are experienced and want to improve and refine your skills
Or you are a novice and want to learn
From what I have seen in other posts it’s very hard to make a living at photography
Also whilst I a hobby only photographer I have done four exhibit of my work just as part of my hobby
And I can say this for certain
Work out how much it will cost you then double that cost at least. Even the last time I did an exhibition there were costs that I had not expected.
But I wish you the very best and hope you are able to achieve your dream
Thanks for your answer, I will try to learn it.
 
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Like any other creative field, you do it for the love of art and not because it makes a lot of money. Most people started out as a hobby then eventually build the business up enough and turn it into a full time profession. Most actors and actresses don't start out working in the movie full time. They generally start out part time because it's not easy to make a living with art. With that said, you can absolutely make a living, even a good living, as a photographer. There are different types of photography. However, it's more about running a profitable business and knowing people than photography itself. I'm a full time professional photographer and photography is my only profession. I don't have another job.
Thanks you so much, good luck to you
 
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But I don't know if I will be able to live as a photographer?

I guess that depends on what your definition of "live" is. In my early years I did some paid work, portraits, forensic and legal work, which were enjoyable, but didn't make me rich. Portrait work has always been the most fulfilling for me, but the legal documentation paid the most.

For me the definition of "live" was much higher than photography would support in the somewhat rural area I was located in. Other business ventures allowed me to retire early and enjoy photography as a hobby.

There are others like VT above who have combined their love for photography into a successful business. The key here is his business product line is photography. After following him for a few years now, he seems to be very focused on his product and market. His style, processing, locations, and marketing are laser focused on a very specific market. In other words, he's doing the exact same things you'll see in every successful business, he's found his niche. In business you can't be all things to all people, all the time.

Studying photography is only part of the equation if you hope to make your living in photography. You need an equally sound knowledge of the principles of business and marketing.
Thanks you so much for your opinion
 
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Photography is my full time gig. Idk how much you consider "good"....I'm no millionaire :p
But maybe you are enough to make ends meet
 
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Product photography, high end real estate, and corporate is what I would go after if starting a career in it. Fashion is good but probably more challenging to break into. Study business and create a business plan.
Thanks for your comment
 
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Of the ones JC mentioned above, the first three would likely be the easiest to break into. Fashion would pay more, but there's a limited market and a lot of competition.

Couple areas most don't think about are medical and forensics photography. Its a somewhat steady field that pays $40-$60k.
That is not a bad amount of money
 
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As previously mentioned but not explored is the business side of things.
Right now photography is not going to make alot of money. Not like times past.
There are niches but they are specific.
Where you live also is a HUGE factor.

I am in New Mexico and though we are not inundated with overly burdensome regulations (California) the state none the less is political enough to have made getting a buisness license right now fairly difficult.

If your area is buisness friendly, you have half the battle won.

The main focus is to know your customers. Who are your customers and what do they want.
Specialize in that and you may have a good shot.
Thanks for your sharing
 

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Back in the 1990’s I was a crime scene/forensic photographer for the Santa Fe police department. I took the photos, I developed and printed the film. A career as a photographer in law enforcement is one way to make money and contribute to a retirement.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

ntz

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Yes, I do a good money .. unfortunately as an IT guy, not photographer ... so far better money then some my friends who are really good pro photographers and without the hassle and stress ;) ...
 

ac12

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Hi everybody,
I want to study photography, then become a photographer. But I don't know if I will be able to live as a photographer? Hope everyone can tell me the answer.
Thanks everyone.

Today, it is MUCH harder than the past. And in the past, it was hard.
When I was in high school, I talked with a few pros, and they told me the DIFFICULTIES of the business. It wasn't as easy and neat as it seemed like from the outside. So, I went into business administration at the university, and kept photography as a hobby.

Today, with everyone having a camera in their phone, and the advances in photo editing, the need to PAY someone to take pictures is much less than it was. Look at all the portrait studios that have shut down in the past decades. Even the discount chains that shut down the pro studios have shut down.

You have to carve out a niche that someone with a phone camera can't do.
But what a phone camera can't do today, could be common a few years from now. All you have to do is look at how far the phone camera has come, and imagine it going forward.

It is not simply your photo skills. You HAVE TO market yourself. And this is HARD.
I have seen people start a business, then go out of business, because they could not get enough steady clients, to pay the bills. This not for just one year, but for YEARS/DECADES.
You could buy a successful existing photo business. But if you cannot do the marketing to keep it going and get new clients, you will go out of business.
In some industries, it is the personal network (aka connections) that you develop, that gets you the gigs. No connections, no gigs.

Old rule. If you are going on you own, you need to have enough saving to live off of and pay the business expenses, for 3-5 years.
IF you are lucky, it could take you 5 years to be profitable. Then you will spend the next several years rebuilding your savings.
If you are NOT lucky, you go out of business.

As was mentioned, do a business plan.
If you don't know what a business plan is, research it.
Cuz if you can't do a GOOD business plan, your likelihood of failure increases a LOT.

Or, you could go to work for a photo company (like LifeTouch) as a photographer.
But you have to do your own research there.

My advice is to select a college major that will put food on the table and pay the rent.
And keep photography as a hobby. Or a small side business.
 

Grandpa Ron

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Professorial Photography is a business or if you are very lucky, a routine job for some company with benefits. Either way the you will probably shoot what what makes money, not necessarily what you like.

If you like to photograph what people want, or you just love the photographic media, then go for it.

Also keep in mind being self-employed generally means two things; 1. you are your own boss, and 2. you get to choose the 80 hrs a week you want to work.

Good luck
 

flyingPhoto

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ALL the famous names in photography since 1970 have had the following things in common

1. RICH family
2. RICH boyfriend, maplethorpe anyone.....
3. Name connection with someone BIG in hollywood or fashion or magazine industry
 

Grandpa Ron

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I saw a sign in a Wyoming restaurant. "Behind every successful Rancher is a wife who works in town." This true of a lot of professions. :)
 

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I think that if you are professional in photography and are good at wedding, model or baby photography. You may get much more money. These three photography types are in high demand.
 

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