Do photographers make good money?

ac12

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I'm curious as to where the money falls as a professional photographer. There's commissioned work (weddings, head-shots, etc.) and then there's the creative side. Can a decent living be earned with the latter?

Creative ???
I doubt it.

Can painters make a decent living painting creative stuff?
Only the "TINY" minority who make it big, early enough in their life.

You can't make money, until you have enough people buying your photos, consistently over time.
That is the problem. HOW are you going to sell your photos?
 

cgw

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Yet another zombie thread. Recalls the old joke about what to call a musician without a working girlfriend? Homeless.
 

Mattp311

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I'm actually going to be selling (t-shirts) at a farmer's market next week. The plan is to display some photography and then refer people to my smugmug page. Fingers crossed.
 

ac12

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I'm actually going to be selling (t-shirts) at a farmer's market next week. The plan is to display some photography and then refer people to my smugmug page. Fingers crossed.

Business plan.
Is that the market you really want to sell into?
 

Mattp311

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Maybe not, but it's the best of limited options.
 

Rickbb

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I'm curious as to where the money falls as a professional photographer. There's commissioned work (weddings, head-shots, etc.) and then there's the creative side. Can a decent living be earned with the latter?
Not until you become famous enough that people will pay hundreds for a print and your work hangs in prestigious museums. Until then it's weddings, head-shots, set that pay the bills.
 

mrca

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Not until you become famous enough that people will pay hundreds for a print and your work hangs in prestigious museums. Until then it's weddings, head-shots, set that pay the bills.
Not until you become famous enough that people will pay hundreds for a print and your work hangs in prestigious museums. Until then it's weddings, head-shots, set that pay the bills.
What is "the creative side?"
 

Mattp311

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I'm not sure how to better articulate myself. The shots people are displaying on this forum - art.
 

mrca

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I'm not sure how to better articulate myself. The shots people are displaying on this forum - art.
I don't look at the photos here but having judged and won professional competitions, much of the work I see is cliched, copied crap. And they do the same shots over and over. I wouldn't call that creative. Many mimic the latest cliche, faded, tilted, jumping on rail road tracks. But keep in mind most photo consurmers haven't a clue about what is a good photo. Some mediocre photographers are successful while talented photographers starve. If you are considering starting a BUSINESS, remember it is just that. You have to provide something people want or need. I would highly recommend take a number of photo business courses and read several books. Pick and chose what fits your business model. But realize the average photographer makes less than a mcdonald's supervisor. And they get paid vacation, health insurance, a steady pay check. Get a job like that and start shooting and if you make enough at photography, quit the day job. Have your reached proficiency with lighting, posing, communication with a client also? It's a business where less than 15% of your time is spent photographing. Since this is a business, you need to KNOW how to run a business. I'd be more concerned with that after a mastery of portrait fundementals.
 

Mattp311

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mrca, thanks for the insights. It was never my intention to feed myself with this, I was just curious as to what kind of market I'm dealing with and the odds of being successful. But hey, within three or four days I'll have more information (I'm working out of a farmer's market tomorrow) and I'll be able to come back here and speak out of personal experience. If you're curious, I'll keep you posted.
 

mrca

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mrca, thanks for the insights. It was never my intention to feed myself with this, I was just curious as to what kind of market I'm dealing with and the odds of being successful. But hey, within three or four days I'll have more information (I'm working out of a farmer's market tomorrow) and I'll be able to come back here and speak out of personal experience. If you're curious, I'll keep you posted.
Your success would be the same with any other business, its just a business. How good a product you have, how god a marketer you are and if you are likable, the demographics of your area and your pricing all play a role.
 

Mattp311

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Limited interest in my photos - the next few days will tell if I get a conversion.

Decent interest in my t-shirts though. And my target demographic was largely absent, which is encouraging, as I suspect given the time of year that they'll show up next time.
 
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mrca

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Good luck. If there isn't you are touching on something, perhaps they aren't your clients that were there.
 

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