How do the pros make it.

smoke665

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@Derrel I wouldn't call it whining about instant gratification, more the realization that it's the way it is. I might love building widgets, but if there's no market for a widget, as a businessman I know that I'd be pretty stupid to fill a warehouse with widgets.
 

chuasam

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First start off rich, or have someone else support you till you make it big.
 

Photo Lady

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For many they dont, or just barely. Photography as a main full time profession is not a growing industry.
There is still some avenues that will pull in some reasonable $$ for your typical "great" photographer. Weddings are still a strong area where professional photographers are hired. If you stick to simply doing family portraits good luck. Gone are the days of the yearly Family Christmas family photos. There will always be the exceptions that will make real decent money but these are the rare few. The ones that nail down the schools for grad photos or sporting events can do well also by volume and yearly returning customers.

The ones that make a true living off of it are the better business minded people as opposed to the best photographers (quality wise). So one has to really know how to run a business, not just a camera in order to go beyond it being a good "side job".

I run it as a business (all insurance, registrations, taxes, etc..) but it is still just a side business for me and not my main income. In this area that's probably 90% of the professional photographers. The few that run it as their only business often have spouses that help with the bills as well.
so sad
 

Vtec44

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Wedding photography is my full time profession and it's my only profession. I don't have another job. I started my business in 2012 and then I left a secured career of 20 years in IT to do photography full time shortly after that. I also live in Southern California, probably not the best place as far as living cost is concern.

How did I make it? I used my full time job at the time to build my business. I basically worked 2 jobs for about 3 years running my business while making money with my full time job to support the start of my business. I had probably a good 2-3 hours of sleep daily in those early years. It's not easy or glamorous and it was scary when I turned in my resignation. I also started my business at 34 years old, much later than most people in this industry. In the last 3 years my business has doubled and I actually stopped taking new clients for 2019 It's not easy and most photographers lack the business skills to turn a hobby into a sustainable and profitable business. If you look at my Instagram, my work is not out of this world or as creative compare to many other photographers. However, it is a good representative of who I am and what I love. My clients can relate to my photos and they're willing to pay for it. I think combined with good word of mouth marketing, it has done wonder for my business. Like any other small businesses, most people think it's easy and don't dedicate enough time and attention to the business. I live and breathe my business. It is my entire life and that's the down side of it.
 
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