I Need to be More Proactive.. Tips on Making Money?

Discussion in 'The Aspiring Professionals Forum' started by D-B-J, Nov 7, 2015.

  1. D-B-J

    D-B-J Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    So, here's the deal. I never began photography to make money. It's a hobby, always has been and always will be. That being said, I've reached the point where all the gear I want is getting expensive. It's hard to justify thousands a year for gear when I don't make money on it, and am a grad student. That being said, I'd like to try and be more proactive about it. I'd like to try and make enough to cover some new gear each year. Here's my thoughts:

    -Go to local places and see if they'll hang my work. Coffeeshops. Bakeries. In coastal towns, where I have photos from that town. Offer a percent of profits if I sell, etc. Cost? Print& frame, and the time energy and effort to go to all these places.

    -Enter myself in local art fairs, farmer markets, etc. Show up with framed/matted works for sale, etc. Cost? A lot of overhead on this one. Need a mat cutter, mat board, prints, plastic sleeves, entrance/fees, etc. Could get really pricey for little to no return. Big gamble.

    -Be more active on my website. Posting blog articles about photo tips. How to's. Behind the scenes. Being more active with content and info, rather than trying to get people to my site with "I have prints for sale!" posts. Cost? Time.

    -Piggybacking on the above, sending out monthly email newsletters with info on new images, blog posts, etc. Cost? Time.

    -Go to local photo clubs and sell myself. I've given a talk on landscape/long exposures, and would love to further that. Cost? Time. Big benefit here--I'll make money AND establish myself as a landscape photographer, which is my ultimate goal. Also be able to meet/network, and get people to my workshops next year.

    -Host workshops. I have an in with a local photo shop--and I've had people interested in post processing workshops, and more photo workshops. Cost? Time and effort. This ones tricky, as I'm so busy with school. However, this is also my favorite way to make money. I love to teach others about what I do and how to do it.

    -Edit | Enter photo contests. It's a great way to gain recognition and add credentials to my portfolio. Cost? Depends on the contest.



    I know it's a long post, but that's where I'm at. I don't care about being rich from photography. I am currently on a scholarship of sorts for graduate school, and will have a career as an oceanographer. I just want to make enough to support my addiction. Maybe make enough to travel for landscapes.

    What insights do YOU have. What have you learned about the above? Do some things work better than others?

    Cheers!
    Jake


     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015
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  2. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    Or you could stop spending money on new gear, learn to make do with what you have and not waste time on distorting your interests just to make money.
     
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  3. D-B-J

    D-B-J Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    True. But I'm a gear junkie. I love new gear, almost as much as I love photography. Filters, lenses, everything. I love getting higher and higher quality gear, as that leads to higher quality products. OR, what if I made a few extra dollars to buy gifts for my family? Go on a vacation with my GF? I'm good, good enough to make money. So why don't I try?

    Jake
     
  4. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    Ever consider just charging more?
     
  5. D-B-J

    D-B-J Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Doesn't make sense to me. If nobody buys a $135 20x30" print, why would they buy one for $200? I make enough per print percentage wise, I just don't sell any. I make good monies from workshops (well, good IMO). The last one grossed 500, netted closer to 425 for 6 hours of work. Worth it to me. Just need to explore and be more active. I need to establish myself more than I currently have. There's few to nobody who does the kind of landscapes I do and teaches about it in this area. I need to capitalize on that.

    Jake
     
  6. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Be aware that your attitude may change when you are "in it for the money".

    I think the most successful professional photographers have retained a love of photography and making art, and are happy to do so, knowing subconsiously that the money will follow.
     
  7. D-B-J

    D-B-J Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yes, I do know that. I'll never be in it for the money, that's why I'm in graduate school for something entirely unrelated. My academic passion is science, specifically studying how ocean acidification effects nearshore fish. A topic I want to study for the rest of my life.

    Photography is a hobby and a passion. I never want it or need it to supplement my full income. I just want it to be self-sustaining.

    Jake
     
  8. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    In your list of possibilities, I didn't see "learn from other photographers".

    How did other landscape photographers get started?

    Then there is the whole marketing aspect: Learn why people buy photographs. Yes, your landscapes are good, but they don't mean anything to me, so I would not buy one. Have you asked your customers why they like a picture well enough to part with some serious cash to own it?

    Also; your website needs updating. Get rid of the "student work" header, especially since there is nothing in it anyway, and nobody wants to buy a student work. (IMO)

    I just finished reading this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Profitable-Ph...ywords=profitable business on the digital age

    Couldn't hurt.
     
  9. D-B-J

    D-B-J Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    No, couldn't hurt. I'll pick up a copy.

    The student work link was meant to be for students from my workshops to have their images on my site. Showing what kinds of things I can teach, etc. I'll hide it for now.

    Learn from other photographers is something I didn't add but should have. There's plenty of local photographers who I do and can chat with.

    Cheers!
    Jake
     
  10. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    With all this high end gear does your photo quality go up at the same rate ? I very much doubt it
     
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  11. D-B-J

    D-B-J Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The sharpness differences between a $200 lens and a $1000 lens is significant. I own some $200 gear, and I want the $1000 gear. Yes, it would make a difference.

    Jake
     
  12. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Ive had most of the pro Canon lenses eg. 300f2.8L 70-200f2.8L and so on and sold them all they are not that much sharper just made stronger for pro use, some of my Voigtlander lenses are sharper, also when people look at a print they would never know if it was taken with a $10 lens or a $1000 lens
     
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