October 22, 2014, 10:13:23 AM

Author Topic: Why Photography  (Read 2250 times)

chauncey

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Why Photography
« on: July 13, 2014, 07:44:29 AM »
I got into this ridiculous hobby post retirement.  It is a self-satisfying way to pass the time as it keeps me off the streets and outta the bars, but, if someone approached me about making a career from photography...I would be forced to slap them up-side the head.  http://work.chron.com/estimated-salary-photographer-7219.html

Aside from the occasionally successful wedding and fashion photog...who is gonna buy your stuff.
Besides the local hotel that hosts local photography and the traveling art shows that caters to folks with some disposable income...photography doesn't sell. 
Peruse the "decorator wall décor" websites, photography occupies a very small subset therein, so again I ask...who is gonna buy your stuff?

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Why Photography
« on: July 13, 2014, 07:44:29 AM »

RLPhoto

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Re: Why Photography
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2014, 07:56:21 AM »
Stock sites (RF or RM.)
Fine art prints (deviant art or other services to find customers.)
Occasionally magazines
Occasionally licensing some images from whomever.
Commercial clients (catalogs :( )
The obvious family portrait and wedding biz.
Restaurants.

There's is a lot more but where ever someone sees something that's not video, there is a need for a stills photographer. It's hard and doesn't pay as much as a straightforward career but It's what I love to do.

Sporgon

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Re: Why Photography
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2014, 12:16:57 PM »
I got into this ridiculous hobby post retirement.  It is a self-satisfying way to pass the time as it keeps me off the streets and outta the bars, but, if someone approached me about making a career from photography...I would be forced to slap them up-side the head.  http://work.chron.com/estimated-salary-photographer-7219.html

Aside from the occasionally successful wedding and fashion photog...who is gonna buy your stuff.
Besides the local hotel that hosts local photography and the traveling art shows that caters to folks with some disposable income...photography doesn't sell. 
Peruse the "decorator wall décor" websites, photography occupies a very small subset therein, so again I ask...who is gonna buy your stuff?

The real answer ? No one.

In reality if you want to sell your pictures for real money you have to have a captive audience, potential buyers who already want what you are specifically shooting.

Selling photography as 'art for art's sake' is virtually impossible to day. People are bombarded with fantastic images, and I think in all honesty many have effectively become desensitised to beautiful photography, and so images have had to become more and more dramatic, surreal, in order to keep peoples attention. The few photographers that I know who have a long reputation for selling this type of picture have had to become more and more 'unreal'mas time has gone on.

My Building Panoramic stuff is done for two major national institutions as well as other smaller ones, but either way it's aimed at a specific target, but even then I see an alarming apathy towards great imagery, most probably because these places are bombarded with it all the time.

There is, however a lot to be said for being able to produce just what you want. It's just that as with artists of old, if no one wants what you have produced except yourself it feels a bit disappointing  ;)

canon_guy

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why stock websites useful
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2014, 03:28:27 PM »
nevertheless stock websites are also useful. For example, I will soon need a website and I need to be a good photo, but "stealing" I do not like, so need to buy at such sites. This, of course, is not earnings for photographers, but it is also necessary

mackguyver

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Re: Why Photography
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2014, 03:59:52 PM »
Stock is essentially dead, unless you shoot dozens of new photos a week and really know what you're doing.  Otherwise, look forward to $0.12-$2.00 checks every few months. 

I'm just a part-time pro, but the people that buy my work are:
- Local businesses who need shots that don't exist in stock libraries - i.e. local landmarks & specialty shots
- Realtors and financial institutions who are selling or financing real property and want quality shots of it
- Artists and collectors who want photographic reproductions of their work for printing or archival purposes
- Businesses who want to decorate their businesses with local artist's work or work depicting natural Florida
- Random tourists who want to buy a photo of mine as a memory of their trip to Florida

I think most of these can work in many markets, even a small one like mine (city of around 200,000).

In the past, I've also done quite well with wannabe (or potential) models, actors, and others who need headshots or portfolio shots.  And in my former (read: film) life, I shot for fashion designers in the studio and on the runway which complemented the model/actor stuff quite well.

I can't remember who said this, but I read that to sell your work, "It has to be better than free."  That's really the key - you have to put yourself out there and do good work that people are willing to pay for in your market.  Matching market needs to your shooting style and subjects is what it's all about.

jdramirez

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Re: Why Photography
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2014, 04:04:17 PM »
I don't sing or dance.. I can't draw, paint or play a musical instrument... so this is a good vein for my abundance of creativity.

Also, among my circle of friends, I'm the only one who does what I do, so I am like the mediocre magician... how does he do it... magic.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

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AcutancePhotography

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Re: Why Photography
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2014, 09:18:46 AM »
Why ruin a perfectly good hobby?

The advantage of being an amature photographer is that you work for a great client who pays you what you are worth.  Also the taxes are a lot easier.  ;D
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Re: Why Photography
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2014, 09:18:46 AM »

Roo

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Re: Why Photography
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2014, 10:29:35 AM »
A guy I work with has a passion for sneakers and late last year he bought his first dslr because he was unhappy with the results from the phone camera.  He posted the shots on instagram and a couple of dedicated sneaker sites.  One of the major brands has seen his shots and are now sending him new sneakers to shoot.  It may not pay the bills but he's getting some good recognition and feeding his passion with free sneakers :D
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jdramirez

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Re: Why Photography
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2014, 10:48:17 AM »
A guy I work with has a passion for sneakers and late last year he bought his first dslr because he was unhappy with the results from the phone camera.  He posted the shots on instagram and a couple of dedicated sneaker sites.  One of the major brands has seen his shots and are now sending him new sneakers to shoot.  It may not pay the bills but he's getting some good recognition and feeding his passion with free sneakers :D

That's awesome for him.  How are his shots?  Studio, in location, hdr, or does he play with Photoshop?
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

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David_in_Seattle

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Re: Why Photography
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2014, 11:02:32 AM »
I got into this ridiculous hobby post retirement.  It is a self-satisfying way to pass the time as it keeps me off the streets and outta the bars, but, if someone approached me about making a career from photography...I would be forced to slap them up-side the head.  http://work.chron.com/estimated-salary-photographer-7219.html

Aside from the occasionally successful wedding and fashion photog...who is gonna buy your stuff.
Besides the local hotel that hosts local photography and the traveling art shows that caters to folks with some disposable income...photography doesn't sell. 
Peruse the "decorator wall décor" websites, photography occupies a very small subset therein, so again I ask...who is gonna buy your stuff?

Yes, the harsh reality is very few people will buy the photos you capture for yourself.  And these paying customers want your photo for pennies on the dollar.

If you want to earn a living as a photographer your best bet is to learn how to capture photos for others while establishing your own style, your own brand, and your own business.  A photo is the end result, a product.  The act of capturing a photo is a service: from recruiting a model, makeup artist, and hair stylist to setting up the scene and organizing a team for the shoot.  The customers that will pay top dollar for your services are those who need a specific type of photo, but lack the ability or resources to produce it themselves.  Much in the same vein that customers will pay a mechanic to fix their car because they lack the knowhow or the time to do it themselves.

I'm a media producer for an online travel company where it is my primary responsibility to promote the activities we sell through the use of photos and videos.  It's essentially a marketing and advertising job (what I got my degree in) where I get to lead a small team to acquire media for each activity we sell across the globe.  Sometimes I get to travel and take photos or videos while other times I hire a team in location to do the same work if it's more cost efficient.  At the end of the day, my job is to measurably increase the sales and marketability of a given activity while fostering good relations with the businesses that provide them (that last part empowers me to negotiate higher profit margins).  I've been at it for nearly three years and I really love my job.  It pays much much more than the stats suggest on the link you provided.  I'm very fortunate to be in the position I'm in because prior to this gig I was their college intern and this job didn't exist.  Beforehand, they used stock photos.  I was able to prove that better media can measurably increase sales revenue and marketability hence why I was hired to do this job.
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distant.star

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Re: Why Photography
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2014, 01:21:05 PM »
.
If you want to do photography as a business...

You have to learn to make then an offer they can't refuse!
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Re: Why Photography
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2014, 03:55:03 PM »
Why ruin a perfectly good hobby?

The advantage of being an amature photographer is that you work for a great client who pays you what you are worth.  Also the taxes are a lot easier.  ;D

+1, excellent!

I often have people ask why I don't sell my photos and the fact is, I'd rather give them away than price them where they would sell and deal w the hassles. This way, they are 'priceless'.  ;) I have great admiration for pros that can turn this wonderful hobby into a living, but that would spoil the fun for me. And, I am passionate about my real profession and that finances my hobby adequately.
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Dylan777

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Re: Why Photography
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2014, 04:02:06 PM »
To capture my family special moments
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Re: Why Photography
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2014, 04:02:06 PM »

jdramirez

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Re: Why Photography
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2014, 04:18:27 PM »
To capture my family special moments

At what point do our wives ask... so you really need all that gear to take family photos?

I'm at 12k-ish... so I'm expecting that conversation to happen any day now.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

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Hannes

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Re: Why Photography
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2014, 04:24:05 PM »
The way I see it our lives and history are just memories. Having those in the shape of an image lets me remember it more easily. That and that it something creative which is nice given my utter lack of being able to draw

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Re: Why Photography
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2014, 04:24:05 PM »