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Newest Member: Ibelieved (46047)

User Topic: Photography career question
Guinness23
♀ 42852
Member # 42852
Default  Posted: 8:50 PM, July 12th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am a photographer. Have been ALL my life.

I have been a professional photographer since 2007. I have 2.8 lenses and a D300 Nikon body.

I KNOW what to do with all of this.

I have been paid as a school, wedding, product, and journalistic photographer.

My question to you all is is there a future for my craft that I am DAMN good at and want to do?
What are your experiences? Has the IPHONE killed professional photography as we know it???

I am good at what I do. Let everyone else photograph weddings and kids now. Without using photobucket, I can't show you the gift God blessed me with. How do I make a decent living at the craft I know best? Phenominal photography is above and beyond owning expensive equipment. It is about the equipment, eye, talent, empathy and drive of the photographer. I DO NOT know how to market myself. I DO NOT know how to charge for something that comes this easy to me. What can I do? PLEASE help me. I am broke and trying to get up off my feet from my divorce, bankruptcy, foreclosure and personal demons that led me to Guinness. The Guinness is being handled; the insecurities and network are not.

Please help me. THIS is what I want to do to earn a living.


Me 47
ExH 43
Divorced 2010

47 is the new year of treating myself better than I have in 6 years.

What ever doesn't kill me makes me stronger so long as I remember that

My favorite drink is no longer Guinness but water. Call me Dasani23


Posts: 867 | Registered: Mar 2014 | From: Indiana
fireproof
♀ 36126
Member # 36126
Default  Posted: 9:08 PM, July 12th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I would get a job that pays for what you need to start your career.

Honestly the reality is post divorce we have limited options. We can have our dream but there is a dose of what needs to be taken care of.

If you like photography try working in a gallery part time or take a class and meet people and waitress or get a temp office position until you can make ends meet.

I just was told I am as good at my second job as my first and I was technically retired for years comfortably.

Set yourself up to succeed not dig a deeper hole by focusing on just the dream.


Posts: 1108 | Registered: Jul 2012
homewrecked2011
♀ 34678
Member # 34678
Default  Posted: 9:22 PM, July 12th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I recently found Debtors Anon online -- they have phone meetings. Some of the meetings are for artists and writers who have a desire to create, maintain or increase a revenue stream. I listened in on that meeting last week and they really help each other to realize their dreams,how to balance earning $ in a field they love while staying in a recovery program of not debting.They were giving tips on networking, how to make cold calls, etc.
Another DA meeting on wed is called Live your Vision meeting. All this is tied together because if a person isn't earning enough to live, they debt, then they get depressed, then they drink, then they spiral down. This program is about meeting your income needs, while working on the craft you love until you are so busy with your new business you can quit the other job. It follows the 12 steps of AA. Pretty supportive phone group. It's really wonderful to hear people talking about where they were 6 months ago (broke, no job, etc) and the path they have chosen now to have jobs they love. They all say it was the support of the phone groups/local groups that really guided them and gave them encouragement on pursuing the life they want, not the path they were on.

It's REALLY spurred me into action.

[This message edited by homewrecked2011 at 9:23 PM, July 12th (Saturday)]


Keep Calm and Happy On!

me BS 52
him - 46
married 15 years DIVORCED 10 31 12
children - ds15 ds12
d-day 12-19-11
I gave a 24hour ultimatum then went to attorney next day
Divorce filed


Posts: 2391 | Registered: Jan 2012
Amazonia
♀ 32810
Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 6:17 AM, July 13th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Do you want to be a photographer, or do you want to run your own photography business? Marketing and charging reasonable fees are a requirement for running your own business. If you want to run a business, then you need to buckle down and learn those skills.

If you just want to take pictures and get paid for it (minus the running your own business part), then start looking at careers that depend on photography or find a studio that is looking for additional photographers.


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13934 | Registered: Jul 2011
Sad in AZ
♀ 24239
Member # 24239
Default  Posted: 6:31 AM, July 13th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

If you're broke, find a job--any job. Get out there and get going. Take photos for yourself; make it your hobby for now. As you get back on your feet, start looking for places to display your work--restaurants, humane societies, etc.--the sites may depend on your specialty, if you have one.

As you get further on your feet, think about local arts & crafts shows. The fees for smaller ones are not too bad. You may also look into artists' lofts where artists live and display their work; many of them are subsidized or nonprofits.

Face facts; you may never be able to 'make a living' at your love, but you can still enjoy it and perhaps break through as a star. If you have the passion follow it, but don't go for the starving artist persona. You can't shoot if you're took weak from hunger.


Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where's the tylenol?

Posts: 20561 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: Upstate NY
Whalers11
♀ 27544
Member # 27544
Default  Posted: 10:47 AM, July 13th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

What type of photography do you want to do? Wedding, portraits, nature, sports, concerts...?


Me: BGF - 33

I gave you more than I ever got back
You left me here to forget about that
All the things you thought you had have gone
Let that be a lesson to you
-Richie Kotzen, "Special"


Posts: 2325 | Registered: Feb 2010
k94ever
♀ 11176
Member # 11176
Default  Posted: 2:44 PM, July 13th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Realistically, yes.....iphones and digital equipment are taking over. More people are discovering they can take pretty good pictures of the family and such by themselves. And the couples that DON'T have a gazillion dollars to spend on a wedding are turning to friends and relatives to take pictures.

Have you thought of a photography career that is "outside the box"? Something that you can use your talent for taking pictures that isn't strictly photography?

k9


BS: 56
WS: 53
Betrayed: 23 years
Affairs: 14 (2 lasted 3 months. Rest were ONS)
WS died: 16 May 2011
Do not stay in your hurt forever. Choose to move out of it.

Posts: 6636 | Registered: Jul 2006 | From: Wisconsin
Mama_of_3_Kids
♀ 26651
Member # 26651
Default  Posted: 5:14 PM, July 13th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I own a photography business, but had to go back to work full time because the field is so over-saturated, right now. I think it's a mix of a few things that is really hurting professional photographers--inexpensive point and shoot cameras/iPhones, with improved specs; the belief that a "nice camera" makes you a photographer (as you hinted at); some people not wanting to spend more than the minimum, because there are businesses that will do sessions for CHEAP (I know someone who does $25 sessions and gives full rights to all of the edited images). It's hard to compete with businesses that are that cheap, even if you are a more experienced/better quality photographer (this is one of the biggest problems I am currently having).

(((Guinness))) I know it can get discouraging!

[This message edited by Mama_of_3_Kids at 5:16 PM, July 13th (Sunday)]


Me: FBW/30 Him: FWH/34 The kidlets: DS14, DS10, and DD8 The hounds: Four Shih Tzu's
Finally, completely R'd
Clothed in strength and dignity, with nothing to fear, she smiles when she thinks about the future.~Proverbs 31:25

Posts: 11596 | Registered: Dec 2009
Guinness23
♀ 42852
Member # 42852
Default  Posted: 6:22 PM, July 13th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You can't shoot if you're took weak from hunger.

Yes..you got that right.

I was afraid you all would say this...because deep down I know it and have for sometime. Right about the time where I FINALLY became good enough to earn money do it.

Saturated?? That is an understatement.

Thank you for your comments.


Me 47
ExH 43
Divorced 2010

47 is the new year of treating myself better than I have in 6 years.

What ever doesn't kill me makes me stronger so long as I remember that

My favorite drink is no longer Guinness but water. Call me Dasani23


Posts: 867 | Registered: Mar 2014 | From: Indiana
NotDefeatedYet
♂ 33642
Member # 33642
Default  Posted: 2:48 AM, July 14th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It's over saturated with soccer moms who think they know how to do portraits with their entry level canon. I have made money doing portraits, but I still make money doing real estate photography. I have a full time job, but on the side I do photos for residential listings. It's sort of a niche that's harder to do. I'm by no means the best, but I've learned a lot in this arena. I don't have to deal with posing people, I can take my time, and it's pretty good money for what little work is actually involved. All you need is a good tripod, some wireless capable flashes, at least a wide angle lens, and some filters. If I spent more time with it, I could get a ton more work, but I'm happy with what I have.

You need to find the niche that you like, and get out and push it.


"It's a fool that looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart."

Posts: 769 | Registered: Oct 2011 | From: Texas
wheredoigo
♀ 42327
Member # 42327
Default  Posted: 1:41 AM, July 15th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Guiness, I'm a photographer as well. I don't think the iPhone has killed the career. I DO think the low prices for intro level SLRs have hurt the career tremendously by making cameras easily accessible. I also think the saturation of "new" photographers charging lower prices have also done damage.

There are times when there truly seems to be no true appreciation for the hard work and actual investment in time and equipment that a professional photographer invests into their career.

Are you a member of the PPA? They have many great tools and forums to help you, including free classes on marketing.

Have you considered mentoring or offering intro classes or photo walks? They offer a quick start with little overhead. Most pricing starts at around $100 for an intro class. i.e. Teach three classes a week with 20 students and throw in side work. That can help pull you back up pretty quick. Marketing: How about a referral program?

I switched to product and landscape photography and teaching workshops on model posing and natural light backlighting techniques. The subjects are less fussy and the clients are always happy and appreciate the product.

Feel free to pm me, I'm more than happy to help.


1st marriage BS to xSAWH (34)
WW-2nd marriage (me) 33 to BS(Jt8d) 36
It's important to heal yourself in a healthy way from all hurt or it will hurt you and the ones you love more than the original hurt before.

Posts: 234 | Registered: Feb 2014 | From: Midwest
meaniemouse
♀ 10798
Member # 10798
Default  Posted: 10:33 PM, July 16th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

For what it's worth, anyone can take a picture but only a photographer can capture a moment that is truly a work of art. I don't have an artistic bone in my body but even I can tell the difference.

I'm sure it is soul-sucking to have such a gift and feel like it's not appreciated. Trust me, all the amateurs who think just because they have an iPhone that makes them a photographer are crazy.

I have tons of cute pictures of my three kids. But I also have spent a small fortune on professional photographs done by a man who is worth every cent he charges. Those are the pieces that are on my walls, those are the ones that will be passed down from generation to generation. When my girls are old as Moses they will be able to look at themselves in those pictures and remember what it was like to be young, beautiful and full of promise. And I know they will smile at the memory.

To all of you photographers--please oh please oh please--don't EVER stop creating those memories! A picture is truly worth a thousand words and can speak to any and everyone, no matter their level of education or what language they speak because images are universal. It's hard to think about what life would be like without pictures. So don't ever stop.


Act as if what you do matters. It does. William James

Posts: 2146 | Registered: May 2006 | From: Midwest
Guinness23
♀ 42852
Member # 42852
Default  Posted: 9:10 AM, July 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

For what it's worth, anyone can take a picture but only a photographer can capture a moment that is truly a work of art. I don't have an artistic bone in my body but even I can tell the difference.
I'm sure it is soul-sucking to have such a gift and feel like it's not appreciated. Trust me, all the amateurs who think just because they have an iPhone that makes them a photographer are crazy.

I have tons of cute pictures of my three kids. But I also have spent a small fortune on professional photographs done by a man who is worth every cent he charges. Those are the pieces that are on my walls, those are the ones that will be passed down from generation to generation. When my girls are old as Moses they will be able to look at themselves in those pictures and remember what it was like to be young, beautiful and full of promise. And I know they will smile at the memory.

To all of you photographers--please oh please oh please--don't EVER stop creating those memories! A picture is truly worth a thousand words and can speak to any and everyone, no matter their level of education or what language they speak because images are universal. It's hard to think about what life would be like without pictures. So don't ever stop.

O.M.G.!!!
THANK YOU!!

If there were more people out there like you who actually APPRECIATES what we do and not think it is something ANY dumbshit with a Coolpix can do, we wouldn't be a dying breed...not because we are unnecessary but because society as a whole can comprehend our worth and inundates the world with pipe dreams just to sell cameras.

WheredoIgo: thank you for your advice! I will look into it and PM you if I need to. Again, thanks.

Thank you to the rest of you who commented to.


Me 47
ExH 43
Divorced 2010

47 is the new year of treating myself better than I have in 6 years.

What ever doesn't kill me makes me stronger so long as I remember that

My favorite drink is no longer Guinness but water. Call me Dasani23


Posts: 867 | Registered: Mar 2014 | From: Indiana
Rainbows
♀ 39362
Member # 39362
Default  Posted: 12:40 PM, July 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I would look into any corporations or companies in your area that produce marketing materials or run websites with images. Network with local graphic artists and creative executives so they will call on you for jobs.

In my industry, we use freelance photographers all the time. Our usuals (aka favorites) get enough work (and usage) to support themselves full time.

Even if you're just photographing product for sale on a website, you can still work in the industry you love and build your business.


There is always a rainbow after every storm.

Posts: 415 | Registered: May 2013 | From: California
brokeninfl
♀ 21896
Member # 21896
Default  Posted: 3:52 PM, July 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am not a photographer -- but I have a good friend that is. Her business was really floundering until she really paired down her market. She now specializes in senior photography. Her business has made a huge turn around - -she has been able to really focus her marketing effort - and has some success in "creating" a market. (She does some shoots at each local HS - gets them to market for them for "free" sitting fees) etc. She charges a huge premium and people are willing to pay.

Another friend did the same - but she takes portraits at most of the local preschools/daycares. She doesn't charge a huge premium -- but makes up for it in volume.

If there is a particular kind of photography you are really good at -- sometimes focusing on that can make the difference.

Good luck, and I agree, as one of those armatures with a DSLR -- there is a HUGE difference between my snapshots -- and what a professional can create.


-- Oh, and my friend who does the preschool photography also does classes on intro to DSLRs for all those soccer moms who don't know how to use their cameras for an additional income stream.

Good luck Guinness. I hope you can turn your passion into a profitable profession.


"On the other side of fear lies freedom"

Me - 36 BS
Him - doesn't matter
2 DS
DD 11/08
Divorced.


Posts: 1074 | Registered: Dec 2008
meaniemouse
♀ 10798
Member # 10798
Default  Posted: 10:33 PM, July 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Guinness I meant every word I said. I have read your posts and know things have been hard for you. I can't believe it but I've been on this site for EIGHT years and I have SO been where you are. Please don't let what is happening now and in your recent past make you doubt your worth or who you are. There is light at the end of the tunnel. You WILL find it. You may have to take work that you think is beneath you to get going and/or to continue your photography. But whatever you do--DON'T stop!

I have a PhD and a professional career, but found myself babysitting for friends, dog sitting, and even renting a room in my home to a friend/co-worker to help pay my house payment and put my youngest through college. I didn't go on a vacation for 6 years. I had to sell my daughter's car and we shared mine when she was in high school--trust me, that was no picnic! I worked a part-time job in addition to my full-time job and hardly had any time to do anything else. I sold my house in 2009 at a loss and have lived in apartments for five years. Having birthday dinners for your kids and their friends and having overnight company in a 675 square foot apartment when you used to live in a 5500 square foot house is an adjustment for everyone and made me feel like a huge loser.

But things get better! A week from today I'm closing on a house that will be totally mine. It took a while but it's been worth it.

Hang in there. I have a friend who volunteered to take pictures at an animal shelter. They plastered those pictures all over their Facebook page and now she takes pictures of dogs everywhere. Go to local races and take pictures. Call non-profit agencies and see if they need someone to take pictures at their events. Find opportunities to take pictures for people who can't afford to have a real photographer and get your work and name out there to showcase your talent. Get out there--share your gift. People will notice. Don't give up!


Act as if what you do matters. It does. William James

Posts: 2146 | Registered: May 2006 | From: Midwest
Lostly
43953
Member # 43953
Default  Posted: 12:18 PM, July 18th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yes, there are very good options for you to make a fantastic living in photography, you just have to be smart about it.

Just to give you my quick background. I am a professional illustrator working primarily in the gifts/dec accessories market. Very successful. I have my stuff in every major dept store. I taught several college classes in Graphic Design/Illustration including advanced photoshop, & 400 level marketing for artist classes. I have also written 2 how to books that were quite successful. Aside from teaching I work at home (which, btw, is unbelievably fun. I get to sit at home and paint all day )

A few options to consider. What type of photography do you want to do? Eg., Portraitures, including weddings, families, babies, etc; wildlife, national geographic stuff (very difficult to break into, mostly freelance, but doable with the right equipment); product photography (many, many different subsets, easy to break into, multiple opportunities); fashion (same as wildlife, difficult to break into but doable), mass photography such as school class pictures, sports teams, etc; Retouching & photo manipulation (PhotoShop stuff) very easy to do and pays very well). There are many more, those are only a few options off the top of my head.

Do you understand copyright laws and licensing?

If it was me, and I was setting up a photography business, I would start with a small business from home in photo manipulations, restorative stuff, whilst building up a portfolio in product photography. Why? Because I would want to be paid well by companies that know my value. (I like getting paid well!! ) The photo editing would provide a reasonable income whilst I was building my primary business.

There are several books that list companies looking for freelance illustrators/Graphics/Photography.

I would steer clear of portraiture for the reasons you stated.

I would use social media to my advantage.

If you want to pm me, I can help you more. There's probably too much information for me to give over the thread.

And, yes, I think its very viable.


BW 48 - Multiple d-days
Divorced 2012 after 19 yrs
6 smart, beautiful, amazing kids Dd 19; Ds 17; Dd 15; Ds 13; Ds 11; Dd 10

Sometimes I hear my voice, and it's been here, silent all these years. I've been here, silent all these years.


Posts: 108 | Registered: Jul 2014 | From: Australia
Topic Posts: 17

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