Art and Photography

possibility to make this hobby into a career??

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  • Oct 15th, 2007 10:55 pm
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[OP]
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Mar 2, 2005
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possibility to make this hobby into a career??

what are some routes that photographers can turn their hobby into an actual career?

off my head i know people can do these:

wedding/party photographer
real estate photographer
photo-journalist

anything else?

would any of you with good experience decide to go pro one day given that you have a good portfolio to back yourself up? (this questions is towards the hobbist who aren't pros already on the board)

any chance for amateurs to make a few bucks on the side to support this expensive hobby?
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Dec 3, 2004
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Don't forget - stock photos.

Travel agencies and various publishers are always looking for stock photos in their next publishing media.

There are several websites out there that will pay you anywhere from $5-$1000 for your photo. Some sites work by buying your photo once, and then they own it and are free to sell your photo to anyone they wish. Some work by paying you royalties each and everytime your photo is purchased from them. These are harder to break into for the market. There is a big saturation in terms of the market (stock photos) to get into, because there are so many amateur and professional photographers who do this. I've read that if you want to stand out, you have to take photos from angles and methods that no one else has done before.

Rest assured, in this industry, you're in it for the long haul. Most famous photographers have been at it for decades or more before making the big money where they can live off of it - very comfortably I might add.

I know quite a number of people who graduated in this field and they have a hard time starting a career in it. Most start off as freelance, some find a lucky break, others don't.

Visions by David (www.visionsbydavid.com) is an example, I know him personally and it took him 20 years (he started in the 1980s) before he made it big where he is now. There were times where he wanted to just give up...

He shoots about 300 weddings a year these days, both domestically and internationally. He's a guy living straight out of Mississauga, and has won several awards over the years.

I myself have only been doing this for a year come this November as a second side job, I know I'm in it for the long haul. I've shot a few weddings this past summer, have had some of my urban night shots purchased by some American stock photo clients, and I've done several big corporate sponsored parties this past year. My marketing comes from word of mouth. It goes back to who you know. Ask your friends, family, co-workers. There are always big events happening and they all need photographers to document their event. Seek inspiration from books/magazines, read read read and when you're done reading, read some more. Go out and experiment on your own, don't wait for things to happen. Add photos to your portfolio so you can stand out from everyone else doing it.

Like all things in life, there is always room for improvement in all that you do and photography is no different.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 2, 2005
999 posts
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great insight!

would you consider a photographer to do 3-4 weddings a month to be doing alright? given that s/he's receiving average-above market value for each of the jobs
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Well , 3-4 weddings a month is not so bad. Some of the photographers I work with do about the same, you really only have 4 weekends a month in which to do it in. Sometimes you get more, and that's where assistants (like myself) comes in.

Are these weddings paying your bills for your living? Ask yourself that if its enough for you to make ends meet. And is it a constant stream of weddings? Most of the ones I know tell me there's less weddings during fall/winter, so it's also the season, Spring/Summer being the high season.
[OP]
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Mar 2, 2005
999 posts
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is no body else interested in making a few bucks off their hobby?

or maybe i'm just a thread killer :(
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I might end up hating the hobby if I turn it into a full-time career.

It'll stay on the hobby table.
Deal with it.
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Jan 7, 2005
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I would like to, but it takes time and patience - far more than I have available at this time! :razz:
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NiMSo wrote:
Oct 15th, 2007 6:05 pm
I would like to, but it takes time and patience - far more than I have available at this time! :razz:
Why not do it once in awhile? You don't have to do it full time. Shoot one or two event a month is fine imo.
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CSAgent wrote:
Oct 15th, 2007 6:35 pm
Why not do it once in awhile? You don't have to do it full time. Shoot one or two event a month is fine imo.
To be reputable, it's still a good idea to develop a portfolio. You also have to invest time in establishing a client base, advertise, etc. It's not practical to shoot on a whim when people ask.

I do shoot at events, but only charitable ones, and I do it for free and for my own enjoyment. I wouldn't charge people because I don't consider myself a professional, nor do I have the training or experience yet to start asking to be paid.
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I haven't seen that many photographers who have made it big.. I've seen a few automotive photographers, who are simply amazing, hence they get hired by many manufacutrers to do their brochures.

As far as a career goes, I think a realistic goal you can make for hte future is having a normal day job, and on your spare time, get paid to do some shoots. In the summer, I did some shooting around Toronto for a media company and they paid me about $300 for quite a few shots; it's not much, but it's a start.
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