Art and Photography

What's it gonna take to do photography as a side job?

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 10th, 2018 10:53 am
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Penalty Box
Dec 27, 2013
7710 posts
3555 upvotes
Toronto
baillieul wrote:
Nov 8th, 2018 5:04 pm
My wife helps me out on wedding shoots. She has improved her skills and now does some of the video as well. Its great that she has the interest, otherwise she wouldn't be happy with me working so many summer/fall weekends.

At least in my area, its a tough gig. Once your photography skills get to a certain point, its really all about marketing.
that's what I thought.

There is some "skill" but if you are some what creative, a cool character, then if you snap 5,000 shots at a wedding, you will have at least 10% turn out good (i think)... the rest is marketing to get the gigs.

most people suck at marketing themselves, or don't understand the game.
Deal Addict
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Sep 26, 2007
4029 posts
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most of what's been mentioned sounds like tremendous amount of grit and effort for a 'side gig'

what about to get into videography? how does one find something that challenges growth and make interesting content (for free, money that follow is a bonus)

things like unboxing/reviews/reactions 'vlogs' turns me off

are there like indie productions doing documentaries that need amateur help?
Russell wrote:
Sep 10th, 2011 12:29 pm
We come here looking for deals. We use the savings on the things we buy to justify buying more things, thus filling our homes with tons of unnecessary consumer products. Such is the key to happiness.

Member
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Sep 10, 2007
282 posts
57 upvotes
Toronto
twitchyzero wrote:
Nov 18th, 2018 12:31 am
most of what's been mentioned sounds like tremendous amount of grit and effort for a 'side gig'

what about to get into videography? how does one find something that challenges growth and make interesting content (for free, money that follow is a bonus)

things like unboxing/reviews/reactions 'vlogs' turns me off

are there like indie productions doing documentaries that need amateur help?
Well, I've seen some gigs posted in film industry jobs/community groups on Facebook (where people also make connections/recommendations) where filmmakers/producers ask about videographers -- like 'Behind-the-scenes' (like what I do with BTS Stills, except you'd do BTS Video), or other video work like Indie Documentaries or even music videos. One can volunteer if they have little experience, build up a demo reel and can eventually get paying gigs with more experience. It's a freelance type of work, so you just apply or reach out when you are available, or feel like working. Most of my gigs were weekends until Spring/Summer when filming/production really picks up like crazy!
pmb

"When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt."
~ Henry J. Kaiser
Deal Addict
Oct 8, 2007
1121 posts
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Bedford
twitchyzero wrote:
Nov 18th, 2018 12:31 am
most of what's been mentioned sounds like tremendous amount of grit and effort for a 'side gig'

what about to get into videography? how does one find something that challenges growth and make interesting content (for free, money that follow is a bonus)

things like unboxing/reviews/reactions 'vlogs' turns me off

are there like indie productions doing documentaries that need amateur help?
We started doing wedding highlight video as a value add in our wedding package. The skill set is quite different than photography, there is a learning curve. I think there are fewer videographers in the wedding game, but customers tend to add it on after they have a photographer booked, so there isn't always much $$$ left on the table.
Deal Fanatic
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Aug 16, 2007
6802 posts
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I am currently starting a bricks & mortar business that is looking to do exactly this - but my question to people - how much $ would you have to earn on the weekend for you to view it as a job? trying to straddle that line between making a side gig "flexible" and being "dependable" - which usually equates to how much $ the person can earn.

Are you booking off every weekend if you can make $250/day doing your side gig?
Newbie
Jun 19, 2017
16 posts
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Mayosandwich wrote:
May 17th, 2014 12:02 am
How much money does it require and whats needed (gear wise and licensing etc). I know what my fav type of photography is, and Ive been very curious over the past 6 months about exploring it as a part time job to do on weekends and maybe Fri nights. Even if the pay is only $20/ hour, I'd still jump on it because of the experience and I enjoy it. Even if I could be a volunteer at a wedding, I would do it! For instance, I get incredibly disinterested and bored out of my mind if I shoot landscape and boring city streets. Its tedious to me and no matter how hard ive tried, unless im in the mountains or somewhere with great wildlife and scenery, landscape shots in the city just dont do it for me. Buildings, yes! But grassy hills? Boring. But im a completely different person when I shoot people and special occasions. I just have this burning passion inside me for this type of photography. Just dont know where to go from here.

Ive posted ads on Kijiji a few times before offering my services but I always got my ads removed, dont know why. Ive actually shot a few randoms off Kijiji for portrait shots for them to build thier portfolio and it went very well. Both of us were happy. But again, my ads get removed so I went through this 6-9 month drought where i didnt post a single ad.
Not sure about the money aspect, but as someone who went from full-time job -> part-time photographer -> full time photographer I may be able to help a bit (although I don't do weddings...)

Firstly, I'm fairly certain I've seen adverts on Kijiji for second-shooters with minimal experience. Some of these are gopher jobs (hold this, carry that) with minimal shooting and some ask you to take some more candid shots. If I was doing it I would look for someone who has a good eye for composition first and foremost. I'm unlikely to trust you with my gear so I'd be expecting you to have a decent DSLR, a flash that you know how to use (e.g. bounce it or diffuse it) and fast glass (say 2.8 minimum). I'd expect you to be polite at all times (particularly to wedding guests) so personality is going to be important and to dress the part (no jeans, dress comfortable but blend-in). I would expect your DSLR to have decent ISO performance (most do) and I would probably want to copy your SD/CF card at the end of the day. In return, I would say, some sort of payment/credit, dinner provided and access/usage to a selection of edited images so I could build out my own portfolio.

Now assuming you can't find a second-shooter gig, email a bunch of wedding photographers and just ask, if it's a No then you're no worse off than before. They may obviously be concerned about competition down-the-road. I think I've also seen Wedding Collectives - companies that have a dozen or so wedding photographers on their books and can 'assign' you to a wedding depending on demand.

Finally, shoot everything and everyone. Take your camera with you everywhere and shoot, then review, then improve and then shoot again. Be critical with yourself, compare your images to the wedding photographers you admire the most and ask what they did right and you did wrong. Learn for every shot you take and never assume you know it all. Learn the rules, then break them and develop your own style. Make your images stand-out from every other wedding photographer in the business.

Hope that helps.

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