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View Poll Results: Do You Make Money at Photgraphy?

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  • Yes, I'm a working pro and make my living from photography.

    4 9.09%
  • Yes, I have a day job or family responsibilities, but photography is a paying "second job."

    7 15.91%
  • Yes, I make money occasionally, but not much.

    18 40.91%
  • No, I never charge for my work and don't want to.

    2 4.55%
  • No, I never charge for my work, but I want to start.

    13 29.55%
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Results 26 to 46 of 46
  1. #26
    Senior Member payn817's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Make Money of Your Photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lava Lamp
    Hey, that's a nice shot. Sorry I missed it. How did you get into stock work?

    Annoying the S&*! out of you guys trying to get better, and then just showing my stuff to anyone that would look, especially small local business owners. Of course, for legal reasons, some stuff I will never post (sold ALL rights, because I didn't know better). Also, I have some stock work available on totallyphotos.com, and now and then receive personal requests from clients there. Thanks for the compliment on that photo, it is the only thing I have really liked so far. I mean I am happy with a good bit of my stuff, being so new and all, but that one is one I REALLY like, and think it would look great in the right setting.

    The stock thing isn't a passion, just to help out with expenses, and equiptment. I am still trying to find my niche, and a big part is trying everything and posting in critique. Although, I am trying now to just post things I want tips on instead of posting things I am sure of, as it is a busy place, and I shoot tons! Probably about 100 a week, both film and digital.

    Here is my stock folio, for anyone interested. I am waiting approval on some images still, and don't add much, so it is small. I prefer to do business in person anyway...

    Stock folio

  2. #27
    Jedi Master masdog's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Make Money of Your Photography?

    For the moment, I'm in the same category as Speed and a few other members. I have made some money off of photography, but not nearly enough.

    I've sold about nine 11x14's in the last 6 months, and I've recieved a little over $200 for all of them. I even managed to double my price for the 2nd batch.

    I'm looking to start doing some photojournalism in the next couple of months in addition to a few other projects. My fraternity wants me to do the annual member composites, and two friends have already asked me to consider being their wedding photographer. I also need to get a contract worked out with my College.

    By the end of the year, I'm hoping to make about $1500 or so just on photography.
    Sean Massey
    Massey Photography

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  3. #28
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Talking I would like to be able to sell more though, this year.:)

    Quote Originally Posted by swmdrayfan
    Speed's got it about right for most of us. Personally, it hasn't been "profitable" in the purest sense, but like others I have been able to sell a few things. My largest check was for $225 for the use of 3 pictures. All in all, I probably sold $350 worth of my pictures, so you see I am not exactly rolling in it. I would like to be able to sell more though, this year.

    John

    You and me both, buddy!

    Here's hoping that 2006 will be more profitable for all of us.

    :-)
    Nikon Samurai # 1


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    "Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry." - Thomas Jefferson

  4. #29
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Wink It was like [i]work[/i] and wasn't fun anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by another view
    Good options to choose from, but none that actually fit where I'm at. I checked the third one because I have made money from photography, but I'm not actively looking to do it anymore. Possibly some magazine submissions and print sales but really nothing more than that. I've done about six weddings, some portraits and events and it just wasn't for me. Something about turning the hobby into a business didn't click for me. It was like work and wasn't fun anymore.

    I do have a little bit of a perspective about how professional photography works, and I think I'll keep my day job. Never would have said that a couple of years ago because that was exactly what I was hoping to give up. I'm not afraid of the hours and amount of work involved or the stress with these jobs, it's just not my thing. I've got a lot of respect for people who are able to make it though.

    That's one of my big worries of getting too successful Steve (Yeah, like I'm going to be a household name). That's also part of why I do not plan to go full time into photography. Part time is great. I'm not chained to a desk doing tons of paperwork (billing, inventories, etc) and I can still enjoy it, take photo's of what I want, and if I make a little money now and then, that's great.

    I think most of us would like to be known for our work, have our names recognized, and have masses of people wanting to give us large sums of money for doing what we love. But the reality is most of us won't achieve that status, and most of us really wouldn't want it.

    You are wise beyond your years....
    Nikon Samurai # 1


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    "Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry." - Thomas Jefferson

  5. #30
    They call me Andy... ACArmstrong's Avatar
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    Re: It was like [i]work[/i] and wasn't fun anymore.

    I picked up my first camera Xmas of 2003 - I just passed the 2 year mark of trying to seriously learn the craft of lighting and photography. My biggest three checks of 2005 in descending order were:

    $3600
    $2300
    $1500

    ...but I've worked my ass off doing a ton of TFP/CD shoots, shooting for the local pro hockey team, and pressing the flesh every chance I get. I've worked for local papers on crap assignments in order to meet other photogs in my area, and I've taken every chance I could to reinvest in my equipment.

    I love shooting photographs - I love learning - I love every tiny breath I draw while a camera is in my hand and a subject is in front of me. It's the most expensive and most rewarding addiction I've ever had.

    Sorry I haven't been on much folks... I've been so busy lately my head seems like it's spinning. Just wanted to drop in this thread and say - while I don't feel I've nearly met my goals (always a step behind) - I keep pushing and trying to make things happen - I hope you all do the same every day.
    Andy Armstrong
    Please visit my photography site - Andy Armstrong Photography

  6. #31
    Senior Member srobb's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Make Money of Your Photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Timer
    I was by there on Sat. and they are still working on the Goddard bridge. I think I heard that they have suspended any active work until spring. I didn't see anything that looked like new work going on. If you get over this way give me a hollar and we will try to meet up and go out and shoot something together.

    Just let me know when you would like to meet up. I am off weekends and usually try to get out on Saturdays, at least, to try and shoot stuff. I still have two rolls of my Ilford Delta 100 just waiting to be used up.
    "No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit." --Ansel Adams

    "Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter." --Ansel Adams



  7. #32
    shake it like a polaroid picture berrywise's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Make Money of Your Photography?

    I work a 9 to 5 job but have photography as a side business. The majority of my income comes from shooting weddings but I also freelance for a few newspapers, a few magazines and I'm part time shooter for Red Bull covering events they sponsor.

    I think within a few years I might look at quitting my job and making it a full time gig but would like to be fully prepared before I do that.

  8. #33
    Spamminator Grandpaw's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Make Money From Your Photography?

    Over the years by just shooting and selling a minimal amount of pictures I have paid for my hobby and purchased some nice equipment. I started out when I was 17 years old with a Yashika rangefinder camera and by taking a few pictures now and then I have been able to purchase my two Nikon F's with FTN meters on them with extra lens, flashes and assorted equipment. It has also made enough to pay for my digital cameras, lens and equipment.

    In short my hobby has paid for itself and furnished me with many memories of vacations and family outings and I have accumulated some nice equipment to work with. What more can I ask.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lava Lamp
    The new forum started me wondering how many of use make money at our photography, so I thought his poll might be interesting.
    Check out my website Here
    My Nikon D7000 Tips thread is HERE

    All images posted by me anywhere are Copyrighted by Federal Law and may not be copied or used in ANY FORM without my personal written permission. Jeff Impey
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  9. #34
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Talking It's the most expensive and most rewarding addiction I've ever had

    Now that sums it up quite nicely Andy!!!

    Expensive and rewarding.

    I've spent way too much on photography equipment over the past four years for a mere hobby! And I've made way too little money off of it. But I thoroughly enjoy it and my wife is supportive of it because it makes me happy. (Though she did slip one day and acknowledge that at least it was a useful hobby.)

    Like you, I enjoy every moment that I'm engaged in photography, and in the whole photographic process. It's also a bonus that most of my friends also enjoy photography. We've gone to the outer banks and to the mountains just to take photo's. It is so easy to immerse oneself in this hobby (obsession) of ours, but it is so gratifying as well.
    Nikon Samurai # 1


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    "Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry." - Thomas Jefferson

  10. #35
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Wink So when I turn 40, and my kids are going to college....

    "I'm not suddenly lost, with nothing I've done but stay home for the past 20 yrs."

    Whoa Adina! You make it sound like 40 is OLD!!!!

    I turn 44 on the 21st of this month.

    Besides, that's what a loving spouse is for. When the kids are gone, you get to spend all your time with the one you love. Personnally, I can't wait for all my kids to get grown and out of the house! We started on Saturday. My oldest got married. Frankly, we were hoping he'd go to college first, but he's legally an adult. So that's one down, and four to go...

    "I don't mind the business end, but it's a lot harder than I thought it would be."

    I hear you girl. Though the hardest part of the business end for me was to learn to charge a fair price for what I do. I guess I'm not a materialist weasle after all. That and I wasn't sure of myself. 2005 was a banner year for me in that I got cured of the last of my reservations about charging a fair price for my services. I'm not cheap, but I can be had.

    ;-)
    Nikon Samurai # 1


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    "Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry." - Thomas Jefferson

  11. #36
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Smile I've still got ways to go before I can charge people for my photos! ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoGirl
    I've still got ways to go before I can charge people for my photos! ;) But it's definitely a goal of mine one day.

    Don't sell yourself short. You may be closer than you think. All it takes is one great shot, one decisive moment, and folks will start to notice you. It is a big thrill the first time someone asks you for one of your photos.
    Nikon Samurai # 1


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    "Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry." - Thomas Jefferson

  12. #37
    Senior Member swmdrayfan's Avatar
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    Re: So when I turn 40, and my kids are going to college....

    Quote Originally Posted by Speed
    I hear you girl. Though the hardest part of the business end for me was to learn to charge a fair price for what I do. I guess I'm not a materialist weasle after all. That and I wasn't sure of myself. 2005 was a banner year for me in that I got cured of the last of my reservations about charging a fair price for my services. I'm not cheap, but I can be had.

    ;-)
    I understand what you're saying...I'm having such a hard time actually charging more than a few bucks for my pictures. I guess you could call it P.I. (photographer insecurity). I'm guessing everyone goes thru it.

  13. #38
    Jedi Master masdog's Avatar
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    Re: So when I turn 40, and my kids are going to college....

    Quote Originally Posted by swmdrayfan
    I understand what you're saying...I'm having such a hard time actually charging more than a few bucks for my pictures. I guess you could call it P.I. (photographer insecurity). I'm guessing everyone goes thru it.
    I basically have the same problem. I feel like if I don't charge a low price, I won't get the sale.
    Sean Massey
    Massey Photography

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  14. #39
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: So when I turn 40, and my kids are going to college....

    Quote Originally Posted by masdog
    I basically have the same problem. I feel like if I don't charge a low price, I won't get the sale.

    I think we all feel this way when we are first starting to charge. I had some calendars printed with my photos for Christmas gifts for my family, and a few friends. I ordered 25, and had them all pretty much spoken for, except for a couple. The printing company sent me 30 by mistake, and it's a good thing because I have been getting a few requests from people wanting to buy them. I have sold 4 so far at $20 each. Personally, I would never even consider paying that much for a calendar, but nobody even thinks twice about it when I tell them how much they are.
    Mike

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  15. #40
    Senior Member srobb's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Make Money of Your Photography?

    I know the first time someone expressed an interest in buying one of my pics I was terrified. I had no idea of what to charge. I quoted them a price for an 8x10 and they never batted an eye. I later sold another 8x10 and 4 5x7's to the same person. All of the were of the sepia prints of the old cabin I have.

    I still am not sure how to price things so I will sometimes go through threads I can find on that subject here and see what others are doing. I am hoping to do better this year, but I will have to see how that goes.
    "No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit." --Ansel Adams

    "Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter." --Ansel Adams



  16. #41
    News & Rum-or-ator opus's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Make Money of Your Photography?

    I just picked up a book from Barnes & Noble called "How to Make Money with Digital Photography" by Dan Heller. I've only gotten a few pages into it but so far it seems like a great book! Very realistic advice. I'm going to recommend it to everyone who's not already pro.
    Drink Coffee. Do stupid things faster with more energy.


  17. #42
    Too square to be hip. almo's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Make Money of Your Photography?

    I am a little late to the Party here, but I voted the last choice. Never but want to.

    I am happy to report that I have 2 perspective buyers for art prints. So I may have to change my answer soo enough, eh?
    John Cowan
    Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
    ~Ernest Hemingway~

  18. #43
    Princess of the OT adina's Avatar
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    Post Re: So when I turn 40, and my kids are going to college....

    Quote Originally Posted by Speed
    "I'm not suddenly lost, with nothing I've done but stay home for the past 20 yrs."

    Whoa Adina! You make it sound like 40 is OLD!!!!

    I turn 44 on the 21st of this month.

    Besides, that's what a loving spouse is for. When the kids are gone, you get to spend all your time with the one you love. Personnally, I can't wait for all my kids to get grown and out of the house! We started on Saturday. My oldest got married. Frankly, we were hoping he'd go to college first, but he's legally an adult. So that's one down, and four to go...

    "I don't mind the business end, but it's a lot harder than I thought it would be."

    I hear you girl. Though the hardest part of the business end for me was to learn to charge a fair price for what I do. I guess I'm not a materialist weasle after all. That and I wasn't sure of myself. 2005 was a banner year for me in that I got cured of the last of my reservations about charging a fair price for my services. I'm not cheap, but I can be had.

    ;-)
    Not that 40 is old, but that's when we'll be approaching college ages, and then the girls will really have their own thing going. And a loving spouse is great, but I am not going to be defined as a wife and mother. While I love being both those things, that isn't all that I am. I need to have my own identity, and my own sense of self as well. Besides, when I hit 40, dh will be 41, so he still will probably have a real job. Unless I pick up the pace here.
    I sleep, but I don't rest.

  19. #44
    Dog Photographer AC_Photo's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Make Money of Your Photography?

    Hello everyone!
    I just joined this forum yesterday, and I was really interested to read everyone's responses in this thread. I can really relate to what some of you have said about not feeling right about charging yet. I started out taking pictures of people's dogs at a twice-anual picnic that's held on my tiny (3 acre) farm. For the first two years, we provided prints for free, because I was just doing it for my own enjoyment. I kept telling my wife that I was painfully aware of my lack of skills compared to a real pro and didn't feel right charging for pictures.

    Finally, we had so many people telling us that we were crazy not to be charging them that we started working as a hobby business. We've done so well that I'm regretting not keeping proper paperwork and getting a business license so that I could deduct my equipment costs! LOL Oh well, that's in the works for this year. I can't quit my day job yet, but if I can manage to get a studio built in my loft this year, you never know...

    I've been doing this as a hobby for 30 years as a conservative estimate, so it's nice to have a way to justify spending money on it!

    Mike

  20. #45
    Princess of the OT adina's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Make Money of Your Photography?

    Hi Mike (ac photo)

    Where exactly is Somers? We are planning on getting together in Madison in Februray if you are interested.
    I sleep, but I don't rest.

  21. #46
    Dog Photographer AC_Photo's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Make Money of Your Photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by adina
    Where exactly is Somers? We are planning on getting together in Madison in Februray if you are interested.
    I'm about 2 hours away. I'm interested, although it's hard to say if I'll be available or not. Should be fun!

    edit: To be more precise, I'm between Kenosha and Racine. About 15 minutes north of the border.
    Mike

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