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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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  1. #1
    Sitting in a Leaky Dingy Michael Fanelli's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Make Money of Your Photography?

    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.
    Nope. I give stuff away (several commercial firms) or, for prints, just charge what it costs me to have them made. A business is just that, more drudgery than fun!
    "Every great decision creates ripples--like a huge boulder dropped in a lake. The ripples merge and rebound off the banks in unforseeable ways.

  2. #2
    Sitting in a Leaky Dingy Michael Fanelli's Avatar
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    Lol!

    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.
    I replied before you started the thread! Wow, time for a Fanelli Psychic Hotline...
    "Every great decision creates ripples--like a huge boulder dropped in a lake. The ripples merge and rebound off the banks in unforseeable ways.

  3. #3
    GoldMember Lava Lamp's Avatar
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    Do You Make Money From Your Photography?

    The new forum started me wondering how many of use make money at our photography, so I thought his poll might be interesting.

  4. #4
    don't tase me, bro! Asylum Steve's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Make Money of Your Photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Fanelli
    Nope. I give stuff away...
    Michael, not that I want to stir things up (who me?), but you might be interested in commenting in this thread:

    Highly upset!!

    Got a little row going over giving prints away...
    "Riding along on a carousel...tryin' to catch up to you..."

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  5. #5
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Make Money of Your Photography?

    I have made a little money with my work, but not much. Planning on making more with it this year.
    Mike

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    "I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view."
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  6. #6
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Cool Re: Do You Make Money From Your Photography?

    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.
    I like your poll options. Since the first thing you have to do is define "make money".

    I've spent thousands of dollars on equipment, film, developing, books and magazines. Couldn't guess how many hours I've spent travelling to a site (mountains, outer banks, weddings, etc), not mention time actually spent taking photo's. (Time is money, after all.) My biggest check so far was $500. Doesn't make a dent in what I've spent learning my art/craft/hobby/trade (pick an adjective). So in that sense, I haven't made a cent of profit! But yes, I have been paid to take photo's.

    Cool poll Lava Lamp. Can't wait to see what it looks like after a few days.
    Nikon Samurai # 1


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  7. #7
    Pentax Forum Moderator
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    Re: Do You Make Money From Your Photography?

    Being disabled and unhireable, I've been looking for years for something to do to fill my time and maybe make a little to augment my income. The low cost of digital allows me to finally learn how to take good pictures without the high cost of developing thousands of rolls of film and/or equipment, and it has filled a void in my life. I still have a way to go before I'd feel comfortable charging someone for the photos I take, but one of these days, maybe I can make enough to at least feed my appetite for equimpment and a few extra treats for the wife!!!
    Ken


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  8. #8
    Senior Member srobb's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Make Money of Your Photography?

    I have made maybe $100, or so, last year. That was all on prints from my log cabin images. I will be doing my nephew's wedding in March for a reduced price of what it would cost him to have an actual wedding photog to do it.

    My whole aim is to get to the place where the photography is my job. It's a big dream, but that is where I want to eventually get. I know the quality of my stuff will need to get much better, but it's all a learning process.

  9. #9
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Cool Hey Ken...

    " I still have a way to go before I'd feel comfortable charging someone for the photos I take, "

    I can relate. It was the hardest thing in the world for me to start charging for taking photo's. I still give away snapshots, but if someone contacts me to shoot a wedding or a portrait shoot, I have no problem charging now. Prodding from fellow PR members (most of whom had tons more experience than I) went a long way to helping me start charging for taking photo's.

    I realized how much I was undervaluing my own worth when I agreed to shoot my last wedding. When I told the guy (a friend) that I would shoot his wedding for $500, he immediately asked "Why so little?" HELLO. Wake up call. I explained to him that I did this part time and I didn't have a studio to support. (Lame, lame, lame) As someone else pointed out on this very forum, you are getting paid for a service, and should charge market value for your services. Don't undercut yourself just because you're part time. BTW, I've done my last wedding for $500. ;-)

    "but one of these days, maybe I can make enough to at least feed my appetite for equimpment and a few extra treats for the wife!!!"

    I hear ya buddy! When I told the wife I was going to shoot my friends wedding in Greenville, she immediately said "I get to eat at Olive Garden." So much for any profit margin. ;-)

    Actually, I took great delight knowing that my photography skills allowed me to take my wife out to her favorite restaurant. It wasn't jewelry, but it was something. You will get there buddy. Have faith in your abilities.
    Nikon Samurai # 1


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  10. #10
    Senior Member swmdrayfan's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Make Money of Your Photography?

    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

  11. #11
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Cool It's a big dream

    Quote Originally Posted by srobb
    I have made maybe $100, or so, last year. That was all on prints from my log cabin images. I will be doing my nephew's wedding in March for a reduced price of what it would cost him to have an actual wedding photog to do it.

    My whole aim is to get to the place where the photography is my job. It's a big dream, but that is where I want to eventually get. I know the quality of my stuff will need to get much better, but it's all a learning process.
    Dream big buddy! I've been on this forum for about four years now, and I've seen serveral photog's here go pro or semi-pro. You can do it if you have the drive and the skills. The skills you can learn here (Critique is an awesome place to learn), as well as distance learning schools such as the New York Institute of Photography. Several PR members have taken that course and all the ones I've asked about it have highly recommend it.

    Persue your dream, hone your skills, and practice your craft.

    (We're all behind you!)
    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. #12
    Senior Member srobb's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Make Money of Your Photography?

    Thanks for the support, speed. Those here in Kentucky will know the name, and maybe some outside the state. Realizing I can't be him, I would like to get to the point that James Archembault is now; pretty much a household name among photogs. You can almost always find several calendars each year with his images on them. He also does greeting cards, postcards, framed prints, posters, etc.

    My biggest thing is just being able to have someone that looks at my stuff get close to the same feelings as I did when I took the image.
    "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



  13. #13
    Just me and my camera
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    Re: Do You Make Money of Your Photography?

    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.
    "You put your camera around your neck along with putting on your shoes, and there it is, an appendage of the body that shares your life with you."--Dorothea Lange

  14. #14
    Senior Member payn817's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Make Money of Your Photography?

    I wish you all luck, and would love to know any of you made it, as ALL of you have made some sort of difference in my life.

    Ken, I have/had that same problem. We probably all do it. I never think anything I take is worth anything, yet I made about $500 last year. Partly due to a catalog shoot for a pool company, and the rest from stock work. The best thing is to see what others think, and not just here, or on photog forums. Show some out in public, because we tend to "see" things and over critique things that most people would love. A great example was a shot I did in Augusta, of the Children's Hospital. A person saw it while looking through a make shift folio, and just had to have it. It is now proudly displayed on her wall at 11x14. That same shot got no response here.

    You ALL have done some work that is admirable.

    P.S. here is that pic... Children's Hospital of Augusta

  15. #15
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Make Money of Your Photography?

    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.

  16. #16
    light wait photophorous's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Make Money of Your Photography?

    It was one of my 2006 goals to sell something. I never have, but I think I'll be able to eventually. I know I have a long way to go, but I've learned a lot in the short time I've been on this site, and I'm enjoying every second of it. If I could make enough money to quite my day job, I would, but all I really hope for is to make enough to buy a new toy now and then.

    Paul

  17. #17
    Ex-Modster Old Timer's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Make Money of Your Photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by srobb
    . Those here in Kentucky will know the name, and maybe some outside the state. Realizing I can't be him, I would like to get to the point that James Archembault is now; pretty much a household name among photogs. You can almost always find several calendars each year with his images on them. He also does greeting cards, postcards, framed prints, posters, etc.

    I just bought his 2006 calender for the office and I have three of his books. I have met and talked with him at a couple of arts and crafts show and he is a very nice guy and very willing to talk about his work and photography in general.
    Don't forget about the Gallery. Are your photos there??


    Nikon Samurai #13

    "A photographer is known by what he shows not by what he throws. The best photographers have the biggest trash cans." Quote from Nikon School sometime in the early 1970's.

  18. #18
    Member tink's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Make Money of Your Photography?

    I have had a few shoots for clients and a fundraiser where I made a few hundred myself from extra orders. I find the most daunting of all is getting known. To get well established and make 'loads' of money you really have to push yourself and learn more about promotions than anything. I'm not prepared to do that just yet. So I sit back and still do it for fun (aside of my 'real' job)

  19. #19
    Senior Member srobb's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Make Money of Your Photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Timer
    I just bought his 2006 calender for the office and I have three of his books. I have met and talked with him at a couple of arts and crafts show and he is a very nice guy and very willing to talk about his work and photography in general.

    I would love to get a chance to meet him sometime. I am not sure, but I thought I saw him at Murphy's in Lexington when I got my teleconverter. When it comes to that, I am rather on the shy side; especially when it is someone I have a lot of respect and admiration for.

    Hey, are they still working on the bridge over there? Now that I have some of this Ilford 100 film, I am thinking I may just try to reshoot the bridges there in b/w.
    "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



  20. #20
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Make Money of Your Photography?

    I'm already on the books this year! I sold a calendar for $20 to a coworker.

    My mom took the one I gave her for Christmas to work, and has some interest from her coworkers who might want to buy one. I haven't talked to her in a couple days so I don't know if she was able to close the deal or not.
    Mike

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  21. #21
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    Re: Do You Make Money of Your Photography?

    I couldn't afford not to make money with my photography. For one I have to pay for all the gear I have and the other fear I want.

    For those wanting a place to start, and a way to get noticed, try the local papers and freelance for them. Once they start publishing your work and you start getting out in the community you will get known. I can't go anywhere in the state now without being recognized. It only took two or three years, but going to the store is a pain

    JS
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  22. #22
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    ...but going to the store is a pain :)

    Poor baby! We feel your pain!

    ;-)

    OK, actually, most of us would like to have that problem.

    :-D
    Nikon Samurai # 1


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  23. #23
    GoldMember Lava Lamp's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Make Money of Your Photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by payn817
    I wish you all luck, and would love to know any of you made it, as ALL of you have made some sort of difference in my life.

    Ken, I have/had that same problem. We probably all do it. I never think anything I take is worth anything, yet I made about $500 last year. Partly due to a catalog shoot for a pool company, and the rest from stock work. The best thing is to see what others think, and not just here, or on photog forums. Show some out in public, because we tend to "see" things and over critique things that most people would love. A great example was a shot I did in Augusta, of the Children's Hospital. A person saw it while looking through a make shift folio, and just had to have it. It is now proudly displayed on her wall at 11x14. That same shot got no response here.

    You ALL have done some work that is admirable.

    P.S. here is that pic... Children's Hospital of Augusta
    Hey, that's a nice shot. Sorry I missed it. How did you get into stock work?

  24. #24
    Princess of the OT adina's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Make Money of Your Photography?

    I officially started charging last year. I started working with a children's boutique, and make a point to get out and chat with people. I spend a lot of time in areas with small independantly owned stores.

    After all my expenses last year, equipment (new L lens and laptop, among various other things) trying lots of new products/labs, finding what works for me, and what I'd like to use, I came out about $6000+ ahead.

    My goal for 2006 is to double that.

    I don't mind the business end, but it's a lot harder than I thought it would be. And this is something I have done myself, and that's a big deal for me. If it works, that's on me. If not, well, there isn't anyone else to blame. 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.
    I sleep, but I don't rest.

  25. #25
    Ex-Modster Old Timer's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Make Money of Your Photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by srobb
    Hey, are they still working on the bridge over there? Now that I have some of this Ilford 100 film, I am thinking I may just try to reshoot the bridges there in b/w.

    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.
    Don't forget about the Gallery. Are your photos there??


    Nikon Samurai #13

    "A photographer is known by what he shows not by what he throws. The best photographers have the biggest trash cans." Quote from Nikon School sometime in the early 1970's.

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