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ER part time work
Old 04-28-2012, 03:36 PM   #1
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ER part time work

As the wife and I look toward my Army retirement next summer, one of the things I had considered was a part time job to keep sanity in the household. Has anyone here performed stock photography work for part time earnings or are you or someone you know doing that now? I admit that a number of recent emails from the AWAI company have sparked a long ago wondering whether or not you could really make any real money uploading and selling photos you take doing normal things while on vacation or visiting friends and family.
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Old 04-28-2012, 03:41 PM   #2
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I admit that a number of recent emails from the AWAI company have sparked a long ago wondering whether or not you could really make any real money uploading and selling photos you take doing normal things while on vacation or visiting friends and family.
I have no personal knowledge but I can't help noting this sounds a great deal like 'making money stuffing envelopes'...
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Old 04-28-2012, 04:08 PM   #3
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I don't disagree with you there. I had an uncle that was a real estate investor for about 35 years before he died last year and that is something I feel real drawn to.
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:08 PM   #4
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I have an ex school teacher brother in law who retired last year. He took a part time job taking school pictures from Sep to late Aug. I think he worked very hard at it, and was releived when picture season was completed. I figure he might do it for one more year max. The travel and such was much harder than he expected.
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:15 AM   #5
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Just my opinion, but I would not plan on any specific part-time w*rk unless I had proven to myself I could do the work BEFORE retirement. This approach would be especially true if you were counting on the income from said w*rk to supplement your retirement income. Retiring and THEN developing a small business seems a recipe for disaster. I recall my dad buying a metal detector. He thought he would make a fortune, finding coins, rings, etc. etc. Of course, he never paid for the device and lost interest. No big deal as his start-up costs were minimal and his time was free. Nor was he dependent on the income he might have earned.

Selling photographs (so I have been told by a couple of friends who have done so) is not as easy at it sounds. You need to get a reputation before you can make any money. Equipment and travel could quickly eat up any money from sales of stock photos. Not personal experience, just what I've heard.

Again, the key would be to have your particular part-time gig set up and successful before you retire. Otherwise, it might be better to just hit the pavement, looking for part-time w*rk (yuk!) if your income needs to be supplemented. Even PT w*rk might better be arranged ahead of time. Unless you have a special skill, PT j*bs tend to be low wage, bad hours, and stuff most folks don't want to do.

Not trying to discourage you, but suggesting you find out what you might be getting into before making the leap into retirement. As always, YMMV.
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:48 AM   #6
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I too gave some thought to professional photography. Thankfully, first I bought a bunch of books on the subject and one recurring thing is that these people are perfectionists, enthusiastic almost to the point of fanaticism, and business people. They have to be because so many people enjoy photography and digital makes it easier than ever. To make any money at it you have to rise far above everyone else with a DSLR. And you have to do it quickly with top level quality and your customer does not want to hear excuses.

Photographic abilities aside, the eye-opener for me was this one: http://www.amazon.com/Business-Pract...5699306&sr=1-1

On another thread someone mentioned being stunned at a photographer's quote of $6k to shoot a wedding and after reading that book I can see good reason for that number. After expenses the photographer might come away with $1,000 for several day's work, but probably less. (Not to mention that I do not have the patience to deal with Bridezillas and their deranged mothers.)

It is possible to pick up a few bucks shooting stock photos, but look at what is already there first, and then ask "What can I do that's better than that?" And know that for every photo that sells you'll shoot hundreds that don't.

Sometimes, reality isn't fun.
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:16 AM   #7
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One of the things I find frustrating about photography now is that it is really damn easy. I relish the days of film, when hitting the shutter cost about $0.50 and it really mattered that you got it right. Now, the cameras and post processing in the computer make taking bad photos a challenge. I enjoy it but the apparent incremental improvement from working at it a long time seems marginal. Just my thoughts. I can't see anyone paying me for what I could do though.
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:20 AM   #8
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Sometimes fortune really does strike. I good story I have: a 35-38 year old recently divorced Mom (friend of my kids) with no recent work experience and only kind of easy-going work since college found herself needing money, and not wanting to be away when her 5 year old daughter came back from school. So she wrote a sci-fi novel, without ever having read one. She got an agent, and sold her book to a big publisher. No blogging, no flogging, though she will have to go on the book signing tour. I think her ex can take the little girl full time while Mom is away. They have shared custody.

So sometimes God is in heaven, and dispatching his angels. Maybe it helped that she is very pretty young woman?

Anyway, if something really appeals, even if it is a longshot, maybe worth a try?

Ha
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Old 04-29-2012, 04:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by haha
Sometimes fortune really does strike. I good story I have: a 35-38 year old recently divorced Mom (friend of my kids) with no recent work experience and only kind of easy-going work since college found herself needing money, and not wanting to be away when her 5 year old daughter came back from school. So she wrote a sci-fi novel, without ever having read one. She got an agent, and sold her book to a big publisher. No blogging, no flogging, though she will have to go on the book signing tour. I think her ex can take the little girl full time while Mom is away. They have shared custody.

So sometimes God is in heaven, and dispatching his angels. Maybe it helped that she is very pretty young woman?

Anyway, if something really appeals, even if it is a longshot, maybe worth a try?

Ha
Read her book and post a review in the what have you read recently thread.
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Old 04-29-2012, 05:02 PM   #10
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IMHO, anything related to w*rk (whatever term you selected, or however many hours you spend) means you are not retired.

You still have a commitment in some manner upon your life, for a "paycheck".

No thanks. I don't wo*k - I'm retired...
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:14 PM   #11
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IMHO, anything related to w*rk (whatever term you selected, or however many hours you spend) means you are not retired.

You still have a commitment in some manner upon your life, for a "paycheck".

No thanks. I don't wo*k - I'm retired...
I have a different view. If you are working because you need to rescueme is right. However, if your doing it for other reasons, you're still retired. If you are already lugging your camera around taking pictures and you're thinking you could make a little mad money, sounds good. If you've always wanted to have a photography business and it makes you happy, great.

If you're hoping to supplement your income in order to pay the bills and make ends meet, you might want to reconsider. A more traditional bridge job to allow you to save a little more money to be financially independent, might be a better idea.

You and half the people with a camera are uploading to these sites. Some are real pros supplementing their business. Others are good amateurs. I think it can be done and looked into it mainly for fun, but you gotta really know your stuff and hustle. Your photos will be amongst a sea of photos and without marketing, websites, promotion, etc. your not going to sell. Go look and most of the photos have zero downloads.
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:44 PM   #12
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Read her book and post a review in the what have you read recently thread.
I will.

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Old 04-29-2012, 09:06 PM   #13
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The whole thing is that I am a type A personality or so it seems after 30 years in the Army. After a week of vacation I am bored and want to go back to work. The wife can't stand me after that and hopes I will leave for the bookstore. When I was going thru the Army War College in 2003, a good friend and I got to talking about retirement from the Army. I told him I was going to stay home, sleep late etc. His sage advice was "Don't do that to your family. You will tear them and you apart." At this point I can't agree with him more. I love my family and wish I could just be lazy but I'm not that way anymore. We don't have to work to pay the bills, I will have 30 in when I retire and the wife a hair over 20. Bills are good and so is college for the 2 brats. The part time thing is just for my personal sanity to be totally honest.
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:17 PM   #14
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In that case, I would say that you are not ready for retirement.

Looks like you may be looking for a "second career" (or just a j*b to keep you busy, most days).

Nothing wrong with that; just don't call it "retirement" ...
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:31 AM   #15
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+1 on flyfishnevada's post, which is kind of the way I'm approaching it. I enjoy photography but I don't want to ruin that by turning it into a job that I have to do.

Hey, just shot this one yesterday.

Makes a pretty neat 8x10 print.

DW was appalled when shown the print: "That was on my back porch?"

I guess that means I can't hang the print on the wall.

Oh well.
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:35 PM   #16
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As the wife and I look toward my Army retirement next summer, one of the things I had considered was a part time job to keep sanity in the household. Has anyone here performed stock photography work for part time earnings or are you or someone you know doing that now? I admit that a number of recent emails from the AWAI company have sparked a long ago wondering whether or not you could really make any real money uploading and selling photos you take doing normal things while on vacation or visiting friends and family.
Yes. But stock is one of the hardest ways to make money in photography (and photography itself is a hard field) and the market is extremely over saturated. To do well, you need either (1) photos in a restricted niche where there is little competition. This might be because the niche requires specialized knowledge, access to restricted subjects, is costly to produce, etc. (2) You are established with an existing agency or portal. Some of these sites have internal ranking mechanisms (like google page rank except for photos) and without a track record of sales it will be difficult to move up. (3) You have your own site which you drive traffic to with your content. This is also very difficult as everyone is fighting for search traffic and you will be competing not just with other photographers but everybody.

Basically the gold rush for #2 and #3 has already occurred and it will be difficult but not impossible for a new photographer to break-in. To give you an idea, Alamy is a stock website that was started around 2000 -- right now there are over 30Million pictures which you need to compete against. For a popular subject, say golden gate bridge there are 8500+ images that show up. If your image doesn't show up on the first couple of pages, no picture buyer will even see it to license it.

That said, people are making money from stock and new photographers do break in. The nice thing about stock is that the barrier to entry can be extremely low (for some types of pictures). You can submit images that you already have to a stock site and see how they do (don't expect much -- a rule of thumb people use is $1/image/year).

Also with stock, the income can be very spiky and is not reliable. This may be ok for a part-time position. From one sale you might get a huge fat check of several thousand dollars and then nothing for a long time.

Hope this helps. I recommend you check out a number of photo forums and look at the business category for more information. Feel free to message me if you have more questions.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:22 PM   #17
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The whole thing is that I am a type A personality or so it seems after 30 years in the Army. After a week of vacation I am bored and want to go back to work. The wife can't stand me after that and hopes I will leave for the bookstore. When I was going thru the Army War College in 2003, a good friend and I got to talking about retirement from the Army. I told him I was going to stay home, sleep late etc. His sage advice was "Don't do that to your family. You will tear them and you apart." At this point I can't agree with him more. I love my family and wish I could just be lazy but I'm not that way anymore. We don't have to work to pay the bills, I will have 30 in when I retire and the wife a hair over 20. Bills are good and so is college for the 2 brats. The part time thing is just for my personal sanity to be totally honest.
You could burn up a lot of energy by planning for retirement/change of employment.

Is there anything beside photography that interests you? It sounds like you want to work on your own. Figure out different things you might want to do. Then plan how you would get such work. It is different on the outside. Consider many possibilities. That should occupy you for a while.

A type-A might need full-time employment. A second career? That would mean an organization to be a member of.

Reading between the lines, it sounds as if you do not intend to move. That limits your options.

Think about the transition.

Visualize your plans. Talk them through as what-if scenarios with your wife.

Include regular gym time after you hang up your spurs.
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:08 PM   #18
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I agree that working in retirement is not "retirement" however its a nice way to fund spending money in an Early "nearly retired" scenario. I'm thinking that if I can find a job for 12 hrs a week for a few years that I could totally blow that extra money on a couple of additional discretionary expenses that would not otherwise fit into my budget.
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