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Old 05-03-2014, 10:16 AM   #1281
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I just watched a documentary on the photographer and filmmaker William Klein. He commented that nowadays, everyone has a cellphone and uses it to take pictures. He said that many of them do very avant-garde things - things that professional photographers would never try. I thought that was an interesting viewpoint.



As seraphim said, lovely picture Mr Paul.

Good point - but if I may differentiate between photographers and artists. There are artists who use photography, photographers who are creating art, photographers who use what's in a scene to tell a story, photographers who make pretty pictures...

I think there are professional photographers pushing the boundaries - Andy Warhols of photography, if you will. Cellhones are just cheaper and more available to the average person, though, and their quality has improved. They're being used professionally on video, journalism ... More creative people than ever are experimenting and coming out with wonderful results.
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Old 05-03-2014, 11:02 AM   #1282
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I have never sold a photo, but I have contributed photos to various charity auctions. Sometimes, the bids are very complimentary.
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Old 05-03-2014, 11:03 AM   #1283
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A slightly off topic question but do any of you make money from your photography?

Or is it purely a hobby?

If you make money, do you do it through sales to friends etc or do you sell on line etc?

Just curious whether these hobbies can expand to income streams.
It's purely a hobby for me. Unless you are very skilled, very creative, or very specialized, I think it's incredibly hard to stand out and make more than a few bucks in this era of digital photography. In my case, the only pictures that ever generated a commercial interest were my aviation pictures (it would fall under the "very specialized" category).
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Old 05-03-2014, 11:17 AM   #1284
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From what I understand, most photographers who make a living either do things like wedding and pet photography.... OR..... Take groups of aspiring photographers on photo trips to places like Botswana or Mount Landslide National Park. They charge big bucks and talk about f-stops, depth of field, and composition.
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Old 05-03-2014, 11:53 AM   #1285
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One way to successfully turn pro is a new looks, excellently executed. A 15 year old English girl, Rosie Hardy, begins learning about her camera to make a better Myspace photo. She didn't stop there. Four years later a band does a google image search on the title of their next album. Finds an image on Rosie's flicker page, hires her for a slightly different version. People noticed. She's now a full time professional photographer. Also has the best set of selfies I've ever seen: Rosie Hardy - Self Portraits
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Old 05-03-2014, 11:59 AM   #1286
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I was watching Selling New York on HGTV.

One of the segments was a small family wanting to sell a home in Brooklyn because they had purchased a home in Battery Park instead. Both were multimillion dollar spacious apartments.

The wife didn't work and the husband was a photographer. So to sell the home, they had a little photo show exhibiting his photos. The photos I recall was a beautiful night skyline of NY. He must be a world-class photographer? The photo was nice but not different than dozens that you'd see if you did a Google search.

Name was generic, Gary Cooper. But the show left the impression that he was making that kind of money as a photographer.
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Old 05-03-2014, 02:32 PM   #1287
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Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
From what I understand, most photographers who make a living either do things like wedding and pet photography.... OR..... Take groups of aspiring photographers on photo trips to places like Botswana or Mount Landslide National Park. They charge big bucks and talk about f-stops, depth of field, and composition.

Top photographers still do commercial photography: fashion, architectural, glamour, advertising, etc. they can make a very nice living in certain locations. Outside of commercial photography, you might be right.

He guy in the TV show may well have been a commercial photographer, or headed a specialized studio and made a name for himself, elevating the price of his other works. He may have just come from a wealthy family.
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Old 05-03-2014, 02:38 PM   #1288
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One way to successfully turn pro is a new looks, excellently executed. A 15 year old English girl, Rosie Hardy, begins learning about her camera to make a better Myspace photo. She didn't stop there. Four years later a band does a google image search on the title of their next album. Finds an image on Rosie's flicker page, hires her for a slightly different version. People noticed. She's now a full time professional photographer. Also has the best set of selfies I've ever seen: Rosie Hardy - Self Portraits

She received immediate brand recognition, and took advantage of it.
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Old 05-03-2014, 02:43 PM   #1289
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Top photographers still do commercial photography: fashion, architectural, glamour, advertising, etc. they can make a very nice living in certain locations. Outside of commercial photography, you might be right.
I didn't even think about commercial photographers. And, I know from my limited experience trying to photograph things and people, that doing a good job is very difficult. There are so many variables from the light, reflections, surrounding objects, contrasting colors, how the camera sees, etc. As far as selling photos to the general public, I doubt if many people make a good living at it, but I could be wrong.
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Old 05-03-2014, 08:45 PM   #1290
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I didn't even think about commercial photographers. And, I know from my limited experience trying to photograph things and people, that doing a good job is very difficult. There are so many variables from the light, reflections, surrounding objects, contrasting colors, how the camera sees, etc. As far as selling photos to the general public, I doubt if many people make a good living at it, but I could be wrong.

With time and experience it becomes easy. Your subconscious will eventually process those things. You'll automatically move to a better position, or crop the shot, adjust the exposure etc. just get out and do it. To make money selling to the general public, you have to market to those with a lot of spendable money, and you also have to make a name for yourself somehow. I hate to sound jaded, but most people spend money on photographs for reasons of vanity; whether it's a portrait, or something to hang on a wall. It has to be something they can show to their friends and brag about, whether they understand anything about art or not. If you develop name recognition, they'll hang your photo just because YOU did it. That shows they are knowledgeable and have good taste. Lol. A portrait has to make them look glamorous - or at least significantly better than they do I every day life under ordinary lights. If you can appeal,to their vanity, you can sell them photos. If they can afford it.

You also have to price your work where it makes money. When I started weddings my base price was lower After a while, my friend told me I was charging too little, though there were professionals out there charging less. I was only doing it as a side job. I told him I was afraid I wouldn't get as money customers. But I raised my cheapest package. You get fewer jobs, but don't make less money. Same money, less work, and no complaints from clients. Hmmmm...

When you develop your skills, you have to have confidence to ask money for your product. Don't get a rep as the guy who will do it cheaply, get a rep as the guy you have pay for, but who's reliable and worth the money. If you can't have confidence in yourself, no one else will either.
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Old 05-04-2014, 08:29 AM   #1291
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I'd have to make a killing to try to photograph weddings, to compensate for dealing with bridezillas...
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Old 05-04-2014, 09:00 AM   #1292
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I'd have to make a killing to try to photograph weddings, to compensate for dealing with bridezillas...

It's the father of the bride - he always tries to rush the photo session because he's paying for the reception, he only has the location for a limited period of time, and people are WAITING to greet the bride and groom and start eating. But you contracted with the BRIDE for certain poses to be photographed and are required to take them. Do as many group photos BEFORE the wedding as possible.
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Old 05-04-2014, 09:40 AM   #1293
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I'm lucky that I've never tagged along on a wedding shoot or any portrait stuff. Did co-shoot a yoga rave in a brutal dark environment. Took a lot of aerial shots from a shaky man lift.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...5584606&type=3

But my favorite co-shoot was the utility shots for Helimotion. None of my shots are on this site because I was in the blue chopper being photographed for marketing. Helicopter Utility Service | Chicago Helicopter | Chicago Helicopter Charter Service in Chicago | HeliMotion LLC

The chopper shoot was fun - the yoga rave not so fun
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Old 05-04-2014, 12:10 PM   #1294
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I hear in some markets, wedding photographers are severely underpriced by newcomers trying to establish themselves, charging like a fraction of established wedding photographers.
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Old 05-04-2014, 12:19 PM   #1295
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I hear in some markets, wedding photographers are severely underpriced by newcomers trying to establish themselves, charging like a fraction of established wedding photographers.
I think that applies to all photo markets & services.
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Old 05-04-2014, 01:26 PM   #1296
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Thanks for the kind words, Major Tom and Seraphim.

Denver Craigslist is full of "wedding photographers" that will shoot the job and give the digital files to the customer for $75 / $100. I don't know what their backup plan is if the Instamatic breaks on the day of the wedding
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Old 05-04-2014, 01:53 PM   #1297
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Thanks for the kind words, Major Tom and Seraphim.

Denver Craigslist is full of "wedding photographers" that will shoot the job and give the digital files to the customer for $75 / $100. I don't know what their backup plan is if the Instamatic breaks on the day of the wedding

Same thing years ago: $100 and the customer got a 36 frame roll of undeveloped VPS. Those customers were never going to pay $600+, so the cheap guys really aren't competition for full service photographers. My COST was generally $400 -$450 to provide a wedding album, IIRC. Maybe two small parent albums. Not much profit in a $600 wedding package. (Fewer cost these days...) The gravy money came from the ala carte sales: that cute picture of the bride dancing with a child that all the grandparents are going to want a copy of ( can't buy for one and not the others) at $15 - $25 for a 5x7. Never give up the negatives. Or whatever. They can still make you money further down the road.
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Old 05-04-2014, 04:05 PM   #1298
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Old 05-04-2014, 05:24 PM   #1299
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Denver Craigslist is full of "wedding photographers" that will shoot the job and give the digital files to the customer for $75 / $100. I don't know what their backup plan is if the Instamatic breaks on the day of the wedding
That's easy, it's in the contract (if there is one). It says the bride's recourse is the full refund of any money paid.

My understanding is that pretty much any photographer's contract will have similar language and for the same reason. Everyone has had a bad day at work and photographers are no exception. For example, they're in the city for the shoot that evening, they go out to lunch and come back to find the hotel and all their gear burned up, that's about all they can do.

BTW, there was some discussion about model releases a while back. This site has what seems to be a fairly comprehensive dissertation on the subject: Model Release Primer
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Old 05-04-2014, 06:07 PM   #1300
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Same thing years ago: $100 and the customer got a 36 frame roll of undeveloped VPS. Those customers were never going to pay $600+, so the cheap guys really aren't competition for full service photographers. My COST was generally $400 -$450 to provide a wedding album, IIRC. Maybe two small parent albums. Not much profit in a $600 wedding package. (Fewer cost these days...) The gravy money came from the ala carte sales: that cute picture of the bride dancing with a child that all the grandparents are going to want a copy of ( can't buy for one and not the others) at $15 - $25 for a 5x7. Never give up the negatives. Or whatever. They can still make you money further down the road.
Our wedding photographer cost upward of $2,000 IIRC, including pre-wedding studio portraits, one large wedding album for us, a small wedding album for each set of parents, etc... He kept the negatives which he sold to us for $250 when he retired, several years later. Of course, some family members wanted a-la-carte photos, which he was happy to provide at a steep price. Honestly, the quality of the posed pictures was good. But pictures of the ceremony and reception were disappointing for a professional photographer that came highly recommended and had been in business for 30 years.
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