Financial gratification and Fine art photography

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Thomassauerwein, Sep 8, 2003.

  1. Thomassauerwein

    Thomassauerwein Member

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    How many of you think we can get rich doing this?
     
  2. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    not me!
     
  3. lee

    lee Member

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    add me to that list of doubters.

    lee\c
     
  4. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  5. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    I may not be rich but I'm happy. Lots of rich people aren't.

    And no I don't think you really can get rich. The better you get, the more you want to specialize and be more anal you get about every aspect.

    Therefore you spend more and more time on one print/neg or a series of prints and that is not a way to get rich. To get rich you must mass produce and it flies in the face of fine art.

    Also rich is a relative term. And my relatives arent rich either. Damn.
    (From the line " he got rich the old fashioned way...he inherited it")

    Michael McBlane
     
  6. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    From GWTTW (paraphased):

    Frankly, Thomas - I don't give a damn!

    What means this "Rich", anyway? I am doing what *I* want to do ... What I really, really, WANT to do!!

    How many others - In whatever social or financial station - can honestly say that?

    And I don't - as far as I honestly know - hurt anyone in doing it.
     
  7. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    Ed:

    One day your head is going to explode with the amount of information you are carrying around.

    Just like the Monte Python "wafer thin mint".

    One day you're going to absorb one small iota of information and BOOM. That'll be it.

    MIchael McBlane
     
  8. Cheryl Jacobs

    Cheryl Jacobs Member

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    i'd love to get rich doing fine art photography. trouble is, i've never been properly introduced to rich. maybe someone out there can help. :wink:
     
  9. Thomassauerwein

    Thomassauerwein Member

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    I had a freind call me today (Commercial shooter) wanting to do what I do, because the money was drying up. Competition tougher, profits lower. The cause he sais is digital. It eliminates a lot of the extranious cost that he makes a profit on. He then explained to me that he has three mouths to feed + his own and needs to augment his studio profits. Personally I agree with Michael and Ed I'm a rich man yet my wallet is usually thin. Just stepping into a fine art mind set and going out to make it profitable seems to me to be an impossible quick transition, But who knows he might pull it off!
     
  10. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Well, lets look at the current "famous" photographers....pick a name...and I bet you they are not rich, they might be well off, but certainly not rich. If we count the number of years they have been at it, etc...well anybody can see that becoming a photographer is not going to be the same as winning the lottery.

    As the saying goes, pick something you like to do and you will never have to work a day in your life. Somewhat true, I think it should say pick something you like and are talented...

    If you are talented eventually you will be rewarded, but the the most important part is that the "doing" itself has its own reward.

    So, nope never hope to get rich....but I am happy now...it is more than I could say when I was making lots of money and was miserable.....
     
  11. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    One day a giant solar flare will wipe out all electronics on Earth and there will be a great revival of traditional photography. Then APUG will make millions! Oh wait, the internet wouldn't work. ah, oh well....
     
  12. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    AIUG?

    Analog Internet User Group?

    All we need is a LOT of string and some tin cans.....

    I'll start whitling the server.... :smile:

    Get rich?

    Hell no.

    Keep in mind right now I am sinking myself into serious debt just so I can spend the next 5-6 years getting a degree in fine art photography, and I am under no illusions as to who will be paying off that loan.

    My wife...

    :smile:
     
  13. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    No, photography won't make me wealthy. But rich, that's another matter...

    My only reason for having a job is to finance my hobbies. Having a hobby turn job would be really, really sad.

    Most of the commercial photographers I know envy me the liberty to take only pictures I like, and spend as long as I like doing it. At least one of them has converted to digital for professional work, and is using his old LF camera for "relearning the joy of photography" (quote)!
     
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  15. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    Rich? Forget it. There's more chance of Ed turning into a Spice Girl!

    Hmmmm.....

    :smile:
     
  16. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  17. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    hmmm, I'm pretty sure if my photographic hobby was a business it would be bankrupt by now. But I'm hoping to liquidate employees to "make" my profit index higher thereby creating an artificial stock price boost then cashing out and going digital :smile:

    I work 6 days a week in addition to school, I don't care if I make money or if anyone even sees my photo... I do photography for myself, it's my emotional and creative release
     
  18. Jorge Oliveira

    Jorge Oliveira Member

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    I have a realtive that used to be a freelance pro photographer.
    He would travel, take photos he liked, and then sell (some of) them to news services/magazines.
    He lived like this for quite a few years - until marriage, kids, etc forced him to become a video producer (and he's doing fine at it - mostly digital equipment).


    Jorge O
     
  19. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    I don't think I would enjoy photography near as much if I had to do it for a living. I do make money from selling prints from time to time and I also have made custom LF cameras for others, all though the thought of having to depend on either to pay the bills would probably curb my enthusiasm.

    I do enjoy the satisfaction I get when someone wants to buy a print or asks me to do a portrait or other work.
     
  20. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have a good academic day job that is intellectually and personally rewarding on its own terms, and while I'll never get rich this way, it pays the bills. I'd rather be doing that to support my personal photo projects, rather than shooting weddings or catalogues or advertising or some such.
     
  21. DKT

    DKT Member

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    I've made a living at it for about 15 yrs now, 12 full time. I actually enjoy my own photography even more now that I have had to pretty much work for others during this time. Almost all the stuff I shoot winds up being handled by designers, editors etc. On 50% of it or more, I have little control over the final product....this causes no end of aggravation at times, but it's best to just move on. I also don't get a credit line with my job....everything I shoot is owned by my employer. It doesn't bother me. I get paid--they own all the equipment, the facility. I'm on salary, have benefits. If I travel, I get paid food/ lodging, get a car or van from motor pool etc. So, that's the trade---it's a j-o-b.

    I'll never get rich in this position--BUT--I do shoot film. I work in darkrooms, do wet lab processing and I feel pretty confident things will remain this way for some time as the agency is film based and the collections hold over 1.5 million negs. It's not like the state is going to throw away all the old negatives or prints...and the records standards --the statutes--are film based. I figure this job security...but it's also tedious and at times mind numbingly boring. Last year, I had to copy a photo collection and it took me months to do so. I wore out a shutter on an MP4 and wound up making a last ditch push of shooting for about 3 weeks straight. Every day, I did at least 2-3 deeptank runs and wound up shooting close to 400 sheets in that month alone. Just on copywork. It drove me nuts...yet, I did a good job. I wanted to leave a record for the poor guy in this job when I move on....so he/she wouldn't be cursing some lazyass, unmotivated slacker who figured it was GIGO....

    The thing is--we get approached by folks looking for jobs--but very few of them are interested in doing the routine tasks. For me, when I started 12 yrs ago, I just needed a job and was very happy to get one working in a studio & darkroom instead of eeking out a living working min wage in labs and assisting. I made more money working at first as part time, than I had in the past 2 yrs prior working full time and trying to freelance. Instead of looking at spending all day tray processing proofs or doing copywork as boring, grunt work, I took whatever I knew about sensitometry and tone placement and applied it to trying to make better dupes & copy negs. After a year or so, I got really good at it. Then I moved into doing tabletop shooting, alot of events work (I had majored in p-journalism, never thought I'd be working in a place like this, but the irony is that I'm still shooting film....). The more I did this stuff, the better & more confident I got. Even if it was doing the same thing all week much like a catalog, the repetition was good practice in camera handling, lighting, processing etc. Now, I shoot on average maybe 200+ 4x5s a month, and don't even really have to think about it...I make a couple of thousand or more prints a year, and it's like second nature. When I get off work, and go back to my own darkroom and print my own negs--all this has made me appreciate my own photos, and enjoy them more....I feel like just having to do this stuff every day, 40+ hrs a week, has made me better all around.

    The downside for me is that all I do pretty much is photography...it's become that way. I do some form of it almost every waking minute of the day, and maybe half of it is enjoyable, the rest is a j-o-b. I can't foresee myself doing anything else though, so I pretty much go with the flow... a few years ago, I hit sorta a burnout point in a way--mostly from having to deal with workplace politics and the way digital imaging was impacting our mission as they say. But the reality of it was that I enjoyed enough of the job to try to rationalize the good out of it and to keep at it. Yes, I do shoot digital now as well--out of neccessity. I don't enjoy it--but like some of these other things, I didn't enjoy them much when I first "had to" do them.

    Back around 1986 or so, I interned as an assistant in a catalog studio that did work for the furniture market. I hated it--I was studying p-journ, I never dreamed I would be making a living shooting furniture using view cameras. Yet, this is part of what I do now. I also worked in an offset printing shop, and wound up doing minor pre-press work & running a stat camera. The irony of this, was that there was a time when I had to shoot film pos & negs for a silknscreening we did in-house before we went to film output. So, that boring job I took at the print shop, because I needed the money actually came in handy... whether I've liked a job or not, I've always seemed to learn something that's helped me out later on.


    KT

    my opinions only/not my employers.
     
  22. SteveGangi

    SteveGangi Member

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    And (replying to Aggie's post about Spice Girl outfits) don't forget the tiny shirt so the belly button shows :D
     
  23. wm blunt

    wm blunt Member

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    I read somewhere the way to make a small fortune in fine art photography is to start with a large fortune.......
     
  24. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Wait a minute. I thought that was the secret to success as a jazz musician!
     
  25. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    I... I....
    I'm lost for words, that's what.

    After surviving some rather frightening physical problems which culminated in my suggestion - strongly - that a few Medical Practioners (with and without scalpels and assorted knives) and HMO - Insurance people - attempt an interesting, if impossible (man hasn't yet been able to fly unaided) sexual act with Santa Claus, I started on *MY* Modified European diet. Net result so far (two months) is a loss of 35 pounds (16 Kg) and I'm walking again.... although still afflicted with plantar fasciitis (self-diagnosed and treated).

    Give me time ... I'll be happy to wear one of those "belly" shirts - but the moment.... Nah!! I don't think so.
     
  26. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    [quote="Ed Sukach.... although still afflicted with plantar fasciitis (self-diagnosed and treated).

    [/quote]

    Ed

    plantar fasciitis .... ! Isn't that a very sharp lens made in the 1930's :smile:

    Phill