I don't really know if this sould be asked, if this is not a good post, I would agree as to it being deleted, but I felt I wanted to ask anyway :
Are we all mostly hobbyist or are there some pro spending time here too ?
And how do you manage the cost of it all ? do you use your skill for some assigments as a side job or do you keep it as a pure hobby and just bear with the cost of it all ?
I only starting to do some B/W work so I have a lot to discover but I'm afraid of doing wrong choices, I would love to try and do some color stuff too ;-)
I have a full time job and do photography as a passionate hobby. Though since I've always been a "trader" (ebayer since 2002), in addition to plowing hard-earned cash into it I always have had a tendency, no matter what hobby I've been doing, to find a way to buy and sell gear to finance part of my own consumption.
An ex-pro here. I quit photography as a career at age 30 (!) and returned to school to do a finance degree. My present position allows me to indulge in what is now my hobby to my heart's content. I don't get terribly concerned about cost; most of what gets my blood up is the diminishing options available to analog shooters.
While I continue to shoot both E6 color (working on a HUGE stash of E100G/VS in my deep-freeze in 35mm and 120) and black and white (I am a huge fan of PanF Plus/FP4 Plus/HP5 Plus and Tri-X), my darkroom (a.k.a. the guest bathroom in my townhouse) is set up to do only the latter. When E6 has run its course, all my analog shooting will be in monochrome.
This is a diverse group. Some fulltime pros, some semi-pros (they have non-photo jobs but earn extra $$$ doing weddings and such), and amateurs. I was a fulltime professional doing fine art and commercial work until the beginning of this year, when I began teaching literature fulltime at a local high school. I still do photography though, and it makes me a decent amount of money still. The economy had gotten so bad last year that I had to find a real job to pay my bills, few prints sold last year.
I'm strictly a hobbyist and now retired from engineering and software development. I have sold a few prints and gathered an occasional award in a show, but my net annual gain (which still includes occasional gear acquisition) is probably in excess of minus one thousand dollars. I mean, what the heck, I don't do drugs, race motorcycles or sports cars ...
Many years back, I shot a few B&W advertizing photos for some friends, but I concluded the quickest way to take the joy out of a hobby is to make it a business.
Purely a hobby for me, but I only shoot a few rolls/sheets a month, so the expense is pretty manageable.
Mine is strictly a hobby.
I have a daytime job in IT industry. I have a history of having a passionate hobby and eventually turning into a money making carrier. That has happened to me several times but I am determined to not make photography a profession. I do take family portraits and such for my coworkers and friends but I do not accept payment. Occasionally I receive a "thank you" gift but I am known to return what I consider more than a token gesture.
When a passion turns into a carrier, it eventually takes fun out of it. When money gets involved, then there will have to be some cost vs profit analysis done. If you are a younger person, making hobby an occupation may sound like a dream-come-true but having being there and done it few times, I don't want to do it again.
With that said though, what started as a hobby (IT stuff) has turned into a lasting and rewarding carrier. If that's the direction you want to go with your photography, I don't discourage it. Just be aware, doing something has a profession is an entirely different ballgame than doing it as a hobby. In the end, you will lose your hobby.
Think about that.
Thanks you all for the feedback, indeed this is a diverse group, at least what we spend on film might help keep some of the emulsions alive.
I guess I can try to spread te joy of shooting film too, I'm trying to convince a colleague that he should give it a try but it is not that easy t ogive up free shooting with a DSLR.
I like the fact that when you have done your exposure, you still have to get your dev right and then enlarge it to reap all the film beauty ;-)
Another amateur here.
During working hours I am a combination of electronic and mechanical design engineer, CNC machinist and general test equipment and assembly jig builder.
And as you can probably tell, I play guitar too.
Be aware though, this IS a diverse group in terms of THAT, too...
Some of us are analog only. Some of us are both. Some of us do hybrid. Many of us are pure wet room. Personally, I shoot film when I do B&W and digital when I do color. I do it because this combination gives me what I want. Also, doing digital manipulation looks and feels so much like work. (I'm an IT guy) There's something magical (and maddening!) about darkroom process, too.
Those of us who do other than pure analog work just don't talk about the other side here out of courtesy and per forum rule.