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Thread: Getting Work

  1. #11
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    I make photographs that please me, that come from the heart. Then I try to sell them. I could never make a living off of it unless I got some very wealthy patrons supporting me.
    This year has been miserable in print sales, I have only sold about ten prints so far, and only four of them at full price of $460 a piece.
    Then I print some for others, and I also teach a little bit, which I charge a modest fee for. I also do portraits of people and animals.
    All in all, I can count my income from photography in the thousands of dollars every year, which really isn't much.

    But I usually don't work very hard for it either. I bring business cards wherever I go and hand them out to those that are interested. I have web site and contact info on it, plus the services I offer. Some people call back, others don't.

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  2. #12
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sage View Post
    I suppose I should have given some background, . . . . . .
    You need to tighten up concentrate on a few areas, hone your skills & build up a good solid strong Portfolio, but you have to be ruthless and keep the quality high.

    Concert photography is fine but most small bands have no money so it's not an easy way to make money. It's an area I've specialised in since the early 1970's and it's about building up a reputation with your images. I was lucky because I still work with a member of one of the bands I first photographed in 1976, as his career changed direction and he became involved in record company management that opened up far more opportunities. While I was paid to shoot the images I also did it because I enjoyed it and I also worked full time. In more recent years I worked full time for a Record label and was shooting an average of 5-6 bands a week, often far more, covering Festivals, sometimes two venues the same night, and often choosing which venues were booked so I knew the lighting would be good. In the end I walked away, I was getting brain dead shooting tens of thousands of images, but life changes I also emigrated & got married.

    OK that sounds long-winded but what I'm saying is produce what the client wants, impress them, and it'll snowball, word of mouth, networking, building an even stronger Portfolio.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    I make photographs that please me, that come from the heart. . . . . .

    - Thomas
    Well put Thomas.

    That's what I emigrated and planned to do, but then your images get seen and the snowball starts again. Now when I shoot personal work I also shoot stock for a book commission.

    Ian

  3. #13

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    This year has been miserable in print sales, I have only sold about ten prints so far, and only four of them at full price of $460 a piece.
    What do your sales average in a good year?

    D

  4. #14

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    I had to narrow down what I wanted to do - rather than spread myself too thin into too many different areas.
    Once I figured than out- I had to "focus"-focus my brain and research the heck out of it, and build a business plan.

    Marketing is a must.

    Build a brand, build a following- think online following, such as facebook and the other social media available today-

    For me, my photojournalism background taught me to never go out without a camera and business cards.

    Always keep several pens and my reporters notebook in my camera bag.

    Never fails- the one day you go out with only one pen is the day the ink dries up!

    Another words- Be Prepared!
    Both for shooting opportunites and sales opportunites.
    D

  5. #15
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    There was a recent feature about this subject on FotoTV. They reported about a pro-photographer conference, where this is a huge topic. Their conclusions and recommendations (not mine) were:

    1. Making money with analog photography is a tiny niche market.
    2. The budgets and prices are vanishing faster than ice cubes in the sun.
    3. Still photography alone is too small of a photographer's portfolio.
    4. Without 'telling stories' and adding audio and video to still, forget it (see Canon 5D).
    5. If you don't change, you're done as a pro.
    6. Holding on to old technologies is the best way to lose the battle.

    See http://mediastorm.org/ as an example on how photographers make money today.


    I decided, this is not for me, and consequently, stick to what I know and love.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  6. #16

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    hi sage

    the main thing you want to do, is get a portfolio that spotlights your style, versatility,
    and abilities. your portfolio is what is going to sell you. and as long as there are
    clients that need that sort of photography as ian said, you will be OK.
    photography, like everything else, is all about who you know .. connections.
    and the luck of meeting the right person at the right time.

    good luck !
    john
    silver magnets, trickle tanks sold
    artwork often times sold for charity
    PM me for details

  7. #17
    wclark5179's Avatar
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    Just a few stream of consciousness thoughts......

    I consider myself an entrepreneur with photography as my business.

    Owning a small business is challenging. Most should not do it, especially if you have worked under a corporate umbrella.

    Find your strengths. Work them hard.

    Find your areas that need improvement. Work on getting them better & into your strengths column.

    Have a mentor & coach that can help you along the way.

    Make a priority list. Review it as things change.

    I see photographers who, during down time, will do things they should delegate out. If you are doing jobs that you could hire out at $25.00 per hr. then is that all you are worth? Can't afford it? Then get more business. The top item on a financial statement is sales. Shouldn't you get more and more clients/sales and glue someone else to the computer screen? Some will say, "It's my art!" Art are deposits into your bank account. Train your associates on your vision, what you want accomplished. Can't do it? Maybe think again about owning your own business or be prepared to work long hours and not make much money.

    Remember, beauty is in the eye of the checkbook holder. That's if you are running a business.

    Best to Your Success!
    Bill Clark

  8. #18

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    i wish i had advice like this thread when i was starting out ...

  9. #19
    accozzaglia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    \I was lucky because I still work with a member of one of the bands I first photographed in 1976, as his career changed direction and he became involved in record company management that opened up far more opportunities.
    If I didn't know any better, I'd say you were talking about Feargal Sharkey.

  10. #20
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by accozzaglia View Post
    If I didn't know any better, I'd say you were talking about Feargal Sharkey.
    I don't think Feargall Sharkey shared a dressing room as a teenager in the mid 1960-s where the support act on the tour included Hendrix

    Ralph Lambrecht made a valid point about flexibility and the need to be also able to shoot video etc, I'd add to that some graphic design.

    It's about gaining contacts, working partnerships, regardless of the level or type of photography.

    Photographers work with others, without them you can't progress. So whether it's advertising agents, PR men, small businesses, Gallery curators, book publishers etc it's about the presentation, communication and articulation of the whole creative process.

    In the early 1990's, in the UK, West Midlands Arts realised the need for an organisation to help aspiring photographers and set up Photocall which had a brief to help photographers become more economically viable.

    These days in the UK Rhonda Wilson has an organisation Rhubarb Rhubarb which holds portfolio sessions etc and gives helps give guidance.

    Ian
    Last edited by Ian Grant; 03-22-2010 at 05:57 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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