I'm just interested in what everyone does in regards to being paid for the photography they do. There obviously has to be more to it that soloing at craft show booths, microstock, trying to wedge into small art galleries to get into some fancy artist circles, and so forth. Magazines or newspapers for example, both have large areas where photography is used whether its for some music magazine, to the latest issue of guns and ammo, but how would one get a start to get there, or anywhere else for that matter? I just seem to keep running into dead ends.
Breaking into Professional photography is not easy, most photographers either go to College/University or begin as assistants. Some Degree course (in the UK) allow students some work experience working alongside a professional photographer, this is how one of my friends began, many of his advertising clients are Global companies.
Freelance work is another way to start but first you need to build up your portfolio, there's a great deal of competition because there are far more students coming out of Photographic education than there are jobs and the percentage that will actually find work in Photography is very low less than 3%.
Last edited by Ian Grant; 03-18-2010 at 02:51 AM. Click to view previous post history.
do it yourself, get the gear and see if you have what it takes.
Getting magazine work.
Magazines or newspapers for example, both have large areas where photography is used whether its for some music magazine, to the latest issue of guns and ammo, but how would one get a start to get there,
If you think you might want to get into stock photography and selling the use of your work to magazines, go to www.photosource.com and go through their Stockphotography 101. That will help, or buy Rohn Engh's book, Sell and Resell Your Photos. Photosource is his website so you can find out about it there. Rohn also has other materials and books such as sell.com a book about selling stock in this digital age. Hope that helps. Ric.
There are two things digital did to to photography.
1. Drastically reduced the demand for film to the point where it is hardly economical to produce it.
2. Drastically increased the supply of images to the point where it is hardly economical to be a photographer
Your question is very open ended. How much money do you want to make? What kind of photography do you want to do? For example you mentioned galleries and you mentioned magazines. They require different types of images one fine-art (a beautiful sunset), the other, editorial (simple shots such as a couple walking on a path). There is overlap and some pics from the same shot can be used in multiple places but you will need to understand the needs of those places before the shoot so you know what to shoot.
I did a long exposure shot of the inside of an airplane in flight at night over the city of Dallas for a friend of mine. Over 90% of the photos in aviation magazines are editorial shots of the gear and the planes or techniques being discussed in the articles. There is very little need for the shot I took, but one of them had a section for artistic flight related pictures and they published it. It was full page and they paid me $50. The pro film and processing cost me nearly $30. My setup time, drive time, flight time, processing time, and time spent getting the image published was probably about 4 hours. So I made about $5 an hour.
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I used to collaborate with a fellow that wrote for trade journals. I shot all of his photo illustrations, and have been published in magazines including "Fine Homebuilding". There are still a few places that a new fellow can get their foot in the door. Advertise on a local level, make sure you never use the word 'cheap' in any way manner or form. Try not to limit yourself, but it doesn't hurt to state "specializing in" for an area you are best at. Find shops that will allow you to hang some of your best work at(Chambers of Commerce is a great place)show off local landmarks in your shots. Local furniture and antique shops sometimes will sell 'home decor' art from local folks.
These days, you must think out of the box if you are determined to make a living from your chosen craft. This applies to anything you endeavor at.
Almost (or)all newspapers want digicrap shots. Offer your services to museums, maybe to sports teams, and schools, prom season is upon us, any where there could be social functions that could use a photographer. After all, WEGE created his own niche market, and did more than what was necessary to capture it.
If you are determined to be "successful" and be a a recognized name, then put that ahead of everything else in your life, and WORK hard, very hard.
If you are considering going to exhibit in galleries, may I suggest that you do fiber prints?
I own a gallery and we have found that the sales of either Ilfochrome or Fiber prints are much stronger than RC and certainly better than digital prints
find the area of photography you really enjoy and get a very good portfolio of these images together.
make a mailing list that has names of people in the magazines or publications, architecture firms
you think your images would be the right "fit" or the etc, get names and titles of the people in
the firm / agency &C that review portfolios, you can buy lists or make your own.
make post cards of your best images and include your contact info, and mail them out ... every 10 weeks.
update your list every few months, people are very fluid in this market, they leave, move on &C especially
in a bad economy ...
keep shooting as much as you can, build out your portfolio, and keep at it ... don't be discouraged.
Do you want to be a full time professional or just do it as a side job? If you want to do it professionally full time, I would suggest assisting for a while for someone that's not afraid to discuss money and the business end of photography. Through assisting, you'll learn the daily operations of a photography business.
There are also professional organizations that encourage standard rates and business practices for photographers. Here are a few:
American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) www.asmp.org
Professional Photographers of American (PPA) http://www.ppa.com/
Advertising Photographers of America (APA) http://www.apanational.com/
Here's a publication for professional photographers, Photo District: http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/index.jsp
Don't get discouraged and build your portfolio and keep shooting.
I suppose I should have given some background, but in my attempt to keep in general to help out more than just myself I suppose that didn't work as well as I was thinking of. ha. Anyway, I do have my associates in photography, can't afford to get my bachelors yet, though I was accepted when I did apply a couple years ago, using film 99% of the time obviously. As far as money goes, more than what I get now, currently working in a retail framing shop that gives me practically no hours of work. Prints are all on fiber due to a nice mistake I made in my photo 101 class of not looking at what I bought, have been ever since unless its a color print/ilfochrome, run all film of whichever process myself, and so forth. I already volunteer at the college photo lab where I graduated from for several years, have assisted at a few weddings and events. I have a portfolio that contains mostly a series, though it needs to be reprinted again, so the old work will match the new since I'm fantastic at picking fiber paper that gets discontinued. Lately I've been enjoying shooting concerts when one of the bands I shoot come within driving range, though for the most part I have no sway one way or the other for any subject in particular, in that its more about the thrill of photography that what it is I'm shooting sort of thing, and not forcing bad photos and doing my 'editing' before the shot when I can. If I hike, I'll take my camera and do nature shots, or goto the city and do street, stuck at home I'll shoot here. I've just been confused as whichever next step to take to get a new job in the field I'm studying since that was never really taught to me, besides trying to get published in one of the b&w photo magazines like Shots.