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  1. #41

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    Word is that its getting much much harder to make money doing wedding photography. Digital has made it far easier and much much cheaper to produce prints and an amateur can do a basic job that cheapskate brides are happy with. And Brides demand a CD with full res images so you get no reprint work. Same with Landscape. Everyone has a digital camera that does an OK job producing keep sake photos. So its only the super high quality prints that very few people are actually prepared to pay for. The market has changed drastically over the last 10 years. People are producing inkjet landscapes just because they can do it cheaply and the punters know it costs nothing because they can get reasonable quality prints themselves from the online print services even if the photography isn't too good.
    Last edited by tlitody; 06-29-2010 at 01:17 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #42
    wclark5179's Avatar
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    "Word is that its getting much much harder to make money doing wedding photography."


    A person still can earn a decent living with wedding photography and a few other types sprinkled into the business. What I've seen change over the past 5 years or so is a large influx of new photographers & the avenues to get noticed by potential clients. I'm treasurer (my 4th year serving on the board) of our Twin Cities PPA and I have watched it grow tremendously the last few years and we now have over 300 members. We have many vendors who partner with us as well as the Hennepin Vocational School located in Eden Prairie MN. At Hennepin Vo Tech they have a photography curriculum and we encourage students to attend (they can attend for free) our monthly seminars and get themselves noticed by other photographers some who maybe looking to add a person(s) to the business.

    There still is and I believe always will be a need for professional photographers as we, as humans, are social creatures with a sense of establishing purpose to our existence here on earth. Photography is a way to share and preserve our existence and treasure memories of events that happen during our lives.

    You are correct that the industry has changed and is still changing. Unlike some other industries it is vibrant and alive.
    Last edited by wclark5179; 06-29-2010 at 03:35 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Bill Clark

  3. #43

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    It is difficult to earn a living from landscape photography. I'm not so sure I would want to pursue it myself. Not a lot of people are so lucky as to truly earn their living with it. The way I see it, I work a day job and occasionally shoot weddings and other commercial crap so that I don't have to be worried about making a living when I am doing landscape photography for my own benefit.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

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  4. #44
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    I agree that you can make a living from your pictures as long as they are pictures someone is paying you to take, in other words: commercial assignments. It may be architectural, portrait, wedding, etc. But you do not seem to be asking about that. As I understand it, you want to know if you can make a living solely from the sales of prints of your artwork that someone did not request you to make for them before hand. Someone pointed out Peter Lik, he makes a living doing that, but if you ask me, he is like Thomas Kinkade. In that I mean he takes photographs for the express purpose of selling to make a lot of money, but it lacks soul. Actual artists that make a living off of their work are very few in number. Andreas Gursky is in that realm, but he went to school and worked for years to reach that level. He doesn't sell a lot of work, but has gotten to the point where his prices are very high. Michael A. Smith is successful in this, too, but has a lower price range and must work very hard in the marketing department to get the quantity sold to live off of it. Two different routes, but the same goal. As I said before in my earlier post, most artists that are getting in the big galleries and museums and sell prints and books of the work they want to do are university faculty. I know, because I talk to them at Society for Photographic Education conferences every year since I, too, am on faculty.
    www.gregorytdavis.com

    Did millions of people suddenly disappear? This may have an answer.

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  5. #45

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    I just remembered going to a park over some holiday, I think Memorial Day and there were people selling things. One guy was an aerial photographer and had pictures of all the lakes in the county. I was raised on one of those lakes but the angle of the shot didn't show my old stomping grounds. So if you were to do something like that you would need to think about getting pictures from different angles. The pictures were super sharp so he either had a high end digital or a medium format I presume. Maybe even a LF camera. Ofcouse the cost of hiring a pilot and getting enough people interested in a certain area would be the big problem. It is something you might wish to look into as there are not many doing that. If you were taking a shot of one building, then you might need to get a property release. Ric.

  6. #46
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Sometimes I get to do what I want to do. Most of the time I do what I have to do. That, in my experience, is what it takes to make a living with a camera, which I do.

  7. #47
    Perry Way's Avatar
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    This thread is a very interesting one to read, and savor. Thanks to everyone who's shared. There are pro's in here sharing things amateurs are sharing and vice versa. As for the OP and his query, I am dead set on figuring a way to make landscape a profitable endeavor for the same reasons as others shared, it is my favorite thing. But in the mean time I have noticed squeals of delight from people as they viewed some of my portrait work. I haven't been very excited about portrait work, but after getting those reactions I have found myself thinking over and over again that that must be the ticket to financial independence from "the day job". I had some fun doing the portrait work but yeah my real heart felt feelings are on landscape. Can't change that, but maybe what I could do (hoping this will work) is get portraiture to pay the bills, allowing me to spend a decent amount of time doing landscape.
    I love the wilderness and I love my trail cameras, all Fuji's! :) GA645, GW690 III, and the X100 which I think is the best trail camera ever invented (to date).

  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Perry Way View Post
    This thread is a very interesting one to read, and savor. Thanks to everyone who's shared. There are pro's in here sharing things amateurs are sharing and vice versa. As for the OP and his query, I am dead set on figuring a way to make landscape a profitable endeavor for the same reasons as others shared, it is my favorite thing. But in the mean time I have noticed squeals of delight from people as they viewed some of my portrait work. I haven't been very excited about portrait work, but after getting those reactions I have found myself thinking over and over again that that must be the ticket to financial independence from "the day job". I had some fun doing the portrait work but yeah my real heart felt feelings are on landscape. Can't change that, but maybe what I could do (hoping this will work) is get portraiture to pay the bills, allowing me to spend a decent amount of time doing landscape.
    Your thinking is good. Just consider what the general public ever use photographers for. The answer is potraiture, weddings and a little pet photography and maybe some property shots. All other uses of photographers are generally for commercial purposes and it is commercial where the steady income stream will come from.
    Business to business is generally far more profitable, and especially if you can get big clients as they will be happy $1000 plus on a days shooting whereas the public won't. You just got to work your nuts off to get the clients.

  9. #49
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    Another route to earn a living is to get government grants to shoot landscapes. Yes the photo biz has changed a lot in the past 10 years. We are a creative lot that can adapt to the fickle photo market. Those that know how to promote their work and get into galleries will increase their chances of making a living at it. For most of us, we will have day jobs to support our passion and I'm one of them.

  10. #50
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    In today's World in a Global recession I think that if a person can make a living at all either having a business or working for a company they are very fortunate, and to even consider quitting your day job for a field that is so competitive and that everybody and his brother think they can do, and that even the best practitioners in the field have difficulty in making enough to survive on is very foolish.
    Ben

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