While still at school (late 1960's) I found photography expensive, it kept me from smoking though - I couldn't afford both , however I also found other students need photo's for project work. That and images for the local newspaper and a magazine helped fund my own work.
Later after leaving school I shot for my University's student newspaper, all helping fund my own work. At some point a friend from way back, primary school days, asked me to shoot images of him & his three sisters for his parents - a surprise present for their silver wedding. It wasn't work it was fun although I was paid to do it. However those images had a snowball effect and as a consequence I was commissioned to shoot many more portraits, I made a living from it just by word of mouth for a couple of years. A close friend was a model so she asked me to update her portfolio, that led to even more work and i was shooting new models portfolios regaulary.
Somewhere around the same time early 70's I also began shooting rock bands, first while at University and then by a chance encounter. I worked 2 doors away from a recording studio, so got asked could I do some shots. I did and that lead to 30+ years of work.
That sounds like a ramble, but if you produce high quality images, and are reliable then you get work, and earn money.
You can submit film scans that are at least as large as the pixel dimensions of the files from the list of required digital cameras to stock photography agencies and publications, if that particular stock agency will accept anything other than a raw file. Each publication and agency has different requirements. If you insist on using film, I suggest a medium format camera system as a good general-purpose tool for these sorts of things. 35mm will severely limit the technical quality of your work compared to others who are shooting huge and clean digital files.
I've never made money shooting on speculation, though I have had plenty of self-assigned things published when on salary for a newspaper. I have made whatever money I have made (not "a living") only by being specifically hired to shoot things, or occasionally by selling a print or three.
"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."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
If there was huge money in photography everyone here would be out making it and not have enough time to sit on line and type about it. There are literary hundreds of millions of cameras in the world, and only one Ansel Adams, if you are an amateur with no education and you sell one print in your life you are lucky, if you went to school for photography and can pay the bills with it and no second job you are super lucky.
The really big money in photography is in taking photos of cheating spouses. *L*
Oh and I never really liked the taste of Spam, not even fried, yuck!
"Would you like it if someone that painted in oils told you that you were not making portraits because you were using a camera?"
"Shouldn't it be more about the joy of producing and viewing the photo than what you paid for the camera?"
Rather than making money directly by working for others or selling photos, I use photos to help me communicate a product, or service, or person and benefit from it. I have found that good photos and descriptions written from a buyers viewpoint a selling advantage.
Of course, you still have to have a quality product or service, or person, and a market for same.
I never knew spam could be so filling.
Ian, awesome story. I would have liked to have heard the sountrack to that.
"There is a time and place for all things, the difficulty is to use them only in their proper time and places." -- Robert Henri
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