I started in Photography in 1951 at School when I joined the School- photo-Soc. In 1955 I went into the British Army, Royal Army Medical Corps and did Pathology as there were NO Photographers in the Army then and the RAF wanted you to sign on for 27 years to get into Photography!
Eventually I took some Photo Exams and passed quickly and got a job in the Civil Service at £7 odd a week in the Ministry of Aviation. I had a stint as a School Photographer with two different companies where they said I 'could earn £15 a week'which never materialised, so joined a local Studio whose Partners did local Press Photography -- my introduction to Press work, at again £7-15-0d a week, then as they didn't keep their promise to make me 'Manager' of another Branch, left and got a job at £12 a week with University College London. Geolpogy Dept doing Scientific Photography where I was for 8 years until 1970 when I left to keep an eye on what my first ex-wife was doing and to start up on my own as a local Freelance doing anything !
Now still struggling -- hardly any work coming in -- good job for my Government Retirement Pension !!
The 'Busy Days' are OVER for local Photographers who are going out of business--- NO Council work ( the Girl from the Office does it ), NO PR work ( the Girl from the Office does it), NO Portraits ( they take their own and take their memory cards to Boots the Chemists), Nobody getting married any more -- they all live with 'Partners' and do not want 'Wedding Photos', only two local newsapapers will pay anything -- the others want the photos for FREE --- I bet if they needed a PLUMBER they would PAY!! Whoever has heard of a Poor Plumber, Solicitor, Accountant or Dentist ? But there are dozens of Poor Photographers giving up !!!!
It's no surprise I'm the only microstock photographer to have posted so far (and am probably loathed and despised for it by many) but in many ways my story is similar to several others. After an early interest in photography that I couldn't keep going when I had to start paying for nappies and then school fees etc, I found myself in a high-pressure, high profile job, running a newspaper. Eight years ago, I got the digital rebel and stumbled over microstock. I liked that people paid a bit for some of my pictures - and then the money got more and more serious.
By the time I parted company with the day job, five years ago, I found I could live on the money stock was paying me, so I never went back to "work". I go through periods when I find producing microstock-type pictures emotionally unrewarding, so then I go back to experimenting with film and old or antique cameras and devote time to studying techniques. That's an endless source of fascination to me. Fortunately, so far the money just seems to keep coming in, even if I do very little "work" for a month or two so I'm on a sort of permanent sabbatical.
One advantage of shooting film is that it isn't the right medium for microstock (even though I have a number of film shots on sale there) so carrying a Crown Graphic, Mamiya TLR or a Super-Ikonta frees me from the "will it sell" mentality that I get into with my 5D II.
I'd love to uber-specialize in only film B+W photography, but here in rural Indiana, I have to be a generalist to earn an ok living.
I was much entertained Blansky's paragraphs, I liked the thought of being laid often, but actually I was looking for one nice girl, which I married, and doesn't like to be photographed... neither does my daughter.
I suspect Blansky is just a pen-name for Bruce Testones. http://www.youtube.com/watch?hl=en-GB&v=QBG8RhmW_N8 (this sums up the philosophy perfectly)