It isn't luck. It's talent, hard work, shameless self promotion, and the willingness to demand what you are actually worth. I don't shoot low wage stuff because it damages my brand. An upstart may need to do some things to build a portfolio, but that should be over as soon as possible. Cheap jobs involve ugly clients and crap locations, hardly what portfolios are made of. Furthermore, my clients don't care what I shoot on, it's me they want, my results they want, not a workflow or format.
Originally Posted by TooManyShots
None of the things you cite pays a living wage. I don't know my clients average income, but I do know they perceive what I do as highly valuable.
You are confusing the part of the market you have been exposed to with the whole market. There is more going on than you think.