Quote Originally Posted by TooManyShots View Post
The point which is greatly missed is that everybody has to start from somewhere and paying their dues, from the bottom up. It takes years and maybe luck to become established. Or in most cases, things do not work out. You don't just shoot a 5k wedding just because you shoot with film. When people talk about the "exceptions," they are leaving out the "disclaimers" as well. What about Gary Fong?? Is he still shooting weddings? When he first started, he was charging some ridiculously low price on weddings. Or maybe he finds it more profitable to teach classes how to become pros and selling his light diffusers.
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.

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.