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How to make a living by taking pictures

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Herman, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. Herman

    Herman The Image Stimulator

    Jul 11, 2010
    The Netherlands
    I wonder, is it possible?
    Taking pictures from what?
    Landscape, studio work, art, fashion, nature, sports, wedding, etc?
    Any prof. members here who act as a prof. photographer?
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    There are a lot of people who do it, so its clearly possible. But, as with anything, the larger question is whether its possible to make a living at it and still maintain your passion for it and still love it? This is much much harder and much rarer out in the world. I know a number of wedding photographers who make a living but don't really enjoy it much - its just a job now... There are probably some photo-journalists who still love it. But I don't think there are many street or landscape photographers out there making a living and loving it. Maybe a few from the big magazines, but its pretty rare.

    Then again, the question reminds me of the old joke, "If you want to end up with a million dollars as a photographer, start with two million"! This is often applied to bike shops, jazz clubs, other jobs that people go into with a lot of passion and come out of exhausted and broke...

    • Like Like x 3
  3. I grew up looking at the pictures in my father's National Geographic magazines before I could even read. David Attenborough's documentaries were also a staple in my childhood. I can only dream of getting into this line of work as a career. It would be beyond anything I can imagine to be a NG photographer on assignment. It's part of why I quit my career job to go to film school and study documentary filmmaking. I would certainly immerse myself in the stories I am assigned to and get that story, or get that photo.

    One can dream.
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    About five years ago when I changed careers I looked at doing a photography course, but it occurred to me that there would be very few photographers who are good enough to spend their lives documenting events and locations around the world. For most it would be staged shots of children in shopping malls, school photos, uni graduations, weddings...fine if you like that sort of work but I don't think I would have ever picked up a camera for fun again.
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Wally Billingham

    Wally Billingham Regular

    Nov 27, 2010
    Laurel, MD
    the best way to make a small fortune in Photography is to start off with a large one
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Djarum

    Djarum All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    If I was good enough, I personally would do it just as a side job. I would shoot the things I like to shoot and see if advertisers or a stock company wanted them.
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Also - the best way to take big steps is to start off with small ones.
    • Like Like x 2
  8. I agree with this also. Start with a secure source of income while you build your own business on the side. Be you must be prepared for lack of sleep, it depends on how committed you are to make this work.
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Grant

    Grant Veteran

    Nov 12, 2010
    Lunenburg Nova Scotia
    There is always the story of the two fine art photographers that get together. One says I am a fine art photographer and the other says great what's the name of the restaurant.
    • Like Like x 4

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