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Thread: Making Money...

  1. #1
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    Default Making Money...

    Do any of you guys make money off of your photography?

    If so, how?

    Any pointers on how to do this?

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    Yes, blackmail works best.

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    Blackmail???

    Soooooo, got any tips?

    As far as making money? Not yet. Ohhh the occasional photo contest. $$$ Down the road, I hope ...Some day.
    http://www.pbase.com/tull777

    http://www.eddiefisherphoto.com/


    "If you're too open-minded, your brains will fall out. ....."Tight Lines & Best Fishes"

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    I do some wedding photography and a little commercial work, but nothing related to the outdoors. Making a little money with photography isn't all that difficult, but making a living is tough, and getting tougher all the time. Way too much competition from all the people with digital wonder cameras out there. Quite a few low-end wannabe wedding photographers on Craig's list. Some pros have got to be getting hungry by now.

    I think the easiest way to get a few bucks out of photography is with the low end stock imaging companies. You don't make much on any one image, but if you have a whole lot of good shots, it can earn you some "shiny new equipment" money. Most stock images are sold to commercial buyers, and they generally want beautiful happy people in nearly every shot. Great scenery by itself doesn't sell well as you might think.

    Another way to do this is to peddle your art at local markets, fairs, bazaars and shows. Takes too much time in my opinion, but I have friends who do this profitably. The Alaskan market isn't that large though.

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    Just trying to figure out a way to eventually make a little extra income to fund the photography hobby....I'm already craving new lenses and equipment as I'm learning what I need to do certain stuff....The bill adds up quickly ya know?

    Plus I'm still eyeballing a D300....lol

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    Jim could not have said it better.

    Keep in mind that it does not matter if you use a Nikon D300 or a Canon 21MP camera. It's all up to you when it comes to a photo that may be like by others or not. For example, I was watching this photographer who country skis and sleeps outdoors in the Yellowstone park in the middle of the winter. He spends days and nights out there to take a whole bunch of pictures with his top of the line equipment. Out of those photos, a few will be good ones, but not always.

    If you have the money you can go "top of the line" with a Canon 21MP camera and lenses, and there are a lot of people out there who are doing exactly that. However, to take that special photo that will sell and bring you money not only takes a lot of money sometimes, but a lot of planning, proficiency with the equipment, coupled to good luck. It means that you must be in the extraordinary group of "picture takers" to have a chance to make a living from picture taking, since there are millions of people doing the same these days, or be plain "lucky" to be at the right place at the right time and have the equipment doing the right thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RayfromAK View Post
    Jim could not have said it better.

    Keep in mind that it does not matter if you use a Nikon D300 or a Canon 21MP camera. It's all up to you when it comes to a photo that may be like by others or not. For example, I was watching this photographer who country skis and sleeps outdoors in the Yellowstone park in the middle of the winter. He spends days and nights out there to take a whole bunch of pictures with his top of the line equipment. Out of those photos, a few will be good ones, but not always.

    If you have the money you can go "top of the line" with a Canon 21MP camera and lenses, and there are a lot of people out there who are doing exactly that. However, to take that special photo that will sell and bring you money not only takes a lot of money sometimes, but a lot of planning, proficiency with the equipment, coupled to good luck. It means that you must be in the extraordinary group of "picture takers" to have a chance to make a living from picture taking, since there are millions of people doing the same these days, or be plain "lucky" to be at the right place at the right time and have the equipment doing the right thing.

    Totally understand.

    I should point out that my desire is not to make a living, but rather to help be able to afford newer/better equipment to fund my hobby...

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    Quote Originally Posted by OneLunG View Post
    Totally understand.

    I should point out that my desire is not to make a living, but rather to help be able to afford newer/better equipment to fund my hobby...
    Then you may want to think about an agency that specializes in such things buying your photos, or selling them for you. Again, there are quite a lot of people doing or trying to do such things. Nowadays more people have the money to buy cameras and gear for picture taking. I remember when I bought my first Nikon F3 on sale. I paid over $500.00 for the body, and back then that was a small fortune to me. Nowadays that's not the case for most folks, as you can see kids playing with iPod's and all kinds of expensive toys.

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    Smile

    I do photography full time. The "money" is in selling your art work framed and matted. I never went the stock agency route as I was cheated a few times and still occassionly see my work being sold without my permission.
    I do most of the larger craft shows in town in the fall but the serious money is made during Saturday Market in downtown Anchorage during the summer. My wife and I have two booths at the Market and we are there every Saturday except the last one and have been doing this for the last 12 years.
    To sell your work matted and framed you have to be able to mat and frame the items yourself. If you have to outsource this it will eat up all your profits.
    Another benefit of doing your own framing and matting is it allows you to do work for other artists. Keeps me pretty busy in the summer but it pays for most of my toys. Give me a jingle if you want to know matting prices.
    Most photographers ignore this source of income but why do you think you see the same vendors at the Market year in year out?
    It takes a serious commitment of equipment and inventory to do this, if you do not want to fork up the cash to do it right then try something else. For example some of my photos sell for $599 framed.

    Another point to consider is this:
    There are great photographs and there are photos that sell. A photograph that sells very well is not necessary a good photograph.
    Tennessee

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    whatever you do, never ever, ever give your work out for free. Shoot little league and the like then sell prints to the parents...
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Powder Monkey, I get as far as the "Click here to visit..." on your site & the ,link is broken. Figured you'd want to know.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

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    yea I know, its under construction...
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Great topic, and many different very important OPINIONS.

    I can say with much experience that selling images, your images, is a lot of hard work.

    FIRST you need an image that people are interested in.
    Then you need MANY images that you consider "sale-able".
    show them to as many people as you can. Your appearance is most important, your manners, and how you treat people is very important.
    You can have the greatest photo in the world, but if the people you are having a dialogue with are turned off, nothing will ever happen or take place.



    I have been selling my images for almost 40 years now, and weather I was on the east coast with east coast photos, or in Seattle with seattle photos, or in Alaska with Alaskan photos. It is the same no matter which part of the world you live in.

    I have been to the saturday market for many years going around specifically just to the many different photo booths.
    This is one method I have used to "train" my 4 sons on how to use their eyes, (composition), and finish photo techniques.

    I must say in all candor and truth that I "see" the same basic images in each and every photo booth at the Saturday Market.

    YAWN !! I do not doubt that some artists make some money from these images, some here, and some there. but nothing substancial.

    Of all the photographers I have met and seen in Anchorage over the last 30 years, there is one photographer who stands out, His images are Ok. They are very nice but.. Marketing is the whole game when it comes to selling your images.

    In the early 70's, I was out of work for many years as a Union Electrican in Boston. Work was scarce, but I did succeed in making a very comfortable years wages by using my talents, skills and darkroom to make BIG bucks.

    I like this quote:
    "Another point to consider is this:
    There are great photographs and there are photos that sell. A photograph that sells very well is not necessary a good photograph."
    __________________

    Well I for one am interested in the $$$$$. Not the "great photograph".
    If I can sell a photograph, any photograph,, then I have succeeded, where a great photo might fail.
    Well in my honest opinion. A photograph that continually makes money is the way to go.
    In other words: which is better? Selling one photograph once to a customer? Or selling that same photograph to thousands of different people ???
    I want to make as much money as I can, from photography and that means diversity.

    As one person said so well ... there is too much competition nowadays.
    Everyone thinks that just because than can create a perfect image with just a click that they are now a photographer. This part is true. but to support your family for decades or to make a living out of photography is a very rare breed. Lots of dedication, talent, experience, and drive are just the first step in a long high ladder of rungs or steps that might lead to success.

    It has been my experience that to succeed you have to be different.
    Marketing is the whole name of the game.
    This is one aspect of photography that most people ignore.
    You can have the greatest photos in the world, but if you do not know how to market them, .. .. .. .. nada, zip, zero !

    So you want to just make money for new equipment ? .. .. that is exactly.. .. how I started out in the very early 70's.

    I wanted / needed a color analyzer for my darkroom for better precise calibration of COLOR. In the early 70's this analyzer was 300 bucks from Beseler..

    Here are a few tips to make some quick cash to get you that dream camera, lens, etc.

    Where you live is not important as this will work in any part of the world practically.

    Selling your images at very low cost will make lots of money quickly.
    Little league games or other events where people congregate, used to be a sure fire way to make $$. but EVERYONE HAS the ability to create an image, using their CELL PHONE, or digital point & shoot or high end camera. that is the easy part. now to turn that image into $$$$ how ???

    You gotta be DIFFERENT !!!
    In `72.
    I started by creating photographs of construction workers @ work, No one ever saw me, but I made workers eyes pop when they saw a close up photo of them @ work on the job. $3.00 for a color 8 x 10 enlargement.
    My cost @ that time was less than 40 cents to process the image.

    I had my Besler Color Analyzer in just a few weeks.
    On another job, 1979 out west in a huge Nuclear Power Plant under construction. The world's largest construction crane by Lampson was assembled on the job site. This crane could life 1000 tons and move anywhere with that load, It had 2 million pounds of counter weights on the back to stabilize the rig, @ 3 city blocks long this monster crane was quite a site to behold, I snuck my Mamiya RB into work one day. We had to walk through metal detectors and as such I stripped the camera down to the smallest components I could and many workers carried different parts of the camera into the job site.

    I exposed one frame of film of this crane beside the huge building it was parked in front of. I made over 12,000 from that one image in 4 months time, selling gorgeous color prints for just $3.00 each.
    Every night I would process 100 sheets of color paper with the exact same image and process them in this sink. Using just two trays and drying them on the dining room floor.


    You gotta be different to succeed in today's over flooded market of photographers.

    You have to be able to print your own finished images quickly and sell them quickly.

    I retired from the electrical industry almost a full decade ago, and enjoy an extremly comfortable lifestyle from continued sales of images that I created in 1982 - 83, 88,89 & 90.

    Although my images are unique of Inupiaq Eskimo lifestyle & Culture. One "thread" so to speak runs through all of my successful images, and that is............."Being in the right place at the right time."

    That is #1

    some quick tips. Always carry your portfolio with you as well as your camera. Get a good Epson 1400 color printer and then try to get a larger wide format printer.. Make large poster size prints of 17 x 22" and LARGER and sell them 'cheap".
    I would much rather sell 20 prints @ 30 each than to sell one @ 600.

    I could fill a book literally with some of the events that led to big sales of my images. My images are sold in over 50 countries around the world.

    I once went to Valdez Alaska in 1996 for a two week shortcall. I brought six of my best framed images. As I entered the airport, and walked into the bar, I saw some people and approached the bar tender and showed him my work. I sold all six images @ 300 each in less than 1/2 hour.

    Some of my co-workers were extremly upset and noticeably jealous.

    Selling postcards, notecards, and "mini-posters" will generate lots of money OVER TIME.!! It all takes time to learn how to market your images.

    I highly suggest purchasing a copy of Photographers Market Book and read and more importantly... LEARN how to use this book.

    I hope with all sincerity that some of this long winded post has helped.

    ALL you gotta do now.. is THINK..........!! and then spring into action and never ever give up! Live, dream. eat photography and read everything you can on the subject.
    I have never taken as much as one class in photography but I have taught in college, schools, color labs, and seasoned pros, Creative Color Darkroom Techniques.. remember.. you gotta be different !! better!!

    FILL THAT FRAME...........................with detail !!!

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