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Author Topic: Photography as a business?  (Read 2454 times)

Offline greypoint

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Photography as a business?
« on: May 16, 2011, 08:17:50 AM »



Offline jinky

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Re: Photography as a business?
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2011, 08:47:07 AM »
Well he seems to suggest semi pro basis when you read through which makes sense to me in my position. Hope so any way - havinmg just about recovered now healthwise I have taken collection of a large pack of business cards and A5 flyers ready to get myself out there. :D

Offline Oldboy

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Re: Photography as a business?
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2011, 08:49:03 AM »
Interesting points but that's only part of the picture. There are other areas of photography where you can make money, but it is a up and down sort of life. The number of people who have digital cameras from the phone type to top of the range DSLR's can be very off-putting, but if you put in the time taking photos then it shouldn't stop you. On sunny days in summer there are loads of people taking photos, but in the middle of winter with snow on the ground, you don't see many around.  ;D

Offline Hinfrance

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Re: Photography as a business?
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2011, 10:00:50 AM »
I was a semi pro musician for donkeys' years. It paid for the gear, it was a lot of fun, but on the odd occasions when there was a lot of work it became more like a regular job and stopped being quite so much fun.

So I'm going to keep taking pictures for the enjoyment of it.

And because no-one has ever shown the slightest commercial interest in anything I've done  :D
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The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God's children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil. H.L Mencken.

Offline jinky

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Re: Photography as a business?
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2011, 10:15:39 AM »
I`m looking for your musician stuff experience H and looking forward to turning down work for life balance. If it paid for gear and a couple of  holidays a year to modest places I`d be happy.

Offline Jonathan

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Re: Photography as a business?
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2011, 10:42:08 AM »
Yeah I saw this a few days ago.  One of the best articles on the economics of photography.

Very very few photographers realise there is no exit plan.  The business you built up for 30 years isn't worth anything to anybody (except for a small number of notable exceptions).

"The bottom line is this:  from a wealth-creation standpoint, photography is a lousy career.  But you probably already know that."

Yep, I already knew that.  But I've been places and done things that I never would have dreamed of in a regular job.  Saturday, I was turning down free champagne at a lovely golf club, Sunday I was prancing about on stage in Brighton, Thursday I'll be hanging out in a rather gorgeous spa hotel, Saturday offers some of the best food I'm ever likely to have and on Sunday I get to go to a mate's family christening and go home with a few quid ;)  Inbox this morning has an invite to go and shoot a bridal collection in an amazing 5 star spa hotel (client already admits I'll have to stay over the night before and suggests I could take the models to dinner for her) and there's talk of a client flying me to the south of France in the summer for a shoot.

And as if by magic, iTunes has just served up "Everything louder than everything else" - with the line "and I sure ain't in it for the wealth".

On the downside, my workplan says I'll have about 8,000 pictures to cull and edit in the next fortnight.....
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Offline ABERS

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Re: Photography as a business?
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2011, 01:08:36 PM »
A little bit of reality does no-one any harm, it should be required reading for all those taking a photographic university course with aspirations of fame and fortune.

In the '80's part of my job description was to provide a 'photographic service to the company', the GB branch of a multi-national, and I suppose it took up approximately 25% of my time. I was given a budget to hire equipment, lighting, studio time etc.

I provided photographs for brochures, both product and corporate, instructional and training material, corporate events and publicity material. It was a great outlet from my other duties and allowed me a great degree of freedom that was a welcome distraction from the day to day activities of my main job, and since my salary didn't depend on the photographic side I had the best of both worlds, with no targets, apart from time restraints. After five years its 'glamour' soon waned, the narrow remit of what was needed meant it became monotonous and a bit of a grind. Lucikly I moved into another and more exciting branch of the company and could plead that time was not available for photography.

I realised that if my family was to eat regularly and the bailiifs were to be kept at arms length, but mostly my sanity preserved, making a living from photography was not for me. Anyone who does has my admiration.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2011, 01:10:24 PM by ABERS »

Offline Graham

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Re: Photography as a business?
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2011, 05:21:06 PM »
  Sounds realistic to me, and really quite positive.
  I can't compete with Jonathan for the high life, but last night I got to photograph Barbara Dickson. I spent an hour or so in a rather sumptuous Green Room drinking fine Belgian lager (All free of course!), and chating to one of my all time heros*.
  None of this would have happend if I had'nt persivered with this area of photography.

                            Graham. :tup:



    *  John Tams.   Yeah, I know, who he?
                                                                 Probably most famous for playing the part of Daniel Hagman along Sean Bean in the Sharpe series.
                                                                 More famous around these parts as a musician and writer of exellence.

                                                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLLaGI1CGAY
« Last Edit: May 16, 2011, 09:36:33 PM by Graham »
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Offline greypoint

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Re: Photography as a business?
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2011, 06:03:58 PM »
John Tams - part of the Albion Band in  the days of Rise up Like The Sun I believe....mmm House in the Country featuring the sublime vocals of Kate McGarrigle - must dig it out...... 8)

Offline Graham

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Re: Photography as a business?
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2011, 09:24:49 PM »
John Tams - part of the Albion Band in  the days of Rise up Like The Sun I believe....mmm House in the Country featuring the sublime vocals of Kate McGarrigle - must dig it out...... 8)
                That's the chap!   Oh yes, the McGarrigles, now there's a family with a pedigree.

                                      Graham.

PS  See how I squeezed in a dog refference there. :tup:
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Offline Oldboy

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Re: Photography as a business?
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2011, 09:32:49 PM »
  Sounds realistic to me, and really quite positive.
  I can't compete with Jonathan for the high life, but last night I got to photograph Barbara Dickson. I spent an hour or so in a rather sumptuous Green Room drinking fine Belgian lager (All free of course!), and chating to one of my all time heros*.
  None of this would have happend if I had'nt persivered with this area of photography.

                            Graham. :tup:
     

Sounds like you had a great time. Loved her singing, and I'm not a music person, but what a great voice she has.  :tup:

Offline Graham

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Re: Photography as a business?
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2011, 09:53:41 PM »
  Sounds realistic to me, and really quite positive.
  I can't compete with Jonathan for the high life, but last night I got to photograph Barbara Dickson. I spent an hour or so in a rather sumptuous Green Room drinking fine Belgian lager (All free of course!), and chating to one of my all time heros*.
  None of this would have happend if I had'nt persivered with this area of photography.

                            Graham. :tup:
     

Sounds like you had a great time. Loved her singing, and I'm not a music person, but what a great voice she has.  :tup:

                               Sorry Oldboy. You loved her singing, and recognised what a great voice she has....That makes you a music person.
                                                             Graham.


Sorry to have dragged us off topic.
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skellum

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Re: Photography as a business?
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2011, 10:05:26 PM »
" American Dream "    :knuppel2:   I have never been the type to chase money for monies sake but I did have a reasonably successful electrical / alarm business that returned a reasonable income. The only assets from the business were the maintenance contracts that I sold to a larger firm a few years back. There was a time were things were going from strength to strength and to quote other people, if I had borrowed / invested more into the business I could now be quite wealthy but this would of ment I would eventually end up in the office all day worrying about staff, Jobs, contracts and all that, which was not for me.

So about 4 years ago I decided to take up part time photography along side my day job.  This included Football League photography, occasional jobs for the local press, Weddings & portraits and selling my framed landscape prints on Preston & Chorley Markets. At this time I was also building up contacts with PR Companies. Eventually as some will know I opened my shop / gallery and for me it seemed the right thing to do.

The shop does gives me the High Street presence and has started to bring in work  ( both Portraits & Weddings ) that I know I would not of got just working from home / internet.  I now have more weddings booked for next year than I have for this year which is mainly down to the shop.

My small photographic business may not be the " American Dream " but if it can provide me with a reasonable income for the next 10 or 15 years of my working life then I am more than happy with my lot plus I am doing something I want to do.



   

Offline ABERS

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Re: Photography as a business?
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2011, 10:17:02 PM »
........ plus I am doing something I want to do.

...and that must be worth a mint, for not many people are lucky enough to be doing that! :tup:

Offline nickt

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Re: Photography as a business?
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2011, 10:22:27 PM »
The article is relevent to all self employed people. I'm a heating engineer and my only asset is me. When I retire, that's it, no more regular income. I've got a pension scheme but a certain Scottish person has ballsed that up. I'll probably be working 'till I drop! i'd love to sell my photos, but don't have the confidence to think they're good enough or that anyone would want them.
Nick

 

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