I’ve read a lot of stuff on being a photographer over the past few years of running my business and there’s been none better than the text I’m about to share with you.
This is the bottom line in photography… it’s kinda bleak, it’s pretty depressing in its stark reality but also, it’s up to you to make it work. You ARE the bottom line.
Would you like to photograph anything you want, anywhere you want, anytime you want, any way you want, with a great professional camera system? Would you love to travel to luxury destinations and photograph whatever, whenever you want?
The only way to do this is to keep your real job and do photography on your own time.
If you want to photograph professionally you’ll make less money, have to shoot the boring stuff in crappy locations for which you’re hired, shoot it the way the client wants, and probably have to shoot everything as if it’s some big emergency every time. You’ll probably only be able to afford beat up old gear that’s “good enough.”Making a buck in photography is a lot tougher than keeping a real job. The photo jobs and locations that pay the most are the most boring. Think you’re going to have people hiring you as a travel photographer? Guess again.It’s exactly like golf or surfing. Golf is fun, and it’s almost impossible to get people to pay you to do it. Only one guy in ten million makes lots of money in surfing, photography or acting. Everyone else who makes the money does it in something allied to the field, like making or selling product or the dream.
We all know the few actors who pull in $20 million per movie. Did you know the average annual income of the many SAG (Screen Actors’ Guild) members, the majority of whom we’ve never heard, is something more like $20,000? The SAG website’s FAQ page offers this advice on how to become a performer: “Develop another career to supplement your income.” People pay photographers less than actors.A person who studied stage lighting in college and worked in Hollywood discovered that almost no one makes it in the fun job of lighting. The people who make more money more regularly are those who become lighting salesmen.Who makes more: an actor, or an agent who earns 10% from each of the 20 clients they represent?If you want to make money in photography, it’s probably not by doing photography….
Read the rest of the article here.
With thanks to Ken Rockwell for the most down to earth, sanest post ever made in the world of photography.