In my younger days I made a lot of money through my photography even though it was a secondary job (my photography ran alongside my teaching career).
I suppose it's the dream of most photographers to make a living from the "hobby" and it can be done. The main problem as I see it is that the dream is to make money from the images we shoot for pleasure and think we are good at - nature, landscape, weddings etc etc. The problem there is that it is a very crowded market and the door isn't opened automatically for you. Whether we like it or not, whatever type of photography we do there are far better photographers out there doing the same type as shots. Some make it through the back door like Patrick Litchfield (great photographer but being a distant member of the Royal family helps) Likewise Lord Snowdon. Some make it through pure grit and determination, some because of the sheer quality of their work.
You are entering a world where all of these people exist and you have to prove your work is better. Apart from cost ask yourself - Would a client rather have a Heather Angel image hanging on the wall or one of yours?
How realistically do you rate the chances of even your best landscape photo being used as a postcard, jigsaw, chocolate box cover when you consider the tens of thousands of other images submitted? It is a very tough playground.
I did all the things photographer do - weddings, portraits, pets, etc. and I made a few dollars, I was also a freelance photographer for Trials and Moto-X news - a national paper, covering weekly Moto-x meetings and 2 world championships. BUT the bulk of my money came from my decision to take photos of the things other photographers either thought beneath them or didn't pay huge amounts.
I did regular work for a local solicitor (Lawyer) taking shots of peoples scars for criminal injury cases. I photographed wedding cakes for a baker. I did sequence shots and submitted them to DIY magazines - not the glamorous, build your own house photos but mundane things like changing the washer in an electric kettle - I can't ever remember having a submission not being used. I told an editor I was surprised that my photos and brief article of changing a fuse had been used - what he told me should have been obvious. Many of the people reading their magazine were single mothers, widows, men with no DIY skills at all and the simple things were very relevant to them. I duplicated old photographs for people, submitted local interest photos to the local newspaper. I even photographed local gardeners "prize" vegetables that they were going to enter into a local show. I did school drama rehearsals, dance school concerts and a local sea angling club Paid me a few dollars each Sunday to take a photograph of the competition winner (no hardship as I was fishing the competition anyway - and often won).
They were all itty bitty jobs BUT they paid money. You have to remember that someone, somewhere always wants a photograph of something and if no one else is prepared to supply that photo then you do it.
Little, one off jobs can lead to bigger, decent paying jobs. I once photographed a horse and trap for a guy, I just happened to catch the horse "Stepping out" (horse lovers will know what I mean). That led to another guy wanting a photo. After not to long a period I was attending local horse and trap rallies (even asked to judge and supply print of best turned out entry) - and the best thing of all - I had the market all to myself because no other photographers wanted to be bothered doing such a meaningless job. That also led to doing photos for a guy who hand painted gypsie's homes - full circle - the gypsies started to ask me to photograph their horses. From small acorns....
What I am trying to say is by all means have a go BUT if you want to make a living then be prepared to take photos that make you a weekly wage - photos where there is little or no competition, the things no other photographers in your area want to do. They may not be well paid jobs but lots of them can add up to a wage. Then if you sell a landscape or nature photo that is a bonus.
Simply ask yourself this... do you want to make a living at photography or just sell photographs?
My Outdoor Eyes Photography Blog|
Pretty Blue Chicory Wildflowers At Fort Hill On Cape Cod
Bright blue Chicory wildflowers are blooming all over Fort Hill on Cape Cod. Their intense blue color makes them easy to spot on the sides of the trails or in the fields. Chicory grows on a stiff stalk and has numerous 1 and 1/2″ stemless flower heads with fringed petals. These bloom for only one … Continue reading Pretty Blue Chicory Wildflowers At Fort Hill On Cape Cod
Little Wood Satyr Butterfly At Fort Hill On Cape Cod
I saw this Little Wood Satyr butterfly at Fort Hill on Cape Cod. I had never seen one before. It was right off the trail leading out to Cutting Rock. The Little Wood Satyr is light brown in color with two yellow-rimmed black eyespots on both sides of its forewings. The hindwing has two spots. The … Continue reading Little Wood Satyr Butterfly At Fort Hill On Cape Cod
Crowded, Windy Day At Coast Guard Beach On Cape Cod
Yesterday was my favorite kind of day at the beach… windy and cloudy with big, roaring waves! It was a glorious day at Coast Guard Beach, part of the National Seashore, in Eastham. So I went for a long walk on the beach. It was crowded with vacationers all with their hoodies on as they … Continue reading Crowded, Windy Day At Coast Guard Beach On Cape Cod
Spotted Wintergreen Wildflowers At Our Home On Cape Cod
We have a lot of Spotted Wintergreen wildflowers growing right near our home here on Cape Cod. They are such an interesting wildflower. You can see in the second photograph the little bud on the left and the flower starting to bloom on the right. When it is fully bloomed, it flips over and you … Continue reading Spotted Wintergreen Wildflowers At Our Home On Cape Cod
Eastern Kingbird At Our Bird Bath On Cape Cod
What a treat it was to see this Eastern Kingbird at our bird bath her on Cape Cod. We saw our first eastern Kingbird about a month ago at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. We had never seen one before. So now to see one in our own backyard is really cool! The Eastern Kingbird … Continue reading Eastern Kingbird At Our Bird Bath On Cape Cod
The Yuccas Are Blooming And Hardy Here On Cape Cod
The Yuccas are absolutely stunning this year on Cape Cod. I wonder if it’s because of all the moisture that we’ve had. I saw this “pastoral scene” with the luscious Yuccas on one of my early morning bike rides around to the different beaches. It’s amazing what you can see when you’re not worried about … Continue reading The Yuccas Are Blooming And Hardy Here On Cape Cod