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Thread: StockPhoto VS Prints VS Contests VS Local Jobs

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Real Name
    Marco Andrade

    StockPhoto VS Prints VS Contests VS Local Jobs

    Hi all, I brought this up because photography is a very "expensive" hobby, and I think many agree on this, the problem is to actually get some "income " from our love to photography, unless you're rich the moment you stood on earth.

    Many photographers diverge these days into many areas and specialties but what troubles me most is that, can you actually make any out of it?

    I managed to round up a few examples, lets start with Stock Photo. For those that don't know what this is, stock photo is considered commercial photos, pictures that advertisers can use and reuse on publicities to pop up their products to a very demanding market. Unfortunately, day by day more and more photographers publish their photos (Taking into matter that their approved , not all make past the gate of glory) and hopping to make a penny out of them. Note that usually these photos are sold from 1$ to 100$ but you only get a fraction out of it (Something like 20% to 60% in best cases), are your photos worth so little? The good side is that you can sell many of those. One of the best photographers Yuri Arcus explains how. But note this is a very demanding market and only the best (In a all around) succeed.

    Now another way to sell your photos is by prints, in the old days you had to make exhibitions (A lot of them) , you had reveal them yourself or pay top dollar to frame your photos for sale. Many photographers still do this these days but costs are lower and the market offer is a lot more. Still there are some websites that give you a push in this matter, Fotomoto is one of them for example. They print and take care of payment for you, this takes a lot of stress out of you, but the downside is that you never see how your prints go unless your order some yourself. Plus you have to own a website and unless you know PHP or have a friend that knows, that's one more cost to you without knowing if you're gonna sell anything at all. Other way is to sell locally, but for this you have to own a printing lab or a good printer or work with a local printer. Anyway it's never easy.

    Ah my favorite part, contests. Honestly I hate them, why? This is a personal view but usually (at least over here), the house "friends" usually takes the prizes with crappy photos, don't believe me, last contest the winner won because he took a shot of a seagull making a poop, and you got the winner there, and all because his father was an old friend of the members of the jury and the kid (With only 17 years old the youngest around) took as a prize a Canon Mark III !!! Why isn't that a fair thing (being sarcastic), plus the photo was unfocused so it was rip off. But taking apart my nefarious view of contest's, if you have the stuff and stomach you can try to enter in many contests with your photos and hope for the best, some pay in money others in equipment and others in wide publicity of your works (National Geographic for example). And some you have to pay to enter and others not but that's up to you, best of luck on this one.

    And the last one and probably what is more common is local jobs, yes it's usually the easier one (In getting it, it's not easier to shoot), usually this kind of jobs goes from creating customers portfolio to working with Publicity offices. And the best thing is that you can make a name for yourself locally. But this is not that easy has we have to race against others in this matter and usually better equipped, better connected and with more experience. A good way to start is talking to friends and if you don't have them, make them or try to go from store to store trying to sell your services. Just don't give up on it.

    Summarizing the content, photography has to be a loving job first of all, but this is a very hard task for someone starting and with limited budget, we all want to have better equipment, take better photos and make some cash to continue this love but it's always hard, so I wonder what is usually the best way to start....

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Johannesburg South Africa
    Real Name
    Andre Burger

    Re: StockPhoto VS Prints VS Contests VS Local Jobs

    Yes Marco, I think many of us dream of making some money from our hobby. Remember once you start making money from your hobby it becomes a job. If you are passionate enough about your hobby then you have found the perfect job.

    People always want photographs of themselves and loved ones.
    How about pet photography, birthdays, funerals (huh), portraits, ID and passport, WEDDINGS, events, all possibilities.
    Try advertising and see what you get. If you are beter than the next guy you will get the job.

    Go for it Marco, you’ve got the talent, pursue your dream before it is to late.

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