Turning a camera into $$$, ideas?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by DevilDog, Jul 20, 2006.

  1. DevilDog macrumors regular

    DevilDog

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    #1
    I'm 17 and out of a job for the time being... But I do have a d50. So I'm thinkin I could use that for some revenue. Does anybody have any ideas/experience with finding a way to get money for your work? Perhaps working for the city or private events? Where could one go to find such opportunities? I'd like to hear about what anybody else has done to put their camera to a good use.
     
  2. beavo451 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    #2
    1. How good are you? Post some photos.
    2. How well can you sell yourself?
    3. Do you go to school? You aren't even legally an adult yet. It will be very difficult to makret yourself as a professional photographer.
    4. Did you see the locked thread that was titled to the effct of How to be a 17-yr old photographer?
     
  3. snap58 macrumors 6502

    snap58

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Location:
    somewhere in kansas
    #3
    We probably don't need another one of those threads.

    But there is an interesting question of "what is the definition" of a "Professional" photographer. I think as far as the Tax Laws are concerned you have to make 20% of your income from photography. That would (I guess) allow you write off equipment as a business expense?

    I know what is required to be a "Professional" Engineer, and it is pretty much against the law in 50 states to say you are if you are not. Is there any criteria for being a "Professional Photographer", other than what the tax law says? Can't anyone market themselves as a Professional Photographer" if they want to regardless if they have any real talent?
     
  4. extraextra macrumors 68000

    extraextra

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #4
    Build a portfolio, show it to people. (5x7 or 8x10 prints) Realize that photography takes up a lot of time + you need time to post-process pictures, etc. Depending on what you're doing, if you really want to go "professional", you're going to need nice lenses , an external flash, etc. Your photos are going to have to be pretty good!
     
  5. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    #5
    Putting your camera to good use is going out and taking photos you enjoy, for the art of it.
     
  6. AvSRoCkCO1067 macrumors 65816

    AvSRoCkCO1067

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2005
    Location:
    CO
    #6
    If I could undo everything, I would've never started charging for pictures in the first place. MacRumors has given me a completely different insight into how I should operate a business and how/when I should sell my photos (thanks to everyone who's given me their advice - even those who were incredibly blunt at times!!!)

    After one final horse show (I have an obligation to do this show), I'm excited to announce that I won't be charging for photos anymore - at least, not for awhile. My photos are decent - but compared to professionals, they are extremely incompetent. I've had four years of practice - and I've worked for a professional photography studio - and I'm still nowhere near where I should be to start selling photos.

    But this is a great place to learn. Post your portfolio and try to post some pictures in the Picture of the Day thread. The D50, although a great camera, is not what I'd consider a 'professional-level' camera either. It remains a 'consumer', or 'uncle-photographer' level of camera.

    Clix Pix and iGary are probably the two must accredited people on this board with photography - take any advice that they give you very, very seriously.

    Finally - good luck. At 17, you and I should be more focused on having fun and dabbling with photography. As Clix Pix told me, we need to find a way to make ourselves unique - otherwise, in the competitive industry that Photography is today, we won't be able to succeed.
     
  7. njmac macrumors 68000

    njmac

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #7
    cooknn does a good business of real estate photography. He does the virtual tours and I believe started out with no experience and made a business out of that. If your interested you should send him a pm, he'll probably be glad to give you advice. :)
     
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #8
    Why does everyone think they're good enough to become professional photographers immediately after they got their first low, consumer level D50/350D; and oddly enough, why does everyone think they're good enough to start charging money even though they have little knowledge about photography, have photographed no actual events, and whose photos would get p0wned by 1/3rd of the members on every photography forum on the internet? :confused:

    I'm sure some of your photos are great and all, but would other photography-enthusiasts on message boards like Nikonians, FredMiranda, etc, completely own your ass if you all travelled to the same places and events, and used the same camera and lenses? If the answer is "yes", then please.......in good conscience......don't charge money to take photographs for other people, especially if the event seems important to them (ie: wedding, bar mitzvahs, even your cousin's 14th birthday). Even if you don't mess up, you may not be able to capture the event as good as a real profession who knows what he's doing with an SLR, DSLR, all Photoshop tools, and with everything else under the rainbow.

    And then there's also the equipment. You'd need the right professional grade lenses for all sorts of situations, the right flashes, tripods, and probably even 2 camera bodies. You can't walk up to an event with a D50 if Uncle Frank, the family's photo-hobbyist, is also there to take photographs using a D200, D2X, Canon 30D, 5D, 1Ds, etc. If that D50 and 2 decent lenses is all you're bringing with you, and Uncle Frank has better gear than you, then I'd say you're an enthusiast and should enjoy the event.

    Do it as a hobby. I do it because it's fun. So do many great photographers on this board, and on other boards. I also enjoy basketball. I even own a professional grade basketball!! Well, not really, but it was expensive and looks fancy! I can also dribble the ball quite well. Maybe I should join the NBA draft? I heard the Raptors were looking for a PG. Maybe if I charge less money than the other professionals, I could justify not being as good as the other guys!
     
  9. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #9
    Abstract, lay off.

    I don't see why everyone has to be so harsh on these types of posts all the time.. I don't think the guy is pushing into any of you "pros'" territory, just looking to make an extra buck somewhere. Probably take some shots of people/families he knows, or photos for people who need to sell stuff on ebay.. I think you guys should step off your high horses once in a while and stop coming off as such elitests..
     
  10. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    #10
    I don't think anyone is being harsh. But photography is a form of art. People make money off of art only after dedicating themselves to their craft without any plans on monetary success for each stage. When you've reached a level where you can produce consistent and quality work, money can then be involved. I'm still at a level where I feel like a douche-bag to even consider selling my stuff outright, and I'm working on photography in the graduate level.

    But over-saturating the lower market with subpar photographs for a fee just because someone thinks the camera makes the photo is not a good idea. Just... HAVE FUN! Take photos for fun and pass them around. I've photographed numerous bands and events and in the end, gave a cd of the shots to those involved for free. It was just a fun time. And the cd is something I can offer people within the fun time. Am i selling myself short? I don't think so. When the time is right and they need an important event photographed, or they come across an exhibit of mine, then money issues can be discussed.

    Using the sports analogy... no one starts playing baseball at the age of 10 because it seems like a good money making endeavor. They do it for the love of the game, and then if they're good enough years later, after a LOT of hard work, THEN they can start making money.

    Yes.
     
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #11
    After re-reading my post (twice), I don't even think I was being harsh, maybe except for the end with my sports analogy. It was sarcasm, and it does bite sometimes.
    I was being realistic. I know you may not like what i said, but I don't think what I said isn't true. Go to FredMiranda and Nikonians, NikonCafe, etc. Lots of incredible photographers, and many are hobbyists. They just love doing it. They don't necessarily have all the most fancy equipment in the world, but they do have 3 or 4 lenses that allow them to take the shots they love taking, say macro shots of insects, for example.

    I'm not a professional. I said I do it as a hobby, and so do many great photographers who will produce photos that make me think to myself, "Wow, how did he get a shot like that?" Lots of these guys will always be better than me for whatever reason.

    I'm not saying the OP is a bad photographer. I've never even seen his work. However, he has a D50, which is very limiting in some instances, even for myself, and I wouldn't call myself a professional. A D50 is missing quite a few things a pro will likely need.

    Like FrankieTDouglas, I have photographed bands and such at concerts, university events, etc. I don't get paid for it, but I sure love doing it. I think Frank and a large proportion of people who post here are better photographers than me, and this isn't even a photography based board. It's a board about Apple which happens to have a small forum about photography.

    Photography is an art anyway. I know I should just stick to what I'm doing now because I don't know enough photography techniques to even think about charging for the photographs in good conscience.
     
  12. cookie1105 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #12
    Maybe you don't have the experience yet to actually make money by selling your photos. But there are many ways to gain some experience and make a little bit of money from your photography.

    Why don't you see if you can get a job, working part-time at your local camera shop or maybe assisting one of your local photographers. How about working for your local newspaper or school paper. Why not try and get a part-time job at a studio. All of these jobs will allow you to gain experience and maybe earn a little bit of money while being immersed in a photographic environment.

    Keep practising your hobby, learn from this forum and others like it and one day you might be good enough to turn your passion into your job.
     
  13. AvSRoCkCO1067 macrumors 65816

    AvSRoCkCO1067

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2005
    Location:
    CO
    #13
    This is great advice. I worked in a photography studio one summer and made decent money - but more importantly, I learned about what it takes to be a professional photographer. As harsh as Abstract might sound, he's completely right. Even if you had the talents of a 50-year-old professional photographer (which is probably not the case...), you don't have the equipment, marketing abilities, or maturity of a 50-year-old professional photographer. Like I said, sometimes people come off as a bit harsh, but listening to the people on this board is a great idea...

    I'm 17 too. And I'm not intending to be harsh at all. But take it from me; I'm in the same position as you (with the same exact camera) - don't charge for pictures, but you can look to work for a photography studio/store/newspaper to gain some experience.
     
  14. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #14
    Yeah, I say work for someone if you're lucky enough to. Maybe even volunteer for a few gigs and work for free, and maybe ask a professional if he could possibly hire you. If you work for only $15-30 for each decent sized job, one will likely take you on. But don't be a "for hire" photographer where you go out and shoot your own gigs. Without the proper equipment, you're going to run into problems when you shoot in rooms with low light (which happens even in some lit rooms at my university), or any sports or events where people are moving around in a room that's only somewhat well lit. Portraits will be a problem without an 85 f/1.8 or f/1.4. Actually, there are many situations where you'd need 2 bodies if you were doing a gig alone, and one body would have to be better than a D50.

    Second best advice is to volunteer for your university newspaper once you go to a uni. You won't make money, but at least you'll gain experience that might make you good enough to be a hired pro one day.

    And sorry if you thought I sounded harsh. Believe me, if I not only had all the equipment I need to be a pro, but also had the photography know-how and theory to back myself up, I'd love to be a pro. Unfortunately, I don't have the gear, and I have even less of the theory. :eek: You still have lots of time to make this a career if you develop your skills more, but that time likely isn't now.
     
  15. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Location:
    Paddyland
  16. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2003
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    #16
  17. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #17
    Don't take pictures just to take pictures.

    Find something you like and take pictures of it.

    I hate people, so no weddings or people shots for me. Advertising and most publishing shoots stink too.

    I love the water, aviation and architecture, so I do aerials, sailing and QTVR's for home tours.

    Find what you love and take pictures of it. :)
     
  18. Cooknn macrumors 68020

    Cooknn

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Location:
    Fort Myers, FL
    #18
    That's how I got my start. Worked for free while I learned enough to get respectible. Even then there were times when I would blow a shoot. You learn quick when you're under the gun though. At least with what I shoot (real estate) there's usually no time constraint ie. sporting event or wedding, etc. Ideal job is a vacant listing and a key to the front door ;)
     
  19. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #19
    God, have I blown some jobs/shoots in my time.

    Wowza.

    Like just last week. :eek:

    *goes back to template*
     
  20. PBGPowerbook macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #20
    abstract you're dead on.

    but art is anything that anyone wil pay for, to the starter of this thread, sell some big prints for me and I'll give you 10 percent.

    www.infantfoundation.com lol
     
  21. DevilDog thread starter macrumors regular

    DevilDog

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    #21
    Whoah Abrstract... I don't want to be a professional... I just want to make some $$$ until I join the corps. Man...
     
  22. DevilDog thread starter macrumors regular

    DevilDog

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    #22
    LAW GUY, DEAD ON man you're sharp. I thought that gorilla pic was just funny. lol
     
  23. DevilDog thread starter macrumors regular

    DevilDog

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    #23
    A penguin from the same zoo as the gorilla.
    And a cute little Mexican that came to visit us.
     

    Attached Files:

  24. beavo451 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    #24
    Okay so you don't want to be a professional, BUT your photos still need to be high quality. Since you this will be your "primary" source of income until the Marine Corps, you will fall in the category of "professional".

    If you take on a photo job, people will expect high quailty photos. None of the three photos of yours that have been shown are anything more than snapshots. They will also expect that the photos will be taken. So you only having one camera is a problem where if your camera goes down, you have no backup. A solution is to rent a backup body. Or you could apply for a newspaper that provides you with equipment. Keep in mind that most photographer jobs are career paths, not for somebody to take on for a stopgap job.

    The only place where I would expect a high school aged kid to be in a photographer position is either in their high school paper or one of those mall photo studios.
     
  25. AvSRoCkCO1067 macrumors 65816

    AvSRoCkCO1067

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2005
    Location:
    CO
    #25
    ...I was torn apart in my other thread on 'becoming a 17-year-old photographer' - but my pictures were of higher quality than these two. Not that the pictures are terrible - they're just not saleable.
     

Share This Page