Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Dirty Little Secret of the Photography Industry, Pt. 1

80% of people who call themselves a professional photographer are not making their full time living as a professional photographer.

Unfortunately we don't have a way to get the hard facts on this number because it might actually be something more like 90%. How would we measure it? Photography websites compared to tax returns? If you restrict the answer to a survey stemming from a professional organization, than it's going to look very different because you're surveying a set of people who have already fully invested in joining a professional organization. So, this number is based on my personal experience of living and working as a full-time professional photographer, talking with other photographers, and engaging in community groups with other photographers.

Photography is a great part-time hobby turned extra source of income for a lot of people, but very few photographers are able to make a full time living doing this. Many photographers won't reveal to their clients- or even to other photographers- that they have another job because they are afraid it will make them seem less serious as a photographer. While I don't fault people for this when it comes to working with clients (as long as they're still giving their clients the best service possible- though I think it would help clients have a better understanding of a lot of things), this lack of full-disclosure is most dangerous with young photographers or aspiring artists who don't know the full story. They have no idea what percentage of the websites and blogs that they see are actually doing photography for a living. They end up thinking photography is an easy way to make a full-time living doing what they love and then base their own business off of people who may not even be running a business that's profitable enough to pay the bills.

In Boston, we have five major photography schools that pump out at least 150 photography graduates each year who expect to make a full time living in photography just because they now have a degree in it. They get starry eyed reading photography blogs and they assume that people who post a lot on their blogs are making a full time living in photography. They have no idea what's really happening behind the scenes, or how what seems like a "career" on someone's blog is really just a part-time job that helps cover expenses like iPads, nice lenses, and the latest camera gear for 80% of the photographers out there.

I work out of a studio where I'm surrounded by over 150 other artist studios. When I look at the people who are making a full time living doing what they love, I see people who are spending at least 50% of their time on running, managing, and marketing their business. They are both business savvy and artistically creative and they work hard at furthering themselves in both areas on a regular basis. Without the two, it's pretty difficult to make a full-time, self-employed living doing what you love. Now, you could actually be a horrible artist and still make a living from art if you're very business savvy, which tends to piss off a lot of artists, but..
If you're an amazing artist without much in the way of business smarts (or someone managing your business for you) than you're going to spend a lot of time living the "starving artist" lifestyle.

There, I said it, someone needed to.

(Update: This post has stirred quite a discussion... view the comments to see what other people have to say about the topic...)

Anne Ruthmann is a lifestyle & wedding photographer from Boston, MA. She spent 10 years practicing marketing & management in corporate and non-profit businesses before pursuing her passion for photography as an independent small business. She loves helping others find creative and low-cost solutions to business problems. Check out her next workshop at SmarterBusinessWorkshop.com.

49 comments:

  1. Thank you so much Anne. So grateful someone finally said it!! Hugs, Dawn

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  2. Hi Anne,

    As a long time follower of your column. I remember reading your post about getting out of the part time trap. I waited a few years to actually make the switch. I would have to agree that the business side is the more difficult for me. I am actually in aw of those with business savvy and less then desired artistic skills. If spending 50% of my time running, managing, and marketing is what is needed. I will arrive. :)

    I think the world would be a better place if more business savvy people went to art school and more artist's went to business school.

    Oh and if you are new to this blog check out Anne's post about getting out of the part time trap.

    Thank you Anne.

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  3. As a starry-eyed graduate of a Boston photography school, I agree 100%. There needs to be more of an emphasis on the business side of things, instead of just 3 weeks out of a 2-year program!

    Thank you Anne!

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  4. exactly. It takes knowing business to make it work..... people who don't invest some time into learning business management are stupid and are seriously hurting the industry(yes, there *I* said it LOL).

    My sole full time job is photography, and I make it work. In fact, I make more than three times my husband's salary thanks to the commercial work I do here and there, so I'm not being subsidized by a spousal income.

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  5. I personally take great offense to this post. The title offends me and various statements you make in this post offend me. There's nothing "dirty" about having a dream and trying your very best to make that dream come true. There's nothing "dirty" about working your ass off at a day job and then again every single night and every single weekend and not getting one moment to catch your breath.

    I can assure you that many of us are not merely running a photo business as a fun hobby to pay for gear. In fact, we are running a business responsibly and saving every damn penny in hopes that we can one day leave our full time job for our dream job.

    You know everyone's situation is different and it's a shame that you're casting such a wide net and making such a generalized statement. I could just as easily generalize that every "full-time" photographer is supported by their spouse/significant other/parent or received an inheritance or has a trust fund... etc.

    You want to know my situation? I have a degree in PhotoJournlism. I've been a photographer my whole life. I graduated from College and got a corporate job until I could determine what I wanted to do with my photography. I stayed too long in that job, got married to an artist (who doesn't support me), he got very sick and now I have to keep my full time job for insurance reasons because I won't be able to get insurance coverage for him on my own. So, I work my full time job all while trying to build a photo business on the side. Am I a marketing genius? No. Am I crazy business savy? No. Am I doing everything I can to learn as much as I can in the time that I have available to me? YES!

    As you can see it's not so "dirty" is it?

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    Replies
    1. Don't take offense, Nicole. If it doesn't apply to you then ignore it. Keep chasing that dream, you should be commended!

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  6. Nicole, I travel and I teach photographers a lot and have been in this industry for 14 years. I have to say, people like you that are working a full time job and then trying to do photography (and actually care to make a profit at it) are few and far in between anymore. There are thousands and thousands (a majority if you ask me from my experience) of women who do this as their little hobby on the side, and only do it to pay for their own gear and for the pats on the backs of "you take such pretty pictures". There are people running high priced workshops selling "the dream" to newbie photographers, and yet they themselves have never run a profit-turning photography business.

    I don't think this person meant to pick on you specifically - your type are in the minority and are much appreciated. Anyone, no matter if t hey are full or part time that are doing this trying to be successful at it with an actual profit, and running it like a business, is appreciated.

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  7. Nicole - I don't think being a part-time photographer is "dirty". I fully understand where you are and it sounds like you're working really hard to make it work. At the end of the day- are you happy? If you love working your full time job and working part time in photography, than there's nothing to feel bad about. If you're frustrated that your situation isn't working than maybe it's time to invest a little more into becoming business savvy so that you can make a living doing what you love?

    Your photography business can pay for your health insurance- you just need to budget for it and find ways to earn that portion of your salary- which is really hard to do when you're working part-time. It's hard to get out of that trap when you're doing it on the side... so I totally feel you and know what that frustration looks and feels like... because there are a lot of people there with you.

    That fact that you are unapologetic about it means that you're not hiding it as a secret as many other people are, which is where the "dirty" part comes in. I'm in full disclosure about my business and yes, I take full advantage of a spouse who has health insurance (though mine would actually be more affordable if we were just basing it off of my salary), but you bet I'm going to take advantage of anything I can in my business so I can pay my bills and still have something to live off of.

    As long as you're happy- that's all that matters, right? If you aren't... than something needs to change, and only you know what that is. This post isn't to crucify people who are working hard - it's to help shed light on the realities of our industry for people who can't see it from the inside.

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  8. I'm being open to what you're saying, though it's hard not to be defensive on such a hot button issue. Though I agree it's true that you want to be careful and not model your business based on what you see on FB and blogs.

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  9. Where does the defensiveness come from? What is it triggering in you that makes you feel like you have to defend it?

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  10. @Jodie - I do understand what you are saying and I myself get horribly frustrated by the people you are describing. It's just unfortunate that this post seemed to be directly attacking anyone that works a full time job and runs a photo business on the side. It could have been addressed differently. Thank you though for your support.

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  11. @Anne - Well, you know if you'd said something like... so long as you're happy and working hard it's totally acceptable. Unfortunately it just wasn't written that way so I took offense. I guess I jumped the gun. Thanks for your clarification.

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  12. @nicole - honestly, I think those who work a full time job and do this on the side have a great opportunity. They have a great opportunity to build their business as an "exclusive" an high-priced business. They don't need to take 10 clients per week... they need not worry about taking the cheap clients in order to make their business bills that month. Instead, they can price high, and only get a few clients a month, and build the reputation of being exclusive... so you win-win. You only get clients that will pay well for your time, and you don't have to do anything that wastes your time because you have a full time job that pays your regular bills. Once you develop enough clientele, when and if you transition to all photography, you have an EXCELLENT foundation of high-paying clients, and are up in a better client market than if you were just starting.

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  13. I think there are several separate issues here.

    - "Professional" truly just means you are paid to do something. Ideally, it also means you are turning a profit, but most people don't understand how to take into account ALL of their business expenses and to pay themselves for the time that they work, so they see $500 from a wedding as easy money - when it isn't enough to cover all the expenses for most businesses.

    - I don't think working another job while running a photography business is a bad thing. As long as their clients are served well, and as long as they are happy doing it, it is their life choice. Not mine to judge.

    - I think the BIGGEST issue in this post that people need to stop and think about is that it is a photography BUSINESS. Therefore, the business side of things actually take up a lot of time. Depending on how you structure your business, you might spend more time running it than actually shooting.

    Anne, switching insurance coverage can be quite difficult when dealing with pre-existing conditions. Some insurance companies will never cover them (I found that most with private insurance) and some have a 1-2 year waiting period where they will cover them. It can be a huge financial burden.

    I agree with Chelo -- don't base your business off of what you see other people doing online, or even what they say. Base it off of YOUR numbers, and what works for you, and what makes a profit for you. And then remember, it is a business first and foremost!

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  14. @Jodie - true and I definitely built my business that way because I fully understand what I needed to be profitable. However, I wholeheartedly realize that a part time business can only go as far as the time I have to put into it. It's definitely a catch 22.

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  15. I thought that this was obvious. Didn't know anyone perceived it as a secret and if some do, I think it is more willful ignorance on their part than a secret on any other photographers' part. I've read so many blogs where photographers reference having a day job, or splitting their income between shooting, teaching and selling products. Now the term "professional" does apply to taxes filed not quality or even number of clients. But most photographers who create professional level work and earn money at it are not going to call themselves amateurs because they or someone in their household has another check as well. Many women call themselves pros while their husbands are the ones really paying the bills. That's insanely common.  

    I guess we have to decide if "professional" will only be for tax filings or will it reference calibre of work as well. If so, those who have additional sources of income are probably still not going to call themselves hobbyists if they run their work like a business, just perhaps a lower key one with fewer clients if their income is diversified across art and/or other fields.

    The problem is also a social one and another reason why I tire of this "photography community" stuff, which is more reminiscent of a high school with cliques versus thousands of varying professionals. The social issue is those who do nothing other than make pictures -> give pictures -> take money or have a spouse supporting them so that technically they aren't doing anything else tend to look down on photographers who openly (or secretly) have other sources of income despite the actual professionalism or quality of work. This is a social issue not a business one in many cases. I genuinely tire of the forced "community" because of things like this. 

    I agree with disclosure but no photographer is required to disclose tax forms and every single biz thought in their head UNLESS they teach photography business workshops on being a full time profitable photography business. The rest of photographers are obliged to their clients to make great work, not to assuage their peers' every worry. I disclose when I worked other work and when I didn't and now that I'm not pursuing either narrow road exclusively but creating my own. However, I don't fault other photographers because they don't owe me copies of tax forms or bank statements. Lol. 

    Good read!

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  16. Hopefully the next "Dirty Little Secret" will be a post about the real sources of revenue for the photographers who peddle business advice in the form of workshops, seminars, PDFs, coaching, etc.

    What is the percentage of those "educators" that saw amazing success in 2005-2008 -- when "raise your rates!" was one-size-fits-all business advice -- and now have anemic calendars and can't command half of their former high rates and have resorted to barnstorming workshop tours and selling half-baked action sets?

    Sure, it's easy to point at someone having a go at photography as a part-time business and say that person is lying by omission when he or she doesn't disclose a day job. That certainly hurts the market by diluting the pool of available photographers. On a scale of what's worse, it could be argued that it's much more dishonest for a workshop leader to accept money for business advice when he or she is living off a spouse or is keeping his or her photography business afloat with the proceeds from the workshop.

    Profitability and financial success aren't really subjective things like art, so I guess the question I want to see answered is: Should someone who is barely scraping by really be giving anyone business advice for money?

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  17. @Damon - I think that anyone who teaches should show their tax return. I'm not afraid ;) I know many photogs who teach others how to run businesses when they have never run a profitable business (except for the workshop business LOL!)

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  18. For me the defensiveness comes from this feeling of "I'm not talented/smart enough to make it FT and my peers do not accept me".

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  19. I think this post offers great insight to those considering diving into the world of professional photography. I personally don't know why anyone would take offense at anything said. I got into this business the way most people do. Just quit my job and dove into it. It's taken me a long time to finally turn a profit, though. And while I have truly LOVED every minute of it, I wish someone had taken the time to spell out to me that it wasn't going to be all roses and that it's a LOT of work. I have a friend who quit her job a year ago to pursue photography full time. She is AMAZINGLY talented, but is so discouraged that she's not able to make a real income doing it. I think it's good that we all have a little reminder that it takes more than pretty pictures to make money in this business. I don't think this post was intended to put anyone down.

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  20. +1 to Damon.

    I think that this is (or SHOULD be) pretty common knowledge to most photographers. We are all well aware of the MWAC's and Weekend Warriors. I have no issues with them until they undercut because they "don't need to make money with photography, they are doing it because they love it." However I suppose that's entire different dirty animal.

    I am with Damon on wanting to know the dirty little secrets of photographers that are teaching other photographers. I would almost bet money on the fact that at least 80% of THOSE photographers aren't running a legal business, are living off their spouses and are not profitable.

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  21. The problem with many of these "teachers" is that they're so used to playing word games and doing Donald Trump-style accounting to justify the fake success they portray.

    Making $1 more than it cost to run the business means someone could claim profitability, but is that really an honest statement? If an entry-level or part-time worker nets out more money at the end of the year than that "profitable" photography business owner/teacher does on actual real paid client work, is that person qualified to teach about running a photography business?

    @Jodi: The call for transparency and tax returns is wonderful. The likelihood of that happening is close to zero of course. Then again, the amount of people selling "education" who dance around questions of actual real financial success may be answer enough, eh?

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  22. On the other hand (devil's advocate, here), isn't it pretty smart business for a photographer who's not making as much as they'd like to offer a workshop about something they're knowledgable about. Regardless of whether or not their business is turning a profit, if someone can offer me knowledge that will help me in MY business, it doesn't matter to me, necessarily, if they're turning a profit. As long as they're offering me information and ideas that are legit. Of course, being a profitable business certainly adds to their credibility, but I know of several photographers who I know I could learn a lot from, but aren't at this point turning much of a profit. Much of this post seems to address the fact that a lot of photogs aren't good at business, and I think offering a workshop can be a great business move when the art side of things isn't profiting you as much as you'd like.

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  23. @breanna - I get what you are saying but if they are teaching the BUSINESS of photography, but can't sustain a photography business themselves, then they shouldn't be teaching it because their methods have proven to be a failure for themselves.... of if they are LYING about turning a profit, and teaching how to make a profit... yeah, that's bad too.

    If they are just teaching lighting or something, that's different.

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  24. @chelo - I accept you and I think you are talented. Whether you "make it" is defined by you and what "making it" means to you. "Making it" is achieved by the work you put in to get there- not by what anyone else thinks of you. If you live in fear of what others will think of you and your work, than you are putting yourself in the shadow of others. Shine on girl.

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  25. The article wasn't meant to slam all part-timers. I'm sure we all started out that way anyway. It's hard for a client to tell the difference between a person that is doing their business full time, and catering to their clients needs full time versus someone else just "doing it on the side" or as "extra income".

    I know some photographers pour their heart and soul into the biz and still work another job. I did that for many years. But many do this part time, and think about it part time. It really is weekend money for many people. Considering that more than 75% of brides spend less than $1000.00 on wedding photography, that tells me that most photographers are doing it for weekend money.

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  26. I understand the idea of skilled photographers augmenting their income by teaching a skill. That makes sense and is totally legitimate.

    The problem is that most workshops I've seen offered in the wedding sphere try to be a little bit of everything: shooting, processing, and business. The shooting ends up being a gangbang around a model, the processing advice is "use these actions", and the business advice is "outsource the things you don't like" and/or "add value" mixed in with some regurgitated lines from the E-Myth book or Seth Godin's blog.

    What's even worse are the affinity scams that prey on specific groups, i.e. a specific gender, religious group, etc. That kind of workshop selling is rampant and judging by the paucity of actual real paid clients on the blogs of the workshop leaders' it seems that their only real income stream nowadays is "teaching".

    Leveraging photo industry fame (gained via WPPI, PPA, or discussion forum) to sell the dream seems to be alive and well.

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  27. This is the third business I've owned in my life. I started my photography business after 20 years of owning a SLR with a lot of knowledge on pricing and how to turn a profit. I could have easily started teaching that to others that knew a lot about photography but had no clue on how to price -- before I ever made a dime as a photographer.

    I think someone can be a GREAT teacher on sound business practices without being a profitable photographer. Or a great motivator on building a good business without being a profitable photographer. Maybe they were meant to be a teacher and not a photographer to begin with?

    Personally, I won't attend any workshop to learn how to take photos - but I've learned a lot from business workshops. (I did attend a photo focused workshop a few years ago - but it was a lovely trip that was a business write-off and that was my main intention in going.) Zack Arias & his OneLight workshop is my one exception to this personal rule. His workshop is AWESOME.

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  28. To each their own. I prefer to learn from someone that not only can talk the talk but also walks the walk. Anyone can blow hot air, few learn how to capture it and rise above.

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  29. Really, I think the most successful at business have very little time to teach. Many unsung heros in the industry.

    People can be teachers without being doers. I've seen it in every industry I've been in. Just because you can run a great business doesn't mean you are a good teacher at all.

    So I prefer to learn from people that can teach well, especially from the business side of things. Sound business principles are sound business principles, and are pretty universal truths.

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  30. @Christine: Sure it's possible that someone could be a fine teacher without actual real experience running a reasonably profitable business. The issue I take with that is the way those teachers present their workshops.

    If they call their workshop "the theory of running a profitable photography business" then that's fine. It's honest in that it doesn't portray the teacher as someone who actually did it. Instead the teacher can list out other credentials, like an MBA or job experience and the market will determine the true value of that offering as it relates to people trying to succeed in a very specialized field with stagnant demand and downward pricing pressure due to massively increasing supply.

    Personally I think that charging for untested advice that was cobbled together from blogs and general business books and tossed in a fancy presentation or PDF borders on criminality or at the very least dishonesty. There really is no substitute for experience and hard numbers.

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  31. Damon, spot on. The elemental issue I have is that many of these photography business workshops are given by people who CLAIM to be successful and these are the steps in how they became so successful... yet they are not when it comes down to counting the cold hard cash.

    I guess I'm personally bitter about it because I fell for it once upon a time. I fell for the fairy tale and thought when I was still a starry eyed newbie that a workshop would show me the yellow brick road to not only be a better photographer but live the lifestyle that this person presents they have. Turns out that it's a ton of smoke and mirrors and they are living hand to mouth and barely surviving. Obviously something they are doing and teaching is wrong if they can't afford to live on their earnings. Lesson learned.

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  32. Good job Anne, having worked with photographers for more than 13 years, I have seen just as you suggest.

    Well done.

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  33. I was just pointed to this link by Chase, and I totally agree:
    http://blog.chasejarvis.com/blog/2011/04/there’s-nothing-wrong-with-being-an-amateur/#comment-35037

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  34. Your timing couldn't have been any better! thanks!

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  35. By no means am I trying to be contrary. When I see the word amateur I'm always reminded of Harlan Ellison's incredible rant about amateurs and people that want stuff for free.

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  36. @damon- yeah, his rants are legendary. ;-)

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  37. I share Alexis' sentiment. We pay schools to teach us, but they don't teach us enough... even when we ask for more...

    So when's part 2?

    Thanks Anne!

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  38. Great post! I am one of those photographers who has committed myself to photography as a full-time career. I'm fortunate in that I started before the boom of digital equipment made every jackass with a Canon Rebel think they could shoot someone's wedding for money.

    And even though there have been financial ups and downs, especially over the past few years, choosing to do what I love for a living is absolutely worth it.

    That said, the reason I wanted to contribute to this thread, is because I get at least a half dozen emails a month from newly graduated student photographers. They're all contacting me to see if I'm hiring an assistant.

    Although I respect the effort and attempt they're making to find paid photography work, it always kind of shocks me that these kids clearly were not taught a damn thing about marketing, economics, administration, or plain old common sense in their photography courses.

    I always take the time to respond to their inquires, but my reply is pretty uniform...

    I tell each and every one of them, that the majority of professional photographers aren't hiring assistants these days, as it's not an affordable option, even for those of us who do work at it full time.

    I then suggest that they contact local magazines, popular blogs and local papers to see if they can either volunteer or do a photography internship.

    But what I really want to tell them is that they should ask for their tuition back. Because no photography school should consider a photography student properly educated unless they also teach them that it's an increasingly difficult industry to make a living in.

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  39. Yep, I gotta say, as "true" as this post is, it misses the point at first- There are some HORRIBLE photographers out there, working full time and delivering some pretty bland art. And there are also some STUNNINGLY skilled hobbyists out there, who I'd hire to shoot my wedding in a HEARTBEAT compared to some of the "veteran" photographers out there who have decades of experience but a portfolio worse than the average 19 year old who just got a DSLR for their birthday.

    I totally see the point you're trying to make, Anne, and I STRONGLY agree with the message in general- beware indeed, brides! Don't hire a hack...

    However, it's way more complicated than that, and you were certainly asking for trouble in calling it a "dirty little secret." But then again I suppose the goal is to get attention so that hopefully, clients become more informed. Although I'm betting that in situations like this, it is mostly just other photographers who are reading this and getting riled up. The best way to reach the ACTUAL industry, the clients, is directly and personally, one bride or groom at a time. Give the "facts" (and your opinions / observations) ...and let them put two and two together. :-)

    =Matt=

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  40. Ok, I'm gonna play devil's advocate. I'm one of those people who has a full time job and a second job as a photographer. And the money I make from photography is my play money. It allows me to travel, buy new photo toys and attend the occasional workshop. Does that make me less qualified? Or not a professional? Somehow less able to provide an awesome experience for the client?

    I don't hide the fact that I have a day job, but quite honestly it just doesn't matter. What does my being an IT manager have to do with how well I make photographs? Most clients actually think it's cool that I do photography in addition to a day job. It shows I'm multi-dimensional which I believe makes me more able to relate to them.

    So I don't make my living 100% from photography. Does the client really care? As long as they like me and my work I don't see a problem.

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  41. Bravo. Many people put it out there that they are professional photographers, yet with no biz sense, may actually PAY to be away from their families on wkds and evenings when they are not at their "day" job. I am always sad when I have my students DO THE MATH and they find that being a "profesional" photographer has been costing them money year over year. BUT its a great start, where they can evaluate and plan to correct that. In days of old, before art "college" and degrees in photography, one would apprentice under a respected pro, that actually was turning a profit in the biz, and THAT was where you learned the street savvy part of doing business as a professional photographer.

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  42. @erik- I agree with you 100%. I work in health care and run my photography business on a part-time basis. As long as I'm professional and run my business as one, my clients are happy. I don't hide my "day" job at all, if anything they don't question my prices because they know I can make money by other means.

    I don't think because you are a part-timer you aren't professional. It takes time to build up clientele and experience to run your business full time and that's not
    just in photography, but business in general.

    Because I don't ever plan to go full time with my business due to my commitment to health care, I plan to focus on a model that Jodie stated earlier about less clients and being more "exclusive." I look at it this way...I'm still a registered nurse whether I'm full time or part time and still responsible to maintain the same level of professionalism. Why should photography be any different? Sorry, but not everyone wants or needs to be full time, that's really not the real problem.

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  43. Hi there, that's a grate post with important informations,i agree with what you said in the begining. Thanks for posting those info.

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  44. There is a reality all photographers need to face. Photography and the cost of getting into the business is very small compared to the pre-digital area. You buy a $500 Cannon Rebel and print some cards. You then call yourself a wedding photographer.

    Brides are so use to seeing their pictres taken with a cell phone that any pic taken with a DSLR is going to impress them.

    There use to be blacksmiths. They made swords and they shoed horses. Guns were invinted that could be made by machines and cars came along and no one needed their horses shoed anymore. Blacksmiths had to become machanics or find other work.

    Here are some jobs of yesteryear:
    -- Pinsetter: Automatic bowling machines now set the pins
    -- Elevator operator
    -- Ice Man
    -- Milk Man
    -- Typest (replaced by the zerox machine)
    -- Telegraph operator (replaced by the phone)


    There are tens of thousands of examples like this. As technology changes professions become extinct. In 10 years there will be no full-time photographers.

    Recent jobs that are no more, or soon will be:
    -- Telephone Operator
    -- Film Processor (How many of you shoot film just to save their jobs?)
    -- Movie Rental clerk
    -- Travel Agents
    -- Bank Tellers
    -- Toll Booth Operators

    The fact is that it is very difficult, if not impossible to make a living doing what you love. The day will come when photographers are much like ham radio operators. Just a group of people doing something they love the way it use to be done.

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  45. David,
    Why do you think that photography as a profession will be extinct? There is no reason for people to make fine art paintings - we have photography to make records of what people look like, or what nature looks like.
    I think the photographers who survive will have a distinct artistic vision. It is no longer enough to just have the technical ability - that's easy now (unless you are a studio photographer).

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  46. I agree with you %100 although I think it's more like 98 percent of people calling themselves 'pro'.

    The bold quote in your article has a typo, 'than' instead of 'then'.

    Cheers :)

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  47. "Pro"-photographers like Anne should worry more about their business and customers than her fear of "non-professional" photographers. Facts are:
    A degree in photography neither makes you a pro nor photographer.
    You don't need an office, studio, or degree to shoot great photos.

    Anne, stop you're bitching and take more photos.

    ReplyDelete