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I note that Jeff Silvers (cats_123) was fortunate enough to sell one of his images the other day. Well done, Jeff. However, judging by some of the responses on that thread, for us lesser mortals, at least, this is a rare event.
I must admit occasionally to harbouring ambitions to do something with my photographs beyond simply loading them up to the EPZ galleries for other members to vote on and comment on, gratifying though that is. But I wouldn't really know where to start. Even if I did, I imagine that, such is the popularity of digital photography today, it must be damned near impossible to gain a foothold in most markets, what with God knows how many other amateur snappers trying to get themselves 'noticed'.
As much as I love this site, and all the people - members and staff - who work hard to keep it alive and interesting, I find it slightly peculiar that almost every time I click the shutter I'm doing it purely with the EPZ galleries in mind, simply because I have no other creative outlet nor any incentive to produce images which meet specific needs. I've been snapping for nearly 50 years but it's only recently that I've started to think about the 'end game', as it were, in regard to the images I shoot. I'm not looking to make any money per se - I just want to do something with my photography that will give me more satisfaction and - perhaps more important - a greater sense of purpose.
EPZ is full of photographers who produce stunningly beautiful and highly creative work, and I expect that that must be lucrative for them in other ways. What chance, then, for the ordinary folk like me?
I can't be the only one who thinks like this, and I'm curious to find out what, if anything, other members have done to try to take their art to another level. Even if it's just entering competitions!
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iv had a few photos in the local newspaper but agree not sure where id want this hobby to go.
I don't know where you live but I have found that local people are very interested in having images of their surroundings. I photograph local villages and produce hand-made cards which I sell through various shops. Nothing fancy but it is quite satisfying that there are folk who really enjoy my photographs. It pays for my hobby and makes me feel good that someone appreciates what I do. I'm not really excited by these images (picture postcards really) but it enables me to indulge in what I really enjoy. Give it a go, you may be surprised.
Have you thought about having an exhibition Kingbee ?
Most areas have a local center that runs small exhibitions of local work, it often is bookable for a small fee or even free, and from my
experience having your own show can be very exhilaration and definitely gives you a real feeling of establishing yourself with in the local community.
I worked for awhile for the local museum taking photos to archive the collections, it was unpaid but my images were used in the publicity materials which certainly gained me the reputation locally of....well, i wish i could say, of being a photographer but actually i got a lot of "did you take that! wow you must have a good camera" lol. but it was fun.
You have to have your photographs appeal to the viewer to make them want to purchase. Thats why weddings and portraits are so popular... a ready market exists.
On a personal level, why not document local history or local characters for a book or exhibition? Or produce stuff on a theme for a local coffee shop, Doctors surgery or hospice? These are all things I've still to do..
Thanks for the really helpful contributions thus far. There are ideas here I'd never even considered. Much appreciate the input.
I assume you are talking about the chap who sold on "Alamy", I meant to post up my congratulations but it slipped off my screen and I dislike trying to navigate around the forums on this site
Good old fashioned stock is a route not popular with photographers as many consider it to de-value photography, I can't be bothered with the discussions as they are my images and I will sell them where I wand and how I want. The internet is a booming market place for images and there are many sales portals with Alamy being just, there aint a lot of money in it but I make a couple of thousand US a year for doing what I really enjoy
Quote: ....simply because I have no other creative outlet nor any incentive to produce images which meet specific needs. I've been snapping for nearly 50 years but it's only recently that I've started to think about the 'end game', as it were, in regard to the images I shoot. I'm not looking to make any money per se - I just want to do something with my photography that will give me more satisfaction and - perhaps more important - a greater sense of purpose..
Join your local camera club.
They might vary a little in quality but, in general, they are welcoming, stimulating, weekly meetings that put on a varied programme throughout the Sept-April months with a mix of speakers, practical sessions and competitions.
Above all else, they do give amateur photographers a real sense of purpose.
If a local club turns out not to be quite enough to challenge you, then join the RPS as well and work towards their distinctions. Once again, you will meet fantastic people, gain access to a huge amount of expertise and find plenty of opportunities to challenge yourself.
Yes it's nice to receive comments & votes on EPZ, but you can't beat having your own work mounted and framed. It certainly breaths new life into an image. Why don't you try getting a few small mounted prints into an outlet to see what interest you get and where it takes you? You will also learn a lot along the way (i.e. presentation styles).
For me it started when friends wanted to buy prints, then I got interest through word of mouth and even had a couple of images published & televised locally. Now I have my own website and participate in a couple of joint exhibitions a year, my first solo one starts next week (so I'm learning a lot on this one), plus it's interesting to see peoples reactions to your work and discuss it with them - even better when you make a sale
I'm still very much an amateur and won't be quitting my day job, but it pays for my hobby and it's certainly challenging and keeps me thinking how can I take it forward.
Whatever you decide to do I wish you the best of luck.
Once again, many, many thanks to all who've taken the time and trouble to contribute. Some very useful suggestions, and much food for thought.
As you can probably tell from my pf, most of my photography is from holidays/travel...Over the years I've found that the best medium for boring friends and relatives is to produce photobooks.......interestingly, printers/publishers like Blurb allow you to sell your books online to the general public too....I haven't yet graduated to thinking my shots are worthy of publication but am sure that a good coffee table book of photographs is something that's missing from all Doctors'/Dentists' waiting rooms.
As it happens, I had to go to the dentist yesterday and my practice has a good range of `upmarket' magazines all nicely bound..it wouldn't be a step too far to ask them to let a photobook sit on the table...you could leave stickers inside pointing people to a website where they could have their own copy printed
I've found that often people who exhibit, seem to choose a theme and produce a set of images relating to that...
When I look at your pf it's quite diverse, with a number of good mono shots. Might be worth collating them?
Hope that helps
Belonging to a club can add further opportunities to show your pictures. Most have competition or theme nights and an annual exhibition, and if they are affiliated to the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB) through their regional federation, you could get your images accepted into their exhibitions as well (providing they are good enough). You can also join the lecture circuit so that you can show your work to other clubs.
Another possibility is to try for a distinction. Both the Royal Photographic Society and the PAGB offer distinctions for varying levels of ability.
I also know people who have a permanent frame at the local hospital where the show their work.
Facebook is another way of showing what you do to family and friends.
There are plenty of ways that you can show your pictures if you have the will to do so.
Quote: I find it slightly peculiar that almost every time I click the shutter I'm doing it purely with the EPZ galleries in mind
In the main I take my pics for my own enjoyment (I get the occasional commission) but as I love printing them I many years back realised that I would have to find a way of selling them to cover the costs (photography is an expensive hobby when you are retired )
Luckily we have an active Arts and Crafts umbrella organisation down here CADArts which for £10 / year gave me access to a local gallery and craft fairs and once on that circuit I found that it was an entre into more and more fairs and events.
This lead on to invites to put on exhibitions at local outlets and in a very short space of time I found that it became as much a social as well as commercial outlet for my work.
I am now able to cover my costs and have a few £100 left over each year, after HMRC have had their cut, which allows me to buy new kit
Have a look around your area to see if you have something similar and you may find its what you need to give a new impetus to your photography
A month or so ago I found something to keep me busy, and I look forward each day to working on the project I started back then. I got to wondering what would happen to my photos if my PC crashed, or I crashed, or my DVDs got errors, etc., and the cloud storage idea took root. It isn't as simple as I thought it would be to establish albums on a site that you are comfortable with, and that is not too difficult for friends and family to access anytime they want to view your images. Some albums, such as family photos are private, and I want to just make those accessible just by family. I tried several sites, by taking a small album and posting it, then asking a handful of trusted friends and relatives to look at them and give me an honest critique of how accessible the sites were. I finally settled on one, and have been going through my archives and building albums of various genres of my photos. I have made most of them available to certain people, and if anything happens to me, my photos will still be there. I have no interest in selling images, and the size of files I'm uploading could be used to print a 4x6, but I'm still keeping the originals on external drives and DVDs. It's been fun, takes me back to when I started almost 10 years ago, choosing images to upload to the site. Also, it will be an ongoing project in the future.
Fyi, I settled on Skydrive, 7GB of free storage, and visitors don't need to become a member to view my images. I also tried Picasa by Google, Google Drive, Flickr, and a couple of lesser known ones, but they all require visitors to join, which turns people off, and would turn me off also.
Totally understand how you feel,For me about 6 years ago I started to focus on one genree, made many friends and now receive opportunitys that I woud only dream of a few years ago, I now regerley get articles, sometimes two at a time in magazines, photos in callenders, books and other publications.
Being only a small hobby there is no money in it, but I get to see and do so much at very little cost and get to stay in some fantastic locations that very few will ever get the opportunity.
but even with all this going on parts have become staid and find hard to motivate, often doing now out of habit, Fortunetly this year I have some new challenges which may make a change for me.
Not much help to yourself but if there is something that you have an interest or passion in then consider using your photography to support that other interest.
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