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Are there many pro here?

thewilliam 9 6.1k
22 Mar 2013 4:31PM

Quote:But when I die, please don't let my wife sell my cameras and gear for the prices I told her they cost!

One old acquaintance was a keen motorcyclist and when he died a few decades back, he'd left a huge collection of Vincent bikes, part bikes and bits. His closest friend went round to see the widow and explained that he'd been asked to organise the sale. The widow expressed surprise because she was about to organise a couple of skips to get rid of the "junk".

There was a grand auction with international bidders and the total came to about 500k.

If you have anything valuable, make sure your best friends are briefed.

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User_Removed 10 736 4
30 Mar 2013 1:43AM
Alternatively, don't lie to your spouse.
Phoenix 17 1.9k England
30 Mar 2013 8:37AM

Quote:Like other hobbyists make their living from what they love doing e.g. footballers, musicians, and so on!Grin

A bit like Rooney!

I thought it wasn't so much Rooney being a pro as Rooney paying pros

. . . .or are your referring to his Acting Career ? . . . Shrek, Shrek2, Shrek3
30 Mar 2013 6:08PM
you don't really need a degree to be a pro photographer. As long as you are talented, proactive and able to make a living full time out of your photography you are a pro! That's how I see it.

Scottelly 5 35 United States
30 Mar 2013 6:33PM
I know people with boats. Does that make them PRO fishermen? They like fishing. They spend thousands on doing it, but that would make the fish they catch cost a few hundred dollars each. Does that mean they are not good fishermen? COULD they be "pros" at fishing? Probably. More likely than not though, they would go broke pretty quickly. It's VERY difficult to make a living as a fisherman. Of course, the same goes for photography, painting portraits, designing shoes, making jewelry, and just about anything else (except fixing cars and making pizzas maybe). If you want to make a living doing something, you need to do it and not worry about making a living. Go broke. Be poor. But most of all, DO IT. You will never do what you want, if you chase money doing things you DON'T want to do. There are jobs related to photography, such as selling cameras and other photography equipment. You could work for one of the big photography services companies. Just go get a job working in the field, if you want to be a photographer for a living. The real question is ARE YOU GOING TO BE A HAPPY PHOTOGRAPHER, IF YOU TRY TO DO IT FOR A LIVING? My sister HATED nursing, when she was working in the ICU, and then she changed her job and got work in a different department, PACU, and that made ALL the difference. It can be that simple. Getting a degree can help, but don't go into huge debt. That's a huge waste. You can get a degree in photography without doing that, and people will still respect it as a degree. It is what YOU do that counts, not what a university does for you. More often than not, a university will just drain your bank account and make you a slave to the loan(s) you get to attend the university.

Photo307 5 5 United Kingdom
11 Apr 2013 4:29PM

Quote:A Person who supports themselves and their family on the proceeds of their photography, say a minimum of 30k PA. with no other gainful employment.
How many on this site can claim that?

There aren't many salaried photographers who can claim that! The 'official' average wage is 26000 - a mean average distorted by the highest earners. It is a fact most working people in the UK earn well below this. A living wage is becoming harder to achieve for many people including 'professional' photographers.

I agree though the word professional is not very helpful if you take it by it's literal meaning - better to go by ability and approach to the work and the people buying your sevices. This, as we know, can have nothing to do with related earnings.
arhb Plus
10 3.4k 68 United Kingdom
11 Apr 2013 5:06PM

A Person who supports themselves and their family on the proceeds of their photography, say a minimum of 30k PA. with no other gainful employment.

Ridiculous statement.
If my main job is a photographer, and I can live on what I earn solely from that work(and pay my taxes), it doesn't matter how much I earn - I'm still a professional photographer.
The time when there was only one sole family provider ended quite a while back.
ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
11 Apr 2013 6:35PM
do say "I'm a 'professional' photographer" or "I'm a photographer"

when asked?
arhb Plus
10 3.4k 68 United Kingdom
11 Apr 2013 6:51PM
If someone asks me, "Are you a professional photographer?", and the circumstances are are looking lucrative, I respond positively, in a 'caring' way.
ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
11 Apr 2013 7:33PM

but generally... to the question "what do you do?"

just that I was chatting with a video chap earlier, and were wondering whether it's a given or not... not a biggy

I try to focus more on what I "do" than what I "am" - so I've said daft stuff like "I make people look good" - which people seem to remember more than just "I'm a professional photographer"...

being remembered is the key I guess Wink
arhb Plus
10 3.4k 68 United Kingdom
11 Apr 2013 7:47PM
My last experince Ade, was when I was out with my mother on mothers day, having a buffet lunch at the local Indian restaurant(her choice).
I took my camera to take some portraits of my mum as a memory of the occasion, and as soon as it was visible, the restaurant owner came over,
asking "Are you....".
I have found that wielding a dslr around in a public place tends to create interest, a wide birth when shooting someone, and the same question, "Are you a...".

If I'm asked what I do for a living, I generally respond that I'm a painter/decorative artist, as that's what I do mostly.
I would like the opportunity to be able to push my way through a crowd, saying in a loud voice, "Excuse me, I'm a professional photograher!" - probably end up getting mugged ! Smile
ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
12 Apr 2013 8:10AM
people tend to blow your cover for you... .

if you'[re pottering around, say, Victoria Quarter in Leeds with your "amateur" hat on, you're fine taking photos without a tripod

if they get wind of a pro being there.... whoosh, over they come... out you go
arhb Plus
10 3.4k 68 United Kingdom
12 Apr 2013 9:19AM
Yeah, especially if it's a carbon jobby Smile
lemmy 11 2.7k United Kingdom
12 Apr 2013 2:02PM
An old timer I knew a bit was a photographer on the Daily Express. He was called Vic Blackman and had a very popular weekly column in Amateur Photographer. He occasionally used top write about the sack loads of letters asking for jobs that arrive. It was hard but he used to point out in his piece occasionally that the one thing a press photographer needs is initiative and drive. The fact that someone sends in a letter asking for a job illustrates clearly that the person does not have that initiative or drive.

When I was trying to break into Fleet Street from a local evening paper, I used to go to London on any days off I got and try to sell them pictures that I had dreamed up. The one thing any picture editor welcomes is people coming in with spec original work. The one thing they don't have time for is people asking for assignments or wanting staff jobs.

I got the entree to the picture editors by cultivating any of the Fleet Streeters I met in my local area on a news story (rare, of course) and meeting them, in their office's Fleet Street boozer. Getting to be a familiar face there leads to all sorts of interesting opportunities. It took me more than two years of slog and eating dirt but eventually I got there.

The one thing that University degrees have a danger of doing is over-blowing people's expectations. I have lectured a couple of times on my field at one university that majors in photography. What was very obvious was that people felt that with their degree was enough to get them a job. Most wanted to work in the media - glamorous(!) - in their eyes. They were just not living in the real world. You become a pro photographer in this highly competitive field by grafting and working long long hours often away from home. Most people, faced with that reality don't want to be a pro in the area I was in.
ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
12 Apr 2013 3:15PM
great story Lemmy

must admit that press togging's not my thing, but I can imagine it's hugely competitive and sapping to begin with.

I've been pecking away at the commercial world for over 2 years and it's like chipping away at granite with a nail file at the moment.

like you say - it's the being seen, getting known as a decent kinda chap type stuff which seems to be winning most work... people seem to love my portrait lighting too... unusual for a commercial photographer I guess, but got a Brand Yorkshire newsletter today with probably 10 headshots on (all article writers).

Andy Green's just smacks you in the face... you instantly look at it... did a good job there Wink

I jokingly ask "Are there any budding commercial photographers here?" at my talks.... then quickly say "Don't do it!!"

Mainly because you'd be mad to... and cold really do without even more people biting at the same pie Wink

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