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ShannonG
10-Nov-2015, 20:09
just wondering how many of you all here do this for a living?how many rely on large format film photography as a 1 house hold income,doing a little commercial work but the analog/film stuff is your main income. just wondering

Kirk Gittings
10-Nov-2015, 20:15
I make my living full time from photography (going on 38 years) and analogue is part of that in the form of fine art print sales and teaching. All my commercial work is architecture and is all digital, I also teach part time at two universities, teaching both digital and analogue. This year FA B&W print sales from LF 4x5 negs will account for half of my income.

Randy Moe
10-Nov-2015, 21:50
Hobbyist. You couldn't pay me to do what I do.

And that is worded correctly.

Sirius Glass
10-Nov-2015, 22:07
I am full time retired. I do what I want, when I want and how I want. I don't need no stinking paycheck!

Michael E
11-Nov-2015, 04:31
I work as a commercial photographer, almost exclusively digital (and what a blessing digital technology is for that), very little b/w LF here. I also have a part time position at an renowned art academy. I use LF for my own art, but don't make any money with that.

Bruce Barlow
11-Nov-2015, 05:02
Elwood P. Dowd: "Doctor, I've been battling reality for 35 years. I'm proud to report I have finally overcome it."

brucetaylor
11-Nov-2015, 15:06
Elwood P. Dowd. Now that's a name I haven't heard in awhile-- thank you for reminding me of his wisdom!

Fortunately I cannot help you with your question concerning professional photographers. I am happily an amateur- "a person who engages in a study, sport, or other activity for pleasure rather than for financial benefit."

Randy Moe
11-Nov-2015, 17:56
I am full time retired. I do what I want, when I want and how I want. I don't need no stinking paycheck!

+1 Me too.

I always think of Maynard G Krebs, 'Work!"

Jody_S
11-Nov-2015, 20:59
I used to get a lot of requests for print sales, back when I was doing nature photography. My solution: stop showing my photos. 100% successful resolution to the problem.

Iluvmyviewcam
11-Nov-2015, 21:46
OP....mostly digital, very little film. I do it for art, do not make any $.

Randy
14-Nov-2015, 08:39
Amateur Photographer - one who has to have a part time job to support his / her hobby.
Professional Photographer - one who's spouse has to have a part time job to support his / her hobby.

Wayne
14-Nov-2015, 09:01
Still looking for that spouse...

Sirius Glass
14-Nov-2015, 17:48
Amateur Photographer - one who has to have a part time job to support his / her hobby.
Professional Photographer - one who's spouse has to have a part time job to support his / her hobby.

Amateur Photographer - one who has a full time job to support his / her hobby.
Professional Photographer - one who's spouse works a full time job to support his / her hobby.

Alan Gales
14-Nov-2015, 19:57
Why ruin a great hobby by turning it into work? :)

Sirius Glass
14-Nov-2015, 21:18
+ 1

bob carnie
15-Nov-2015, 08:01
Full time printmaker using digital and film process... Hoping to transition to working on project based work only for clients, and introduce my solarization's to collectors.

I also am considering building an artist (photo) facility to work in many process and do their own projects from film process or digital capture to framed-crated shows.

John Kasaian
15-Nov-2015, 08:18
I shoot for fun. I give myself assignments and see what I can make of them. It keeps my gray matter busy and, shooting with an 8x10, provides a bit of physical activity in the fresh air.

Kirk Gittings
15-Nov-2015, 10:40
Why ruin a great hobby by turning it into work? :)

There is some wisdom in this. I have been fortunate to make a living doing photography largely exactly the way I wanted to. If I had to do weddings I would have gotten out of it a long time ago. When I find myself taking jobs just for the money, as I had to a bit during the recession, it becomes a lot less rewarding.

John Layton
15-Nov-2015, 15:10
For me its been a mixed bag. Fulfilling passions doing documentary work in Ethiopia, many teaching gigs, and personal (mostly LF work) - with some good years selling both privately and through galleries. A number of college level teaching gigs (ironically at the expense of personal work), some of which paid well and others which did not. But also a span of time combining the above with annual reports, editorial, lots of location work... lugging lights, hiring models, etc. And yes...weddings - up to 30 per year back in the day - but these paid very well, and helped to finance the aforementioned personal work. So very much a balancing act. A few tangents along the way (being dean of a small private college, my "Layton Camera" fiasco, etc.) But now, at 61 years, I can finally delve almost entirely into personal work...which is starting, once again, to attract some notice and sales. Regardless of whatever the (financial) return...how thankful I feel that at my age I still have something to feel this passionate about - that can still stir me awake in the predawn hours and have me pull on my hiking boots, shoulder my gear, and head out into a world still full of wonderful surprises!

blindpig
16-Nov-2015, 08:55
I retired 13 years ago but prior to that made a living for my family of 5 for 40 years all without digital cameras etc.After that only shot vacation and family pictures with digital cameras and made inkjet prints.Had withdrawn from the creative parts of photography until a few years ago discovering alternative photography forums on the internet and now am back full blast.Enjoying making in camera paper negatives,attempting carbon printing,even building and using an 11X14 camera.Actually more fun than making a living
(not having to hurry and make enough money to cover bills etc.).
Have to agree with John still surprises waiting every day.

Kodachrome25
16-Nov-2015, 09:04
I do photography as a life that is also a full time income, mostly commercial and editorial but with steadily increasing sales in fine art. About 2/3rds is digital and the rest film. I'll retire when I am physically unable to function.

Why live life to the fullest, be celebrated for your talent, paid very well, travel to great places, win awards, etc when you can just do it as a hobby?

"Love what you do and you will never work a day in your life"....

DennisD
16-Nov-2015, 22:19
I once considered pursuing photography as a career. Assignments included architectural photography, product photography for high end magazines, aerial photography and other varied work.

Working professionally was very rewarding from a financial standpoint. Clients appreciated my work and became regulars. However, time spent meeting others' demands was not very satisfying and proved far less rewarding to my soul. My personal photography, on the other hand, provided far greater satisfaction. I felt I needed to make a choice.

Long ago, I decided I would always be my best and only "client" ( - as far as photography was concerned). Accordingly, my primary income is derived from another business endeavor - which, for me, was the right choice.

I admire photographers who are successful in both commercial and personal photography interests.

John Layton
17-Nov-2015, 07:13
A number of years ago, during a twenty year run teaching photography workshops at Dartmouth, I had a very bright student who was also in his forth year at the medical school there. He fell in love with photography...which led him to work out a very remarkable strategy...that he seek a dermatology residency in Chicago while also enrolling in the MFA in photography program at the university there. While I cannot imagine how he found the time to do both...he ended up with a career in reconstructive surgery...which is both very lucrative while, in this case, completely elective (cosmetic) - meaning that my now former student can schedule surgical procedures around his personal photography, giving priority to the latter while being well supported by the former. And while his personal work is just that...it has also gained a good amount of traction in the gallery circuit. Very smart indeed!

bob carnie
17-Nov-2015, 08:34
John - you have pretty much described 40% of my client base, different professions but same idea, school to learn, professional work to live and eat, and personal work for the soul.


A number of years ago, during a twenty year run teaching photography workshops at Dartmouth, I had a very bright student who was also in his forth year at the medical school there. He fell in love with photography...which led him to work out a very remarkable strategy...that he seek a dermatology residency in Chicago while also enrolling in the MFA in photography program at the university there. While I cannot imagine how he found the time to do both...he ended up with a career in reconstructive surgery...which is both very lucrative while, in this case, completely elective (cosmetic) - meaning that my now former student can schedule surgical procedures around his personal photography, giving priority to the latter while being well supported by the former. And while his personal work is just that...it has also gained a good amount of traction in the gallery circuit. Very smart indeed!

ShannonG
17-Nov-2015, 17:36
Great reply's .thanks for responding,,this thread shows the dedication of the users of this forum (as apposed to the other forums)most here are all in.to answer my own question im a commercial photographer by trade ,me wife is a commercial photographer and writer.we've had our own studio now(not our house and across town ) for 22 years.we are mostly magazine shooters for the alcohol industry, (jim bean ,hornitios ,makers mark and such) also do other clients local and abroad...yup yup that's all digital work...my love tho is large format photography and darkroom work ware we have been able to do art fests and gallery shows... the response on this thread is impressive and the users work of this forum is impressive as well,thanks for sharing.
S

Greg Miller
21-Nov-2015, 17:36
Why ruin a great hobby by turning it into work? :)

While all commercial assignments aren't fun, and generally come with very fuzzy goals, I know that this work has made me a better photographer. It pushes me outside my comfort zone, and challenges me by trying to shoot someone else's (fuzzy) vision while also keeping mine. While difficult and challenging, professional work still doesn't feel like "work", and is very rewarding when the client reacts positively to the images that are submitted. I know my personal work is much stronger because of the professional work.

Vaughn
21-Nov-2015, 17:59
I do it for living...much too late to wait until I'm dying.

But photography is a great percentage of my life. It is quite exciting...retired in Sept, I am working on the house I moved into in July. Just me, so my home will also be centered on photography. So a pension with reasonable health benefits, social security in a year, the boys' college funds secure. I think the only way I could mess the whole thing up is by getting married or dying.

Peter Gomena
21-Nov-2015, 18:26
I've worked professionally as a photojournalist, commercial photographer, studio manager, digital imaging technician in a historical society library, and now as a facilities manager, occasional teacher and jack-of-all trades in a nonprofit photography gallery/educational/rental facility that has a lot of community outreach and involvement. I've made good money when employed by others to make pictures or help run the business, but I've never made a dime on personal/fine art work. I'll keep trying - I've accumulated a pile of decent images.