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Thread: How you became successful?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reportage
    Most full time photographers i know have a day job which pays for their photography and anything they earn during photography becomes extra income.
    Wouldn't you call them part time or freelance photographer instead of Full time photographer?
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  2. #22
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    Default Re: How you became successful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reportage View Post
    You have to work out your expenses per month and just how far you are willing to go as a photographer to make ends meet and yet have a healthy profit.

    Most full time photographers i know have a day job which pays for their photography and anything they earn during photography becomes extra income.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cowseye View Post
    Wouldn't you call them part time or freelance photographer instead of Full time photographer?
    Full time = is your main job, you are making a living out of it.

    Freelance ≠ Part time, the proper description is independent contractor/service provider, it can be full time or part time, you are not attach to or under payroll of any company.
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  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian

    +1

    Hiya Hart, long time no chat (I've been slack lately)

    I think part of the problem is most photography courses that churn out professional level photographers tend to really neglect the business aspect. I have heard that things are slowly changing but while photography remains in the "arts" faculties things really won't change a lot for the better. Another problem I see with a lot of amateurs who try to turn pro is they simply do not have the depth of technical knowledge needed to work in a fully commercial environment, especially in the more scientific areas of photography or where you don't have the luxury of shooting at the best times of day. Being able to discuss camera gear and argue specifications like many Singaporean photographers do is irrelevant as a camera is merely the tool of the trade. Rant mode over...

    Cheers
    Ian
    Thumb up ..

  4. #24
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    Default Re: How you became successful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reportage View Post
    Most full time photographers i know have a day job which pays for their photography and anything they earn during photography becomes extra income.
    Then they cannot be a professional photographer. A professional photographer derives his primary income stream from Photography eg: press, weddings, commercial, sports etc, not from holding down a day job in an other area. Extra income from investments etc doesn't really count as that is a bonus. Freelance professional photographers are the majority as they are either self employed (ie own their own studio or business) and are not in a paid employee from an employer such as a newspaper or magazine photographer, or news agency such Magnum (press photographer) or a sports agency photographer (mostly found in the West covering sports events for a press/sports agency who sells their photos on to the media (Jed did this work and so have I).

    Part timers are just that, part timers, they can call themselves freelancers but they really aren't. They are amateurs who make a few bucks, semi professional could be an apt term.

    Now for some history: The term "freelance" photographer was coined in the USA and elsewhere in the late 1950s to describe full time wedding photographers who were not employed and contracted by the major photographic studio in their area. They were able to make a living without being an employee of a studio.
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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights

    Full time = is your main job, you are making a living out of it.

    Freelance ≠ Part time, the proper description is independent contractor/service provider, it can be full time or part time, you are not attach to or under payroll of any company.
    The funny thing is the part where "full time photography" and "a day job" (I assumed it's another non photography job) to support the photography work is being put together. If a person is a full time photographer, what does Reportage means by "a day job"??
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  6. #26

    Default Re: How you became successful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    +1

    Hiya Hart, long time no chat (I've been slack lately)

    I think part of the problem is most photography courses that churn out professional level photographers tend to really neglect the business aspect. I have heard that things are slowly changing but while photography remains in the "arts" faculties things really won't change a lot for the better. Another problem I see with a lot of amateurs who try to turn pro is they simply do not have the depth of technical knowledge needed to work in a fully commercial environment, especially in the more scientific areas of photography or where you don't have the luxury of shooting at the best times of day. Being able to discuss camera gear and argue specifications like many Singaporean photographers do is irrelevant as a camera is merely the tool of the trade. Rant mode over...

    Cheers
    Ian
    hahaha... No worries mate. I keep wanting to slack away from this Forum but hope my contribution can do some good for people who read and try to make some sense out of it.

    Hope you are doing well.

    Regards,

    Hart

  7. #27

    Default Re: How you became successful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Firstly you need to define successful. If it's large pots of money then this industry is past it's prime, gone are the days of massive earnings from press work and photojournalism as the advent of cheap and easy to use equipment has put the creation of saleable images in the hands of millions upon millions of people. So if you want to earn big $$ you will need to be in high demand, have technical and artistic sense to back up the big dollar payouts and above all the business knowledge to keep yourself afloat. It's a sad reality that 9-10 people who start in professional photography will end up broke inside the first 2-3 years. This vocation has a high calling rate and very few succeed at it long term. It's hard, gruelling work, it requires massive marketing skills and it has to be treated as a serious business if you want to make money.

    As I've been saying since this forum opened, There's two kinds of photographers, the starving artist and the well fed commercial photographer and I happen to like being well fed.

    With that said, there's nothing to stop you from honing your skills and having a try but I do recommend anyone who wants to enter professional photography to have a lot more capital than you think you require and to have an exit strategy and qualifications in case you fail.
    Damn true, very sad but very true. Recently was chatting with a client who jokingly ask if I want apprentices and I casually replied this is a sunset industry, don't see a bright future for anyone entering unless the person have the right factors which is rare. The best times to be pro togs are about to end, the best time to be hobbyists are starting. Video killed the radio star.

    Photography calls out to many, selects only few. The situation now with advent of technology and adverts of canikonlogy; had called to even more, yet selects even fewer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    +1

    Hiya Hart, long time no chat (I've been slack lately)

    I think part of the problem is most photography courses that churn out professional level photographers tend to really neglect the business aspect. I have heard that things are slowly changing but while photography remains in the "arts" faculties things really won't change a lot for the better. Another problem I see with a lot of amateurs who try to turn pro is they simply do not have the depth of technical knowledge needed to work in a fully commercial environment, especially in the more scientific areas of photography or where you don't have the luxury of shooting at the best times of day. Being able to discuss camera gear and argue specifications like many Singaporean photographers do is irrelevant as a camera is merely the tool of the trade. Rant mode over...

    Cheers
    Ian
    The rant is valid. I think its not just a part of the problem, it is the main problem: Lack of business sense, lack of desire to develop that, a selfish irresponsible attitude to the photography industry.

    Plus too sold on technology; megapixels, mega iso, bokeh, too ignorant about light and shadows - but these are minor compared to the above.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: How you became successful?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonB View Post
    Damn true, very sad but very true. Recently was chatting with a client who jokingly ask if I want apprentices and I casually replied this is a sunset industry, don't see a bright future for anyone entering unless the person have the right factors which is rare. The best times to be pro togs are about to end, the best time to be hobbyists are starting. Video killed the radio star.

    Photography calls out to many, selects only few. The situation now with advent of technology and adverts of canikonlogy; had called to even more, yet selects even fewer.

    The rant is valid. I think its not just a part of the problem, it is the main problem: Lack of business sense, lack of desire to develop that, a selfish irresponsible attitude to the photography industry.

    Plus too sold on technology; megapixels, mega iso, bokeh, too ignorant about light and shadows - but these are minor compared to the above.
    Thanks, sadly this is a topic that few of the kids will pay much attention to. Youth always knows better than age and experience yet sadly they will learn the hard way that old age and knowledge are a lot better than youth and enthusiasm. I suspect a lot of wannabes in coming years are going to get their fingers burned big time by over extending themselves. To illustrate this, last week I ran in to a couple of soon to graduate university trained photography majors from one of the big universities here in Perth. Frankly they weren't clueless they were worse than that. They assumed that their mighty degree would open doors and that clients would come flooding in to them, and that bank managers would be prostrating themselves and the golden coffers of the bank would overflow with greenery to pay for the setting up of their studio's which were anything but modest affairs. My estimate was about 1.5 million AUD to set up their studios... who the hell are they kidding. To really make my day these two didn't even know about having to shoot in unfavourable conditions or that time is money. God help the industry is all I can say.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
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  9. #29

    Default Re: How you became successful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Thanks, sadly this is a topic that few of the kids will pay much attention to. Youth always knows better than age and experience yet sadly they will learn the hard way that old age and knowledge are a lot better than youth and enthusiasm. I suspect a lot of wannabes in coming years are going to get their fingers burned big time by over extending themselves. To illustrate this, last week I ran in to a couple of soon to graduate university trained photography majors from one of the big universities here in Perth. Frankly they weren't clueless they were worse than that. They assumed that their mighty degree would open doors and that clients would come flooding in to them, and that bank managers would be prostrating themselves and the golden coffers of the bank would overflow with greenery to pay for the setting up of their studio's which were anything but modest affairs. My estimate was about 1.5 million AUD to set up their studios... who the hell are they kidding. To really make my day these two didn't even know about having to shoot in unfavourable conditions or that time is money. God help the industry is all I can say.
    Haha... It isn't modest at all...

    My old humble 700sqft natural light studio cost me $10-$12k for the studio only without any equip. That's on the end of my first year of running the business and I thought it was quite an investment to spread over 2 year rental of the premise.

    You can spend more if you own the space yourself.

    Many don't understand the relationship of money spent and income is set to fall pretty hard.

    I have seen people spend 20-30% of the total turnover on so call investment yearly. While they are just barely make 30% profit from their turn over.

    While we trying to encourage people to be a better photographer, many forget that is just part of equation.

    You need to have good saleable work to start with but without a successful business venture, you won't be able to continue to grow. You need to feed your body and mind so your mind can create and body able to do what is necessary to realize the vision.

    Regards

    Hart

  10. #30
    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: How you became successful?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonB View Post
    The best times to be pro togs are about to end, the best time to be hobbyists are starting.
    which is why i strongly avoid photography as a career stay happier that way

  11. #31

    Default Re: How you became successful?

    Quote Originally Posted by allenleonhart View Post
    which is why i strongly avoid photography as a career stay happier that way
    hahaha...

    I am happy to do photography to pursue my dream!!!...

    Although it is not easy, but worth give it a go if it is a dream to follow...

    Hart

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by allenleonhart

    which is why i strongly avoid photography as a career stay happier that way
    More pie for the rest of us.

  13. #33

    Default Re: How you became successful?

    I get to shoot beautiful model, shooting places where public are not allow to access, meeting big corporate CEO for annual report/corporate portrait, shoot delicious looking food (which i ate some if possible), capturing local celebrities for editorial job. No big deal! Is not a glamorous job. But is the passion that keep pushing.

    Photographer = accountant+salesman+marketing+customer service

  14. #34

    Default Re: How you became successful?

    Quote Originally Posted by allenleonhart View Post
    which is why i strongly avoid photography as a career stay happier that way
    Totally agree with you on that.

  15. #35
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    Default Re: How you became successful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agetan View Post
    hahaha...

    I am happy to do photography to pursue my dream!!!...

    Although it is not easy, but worth give it a go if it is a dream to follow...

    Hart
    Quote Originally Posted by foxtwo View Post
    More pie for the rest of us.
    give ya all la. i dont want it to be a stress factor. i dont want to pander to client's taste either. staying the way i am now is fine

  16. #36

    Default Re: How you became successful?

    Quote Originally Posted by allenleonhart View Post
    give ya all la. i dont want it to be a stress factor. i dont want to pander to client's taste either. staying the way i am now is fine
    hahaha.... you don't have to pander to your clients taste when doing photography. It should be the other way round... clients buy your image because who you are...

    There is no stress when you do what you enjoy doing really... Actually, I have a lot less stress now then when I work for in corporate world... In corporate world, you seems to need to "comply" unless of course, you are the top guy...

    Hart

  17. #37
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    Default Re: How you became successful?

    Quote Originally Posted by rickygck View Post
    I get to shoot beautiful model, shooting places where public are not allow to access, meeting big corporate CEO for annual report/corporate portrait, shoot delicious looking food (which i ate some if possible), capturing local celebrities for editorial job. No big deal! Is not a glamorous job. But is the passion that keep pushing.

    Photographer = accountant+salesman+marketing+customer service
    how u got into this lobang one? u know the respective industries well?

  18. #38
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    Default Re: How you became successful?

    Much the same here Hart. Too many wannabee's with no idea that you can't spend more than you earn on gear, not if you want to eat.

    I've always worked to a budget with equipment, and used taxation depreciation to the maximum legally allowed. Being able to write gear off over a few years is good business sense and also good for the hip pocket. Not having dreams beyond your ability is also a good idea and sadly one that many in this industry never really understand. If they want several thousand square foot studio it's going to cost one arm, both legs and a small fortune to properly equip with quality gear then there's outgoings, incidentals etc.

    Sadly many new professionals don't realise that high quality studio fittings are essential especially if you are working in the commercial end of the industry. For example many amateurs and new professionals don't realise that each hour you spend fussing over PhotoShop is an other hour you are being underpaid. Far better to get your chops together and be able to nail that portrait in one shot with a couple of safety shots than present the client with 25 beautifully PS'd images that took you half the night to do.

    Heads back in to his cave and burns effigies of GWC's for fun..
    The Ang Moh from Hell
    Professional Photography - many are called, few are chosen!

  19. #39

    Default Re: How you became successful?

    And I would like to ask what is the definition of being successful?

    It is different for everyone... Some recouping their equip cost is good enough, some will think constant job and getting enough to make the ends meet is good, some prefer to see the business grow... So what is your definition of success.

    By knowing this, sometime it is easier to work on it.

    I chase personal satisfaction that I have do good for myself and to certain extend making people happier makes me feel I am successful. Success don't always measure with money. Good nite sleep with a good conscience is what I am after.

    Knowing your definition of success gives you the goal to work for.

    Regards,

    Hart

  20. #40

    Default Re: How you became successful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Much the same here Hart. Too many wannabee's with no idea that you can't spend more than you earn on gear, not if you want to eat.

    I've always worked to a budget with equipment, and used taxation depreciation to the maximum legally allowed. Being able to write gear off over a few years is good business sense and also good for the hip pocket. Not having dreams beyond your ability is also a good idea and sadly one that many in this industry never really understand. If they want several thousand square foot studio it's going to cost one arm, both legs and a small fortune to properly equip with quality gear then there's outgoings, incidentals etc.

    Sadly many new professionals don't realise that high quality studio fittings are essential especially if you are working in the commercial end of the industry. For example many amateurs and new professionals don't realise that each hour you spend fussing over PhotoShop is an other hour you are being underpaid. Far better to get your chops together and be able to nail that portrait in one shot with a couple of safety shots than present the client with 25 beautifully PS'd images that took you half the night to do.

    Heads back in to his cave and burns effigies of GWC's for fun..
    Unfortunately, in Singapore, due to the personal tax rate being very low, it make no sense to buy equip to reduce your tax.

    In Singapore or anywhere in the world, one will only buy a piece of equipment if they can help them getting more. Just to make life easier sometimes is not a good enough justification.

    Put it this way, if I need to spend $3k on equipment, it should help me to produce my work and earn back in 6 months time or less. That is to say, I should save $500 or make $500 more a month to justify the splurge.

    For example, if I could save 2 hrs in shoot and post processing time with nett hourly charge of $85, then technically if it save me 8 hours a month, it is a good investment.

    Try crunch those number if u want to splurge on equipment.

    Hart
    Last edited by Agetan; 13th June 2012 at 08:32 PM.

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