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Thread: Feedback on surviving as career photographer

  1. #1

    Default Feedback on surviving as career photographer

    Dear All,

    Basically I am trying to get some realistic feedback about photography as a career in Singapore in current context and situation.

    What I really mean, is like for example, the person main job as photographer and providing such services to all fields, be it commercial, weddings, products shot. Technically earning and surviving from photographic work alone.

    I know there are many part-timers and students, these group usually earn extra income. I am most interested in hearing real feedback form those whose rice bowl are mainly from photography.

    I also know that Singapore market is limited and selective. And yet some foreign pro has set
    up new studios, but eventually how profitable?

    Reason for my questions and survey, if you may call it, I myself on shooting assignment outside Singapore for couples of years, this year, I want to make a decision, either to move back, or move to new locations.

    Of course, key issues for those of us surviving form photography is market volume, competition and profitability.

    Many thanks in advance to those who post comments and feedback. There is no right or wrong comments, just honest down to earth feedback, which will be most helpful.

    Best regards.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Feedback on surviving as career photographer

    Think this topic should belong to The Photo Biz sub-forum
    My **flickr Album

  3. #3
    Senior Member Anson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Feedback on surviving as career photographer

    Haha.... to profound to be a newbie question...

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Feedback on surviving as career photographer

    Quote Originally Posted by monochromeimage View Post
    Dear All,

    Basically I am trying to get some realistic feedback about photography as a career in Singapore in current context and situation.

    What I really mean, is like for example, the person main job as photographer and providing such services to all fields, be it commercial, weddings, products shot. Technically earning and surviving from photographic work alone.

    I know there are many part-timers and students, these group usually earn extra income. I am most interested in hearing real feedback form those whose rice bowl are mainly from photography.

    I also know that Singapore market is limited and selective. And yet some foreign pro has set
    up new studios, but eventually how profitable?

    Reason for my questions and survey, if you may call it, I myself on shooting assignment outside Singapore for couples of years, this year, I want to make a decision, either to move back, or move to new locations.

    Of course, key issues for those of us surviving form photography is market volume, competition and profitability.

    Many thanks in advance to those who post comments and feedback. There is no right or wrong comments, just honest down to earth feedback, which will be most helpful.

    Best regards.
    So what's your idea of commercial photography?
    Event? Food? Product? Wedding? Fashion?
    Or in general "will do anything as long as there is pay"?

    The last group of people usually don't survive. In this age where most people pick up a dSLR and think they're a professional photographer, there's ALWAYS someone who will do it cheaper. In some cases, free. Till you establish yourself, good luck on profitability.

    Just like everywhere else, setting up a studio doesn't give you any form of assured clientele. To get to a sustainable volume from nothing, it'll take a while. Do ensure you can survive for longer periods without any sizable income.

    Competition wise, in Singapore most of the people go for low cost over quality output. Lots of people starting out are willing to do, and usually for a pittance. Think about it this way, it's almost as if everyone thinks that they're a professional photographer once they own a dSLR.

    Unless you're established some way or another, it'll take a long time for you to reach the "money no issue" crowd. That holds true for everywhere.

    Either a long time, or a outstanding piece of work that was lucky to get circulated around in the right circles.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Feedback on surviving as career photographer

    it depends on who u are planning to market to. if your work is strong and has been working regularly with overseas agencies, i'm sure it's worth a try to come back. afterall, agencies don't just work with people with dslrs. if you are targetting direct clients, you may have some competition, but as i mentioned, if your work is strong, you don't have to worry about the amateurs. marketing to the right people will get you the jobs eventually.

    of course, this is with regards to commercial work. i've little idea how the market is like with weddings and events. my guess is, the competition will be greater, and it's more difficult to stand out from the crowd. but at the end of the day, it boils down to the quality of work you can produce.
    Last edited by zarlceiss; 15th January 2009 at 12:46 PM. Reason: to clarify my point

  6. #6

    Default Re: Feedback on surviving as career photographer

    Even within the photography industry, the different fields can have very different ball games altogether. If you just want have a career in photography, then a possible move may be seeking employment in the particular field of photography you're keen on. If you want to start a photography business, then the advice I could give you at this point in time would be to do a very careful cost-benefit analysis. A large budget for possible initial year deficits. A substantial budget for (sustained) advertising and publicity is going to be quite useful as well, again depending on the field of photography and ur target market.

    Whether or not it is foreign pros, or local pros who managed to start a photobiz that thrives, the story of the success is likely to be different in each case. If we could get an insight to each of those stories, of course there're going to be great learning points for us. However, for each successful example we see or hear, there are numerous failures we never hear or talk about.

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