How you became successful?


Apr 22, 2009
107
0
16
Singapore
#1
Hi all

I am considering very seriously about starting a photo biz, however do not really know how to go about in doing so. I have another 2 years bond in my current job so I guess I should start planning if this is a good move.

Is there anyone here willing to share their successful stories? How you started out, finding your clients, challenges and difficulties.
 

foxtwo

Senior Member
Mar 11, 2004
2,522
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0
singapore
#2
What genre of photography services do you plan to offer firstly?

What skills do you have? Why are you seriously considering a photo business? What are your motivations?
 

wesley

New Member
Oct 27, 2003
267
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0
Singapore
www.memphiswest.com
#3
Hello Mronetwothree,

If you mean success equating to a sustainable income (that includes buying property, raising a family, etc) from professional photography lasting well into your retirement, there is a simple equation for any genre of photography or creative arts for that matter.

UNIQUENESS OF YOUR WORK + MARKETING + HARD WORK + BUSINESS SENSE = SUCCESS

Fulfill the above with a correct mix with any of the ingredients will give you success. ie if your work is not really unique, applying more marketing, hard work and business sense will make up for it.

Best regards
Wesley
 

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Agetan

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2004
4,669
15
38
www.tomato.sg
#4
Hello Mronetwothree,

If you mean success equating to a sustainable income (that includes buying property, raising a family, etc) from professional photography lasting well into your retirement, there is a simple equation for any genre of photography or creative arts for that matter.

UNIQUENESS OF YOUR WORK + MARKETING + HARD WORK + BUSINESS SENSE = SUCCESS

Fulfill the above with a correct mix with any of the ingredients will give you success. ie if your work is not really unique, applying more marketing, hard work and business sense will make up for it.

Best regards
Wesley
I concur... But I would add "networking" with the right crowd makes hardworking a little easier.

Networking sometimes a line that leave you at different level in business.

I believe Wesley might have include it in the "business sense".

Hart
 

Apr 22, 2009
107
0
16
Singapore
#5
Hi, thank you for your valuable inputs. Actually I would like to know how you guys started out. Like a story of your career.
 

catchlights

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
21,903
46
48
Punggol, Singapore
www.foto-u.com
#6
Hi, thank you for your valuable inputs. Actually I would like to know how you guys started out. Like a story of your career.
some stories cost at least some loti plata and kopi at jalan kayu, some cost tim sum at Ah Yi abalone, some cost posh meals at MBS.

I'm not there yet, so have nothing much to tell. ;p
 

Aug 6, 2004
843
0
0
Sg
#10
I'll recommend TED: Ideas worth spreading
search 'success' and watch some of the videos there.
The recipes for success are often the same regardless of whatever biz or even different endeavors.

Many of the vids are really fun to watch and not dry boring lectures...:)
 

Agetan

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2004
4,669
15
38
www.tomato.sg
#11
I'll recommend TED: Ideas worth spreading
search 'success' and watch some of the videos there.
The recipes for success are often the same regardless of whatever biz or even different endeavors.

Many of the vids are really fun to watch and not dry boring lectures...:)
+1

Anyway, to be honest, how you start the photography doesn't really matter, but what matter is how you react to your situation.

Regards,

Hart
 

TWmilkteaTW

Senior Member
May 30, 2011
2,251
1
0
#12
Hi, thank you for your valuable inputs. Actually I would like to know how you guys started out. Like a story of your career.
Sorry if what i said is not true.

You seems very lost. Do you really know what and how the real full time photo business work? Or just feels like trying it out..have fun..curious so want to jump into it. Maybe you would like to think twice and very carefully..at least you still have time now. Instead of just hearing other people story.. Why not share more of what you want to do...wish to accomplish. I think you haven't answer what genre or kind of photography you're doing/interested in. No im not in this business. nothing to share. Pls ignore me if i type too much. All the best.
 

foxtwo

Senior Member
Mar 11, 2004
2,522
0
0
singapore
#13
You're not asking the right questions.

If you ask how people become successful, you also have to consider why people fail right?

If learning how people become successful can help you decide whether to come into this line of work, then you're badly mistaken. You are your own person, you do not share the same traits/skills/enthusiasm/mentality, the same family, the same financial situation, will not be afforded the same lucky breaks & opportunities, the same support, etc etc

No one or at least me is going to take you seriously until you decide to take a look at reality and talk about yourself. If you can't honestly reveal your own fears and wishes, then how do you expect true help. All you have are half fantasies and a notion of success.
 

JasonB

Deregistered
Jun 2, 2009
871
9
0
#14
Hi, thank you for your valuable inputs. Actually I would like to know how you guys started out. Like a story of your career.
Hmm, I guess no one is interested in telling stories here if that is what you are looking for.

Being a working photog is often times being an ordinary citizen, nothing really special to chirp about. The industry is very dynamic with technological advances and ever changing flickleness of clients. A photog may command a $3000 day rate this year but jobless the next. He could be a leader in a certain style this season and outdated the next of he failed to stay current, failed to continue to excit and impress, etc.

How you define success in the first place?
 

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Ian

Senior Member
Feb 20, 2002
2,548
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Perth Australia
#15
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.
 

Oct 28, 2006
1,412
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Asia
www.flickr.com
#16
For every success there are hundreds if not thousands who failed. I've seen many scholars & highflying excecutives failed as an entrepreneur but there are of course the few who make it.

Those that make the most are not necessarily talented but better in networking (关系) & marketing. This is the same across most industries. They are usually the thinker, bullshitter if you call it :D, pulling in the jobs, getting paid on time. That said, I've known an Australian freelancer who also sells stockphotos that add up a tidy 6 figures to his annual income.

Perhaps you could post some work to let people critique? That would be a start.
 

Agetan

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2004
4,669
15
38
www.tomato.sg
#17
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.
+1

I am still amaze at people who fail to earn a living or feed their family as a photographer but seeking refuge behind their pride and joy as far as photography goes.

Don't live in the past and move on.

One can be the artist once the business is successful.

Regards,

Hart
 

Ian

Senior Member
Feb 20, 2002
2,548
0
0
56
Perth Australia
#18
+1

I am still amaze at people who fail to earn a living or feed their family as a photographer but seeking refuge behind their pride and joy as far as photography goes.

Don't live in the past and move on.

One can be the artist once the business is successful.

Regards,

Hart
+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
 

Ian

Senior Member
Feb 20, 2002
2,548
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Perth Australia
#19
Hi all

I am considering very seriously about starting a photo biz, however do not really know how to go about in doing so. I have another 2 years bond in my current job so I guess I should start planning if this is a good move.

Is there anyone here willing to share their successful stories? How you started out, finding your clients, challenges and difficulties.
Well I started out back in the dim dark days of the mid 1970s when I won a couple of prizes at a local photography competition in Sydney. One of the judges was the proprietor of a small local newspaper and he hired me at weekends to take shots. He had a professional photographer working with him and he doubled up as the art editor. They made my life hell for a couple of years but I learned a lot. After that it was on to a now defunct major metropolitan newspaper as a cadet photographer/journalist where I was exposed to everything from advertising photography to social event coverage to crime and sports before ending up as a war-zone and troubled region specialist. After I'd had enough of that in the mid 90s I used my extensive network to open a lucrative commercial practice.
 

Reportage

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2008
5,785
2
0
#20
Hi all

I am considering very seriously about starting a photo biz, however do not really know how to go about in doing so. I have another 2 years bond in my current job so I guess I should start planning if this is a good move.

Is there anyone here willing to share their successful stories? How you started out, finding your clients, challenges and difficulties.
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.
 

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