Thursday, September 10, 2009

Year 5 Day 10 - Making Money at Photography

I have a day job. I happily work 40 hours a week at something completely unrelated to photography so I can enjoy shooting, making and sharing images without the extra weight of having to try to make a living at photography.

Almost everyone else I know that is in to Nature and Wildlife photography is of the same mind. They are in it for the fun and enjoyment of getting out and seeing things, and capturing as best as they can the beauty of nature...

read on for more.

I wasn't too sure what to write about today, the last couple days actually, but this topic jumped out at me because I was looking at another photographer's 'web site where they sell prints' and realized I have some comparably great images myself. This other person does quite well from what I've heard. I believe them, so, it is reassuring to actually see some of their images and think what I might do myself.

In a few years I've probably sold just a handful of things directly, and a similarly small amount of images of mine have been licensed at

The business of photography is something I know I don't know a lot about. That's part of why I have embraced Getty Images, they take care of the customers, the money, the promotion, etc. And I don't have any obligation to allow my images to be licensed through them, I get to pick the ones I am ok with doing that....

Another angle is - some pros put in work to make great images at a variety of places throughout the year. They then market their ability to take other photogs to these places for a price that roughly equates to hundreds of dollars per day, sometimes as much as $300-$500 or more per day. While I wouldn't personally (I think) pay to go shooting anywhere with anyone within maybe 500 miles of my home range, I don't hold it against anyone or the pros for making a living doing that. (I put in the work within my range myself, and am proud to have many days when nothing good resulted, and many other days were epic, and it was just me doing it....)

Morning Reflected - Sunrise @ Blackwater NWR, MD


I've been blogging this month, once per day so far, instead of posting a photo each day on flickr. It has forced me to think about photography in more depth rather than keep cruising along on the trajectory I was already on. I have been regularly posting a photo per day (roughly for 3 to 4 years, ie most of the 4 years since I joined flickr).

So far I am glad I decided to mix things up. Other ideas I had included all black and white iamges for a month (posting to flickr) and nothing but images that depict blur or motion for a month (posting to flickr).
Great (Falls) Blue HeronMomma Fox On The Move (Mother's Day 2008)

I'm not going to rule out either of those two ideas. I think having a new fresh plan can lead to some new thought and some new and better images...