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Old Oct 3, 2006, 1:30 AM   #11
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Hi, I really really appreciate all your replies.

I think I know what I'm interested in already:

I used to be fascinated (and still is) by all those high quality photographs found intheNational Geography books, and in the booksabout the nature of our Earth.

For example, I am trilled about thevarious photographs of the wonders of the Yellow Stone national park, and on other such photography aspects.

On the other hand, I am also interested in architectural photography. I used to read plenty of books concerning architecture, and the photos in them are just amazing!

Examples includes perspective, angles, wide angle photography, birds eye view, and mood etc...

I will also get to photograph plenty ofhouses & buildingdesigns and their interiors!

Are theresuchprospects in photography?

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Old Oct 3, 2006, 8:44 AM   #12
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A friend of mine does contract work doing photos of high end houses for a large "expensive house" magazine (that is my name for it, I'd rather not say which one.) Most of the covers and most of the article shots of their "showcase" house are his. He gets to travel around the country doing shoots which, from your description, I think you would enjoy greatly. Note, that this absolutely does *not* make up the bulk of his income. He also does advertising shots (product shots, mostly) and I think other things.

So yes, there is a market for pictures of architecture. It isn't huge, but it is absolutely there. And you have to think creatively... not only are there magazines, but there are trade publications, books (both about a specific person and a location), advertising booklets (a pitch booklet for a design firm.)

And as for landscape work... There too you have to be creative. You can make a living doing that. If you go a direct-sales route, most people purchase pictures they have a connection with, which often means "local" pictures. You can mix in some of the "classic" places (I'd love to go to yellowstone, joshua tree,...) but you'll be surprised what people will buy because the picture means something to them.

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Old Oct 3, 2006, 9:20 AM   #13
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That is all really great to hear eric s.

A recent visit to the landscape, architecture, and travel photography section in this forum have clearly revealed my immediate liking & interestedfor such photography type. The mood that those breathtaking landscape photographsconveyed to meis a very pleasant one, filling me top to bottom withencouraging thoughts. The architecture photographswere just simply fascinating, pushing my imaginations to the limits, and gloriously rewarding to my sight.

More informations about the matter will be most welcomed. (I am getting really inspired)
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Old Oct 3, 2006, 10:26 AM   #14
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Yes, a living can be made at photography.
But the industry is changeing rapidly.

The papers are tryng to force their image suppliers into basically low paid work for hire contracts. You can get a lot of info on this route at http://www.editorialphoto.com/

The wildlife/landscape/pretty image field is both flooded with aspireing photograpers and prices have been damaged a lot by the Roalty Free segment.
Yes there is money to be made here, but only a few seem to rise to top where the money is good.
Poke around http://www.naturescapes.net/phpBB2/index.php , it is not a pro forum but a lot of its members are working at selling their work. As Eric mentioned a lot of your income in this field comes from running seminars, courses and taking others on photo-tours.

Other areas like Product/Food/Architecture are there, they are not easy to break into but it can be done. Taking the imageing course in a known school and then apprenticing to a established pro is probably the best way to get in. And a good way to see what kind of equipment is needed for this work.

Then there is the Portrait/T&I/Wedding/Pets/Kids type work.
You can make a good living here, most towns have one or more such studios.
However in many places you are now competing with the likes of Sears and WalMart.
Who have opened inhouse photo studios, and their clerks just run through a script.
Not much skill but hard to compete against a 19$ session complete with a print or two. And Sears is now doing weddings! You also have to contend with the weekend warriors.
I just about live on the following site, it is dedicated to the business of portrait/wedding type photography.
WARNING: this is commercial site it is not free: http://www.nobsphotosuccess.com/NoBsWorld/

Trying to make a living at photography is mainly spent on the business side.
A large chunk of your time is spent on marketing, doing advertising, making cold calls, updating your books, and now with digital doing image workflow is a real time killer.

ex: From a wedding you might get 600-1000 images. First you do a cull, then basic workflow to get the remainder presentable. After the client presentation and selection is complete you need to do the main final workflow to the selects.
You may spend 5-12 hours at the wedding, then 60-80 on post. Then add in lab fees, materials, equipment depreciation, insurance. Sort of gives you a hint at why real wedding prices seem so high. And why the weekend warriors charging a couple of hundred for a shoot&run don't tend to last long.

Sorry :-) don't want to discourage you with all that, just wanted to show that photography is not an easy life.
But It can be done if you are willing to put in your dues.
And those who are really good at marketing themselves can make a very good living at it.

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Old Oct 3, 2006, 12:28 PM   #15
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Hi Ben,

Going to a good photography school is the best thing you can do at your age.

After school you can look for a photographer that does the pictures you want to do to make a living and apply to be an intern for them. After you learn the ropes you can go out on your own.

I did it much different. I went to Daytona Beach Community College for My Photography courses even though I was already doing some weddings and freelance photos.

I had a day job unrelated to photography that I could take off at times and still have the job when I returned. Having a good day job allowed Me to pick and choose what I wanted to shoot and not have to do jobs for people I did not like. The big reason I did the school thing was I could use their equipment to print my color film. I took open lab from 1984 to 2002. Then I completely started with digital. Did not need the school lab any more.

I always freelanced, Was a stringer for the newspaper, did weddings, pets, portraits, large groups, party's aerials and just about anything except underwater photo's. I don't go under water.

I don't advertise. I Do have business cards I pass out and I get my assignments from word of mouth and people refer me. I do photographs for my Church for free and it pays off with referrals all year. I just shot all of their Sunday school adult classes for them at no charge. I will size them and color correct them. I'ii put them on a DVD disc that is ready to printand the church will have them printed at Walmart or Sam's club. I just make them print ready and perfect so when everyone gets a photo of their group it will look great and they all know who shot the picture so it is a win for Me as well as the church.

If you like a challenge just about every time you go on an assignment and You don't mind hard work and You like people you will have no problem at all doing photography for a living.

Wishing You the best of luck,


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Old Oct 3, 2006, 12:53 PM   #16
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Pick up a copy of Guide to Building Your Photography Business by Vik Orenstein. It is very informative, and tells you everything you needto know to start a photography business, or scare you away from it, one or the other. There is a lot more to it than just taking pictures.
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Old Oct 3, 2006, 3:22 PM   #17
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Check out http://www.camerahobby.com/learning_modules.htm Edwin Leong's site. He has lots to say about wedding photography, one of the few areas where an amateur can get a professional start.

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Old Oct 3, 2006, 3:29 PM   #18
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I just wanted to agree with the other comments here and say something specific about one reference that PeterP said.

I spend time on www.naturescapes.net and I would call it a "professional" forum. They take all comers, and don't care if you are a pro or not. But their standards are high, they care more about the art than the hardware and they are - basically across the board - very, very good.

I would suggest you sign up and look at the landscape forum if you want to see stunning pictures.

When several people finish in the top 10 of nation-wide or world-wide contests on a regular basis this says something about the audience. I bet 50% or more sell their work there and a good number of them do photography full-time (i.e. make a living at it.)

I started here, which is why I come back here. I teach photography and digital editing, and hanging out here keeps my brain active on the issues that beginners are facing (and answering them is good practice.) Photographically, I don't really grow much from what I learn here, but its helpful.

If you really want to be a "pro" at some point, I would suggest hanging out here (because we're so nice... this forum is consistently one of the best groups I've ever seen) but also spend time on forms like www.naturescapes.net or www.naturephotographers.net. They will cover completely different things and you'll learn from them both.

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Old Oct 4, 2006, 3:39 AM   #19
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Once again, I really thank you all for the various advices, informations, and links.

Thanks also for sharing your experiences in here.

Keep the discussions going. :-)

BTW, are photographers really thatrich??? I usedto see some (if not most) of them having lensesandcameras that cancost a lot. Ialways used to see photographers having all those very costly professional glasses and SLR bodies. (Just keeps me wondering :-))

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Old Oct 4, 2006, 7:21 AM   #20
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I'm not a working pro, but I don't think photography is the fast trip to being rich. Sure there are plenty pro's out there that are making great money, some are probably even very rich, but for the most part big money is not part of the equation. Yes you can make a living, but as has been said its alot of work, and its not always about taking pictures. Many of the people you see with those huge lenses are just renting them or borrowing them from the agency they are working for.
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