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Old Aug 2, 2005, 7:24 PM   #11
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A professional photographer is a person who sells enough photos each year to support hemself/herself.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 2, 2005, 10:50 PM   #12
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Yes exactly with a small addition!
Sells enough to support themselves, cover all the business expenses and pay the ever open hand to the tax man.

All this would be covered in a well made business plan, having a good one also helps when you visit a bank to apply for any business loans.

speaklightly wrote:
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A professional photographer is a person who sells enough photos each year to support hemself/herself.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 3, 2005, 12:08 AM   #13
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Thanks folks,

Perhaps wrong question, but anyone of you doing photography for a living? How did you get started. Can I learn anything from you?

Kind regards.
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Old Aug 3, 2005, 12:47 AM   #14
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You may not like my answer.

Build a very good portfilio, and shop it arournd to well known local shooters whos work you admire. Try to get an assisting gig with them. The pay is low, the hours are long, and the work is hard but the knowledge in running a photo business you can gain is invaluable.

Peter.






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Old Aug 3, 2005, 1:59 AM   #15
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speaklightly wrote:
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A professional photographer is a person who sells enough photos each year to support hemself/herself.

Sarah Joyce

Thats kinda funny really, if the paparazzi sell one good shot of some famous person they can make enough money to live off for much more than a year, I don't believe that many of their shots are professional though.
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Old Aug 3, 2005, 5:38 AM   #16
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You answer is perfectly acceptable, you mean as a spanner boy? But that is the way to go. As an apprentice, one can learn a lot from masters that have already gone that way. I appreciate that piece.
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Old Aug 3, 2005, 5:50 AM   #17
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In this attempt to find answers, there is no one answer that is right or wrong, all the answers to a certain margin help me to understand the phenomena ahead of me. I suppose to work with what is possible is answer. And I think that is what Peterp is hinting at. Lesson accepted.

But also there is some kinda luck in this stuff. It is a far fetched one but that is reality. A paparazzi shootingsome celebrity, selling off that shot and feeding on it for a long time, see what I mean. I am not saying luck is everything, just that it plays a part.

Cheers.
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Old Aug 3, 2005, 7:38 AM   #18
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I think it's generally agreed that all that's required to be a "professional photographer" is to make a substantial part of your income from photography, but I personally think that the professionals can then be sub-divided into two main catagories.
There's the "artistic photographer" and the "commercial photographer". The artistic photographer takes photos of whatever he or she likes, then tries to sell them. Often landscape, wildlife etc images, but they're taking those photos for the love of the subject (though obviously with a view to later make money), then work on selling them afterwards.
The commercial photographer is paid to take photographs of what he's told - this includes wedding photographers, the paparazzi, people shooting products for catalogues etc - essentially that they've got paid (or been promised they will) for delivering a specific end result.
This of course isn't to say that the commercial photographers aren't "artistic", but more that the main focus is the subject, not the photograph itself. The simplest example is: People will buy a photograph of a valley they've never been to, but not of a stranger's family portrait.
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Old Aug 3, 2005, 12:11 PM   #19
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MrPogo points out something that is very true.
But it also gets back to my question. If you want direct info from us, it would help to learn what type of photography you intend to do. How you go about building a business around photography is the same for all types in some ways and very different in others.

For example, nature photographers don't normally have helpers. Wedding or event photogs always need them and you can learn LOADS of good stuff by helping them.

There are a few people here to make money with photography (I do) but there are very few who are "professionals"... in fact, I can't think of anyone, and I've been hanging out here awhile. At least, they haven't admitted it.

For what I do, I am building up a portfolio of work right now and then I hope to sell some. Mostly directly (over the web, going to events and selling, having gallery shows) but the reality is that I don't expect to become a pro. I have health issues which would make that very difficult (air travel makes me very ill.)

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Old Aug 3, 2005, 12:49 PM   #20
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By qualifying a professional photographer as someone who makes the majority of their income from photography, you include every Sears/K-Mart/Wal-Mart portrait shooter, every guy who lugs his generic gear to schools every year for yearbook shots and the guy that works 8-12 weddings each weekend in the spring.

Although they are "professional" photographers, many of them produce decent to sub-par work (by artistic standards). If you want to learn how to be a GOOD photographer, you would be better off working as an apprentice (or offer to be a free assistant) to someone who (possibly) owns thier own portrait studio and shoots artistic styled works for publication or gallery shows.
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