Decisive Moments: Enterprising Your Photos

OK.You’ve been a serious amateur photographer for a few years, you’ve dumped a bunch of money into your camera, gear, film and processing and you want some of that money back.Is it worth all the time and money to buy gear and film for just a hobby?

It can be.

The allure of being a professional photographer is often thin at times, and to do it right you must work very hard. But, if you want to be a photographer bad enough and willing to work a little harder and invest a little more money – and if this still sounds attractive – maybe you can make a few bucks on the side – in your quickly diminishing spare time.

Think about what you like to take and see pictures of.Give it serious thought as you may spend a lot of time taking those pictures before you can ever sell one.Before you pick a subject matter, or three, to start specializing in look at the greetings cards at the mall, check out the calendars at the drug store, and most importantly, do some research on the Internet and the book, Photographers’ Market for the current year. Try and find out what kind of photos are being sold, and find out how get access to where you can photograph them.

If you like rodeo you will have to follow the rodeo circuit, so you can shoot the events.If you want to be a paparazzi you will most likely want to move to New York or Hollywood.However, if you want to photograph butterflies your own garden, or the local park might be a good spot and a whole lot easier to reach.

This is doable whether you are 14 or 54.All you have to do is make good photos of subjects people are interested in and market them to the companies that buy them.If you keep your monetary expectations reasonable, meaning low to start, it can be fairly simple.

Welcome to the world of stock photography.A “stock photo” is one you keep on file for a repeated sale of its ability to be used by a magazine, ad agency or anyone who uses other people’s pictures.

I began my career by taking pictures of the trains and train yards I could see from on the hill where I lived in San Francisco as a kid.At 12 I taking pictures of the trains with an old Graflex, make a print and mail it to train magazines.Sometimes they would buy one, sometimes they didn’t.If they didn’t want the picture they would mail it back, sometimes not, but sometimes they would keep it on file for the future.I made a bunch of sales that way.

Later in high school, I shot sports for the yearbook and local paper.The yearbook netter me no money but a lot of experience, but the local paper paid $3 to $5 for a football photo in 1963.

Then I began to realize I liked to photograph people more than anything else.While I still photographed other things I have spent most of my life photographing the character of other people.

With patience, good research, realistic expectations, good photos and the willing to take a risk you can get a return on you camera investments.

Maybe, even a career.

by Bill Miller

All written content (and most images) in these articles are copyrighted by the authors. Copyrighted material from Apogee Photo Mag should not be used elsewhere without seeking the authors permission.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.