ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Best Photographic Careers

Updated on January 9, 2017
LuisEGonzalez profile image

I enjoy photography and have been doing so professionally and independently for over 30 years.

Best Photographic Careers

CC BY-SA 2.0
CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source
CC BY 3.0
CC BY 3.0 | Source
Public Domain
Public Domain | Source
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ | Source

The Business of Photography

The business of photography like any other business, takes planning, dedication,effort and many other things.

With proper planning, research, marketing, dedication and effort you can make a decent living in photography.

Is it difficult?, Probably yes for most but it is nevertheless, possible.

Not only do you have to run a business, but it largely depends on your skills as a photographer, the subject of your specialization, location, as well as other factors.

Once you have decided that your photo skills are complete, had your photos criticized by those who know, have a large inventory of photos (at least 1000), then you should consider how to market them or rather market yourself.

First of all, deciding on what photo genre will compromise the vast majority of your shots is paramount. Will you specialize in one type of subject; only weddings or only flowers. This approach has relatively a low flow of sales, but when the need arises for your specialty, then you're the one.

More generalized photography guarantees a stronger sales flow, but requires a lot more effort also. However publications know that they can count on you for a variety of subjects.

Consider portrait photography, nature photography, photojournalism, and scientific photography. All have their challenges but all can be rewarding.

  • Portrait photography is relatively easy to enter, but requires a considerable up front expenditure. You will need reflective equipment, such as umbrellas, tripod, several backgrounds, props, a complete office, business cards, insurance, tax forms, should I go on?

Portraits subjects are however easy to find. Weddings, birthdays, baby showers, bachelor parties,reunions,births, pregnancy and glamour, boudoir etc. You should also have several samples to display in your store front and to include in a marketing brochure, even if you have to take the photos free of charge. Nothing will sell you better than your photos.

You can do without the office if you can set aside a room in your home to meet clients, do paperwork and work on the shots.

As far as pricing, a simple research into your area's photographers will do the trick. Start reasonable and escalate as your reputation and demand grows.

  • Nature photography is quite well represented, but editors, publishers, publications are always looking for fresh material. Before you submit anything to any publication, ask in writing for a "wants list" which is a list of the publication's most in demand subjects. Also consider creating a stock list of the subjects which you already have on file.

Ask for a submissions guidelines and stick to them. Unsolicited material is often discarded, and if lucky, returned to you. Strongly consider writing an article to go with the photos, even better write an article and shoot around it. Publications are always in need of articles and ideas that align with their material.

Think small & local when starting. Town newspapers, small localized magazines, and grow bigger form there. Calendar companies, greeting cards companies, book publishers, poster makers, even product catalogs are purchasers of photographs. Inquire about submitting materials to them.

Don't forget to label your contact information as copyright on any material which is finally submitted as well as to include captions with information about the photograph, such as location, name of the creature,flower, plant etc., scientific name, and technical information.

Submission to photographic stock houses. Many stock agencies require a minimum of photographs to even consider you, usually between 300 to 1000. But there are some that will require much less.

In any event, whatever you submit must unequivocally be your best work. Very sharp, accurate exposure, top of the line, not just "slightly" out of focus, but 100% technically perfect. You will receive the advantage of being represented to photo buyers, and the disadvantage of competition from many seeking exactly what you are. You should strive to make at least $2.00 per shot per year.

So a submission of 30,000 photos should gross you $60,000 minus your costs the rest is profit. This requires that you shoot a large number of shots per month, at least 1000. Many agencies will also require exclusivity, especially if you begin to gain recognition for you work, so choosing which agency to represent you requires thought.

The idea is to gain recognition first before venturing into the major markets such as National Geographic, which by the way has their own staff of photographers, or Audubon Magazine.

  • Photojournalism. Many publications have their own staff, but regularly use the work of independent photographers. Look for ways of receiving updated news information of breaking news, look for planned events such as demonstrations, news conferences etc. Approach the editors desk of publications which you are interested in submitting your work to and register with them as a free lance photographer.

Many will accept your registration and will look at your material with prior knowledge and since you don't get paid until your material is accepted it is easier for them just to register you. Do obtain a submission guidelines and acceptable formats as many prefer black & white formats. Consider joining a photojournalist association for important updates and leads.

  • Scientific photography. You will need very specialized material and the know how of the subjects you will be working with. keep in mind that bacterial viruses and others can pose a health risk and many require a permit before you can get your hands on them. Approach scientific publications the same way as you would approach any other photo publication.

As mentioned before, keep in mind your overhead costs, if your cost estimate calls for a $20,000.00 per year in overhead, then you gross in sales should be $40,000.00 per year.

Read plenty of photography magazines, look at current publications, posters, greeting cards, new books to get an idea of what is the trend. Good is also to enter contest whether you win or not, but get your name out there.

©

CC BY-SA 3.0
CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source
CC BY-SA 3.0
CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source

© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • dhimanreena profile image

      Reena Dhiman 

      3 years ago

      Career in Photography is only for candidates passionate about it because this job can be done by those people who really love photography.

    • profile image

      Starting a Photography Business 

      6 years ago

      I think the most important aspect of starting a photography business is finding your nice and then making sure there is a demand for it in your area. Even if your work is incredible, your business will fail if there is no demand in that area. Thanks for all of the additional advice.

    • Nikki D. Felder profile image

      Nikki D. Felder 

      7 years ago from Castle Hayne, N.C.

      You're talented. I've considered taking some photos and trying to make money on istock, but I must focus and remain in my lane! Thanks, Nikki D. Felder

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 

      7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Good information. My friend run this business and it looks very profitable. Nice to learn this from you. Well done. Rated up!

      Prasetio

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 

      7 years ago from United States

      Great information. Thanks for providing very good content.

    • claptona profile image

      John D Wilson 

      7 years ago from Earth

      Good suggestions all Luis,

      Thanks for sharing your ideas.

      Cheers,

      claptona

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)