Can I pester you for a bit of advice? I’m a bit of a photographer, which I am sure you’ve heard many times, and I am in two minds whether to try and make a leap into attempting to make 1p from a photograph one day. Like so many, I did a lot of photography for my (media) degree and have done one or two little paid jobs, but my degree covered more art stuff rather than photo-journalism, although I love photo-essays etc. So I don’t really have lighting/studio experience for example and am still quite raw (no pun intended, honest) when it comes to technical aspects.
I’ve done a couple of non-paid photo jobs recently, and have seen how extremely difficult/competitve it is as an industry. And there comes a point where the whole
non-payment issue becomes well, even more of an issue! I do love photography/images very much but I really don’t know whether it’s better to keep it as a passionate hobby.
Anyway, I do not wish to ramble, even though I have, so any kind of advice would be greatly appreciated.
On the panel are JadedSnapper, PhotoYoda and OldTimeTog
JS: Don’t what?
OldTimeTog: Don’t do it. That’s what I tell every work ex that comes through the door.
JS: But I thought you were my inspiring leader, training the next generation?
OldTimeTog: Yeah but I’m only a few months off retirement so it’s time to be honest!
PhotoYoda: Ridiculous you are. That’s the 1-0 of your mind
OldTimeTog: What are you on about?
PhotoYoda: Every snapper says ‘Don’t do it’ to the work ex whilst going to a Premier League game, getting the freebies and earning a bit of cash on the side. Nonsensical.
OldTimeTog: What!? I’m just saying I wouldn’t go into it if I had my time again
PhotoYoda: And what happened last redundancy round?
OldTimeTog: Well I ran for cover of course!
PhotoYoda: You see, your advice is pointless. You won’t do it yourself, and you never will. That’s the 1-0 right there
JS: Well, he does have a point, there’s no money in it
PhotoYoda: Yes at the bottom it’s low paid, and we’re not sure if there’s a top anymore…
JS: So why tell someone to join the snapper trade?
PhotoYoda: Yes but you cannot tell someone not to do the job from the vantage point of living it everyday and taking all the benefits
JS: Benefits? I thought they were being cut?
PhotoYoda: That’s a different issue. How much have you earnt freelance this year JS?
JS: Erm, about an extra month’s salary…
PhotoYoda: You see that’s my point little fruitbat. Yes it’s low paid but you can earn money if you put the effort in! In fact it’s the same as any industry
JS: No it’s not, what other industry has a thousand weekend warriors undermining the trade?
PhotoYoda: But are they fruitbat? Are they?
JS: Erm, yes
PhotoYoda: Being the oracle of truth I don’t normally link to other sage snappers but please have a peek at Zarias’ post on the cheap snapper brigade. You can’t stop other snappers existing.
OldTimeTog: Unless you have a flamethrower
PhotoYoda: Erm yes, the point is fruitbats that only by working for yourself will you make money
JS: You could also crash and burn
PhotoYoda: Such a jaded snapper! If you go in with that attitude you will crash and burn. The point is to treat yourself as a professional you plonkersaurus
JS: But should HopefulSnapper go pro?
PhotoYoda: They already are!
PhotoYoda: They already are my fruitbat! They maybe at the beginnings of it but HopefulSnapper has been paid for pictures, and isn’t fool enough to grant CreativeCommons on their Flickr
JS: But HS still does a desk job
PhotoYoda: If you’re starting freelance, that’s how you start plonkersaurus! Start small and build your business till it’s time to go full time!
OldTimeTog: But HopefulSnapper doesn’t have the technical knowledge. They say that themselves!
JS: It never stopped you Mr GripAndGrin
OldTimeTog: [tapping badge on chest] Remember this when talking to me
JS: [reading] ‘BossSnapper’
PhotoYoda: Yes but the technicals come with doing the job! And scouring the t’interweb for useful photography sites
JS: What, ones that contain, erm, pictures?
PhotoYoda: Yes those ones. Talking to snappers, proper good ones, and t’interwebbing is better than half the photography courses going!
JS: So should HS go pro?
PhotoYoda: HS should keep broadening their snappering till the opportunity arises! Then they can take that snapper job, or just amass enough experience to be a full time freelance. Where they do have enough experience they should charge as such. Only then can their talent and business grow.
Dear readers, feel free to chip in with points of advice and resources!