As I wrote on another thread, you have to love photography and making images if you push it hard enough to really do it as career.
I have my social security (official tax record) income statements from my 20's, after I graduated from college.
With my dual majors in Photography and Philosophy, and by combinging my two lucrative careers of "Photography" and "Bicycle Racing", I was just rolling in the dough. I made $5,000 US one year, $9,000 US the next (in 1990 dollars.)
Of course, that doesn't count the "primes" - $50 prizes - that I would have to sprint for in bike races to earn enough gas money to get home from the race ...
I had a $1,500 bike in the trunk of a $500 car, with a spare tire in the back seat (good camoflage.) I've never been as happy though in my life. Plus I could make women blush just by unbuttoning my shirt, that was fun! (I was working out 4-6 hours a day.)
After I busted up my body enough that I couldn't race any more, I went and got an MBA with a focus in IT. I did a digital imaging system in 1991, fresh out of school, and made $45,000 that first year. A little more lucrative.
All those crashes cought up to me though. In 2007 I was offered an ad shoot by the Director of Photography and Archives at Ford (forget his exact title.)
I couldn't do it - too many pain pills, I couldn't work without taking massive doses, plus my memory, cognition, and body were shot (I couldn't sleep with the pain, which fried my brain,etc.) I closed my studio and gave it up - just doing headshots caused too much pain to be worth it ......
Ah well. No regrets.
I just got an e-mail from the Innocence Project in the US. An innocent man just got out of jail after 27 years - after DNA evidence proved that he was innocent ... That covers the whole time period above. At least we had choices!
Cheers. Life is good! Today, we are thrilled to announce the exoneration of Innocence Project client Thomas Haynesworth. The Virginia Court of Appeals issued a Writ of Actual Innocence in his case this morning, ending Mr. Haynesworth's long ordeal. Wrongfully convicted of three Richmond-area crimes in 1984, Mr. Haynesworth served nearly 27 years in prison and over eight months as a registered sex offender.