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Author Topic: Photographer Among Worse Jobs  (Read 609 times)

Gordon Buck

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RSL

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Re: Photographer Among Worse Jobs
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2019, 09:57:05 am »

Interesting, but hardly definitive. "Photographers" apparently includes small town "professionals" with their studios and wedding gigs. That part of the industry has been shrinking at a great rate since the advent of the digital camera. In the nineties I had a pro friend who did weddings and similar work very well, very successfully, and very profitably. By the mid 2000's he was out of business -- by choice. There simply wasn't enough top-line work available any longer. But I suspect there are niches in photography that still pay well. Problem is you probably have to have skills that go beyond knowing how to push the button.

Jonathan Cross

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Re: Photographer Among Worse Jobs
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2019, 11:54:15 am »

I suspect that there are some niches, e.g. sports, food, fashion, weddings but that there are high barriers to entry.  I would be interested to know what graduates from photography degrees do as a first job, and how they progress.  I would not be surprised that many photographers have other jobs to keep afloat.

Best wishes,

Jonathan (an amateur!)
 
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Jonathan in UK

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Photographer Among Worse Jobs
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2019, 12:27:17 pm »

... I would be interested to know what graduates from photography degrees do as a first job...

The degree costs $45K and lands you a $25K job. No wonder you resort to arts when you can't do a simple math ;)

OmerV

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Re: Photographer Among Worse Jobs
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2019, 01:56:33 pm »

As photography and videography are melding, it would seem a new pro category is needed. Or maybe it’ll just be videographers who also do photography.

petermfiore

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Re: Photographer Among Worse Jobs
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2019, 05:02:23 pm »

As photography and videography are melding, it would seem a new pro category is needed. Or maybe it’ll just be videographers who also do photography.

That category has existed for a while now...lots of gigs are handled that way. If your not a stills celebrity Photography it's not hardly worth the effort. Arts is something all together different.

Peter

Rob C

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Re: Photographer Among Worse Jobs
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2019, 04:12:55 am »

The sole benefit of being an old photographer is having had the luck of working at the right time!

An employed photographer never made any money; as with the magazines, you were supposed to feel grateful. And sleep on the floor, alone. Or find a rich girlfriend as stupid as youself.

Rob
« Last Edit: April 24, 2019, 08:11:19 am by Rob C »
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Martin Kristiansen

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Re: Photographer Among Worse Jobs
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2019, 06:43:49 am »

Product photography is working well for me. Im busy and have steady work. Slowly more and more video which is fun. New thing to learn. Wont claim Im rich butI eat well and can afford an overseas holiday every year or so. It's harder that it used to me though. What I have seen is a shrinking market in my niche but also less and less competition. Old guys retiring and no one wants to learn the technical issues around product photography. How to prepare items for photography, how to light a cube that it looks like a cube, how to get rid of reflections on plastic packaging, that sort of thing. I like that I don't need anyone around to help like I used to. Self contained and efficient. Easy to take time off.

Coming from a technical lab management background in the professional photo finishing industry Im all about workflows and efficiencies. It has been fun and rewarding. Continues to be so.
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Commercial photography is 10% inspiration and 90% moving furniture around.

Petrus

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Re: Photographer Among Worse Jobs
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2019, 02:43:44 pm »

I worked at a major magazine publisher as a staff photographer for their crown jewel weekly newsmagazine for 35 years. 5 years ago we had 25 people in the photo department (even more when still had film labs), 18 photographers. I retired 2 years ago, one of the 8 old school photographers who retired in 2 year's timeframe. Now there are only 7 people left, 5 photographers with low pay, 4 large studios are closed. Most everything is outsourced, magazines are either killed or getting thinner. Quality of photography is going down, no reportage, mostly boring staged portraits. Happy to have gotten out in time with good pension.

Happy to be an old photographer with good memories.
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JoeKitchen

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Re: Photographer Among Worse Jobs
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2019, 06:32:54 pm »

Speaking as a professional, I think this problem is more complicated than what people allude to and many are focusing on all wrong the aspects. 

To go over and explain all of the aspects that make it difficult, from the lifestyle challenges to the current market to the number of years it takes to develop your skills & network, would take a few pages. 

For the right person though, it can be a very rewarding and a lucrative profession.  My wife and I are doing very well and we only work as photographers. 
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Joe Kitchen
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"Photography is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent moving furniture."  Arnold Newman
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petermfiore

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Re: Photographer Among Worse Jobs
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2019, 01:44:11 pm »

The degree costs $45K and lands you a $25K job. No wonder you resort to arts when you can't do a simple math ;)

Curious what degree costs $45K...maybe per year. Today, at a major art school in the USA will run very close to that.

Peter

HonorableSensor

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Re: Photographer Among Worse Jobs
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2019, 10:33:31 am »

The entirety of the publishing industry, which I would say includes books, magazines, pre-press and printing etc. has shrunk by a great deal since say, 2001.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/301990/gross-output-of-us-printing-industry/

$100B per year then, under $80B now.  With this hollowing-out of the industry comes cost cutting, cost containment, etc. So unless you can bring something unique you are just a cost center to the bean counters that have taken over.

I visit people's houses and I see no print books, no "coffee table" books but they do have iPads, large screen TVs and fast laptops.

When you are no longer printing things or looking at printed works, and just viewing something on screen for 30 seconds the quality of photos just doesn't matter as much.

The wealthiest guy I know (have met personally a few times) who is working in this or a related field is making very good money indeed - he is a videographer of very expensive weddings; which aligns in this respect, that you would naturally use an iPad, fast laptop or large screen TV to view such content.
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faberryman

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Re: Photographer Among Worse Jobs
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2019, 10:38:13 am »

When you are no longer printing things or looking at printed works, and just viewing something on screen for 30 seconds the quality of photos just doesn't matter as much.
From a technical standpoint perhaps, but what about the quality of the photograph itself. Surely you are paying the photographer for something more than a certain technical quality.

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Photographer Among Worse Jobs
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2019, 10:53:06 am »

Curious what degree costs $45K...maybe per year. Today, at a major art school in the USA will run very close to that.

At the time I was reading it, couple of years ago, I think it referred to the whole four-year undergrad program. Are you saying that undergrad photography degree now costs $45K per year? Or you had in mind a MFA? My daughter's business administration undergrad studies are that much, though room & board included.

petermfiore

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Re: Photographer Among Worse Jobs
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2019, 11:02:46 am »

At the time I was reading it, couple of years ago, I think it referred to the whole four-year undergrad program. Are you saying that undergrad photography degree now costs $45K per year? Or you had in mind a MFA? My daughter's business administration undergrad studies are that much, though room & board included.

Exactly 40-45K per year for a major art school...amazing. I know because I teach at such a school.

Peter

Rob C

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Re: Photographer Among Worse Jobs
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2019, 04:03:21 pm »

I do not agree that a picture on an iPad or tv gets away with being less good. To believe that, your perspective has to be simply that of other number crunchers who think in terms of dots, lines and pixels per unit.

I have looked in different mediums at pictures by several photographers whose books I own, and seen in a book or online makes little difference unless the printwork is poor or the monitor screwed. The great natural advantage transmitted imagery has is the same as that of transparency film vs flat print: the former gives more tones and inner brightness, a phenomenon also seen in the difference between a glazed print and a matt one.

In both cases, an uninteresting image remains uninteresting, not that I have books by snappers I think are not interesting. As I say, printing quality is probably more important than anything else in this matter; if you have Peter Lindbergh's book A Different Vision on Fashion Photography you could discover that many of those pix, seen on the Web, are actually a lot more pleasing. The book seems to be over-inked.

From personal experience, my trannies always looked better than the results on the printed calendars: you had to accept the differences in mediums. Perhaps the worst comparisons occurred in the case of polarized images where rather than a richer glow you got a flatter, darker printed image. I stopped using those filters pretty soon.

Rob
« Last Edit: April 29, 2019, 04:09:57 pm by Rob C »
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