Making a Living


The Art and Business of Conceptual Portraiture


Lesson Info

Making a Living

Lastly, making a living all right? Yeah, so I mentioned earlier that you should probably go to dental school if if if you don't really, really need to do this and I'm actually kind of meant that because this is not an easy way to make a living it's a very, very hard way to make a living. Uh, and that's true for wedding photographers and portrait photographers is true for photographers in general there's not big money in photography unless you strike it rich and become famous, which is about as likely as becoming a professional athlete. It's just rare it can happen, but it's rare. So what in the end it is is a mixed bag of different ways to make income, so ah lot of artists, I have another job, they work something else, and I was actually having a nice conversation over lunch over break about this because me, for instance, I find that I can't shoot commercially for a living, for instance, during portrait that's why don't do commission work anymore and do my fine art a conceptual style w...

ork? I burn myself out and I get to the point where I hate photography because I'm using the camera so much, I'm doing too much volume. That doesn't work for me, I get miserable, so but it does work for a lot of people, so you see a lot of fine art photographers who also do commercial work and things like that or portrait and that's fine, I can't do that, so I I make my work and I teach a lot myself some products I sell books, so let's just kind of look at different ways. I also sell stock so here's, the kind of this is what I do, I produce work for a year, I make the work, I make testament maybe and then I spent a year publicizing that work, so that means getting it on the walls, getting it and shows that's how I sell my prince, my prince, are the biggest way I can make a living selling the work, right? So I've gotta publicize it. I've got a letter, you know that I've made the work and that we've just kind of talked about the different ways I do that. Um, so that's a that's. The most important thing is getting in front of people's faces, that's the cycle and it's I find that I don't do them at the same time I produce and focus narrow focus on making work, and I spend a year publicizing that work so that's it's okay to do that another big part of income is selling stock so I worked with civilian there's also arcangel on it but there's a bunch of others to that cell fine art type photography for stock that's a couple of images they've taken then are used for book covers mostly it's book covers that I sell but that's it's it's surprising come I mean I can't count on it but you know if I saw one or two things a month for a book cover or something similar thing that's is pretty good income it really is so that's been great for me and so what happens is they represent you kind of like a gallery does you submit work to them in a very similar way and they'll either take it or not don't tell you yes or no if they like your work then they're usually ask for specific images ah lot of my women's work trillion has they have traveler and flora so uh it's it's been great and the good thing is they do all the work I submit the work one time they have it, they don't own it but they have it and so I don't have to do anything I don't have to keep submitting or anything like that it's just kind of surprising come when it comes in I know there may be questions about that so I'd be happy to answer some here in a minute at the end and lastly I teach so I went to graduate school so I could well not the only reason but you know part of the reason so I could teach universities because you need it usually needed enough a to teach at a university master of fine arts degree so I wanted that so I have the option to teach and I do so I have taught at u n m university of new mexico I teach all over the country I'll go and do clinics for people I am artist talks things like that what's the word I'm looking for when you go and give advice to cos I consult thank you having a senior moment pregnant lady moment I don't know something yeah I consult with companies and things on that that's good money too so it's just a little bit here and a little bit there for me also my husband works so where a dual income family so I'm not supporting us on on my own I did support myself before I was married on my own but I mean of course that helped this part of the deal and that's just total honesty you know I'm not supporting a big family in a big house on my income so it's mixed bag um but mainly it's selling work that's what makes me money so again it takes time and it takes maybe a couple of years of spending money before anybody's gonna start selling your work and you're gonna actually start to see an income from that that's just the reality of it for me anyway that's okay that's the trade off is I get to do what I love and I'm making millions of dollars no, I'm making a good income and I contribute you know, half of our income sometimes hopefully you know I have periods of dryness of course, but I get to do what I love every day so I mean that's the trade off and it's pretty amazing one actually that's kind of elect that's actually doubie p p I and lecturing there so do that quite a bit cage workshops I do a summer workshop every year I also offer private workshops and mentor ships and that adds, you know, good income it's that's something that something coming in okay here again you can find me on facebook, twitter, instagram and open find me on what website and email if you like to be happy to answer questions for you um last time I was on creative lives, I've got like five hundred emails so you're welcome to evenly but it could take a little bit for me to get back to you just keeping that in mind doesn't mean I don't love you yes, I did mention this already, but I do offer a mentorship program I'm nearly full right now. But I'll be taking your people in july after my summer workshop. So I'd be happy to talk to anybody about that. He might be interested.

Class Description

Conceptual portraiture is where art and photography meet. In this class, Jennifer Thoreson will explore the intersection of fine art and photography and discuss the practice, process, and business of bringing conceptual portraits to life.

Jennifer is a visual artist, speaker, and lecturer whose photographic work has been widely published internationally in print and online journals. In this class she’ll reveal the process for developing commissioned and exhibition work. You’ll learn how to:

  • Create unique, imaginative props 
  • Secure the right type of model
  • Price your work
  • Approach galleries, museums, and publications

Jennifer will help you define your personal style and show you how to put together a conceptual series. You’ll get the inside scoop on what it takes to make a living through fine art photography and also get Jennifer’s tips on managing the business side.

If you want to expand into the expressive and exciting genre of conceptual photography, The Art and Business of Conceptual Portraiture with Jennifer Thoreson is the perfect place to begin your journey.