What it Takes to be a Professional Photographer

Lesson 15/17 - Diversifying Your Income


What it Takes to be a Professional Photographer


Lesson Info

Diversifying Your Income

For me a big part of it was diversifying my income as well, because I saw other peers that had one giant client, and if something happened to that one giant client went under, they took a huge hit. And I was like, hmmm. And I saw in the last ten years the stock market world for stock agencies, that is wooohh...gone downhill fast. So, you know, I've tried to diversify myself out in many different ways. Tried to make sure I don't have just one client paying for most of, 80% of my, you know I have a few clients that I work with maybe 20, 30% of the time, but if it ever got up to 60 or 70% with one client I'd get really worried. The more diversified you are, the more stable the business will be in the long run, and you'll actually stay in business. So, for me it's Commercial and Editorial Assignment Photography is probably 60% of what I do...70%. I still have some stock photography. Probably a third of mine is still stock photography, but it's direct to the customer, not through a stock ag...

ent. Because of those newsletters I was telling you about, my SEO jumped to where I was on the first page of Google or number one for Adventure Sports Photography for a long time, and I think I just dropped in two or three. But that helped a lot, because people would see me when they looked up Adventure Sports Photography, call me, and then want to license an image that they pulled straight off my web and said, "How much for this image? For this usage?" And so I could license that image to them. So that was a huge part and still is a huge part of my business. Books and eBooks, I've written four books. Two of which are eBooks, two of which are published. I teach workshops, four or five a year, I'm here at Creative Live, this is part of my income. Fine art prints, I don't sell tons of prints, but I sell a certain number of prints every year, sometimes it's bigger, sometimes it's a smaller part of my income. Sometimes I get paid to write a blog post for usually a manufacturer in the camera world, since I'm kind of, I was a physicist, so I'm super geeky, and I actually worked on the chips that ended up being the sensors in cameras back in the early 90's, so I have deep knowledge of how a digital camera works, and the flashes and all that stuff, so by being sponsored and working with companies in the photo industry, that has opened up doors to that. Which is, you know, you may or may not want to do that. This is an example of an eBook, and I mean it's kind of crazy, I, so early on in my career in I shot an assignment for Adobe. Before Lightroom had come out, they were just coming out with Lightroom, and somehow they saw my work, and there's not time to tell that whole story, but I got the assignment to shoot for Adobe Lightroom before it ever came out. And they wanted me to deliver worked up images, 200 worked up images from the assignment cause they were gonna use them for demonstrations, and some of them would go for ads for Lightroom, and I'd never seen the software before. I'd seen Adobe Camera Raw and it was luckily somewhat similar to Adobe Camera Raw, but I got to sit down with the engineers from Adobe, and have the engineer that designed the software show me how to use it. I was like, the lightbulb went off in my head during this thing, it was like, this is pretty unique. I might want to share this knowledge with some people. So I wrote an eBook, and it's now in it's like seventh edition, so it's just being creative in how you make your income. If you have, you know I am the photographer, but I love to talk about photography and I wrote a book on it just on my own. And in design, made a PDF, and I sold it on my website. So this is just one example, it's not like, this is how you do it, it's just an example. But you know, these days teaching and talking about photography is a huge marketplace. I mean, obviously we're here at Creative Live, that's why they exist.

Class Description

Working as a pro photographer takes commitment, passion and tons of hard work. Many think pro photographers are on an extended vacation and happen to take a few photos while traveling the globe non-stop. While many photographers do travel quite a bit, and some go to exotic locations, the reality is quite different than the perception. In this 90-minute class we will discuss what it takes to be a pro photographer including how to perfect your craft, dial in your marketing, build a following and how to find clients that will hire you. By the end of this class you should have a level-headed, realistic view of what a photography career might entail.