There are a lot more music photographers than there are music photography jobs — that’s just how it is in this corner of the industry. It’s a port of entry for many hobbyist photographers, and the result is saturation of the market. A lot of budding photographers are willing to work for free, making the gigs that are out there even tougher to get.
When most bands are composed of young people just out of (or still in) high school, is understandable that most aren’t able to pay photographers much. I used to charge local bands $100 for a band promo shoot. That felt like a fair price back then; I gained valuable experience and it was affordable for the musicians as well.
But a few years down the line when you have thousands invested in gear, $100 shoots aren’t going to cover your costs, not to mention your time. When you reach that point, you have to figure out other ways of simply financially maintaining your hobby. I want to shed light on a few opportunities that I’ve found and seen my peers succeed in, not just breaking even but actually making a living.