Why “Do What You Love” Career Advice Leads To “I Live In A Van Down By the River” For Creative Professionals

career advice for creative professionals

I have been thinking a lot recently about the direction that I want to take my photography business, and this week I came across two really interesting ways of looking at career advice for creative professionals.

First, there is the “do what you love” genre of career advice for creatives.  Then, there are statistics.

For the sake of this article, lets call them fantasy and reality.

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Is Live Sports Photography Really Photography?

What about concert photography?  Fashion show photography?  Paparazzi? Red carpet event photography?  Or pretty much any circumstance where there are multiple photographers taking the same photos from the same location, in the same light, with the same gear, at the same settings, producing photos that look pretty much the same as every other game / concert / fashion show / celebrity photo ever taken?

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Julian Richards Explains Why He Closed A Successful Photo Rep Agency: ‘Photographers are undergoing self-inflicted castration’

julian-richards

There are many times we write about how the photography market is changing. How photographers are perceived to bringing less value to projects and how they are perceived to be worth their gear and nothing more. Heck, we posted an open letter about this today.

But while we have been mainly highlight the small business photographer, a recent interview by PDN reporter Amy Wolff with photographers’ rep Julian Richards sheds some light a similar process is happening at the very high end market as well.

Mr. Richards had a successful photo rep agency for over 20 years and at times his roster included photographers such as David Barry, Chris Buck, Michael McLaughlin, Dana Gallagher, Sian Kennedy, Greg Miller, James Smolka and Henrik Knudsen. A pretty impressive team. Yet, after 20 years he decided to quite. The interview is filled with painful insight from Mr. Richards.

The most striking thoughts comes when Mr. is asked about how the industry changed. (Bolding is mine)

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Open Letter To Client re: “Job Killer” Quoted Rate

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Hello Potential Client,

Regarding your last email in which you said:

“… if they (your client) saw the $700/ $1400 a day fee for the photographer they would dismiss the project immediately … (most of my client’s people make between $25 and $45 an hour)… Showing $100/hr was also a job-killer as you can imagine”.

Well sure thing. I see where you’re coming from… Let’s rewrite the quote to show the actual number of hours I will work on this job, instead of only those spent with my face in a camera. Maybe that will help.

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How To Become A Pro Photographer In Four Steps

With the rise of digital cameras it is becoming increasingly easy to become a photographer. It is not enough to own the gear for the job anymore and you need to bring something extra to the plate.

With this in mind we shared a tongue in cheek post a while back demonstrating how you can become a wedding photographer in ten easy steps. It looks like satire facebook page Being Satan did us one over and is now sharing an easier way to become a pro in only four steps.

photographer-in-four-steps

Have you had a job taken by a pro photographer like that?

[via 9gag]

Hiring An Assistant Without Jeopardizing Your Business

hiring-photograph-assistant

Sooner or later, most of us photographers find ourselves in need of an extra set of hands or feet for a particular project, whether it’s a second shooter (no JFK jokes, please) at a wedding, managing gear and lighting on a commercial shoot, or stabilizing the flower balanced on top of a rocking horse sitting inside an adorable bathtub for that oh-so-cute newborn shoot. Most new photographers and sole proprietors, myself included on numerous occasions in the past, think nothing of pulling in a friend or relative to help out in their time of need. And while that may be fine for personal projects, having that modus operandi in your business can get you into some hot water. I’m not talking about how nice it is to have someone to share the work or how cool it is to refer to someone as “my assistant” (which, admittedly, is pretty awesome…until they break something); I’m talking about, when you DO pull someone else in to help out, making sure that all legal ramifications are met and you do not sign your business’ death warrant.

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Make Money As A High End Wedding Photographer

With our ongoing look at the wedding photography industry, so far we have looked at “How to Become a Wedding Photographer in 10 Easy Steps” and “Why It Sucks To Be a Mid-Level Wedding Photographer”.

In this article, we are going to look at a wedding photography business model that is actually profitable and a viable career path for photographers – the high end wedding photography market.

how to make money as a high end wedding photographer jp danko toronto commercial photographer

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Why It Sucks To Be A Mid-Level Wedding Photographer

Most photographers have been there at some point in their career – wedding photography.

Some of us move on to other things, like commercial photography.  Some actually enjoy wedding photography and make a career out of it.

But too many photographers are lured into wedding photography under the illusion of quick money, only to get stuck in the evil clutches of the mid-level wedding photography market forever (or until they give up and find a real job).

wedding photography business plan

Lets be honest here.  Wedding photography can be fun with the right clients  – but it is always a colossal amount of hard work.

And life as a mid-level wedding photographer sucks.

In this article I am going to share the wedding photography business plan that is followed by the overwhelming majority of wedding photographers on the planet – and why it is not a sustainable way to make a living.

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How to Tell Clients They Can’t Have the RAW Files

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It’s been a while since I’ve received “The E-Mail,” so I guess it shouldn’t have been that much of a surprise when it came today. I must have been living a charmed life, because it hadn’t reared its ugly head in quite a while. Yet there it was. Staring me in the face. Cursor blinking in the “reply” box as I contemplated my impending level of sarcasm. Sometimes it’s actually a phone call. Occasionally they come right out and ask in person. More often than not, though, it’s an email. I prefer the emails because they help mask my frustration in a way that actual conversations can’t. You know the email I’m talking about. Names and locations have been changed for obvious reasons.

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