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Selling images

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markscatesphotography is off-line
02 May 2013 04:42
mscates176
Photographer

Location
United Kingdom
Essex


About 95% of my portfolio is fully clothed. Out of the other 5% most are topless with 1 or 2 underwear. I shot a model the other day and out of a 6 hour shoot there was 6 underwear pics.
I look as it as a retirement income.


Skymouse is off-lineGold Member
02 May 2013 05:41
skymouse
Photographer
skymouse
Location
United Kingdom
London
London

Quote from andrew_gibbins
Because if you don't get money in from getting published, then what?



Very simply, I go broke and lose my house.

Quote from andrew_gibbins
Its all a hobby that we all spend money on so a select girls can make a living taking their clothes off for a camera?



There are some exceptions — a few photographers have no hobby element in photography; a few models don't do nude modelling; a few models are male. However, looked at objectively, most photographers are amateurs of which some recoup at least some of the expense over time, while a much bigger fraction of models are (whether it is acknowledged) operating a business which may or may not make a profit (being recompensed in money or in photos makes no difference to this status).

People like to see things as being on equal terms, but objectively they're not. A photographer is purchasing the services of a model, and the motives of either of them doesn't change this. (I exclude the unusual case of a model commissioning photos from a photographer.)
"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - Groucho Marx.


Peter Hague is off-line
02 May 2013 06:20
PeterH
Photographer
PeterH
Location
United Kingdom
South Yorkshire


Quote from andrew_gibbins
Well these answers brings me to the inevitable question. What do you guys do to even break even on the costs of shooting these girls? Because if you don't get money in from getting published, then what? Its all a hobby that we all spend money on so a select girls can make a living taking their clothes off for a camera?



You have to shoot stuff that people want to buy. Most of that is mundane, boring, repetative, formulaic churn. Trying to get people to buy your art is a very bad business model. There are only a handful of photographers on the planet who can earn a living from shooting what they find interesting, chances are you won't be one of them. (I doubt any exist on these sites)

If you're intent on selling for (real) profit, you need to assess your pictures honestly, decide which market they stand a chance of selling in, purchase the magazines you wish to be published in, scour them for information on what they like and don't like, what the house style is, what models are featured.........

Then you just have to produce images of similar or better quality, and get them seen by the picture editor. If they like you and what you do, they may just buy something.

Or you could just enjoy doing what you do now, and not worry about making sales but just enjoy taking pictures.
"I am the one who knocks" - Walter White


Ammonite Creative is off-line
02 May 2013 06:29
ammonitecreative
Photographer

Location
United Kingdom
North Yorkshire
Whitby

We usually end up with time left over at the end of a paid shoot and this is when we shoot the odd image or 2 for stock. Look at the stock image library sites they tell you what images they want, they have lists of seasonal needs and what images they get requests for that are not fullfilled, also look at the best selling images and copy them but with a different model it gives the buyer a choice between 2 images almost the same but they will go with the moidel that best suits there needs and that may be your image!


Skymouse is off-lineGold Member
02 May 2013 10:46
skymouse
Photographer
skymouse
Location
United Kingdom
London
London

Quote from PeterH
Trying to get people to buy your art is a very bad business model.



This should be a sticky.

Ultimately, the world got a far better deal out of Van Gogh's accomplishments than he did.
"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - Groucho Marx.


Hugh is off-lineGold Member
02 May 2013 11:51
Hugh
Photographer
Hugh
Location
United Kingdom
Dyfed
Aberystwyth

Quote from PeterH
Trying to get people to buy your art is a very bad business model.



Almost as bad as trying to make a living by getting pretty 20 year old chicks to pay you to take their foto!

There are many, many easier ways to make a living.
It's not Fine Art just because it's in Black and White.


Skymouse is off-lineGold Member
02 May 2013 11:56
skymouse
Photographer
skymouse
Location
United Kingdom
London
London

Quote from Hugh
Almost as bad as trying to make a living by getting pretty 20 year old chicks to pay you to take their foto! There are many, many easier ways to make a living.



The phrase "selling coals to Newcastle" comes to mind

"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - Groucho Marx.


Peter Hague is off-line
02 May 2013 12:40
PeterH
Photographer
PeterH
Location
United Kingdom
South Yorkshire


Quote from Hugh
Almost as bad as trying to make a living by getting pretty 20 year old chicks to pay you to take their foto! .



Indeed, trying to make one person both the supplier and the customer has never been a very good preactice, either.
"I am the one who knocks" - Walter White


Oliver Cook is off-line
02 May 2013 13:43
artistoli
Photographer
artistoli
Location
Europe
Malta


As many have pointed out, the days of photography (or illustration for that matter) being an accessible way to make a living are long gone. The reasons are varied and numerous, but they have all come together like a perfect storm:

1. Massive over-saturation of supply. Tens of thousands of new 'photographers' each year in the UK alone
2. The Internet has opened the market that is left to global competition. This means competing with providers whose cost bases are much lower than in the UK
3. The relentless march of technology means it is getting ever cheaper and easier to make decent images (for most commercial purposes). This leads to even more of points 1 and 2.
4. The internet (and the 'lets share everything' attitude it created) has led to a situation where it is virtually impossible to protect copyright. Thus images lose even more of the little monetary value they had left.
5. Many photographers have made, or are making, their living doing other things and don't care about the money - they don't have to. This depresses prices further because clients don't stop to think about the differences in provider's circumstances.
6. The cost of living in the UK, for photographers, and models is rising - but earnings potential is falling. Do the maths and see that's a path to oblivion.

There are other reasons too, but they are big ones. Of course there are still some oldies who made a name for themselves when times were different and who can still draw on 'legacy clients' (ie. clients who are not likely to ever use new people, and will eventually die off themselves). There are also the few lucky ones who manage to make it by getting to know the right people in the elite crowd of top end publishers, but that will always happen.

The real big problem I see is that although 99% of the battle hardened realists on sites like Purestorm are fully aware of everything I've said, the educational establishments in this country still keep churning out more and more photographers and other visual creative types - nothing wrong with that in itself - what is wrong is the way that they paint a totally unrealistic picture of the state of the market, and it's inevitable future, to their hopeful students. That makes me a bit angry.


Peter Hague is off-line
02 May 2013 15:07
PeterH
Photographer
PeterH
Location
United Kingdom
South Yorkshire


Quote from artistoli
the educational establishments in this country still keep churning out more and more photographers and other visual creative types -



Yes, its true that "there are more people on photography course in the UK, than there are working photographers in the EU."
"I am the one who knocks" - Walter White



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