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Are there many that still make a real living out of photography? I know 3 people on my floor at work and another 2 friends that do the occasional wedding etc. None are really "in the industry". My niece is studying photography and marine biology at Uni. I suppose she'll be able to take good underwater photos.

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Are there many that still make a real living out of photography? I know 3 people on my floor at work and another 2 friends that do the occasional wedding etc. None are really "in the industry". My niece is studying photography and marine biology at Uni. I suppose she'll be able to take good underwater photos.

 

My BIL is a commercial photographer and goes OK. The bottom fell out of wedding/portrait years ago when digital and phones became popular but I'm sure there's still people making decent money.

 

I was a pretty handy underwater photographer in my time - the equivalent of a Kona winner in triathlon - still have the trophy on the wall at home :)

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Am copying this post over to a new thread to allow discussion on the photographic aspects of the post that aren't related to mental health. Feel free to continue to discuss the merits of this career, ISOs, rules and Nikon v Canon who simply ask questions about anything, sounds like we have some experience on the forum

 

 

Ok, I'm just after a vent and this is as good a place as any where it won't be seen! But my is BIL driving us crazy!

 

Over the years he's worked for me, started his own business against me (approaching my customers), lived with us through his separation/divorce, dated then married his ex-wifes best friend (he wasn't the one who cheated in his marriage, but he started dating her almost straight away (that made for fun times)). Now my wife always wanted to be a photographer, and years ago has even done some of our local TAFE's photography course (the highly rated diploma, not some snappers little course), has had a dark room and equipment, and has 15+ years of experience with photoshop etc these days. She's fantastic at resortaion work and digital imaging stuff, and even won a national competition Dell held to design a laptop lid pattern (in the open public national vote out of her 4 designs she entered she placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd, with the final 10 going to a judging panel (including people like the director of the national gallery or something) and one of hers being selected as the winner (could only be chosen once in the places). So yeah, I'm pretty darn proud of her skills and what she can do and would love for her to be well enough to take it further.

 

So now he's decided to become a wedding photographer. His photography background going into this - he owned an Olympus compact and his dad owned a lower mid level SLR. And he just thought he could do as good or better. It's frustrating her because this is what she wanted to do, and was studying it. She was also going out to assist one of the best in town on wedding shoots. You know, the hard yards stuff. He just picks up a camera, advertises, and starts doing shoots with everyone praising him. Now, I'm no photographer, but I studied media production at uni and he has a lot of work to do. First lot of portrait shots he did (luckily for family) I just wanted to scream at him Rule of Thirds!!!!. We've tried to encourage him to do some courses, but nup. Doesn't need that. And now everywhere they go he has a hulking big camera in his hands. I mean, I don't wanna sit in an a la carte restaurant with two friggin slr's on the table (his new father-in-law is also one of those people who for ever has a camera in their hands). And while on our cruise he gave Rob his camera to take a shot of him and the iso was set on 1600! I mean even I know that's wrong, and Rob nearly dropped the camera out of shock. And he showed us a pic he took of my daughter he said was lovely, which it is, she looks great. But she's sitting beside his daughter which he only has 2/3's in the shot. Sure, he was taking a pic of my daughter, but surely a photographer would know that you frame them both up in the shot! If we just want Jas then we can crop his daughter out. But, now the only way it will ever be a good shot is to crop her out regardless!

 

It's becoming more and more frustrating the more he goes on. Now he wants to do a photo book up of the cruise (using his and our shots) for his parents, and do we want a copy? They're only $200 for an A3! No thanks, Rob will do her own up we told him. Even more than photography, this is the sort of thing my wife is brilliant at (she's been using photoshop for 15+ years now) and he knows it (she has full subscription to Adobe Creative Suite as well). I spent two weeks convincing him that he needs to shoot in RAW rather than JPEG. And now we're just waiting to get all his photo's from the cruise (we're swapping all out snaps) just so we can see what iso he used and if he shot in raw or not!

 

And he'll pull it all off cause 99% of people won't have a clue. It's just so hair-pulling-out frustrating to watch him just 'decide' to do what my wife wanted to but can't any more. Sorry, but I needed a decent bitch and moan and we just can't keep doing it to each other any more.

 

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Look, here's the deal:

 

Your brother in law sounds like a complete dick ... and even if he's not a dick, you think he's a dick and for us here on trannies we'll accept your judgement as the correct one...

 

So, now that we agree that he's a dick you have to look at it this way:

 

He'll always be a dick. He has to get up every morning and look at his dick face. Everywhere he goes he'll be a dick. When he's driving a car he's a dick, when he's shopping he's a dick....

 

At home - dick

Visiting you - dick

On holidays - dick

 

DICK DICK DICK

 

He knows he's a dick, you know he's a dick

 

There is nothing you can say that will compare to him having to live his life with everyone thinking he's a dick.

 

If anything, you shouldn't be pissed off with him, you should feel sorry for him....

 

He's a dick! And he has to live everyday as a dick.

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Look, here's the deal:

 

Your brother in law sounds like a complete dick ... and even if he's not a dick, you think he's a dick and for us here on trannies we'll accept your judgement as the correct one...

 

So, now that we agree that he's a dick you have to look at it this way:

 

He'll always be a dick. He has to get up every morning and look at his dick face. Everywhere he goes he'll be a dick. When he's driving a car he's a dick, when he's shopping he's a dick....

 

At home - dick

Visiting you - dick

On holidays - dick

 

DICK DICK DICK

 

He knows he's a dick, you know he's a dick

 

There is nothing you can say that will compare to him having to live his life with everyone thinking he's a dick.

 

If anything, you shouldn't be pissed off with him, you should feel sorry for him....

 

He's a dick! And he has to live everyday as a dick.

 

I would agree with that,, except the dick self-awareness thing. He has no clue he is a massive dick. He is just world-class at it but with complete ignorance.

 

What's to stop your wife starting up herself and being in competition with him?

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She's not well enough. Though I have suggested he should use her for post processing work but he ignored it.

 

I'm just being a bitch today. 3rd coke down (frozen), I pity you guys with what I'll be posting after my 2 with dinner tonight.

Edited by goughy

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Ok, then thinking laterally, could she set herself up to produce photobooks for the self-snapping wedding brigade. Even as far as supplying SD cards or instant cameras, get all the iphone pics from guests etc and she turns around a photo-book for them.

 

I know I have thousands of photos waiting for my wife to produce photobooks from holidays going back several years. She is really good at that too (at a family holiday shots level) but lacks the time to sit in front of the computer and churn them out.

 

Can choose your friends hey?

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Goughy,

 

Could you wife instead look at teaching newbs how to use the camera and the editing stuff? I'm just getting back into proper gear after a long hiatus (my only other SLR used film - bought in 12 months before the first digital cameras started coming out) and would love a simple course to explain the difference between lenses (including which type I need to buy to fit my camera body), what filters do, which photo editing thingy to get, why RAW is much better than Jpeg etc. Think photography is alot like triathlon, lots of people getting into it with all the wizz bang stuff and not knowing how to use it properly until someone who actually knows gives them the advice. Get her to follow the triathlon coaching model of business, with the prices of SLR's becoming so cheap, more and more people are going to get into it without wanting to do full on diplomas. Get in with the local camera houses and business could be walking to your door

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And sorry, I was wrong and my Rob just corrected me. He wasn't taking holiday snaps with his is on 1600. She said he was sporting them with his shutter speed set to about 1600.

 

Parky, that's kinda what I suggested to her brother, that she do the post processing work. Regarding the 'choose your friends', just spent a week on a ship with them. On the dinners and lunches together their would be between 2 and 3 cameras on the table. I have a new rule - if I see a camera at the dinner table they will see it go through the window.

 

Cottoneyes, she has kinda done a bit of what you are talking about. She's been involved in Digital Scrapbooking for many years. I know for one side she wrote some tutorials for people to work through. My mum who has been in desktop publishing for donkeys years has now retired and set herself up at home to do some stuff, and didn't know photoshop etc all that well and had done some of Rob's tutes and really liked them. She's also had some of her alphas included in the freebie disks on some pommie digital Scrapbooking maps.

 

I think a few things last week have just got on my goat.

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Oooh this is all too close to home, even the letting it get to me too much when i dont have to.

Cheap cameras and social media making it easy to get praise for crap work.clueless people undercutting by a mile makes business bloody hard.

My business sits on the verge of "making it" but cant get over the line still.

 

The fact i read this first in the mental health thread is very pertinent, as its certainly played a big part on my frail mental health and had plenty of air time with the psychologist.

 

From personal experience all you can do is ignore and do your own thing, do it better , much much better, get as many people to see that its much much better as you can. Reputation appears to be what this gig is all about.

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You know, he was in my shed last week covering a chair for a family member, and we were talking very much about this. He said to me that with all the Tech that's of there available these days it is getting harder, as any old person can just buy a camera and call themselves a 'photographer'!

 

Before my jaw could even hit the floor, he said, ' in all fairness that's exactly what I did '. Didn't expect him to admit that.

 

Didn't want to explain to him how to use depth of field to make your subject the focal point of your photos, instead of the vine covered trestle they are standing against. But he did ask me if I had any work a few days a week...

 

A Zed, maybe people can take better photos than they used to, but when you see the shots of someone who really knows what they're doing, even what should be ordinary shots can pop! I remember when my wife was studying part time at Tafe (we are talking 15+ years ago) , we went to a presentation by a photographer who only used a Canon A1 with 50mm (think f1.4) lenses in full manual and a light meter. Nothing else. Her social commentary pics were insane.

 

BTW, I don't suppose you need an LPL colour head enlarger? Can't seem to give them away these days ;)

Edited by goughy

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You know, he was in my shed last week covering a chair for a family member, and we were talking very much about this. He said to me that with all the Tech that's of there available these days it is getting harder, as any old person can just buy a camera and call themselves a 'photographer'!

 

Before my jaw could even hit the floor, he said, ' in all fairness that's exactly what I did '. Didn't expect him to admit that.

 

It's what half the photographers on the planet did and there was nothing really wrong with it when you had to learn how to use things properly. The difference now is that Digital makes it incredibly cheap and social media makes it (relatively) easy to find an audience.

I'm a little different as I started by doing photography in high school, followed with a certificate course and cadetship outside of school. I grew up in darkrooms and it's amazing how quickly you improve working full time at something - none of that seems necessary now as anyone with half a clue in Photoshop is a 10 minute expert.

It disappoints me a little because the 'soul' of the job has been lost a bit but it's just evolution I guess. I see stunning work every day but I often hanker for the simpler photojournalism I was into.

Edited by trinube

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Yeah, my wife was all darkroom too. Even converted a second toilet to a darkroom for her. Gave up printing when we were going through the whole having kids thing and by the end of that we were in the digital realm. Since then her hobby focus has been on digital manipulation, photo restoration work etc. She's very good at this.

 

Yes, the old techniques of dodging etc while printing etc seem to be gone. But understanding how that stuff is spose to work I think will help you understand what is going on in the digital world.

 

I can't complain. She makes some pocket money out of it all. And has won some decent prizes with her work over the years. Early on she won a Nikon Compact digital camera (2mp beast at the time), and a Laptop and 5k from Dell (plus flown to Sydney to be presented) for her design of a laptop lid (I now own the only one of it in the world).

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Yeah, my wife was all darkroom too. Even converted a second toilet to a darkroom for her. Gave up printing when we were going through the whole having kids thing and by the end of that we were in the digital realm.

 

I'd love to find someone who still has a working darkroom - I'd love to take the kids there and show them how is used to be done. They don't have a clue that dodging and burning came from the darkroom...

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I just bought myself a "good" camera for work. It wont make me any more money but my product will be better.

 

Another toy!

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I just bought myself a "good" camera for work. It wont make me any more money but my product will be better.

 

Another toy!

 

I haven't been a full time pro for 23 years but my battery of cameras would still make yoyo's bike collection look like a broken down Huffy.

Edited by trinube

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I haven't been a full time pro for 23 years but my battery of cameras would still make yoyo's bike collection look like a broken down Huffy.

One of my guys at work went to Europe last year to follow the GP circuit. His camera bag was stolen while he was over there. $29k worth of gear, and that was what wasn't hanging round his neck at the time.

 

I'd say some people have too much money, but then he doesn't have a bike collection to support. :)

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I remember reading an article in one of my wife's photo mags, about an official olympic photographer and his equip. Bugger the cameras he had with him. He took a pallet load of 35mm film with him! It looked insane, but I guess when you snap off a roll in 5 or 6 seconds you might go through a bit! Different story these days. Hand full of hdd's and a laptop I bet.

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I remember reading an article in one of my wife's photo mags, about an official olympic photographer and his equip. Bugger the cameras he had with him. He took a pallet load of 35mm film with him! It looked insane, but I guess when you snap off a roll in 5 or 6 seconds you might go through a bit! Different story these days. Hand full of hdd's and a laptop I bet.

 

Yeah it makes a huge difference. In the good ol' days I was a very prudent shooter - a big day for me would be 5 or 6 rolls because every roll had to be processed by hand and then checked and printed. I spent at least 2 hours a day in the darkroom. Nowadays our guys will shoot the equivalent of this on a single, nothing job - little or no discretion at all, they just fire away at anything. Flick a card into a machine and scroll through them in no time. Not uncommon to shoot a thousand frames a day.

Mind you it was even more of a challenge underwater - 36 frames was it unless you wanted to drag a couple of cameras along. The luxury of having thousands of frames on a card is still mind-blowing to me, oh I wish I'd had that back then.

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I read an article by a photo historian recently that even though there are millions times more photos being taken these days, they aren't getting seeing the same number of "big ones" being saved for posterity. Back in the film days, nearly all negatives were stored, but these days, if it isn't wanted that day, it is generally wiped.

 

Is that true?

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I read an article by a photo historian recently that even though there are millions times more photos being taken these days, they aren't getting seeing the same number of "big ones" being saved for posterity. Back in the film days, nearly all negatives were stored, but these days, if it isn't wanted that day, it is generally wiped.

 

Is that true?

 

Probably. What I would say is that quality photography isn't valued the same way it was in the past.

With regards the number of photos taken, keep in mind the entire photo 'industry' changed with digital. The most popular camera in the world (according to flickr) is the iPhone and it's a fair bet that half the photos taken are selfies. How many people took selfies with film cameras?

Edited by trinube

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Well I may have thrown a little spanner in the work for my bil. He got his wife to agree to let him spend pretty much all his money from photography on photography equipment this year.

Unfortunately, on the last few days he was working for me last year he sent me a text message on the Monday morning saying that he couldn't make it in (but could come over to help me Lyft a heavy seat into place). Needless to say I ended up about one day sorry of getting my work done before Xmas. So when he txted me this year to see if I had done work lined up for him (he doesn't call for the sorts of things, he only texts) I told him not really and I don't think I will have any more. Even annoyed me more when my wife questioned me about it because her parents questioned her about it, because he'd offered to work for me during the holidays to make up for it (which he hadn't cause we only discussed his working via txt and I have them all). So straightened the wife out, but I'm happy to be the bad guy to the rest of the family.

But it means he's actually gonna have to use his photography money for other stuff as he's lost the income from me.

They're also selling their house ATM and he took all the photos for the agent, who has rejected them and asked him to retake them all.

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