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How do photographers make a living?

Messages
106
Points
18
How are photographers meant to make a living today? They're encouraged to give their product away freely, more so than any other creator. There are numerous free photo sites like Pexels and Pixabay where photographers can upload their work. Some of the photos are truly stunning and many of them can be used for commercial purposes free of charge. Even popular websites that are high earners have taken them up on that offer including CNN and Buzz Feed. When even the big names won't pay for their own images, how are photographers surviving and what drives them to give so much of their work away?
 

didge

Member
Messages
182
Points
18
Photography is an art, and I feel like the photographers easily share their work because they love what they do. It is a crowded space now where you can get services for every genre and price range. The dedicated and creative photographer creates a portfolio which is then able to attract clients. All is not lost, in my opinion.
 

ShadowEdge

Active Member
Messages
228
Points
28
The dedicated and creative photographer creates a portfolio which is then able to attract clients. All is not lost, in my opinion.
Right, but I think the question is why should anyone pay for that art, when it's easily obtainable for free. I think that's one reason we have so many Instagrammers who risk their lives for that one great shot to upload on social media. It's a way for the photographer to make money through their skill. No one is necessarily buying that specific image directly, but it brings viewers who help earn ad revenue and affiliate money. To be honest though, I have no idea how photographers used to earn their keep except for those that took school pictures. I've just never been curious about the industry and I have no camera skills to speak of.
 

DandyMandy

Member
Messages
140
Points
18
If my married friends are to believed photographers make a killing on engagement and wedding photos. Sometimes it's a separate fee for cleaning up the images so that they look like something out of a glossy Vogue magazine. I think shooting the birth of a child and taking family portraits is still lucrative for some photographers as well.
 

Zack T

Active Member
Messages
751
Points
43
Question: How do photographers make a living?

Answer: They shoot people

:D :D :D
 

Poppy

Active Member
Messages
169
Points
28
Most creative work is undervalued today. Many article writers are producing content for free. Some of the most popular sports blogs have been criticized for not paying their talent. Musicians are encouraged to upload their music for free on Bandcamp and Soundcloud.
 

didge

Member
Messages
182
Points
18
Right, but I think the question is why should anyone pay for that art, when it's easily obtainable for free. To be honest though, I have no idea how photographers used to earn their keep except for those that took school pictures. I've just never been curious about the industry and I have no camera skills to speak of.
Say, you see a good photograph on Instagram, download it, then save it on your PC. If you ever want to recreate this photo, the owner has to give consent. This means that you have to write an email and seek permission. Most professional photographers have their images protected by copyright.
 

lymmo

Member
Messages
159
Points
18
Question: How do photographers make a living?

Answer: They shoot people

:D :D :D
Lol, pun intended indeed! One thing that is pretty is that photography isn't what it used to be back in the day. We have a lot more professionals now, and the field has somewhat become crowded. All the same, there are few people whose work still stands out.
 
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