Every Photographer Should Read and Study This Infographic

Every Photographer Should Read and Study This Infographic

All day I have been hunkered down in my office chair pounding through emails, album designs, and editing. My camera zipped away in my bag, my equipment strewn across my office floor. While the perception of being a full time photographer is one of double rainbows the reality is there is so much more to what we do. The following infographic should be a required reading for anyone ready to give up their day job to live the "rock style life" of a photographer.

Well it's that time of year again. Yep you know the one. Tax refund checks are in the mail. Soon that unexpected refund check of $1000 will be spent on the latest model camera being sold at the local Costco. Pulling the shiny new camera out of the box, the new owner just graduated from a lover of photographs to (queue the music) a photographer! Within a few days a Facebook page is set up advertising their services and the weekend mini-sessions being offered with edited disc of all the photos for $25. Soon, this new photographer realizes it's a lot more work than they first imagined and they jump on board the sinking ship, sell their camera to a friend and polish their resume to start the new job hunt.

Unless.... you start your profession as a photographer off on the right track.

There is a lot more to being a photographer than just shooting photos and applying a neat action or preset and impressing your parents with your mad Photoshop skills. This infographic created by Fotoseeds should be a required study for anyone interested in getting into photography. Especially the last set of bullet points comparing a Hobbyist to a Professional on the "path to sustainability." Study it over and let me know what you think in the comments below.

P.S. Please don't make this a bitchfest about beginner photographers. We were all there once before as well. Some of us might have learned how to create a sustainable business of photography. For those of you in that position what advice would you give to a new photographer getting started? Enjoy and share with your friends!


[Via MyModernMet, Via PictureCorrect]

Trevor Dayley's picture

Trevor Dayley (www.trevordayley.com) was named as one of the Top 100 Wedding Photographers in the US in 2014 by Brandsmash. His award-winning wedding photos have been published in numerous places including Grace Ormonde. He and his wife have been married for 15 years and together they have six kids.

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Previous comments

its probably statistically correct @heathercuriel:disqus . I belong to several forums and the majority of those with little business clue are wifes whose husbands have purchased cameras for them and they shoot babies and pregnant moms and pets.

I'm not getting at the people, the subject matter, just pointing out the demographics of the infographic

Yes,unfortunately it is true what hamish says. A new threat to professional photographers is the "stay at home" moms with rich husbands who cover all their living expenses and buy them the latest equipment for their birthday. then they get away with charging such small amounts that make the rest of us look expensive.

I agree with you thats the truth and the whole truths nothing more to it, they make extra money for spending while we are trying make it in the industry.

Noob-ism is gender blind
There are an equal number of men and women portrayed as amateur/hobbyist throughout the chart (the first amateur being a male).

Would you say the same if the genders were switched in the last image?

Who thinks a photographer lives a "rock style life?" All the photographers I know - which are many these days - can barely make ends meet. And a new one pops up every day. My wife keeps asking me, "Did you know [insert your friend's name] is a photographer now?"

David Jay, Jasmine Star, Katelyn James, Zac & Jody....basically all the Showiteers/ Overly Religious photographers. They sell the 'Rock Star Lifestyle'.

I have been doing this pro for about 3 years now (I know that`s not long ) but iv always struggled to find something I am good at or love to do , I have a slight Learning Disablitly & it tends to get in the way of how I live life or how I work , I have had several jobs in my past & never could stick with it , I would just give up on myself right away ,but then I thought I`v always loved taking photos , why not actually give the pro side a try so here I am today 3 years later doing something I truly love to do . The only problem I have is I live in a city that half the people here are on some sort of assistance so it is hard to make a lot of money not enough to live off of that`s for sure (I am also on assistance so I understand we are lucky to have that extra dollar every month ) I struggle with that but that is about the only problem , I have also took a few photographer courses & it really opened my eyes to this amazing world we live in , My advice to new photographers is --- Take a local photography course or even do one online , once you are finish completing the whole course ask yourself is this really what I want to do , there is way more to it then just snapping a photo , do your research before you get fully into it & in the end if its still pulling you to it Don`t give up there will be plenty of hard times in this business but if it is truly your passion then you don`t have a reason to quit ! Good Luck :)

Totally going to piss everyone off here, but photography is bullshit. And I'm a photographer.

This is the greatest thing I've read all week.

One of the most awesomest post in recent times. I wanna be an image maker and I have started to confuse myself recently with how I can money but this article is an eye opener. Thanks for the great post.

I love it


My advice is shoot what you are interested in. Find a way to support yourself…I stopped calling myself a photographer and got a job as a reporter. Much better! Recently I got an exclusive photo of an event that went global….a Shell oil rig grounding in Alaska. I got 25 calls about the image, every last one of the picture editors asking me "to share." I asked every one of them if they were working for free and most hung up on me. Finally they found a marginal photo from a fishing boat captain and everybody went with that. But you know who bought my photos? Two well-known conservation groups. And both hired me for more work on the Arctic oil exploration by Shell. I know some famous photographers who are broke. And I know some who've made a lot of money. There's money out there….

This is an excellent primer for starry eyed new photographers. A lot of the "Common Problems" can be solved by networking with and assisting established professionals. Newcomers don't know what they don't know.

Very cute Illustration, However the Photography world has been tossed on it's ear and not solely the fault of the aspiring amateur. The digital world itself is half responsible for creating & marketing easy to use high megapixel cameras capable of making beautiful pictures acceptable enough for the masses. You say "But cameras don't take good pictures People do"? Yes I know with great experience comes great results but that doesn't mean someone with a natural eye can't easily get a decent shot for pennies on the dollar comparatively to the pro. It's the world we live and fight for now as full time pro's part time pro's what ever. In the good old days it was easy not worrying about an onslaught of amateurs becoming photographers because with film cameras you couldn't see your image instantly on the back of your camera with a histogram to help you figure out how to adjust you settings etc. You had to know what you were doing in order to capture your framed joy. I'm sorry but the truth is with this Economy and Photography not being a Necessity too so many any more and the level of ease now to create and make pictures and share with social media etc…..it would be wise for many of us to consider taking on a second job or occupation to help support our dying business. To be stubborn and keep charging prices to sustain your idea of a living as a high priced photographer know matter how you slice may be the difference in keeping a paid job or not getting very much work at all…..People are sick and tired of paying what some pro photographers consider the going rate and more over the industry has no real standard of pricing because its considered an art and and so charge what ever your formula makes you a profit. No Illustration, Workshop or article can change the modern mindset of getting something done cheaper and better than ever before especially when it comes to the making and buying of photographic materials. Being busy now depends on how flexible you can be with your pricing to get that job without giving the house away. Hope I haven't upset the apple cart but this is closer to the truth in my perception of whats happening out there! Happy Shooting!

usefulll 4 amatuer

So I was asked to other day by a friend how much a photo of mine would cost to be used on a website they are starting up it would be the top banner photo or as "cover" photo as facebook would call it. I have never sold a photo of mine and have been thinking for a while to start attempting to market and sell my own stuff. But as this info graphic says i don't know how much is the right price. so what are some pointers on how to price such a photo?

Thank you! I greatly enjoyed and appreciated this.

You new to photography... Get educated... chaco out www.creativelive.com... FREE classes on photography, EVERY week...

I feel education is key, and honestly the type of education one should be seeking is not free. NB photographers should be up to date on the latest safety practices!! Do what you love, love what you do, and value what you are doing enough to know what you are really doing :-)

To be a professional you have to be an amateur first, right?

I humbly came into the world of photography. Yes, I received my camera as a gift from my husband to photograph our newborn. I didn't go to school for the wonderful art of photography. In the past two years I developed a company that is well know in my community, have been published on multiple occasions, and charge what I'm worth. I photograph family, maternity, weddings and editorial photography. can I just say ... IT'S BEEN A ROUGH RIDE. I have always considered myself an artist. I HAD TO LEARN TO RUN A BUSINESS!!!! YOU HAVE TO BE HUNGRY FOR KNOWLEDGE OF PHOTOGRAPHY! I am continually learning about photography. It truly is a crazy life! Confidence is the name of the game. You become confident through knowledge of photography. Good luck to all you newbies out there..... it can be done. Have faith in what you love, realize there are going to be bumps in the road, your equipment will break (sometimes on assignment.. so be prepared) , always run a business... not a hobby, sharpen your PS skillage, experiment with TONS of different equipment, knowledge is at your finger tips thanks to the digital world we live in .......... so don't be lazy!

This is bullshit, pro photographers trying to stop the tide so they can keep their costs to the level they think is acceptable and denying others the opportunities. So what if the newbies get bummed, a pro should be able to justify their relationship with a client and provide work that has value. If they cant do that I guess they'll spend more time making infographics up instead of shooting stuff.

Many people ask me if I am a "professional"...my answer is: "Well, there's "professional" and there's "Mom and Pop"...I am in between. I make a decent income on photos and videos...but, really, I do it "for the love of the game". If someone really wants (and is willing to pay) for the "big shots"...I know who to refer them to (and, with no referral fee...because, they are my friends ;-))

I make my living as an accountant, and understand perfectly well why most photography businesses fail. The market for $100-an-hour photographers is small. The pool of mediocre photographers is large. Most customers can't easily tell the difference.

People who like Two-buck-Chuck are not the same people who buy Le Pin.

This is a very nice presentation .... i like it..

I think this only says that an amateur photographer doesnt spend so much time about photography while the pro. Uses much time in doing the job as there means of living.

The info graphic hit me in the eyes and head, BAM. I am nailed on this one and you guys help expose my needs, wants, etc. That is where I am. At age of 67, love the craft and I do a nice job at my work. But I think I may be on the road to hobbyist and migrate from "Professional" status. The graphic is most telling and an honest look at what I do. My business "mind" is so lame....regardless thanks for a reality check. Ken

Photography, patio furniture, mortgage backed securities, pediatric care, cocaine: it's all the same
It's a f**king business!
Doesn't really matter what you're selling
All the rules are still the same
It's not about whether you want to be a professional photographer (i.e paid to take pictures with a camera) but rather do want to own a small business that sells photography services
Years ago I was a professional musician (paid my bills with the money I earned playing music)
the questions wasn't: Am I a good musician?
But rather: Will people pay money to hear me play?
Same with photography (or patio furniture or mortgage backed securities or pediatric care or cocaine)

All though I am now working as a photographer and I generally enjoy my work apart from the few clients who would drive a saint insane. I started a long time ago in the arts and in particular hand painted furniture. People used to say " It must be wonderful to be doing something artistic for a living!" The reality when they closed the door was rather more industrial and less artistic. Five or more pieces of furniture lined up with me painting all the red, then all the blue and all the green etc etc. Occasionally I had a special order where I managed to use my artistic skills but in general it was work and bills had to be paid.

An example!

I only disagree in the graphic; the marketing should get at least a 20%, but is just my opinion..,

I have to say: the customer are the ones that should read this and be re-educated. Changing their perception of whom they choose to work with is valuable.

Good points, but just a little sexist that ultimately the person who winds up staying a hobbyist is a mommy-tog, and the person who gets to be a serious pro is the dude with a goatee? I know I'm reading into it way too much, but I just thought it was funny, because imagining those two columns with the "characters" swapped is indeed a bit difficult. Maybe it's me that's sexist then?