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!

Fstoppers-So-You-Wanna-Be-a-Photographer

[Via MyModernMet, Via PictureCorrect]

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85 Comments

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Anonymous's picture

Are you really justifying "free work" as it "has little impact?" "Really good clients" are those you already have. "Continuing to make money in photography" are the new clients you NEED.And pros in the business have seen the trend happening for ten years now. this may be new for you...not for people in the industry.

charlie's picture

this would in theory apply to any kind of work, isn't it? but i read it only about photography works. and why? I guess because the first one to be scared and not so self confident are the pros itself, seeing their fragile kindom sink. being honest the most killers photographers i have in my contact network are under 25. take it, or it's you that have to leave.

Ally Elly's picture

im a newbie in photography 3 years ago. from the beginning, i put in my mind, i want to be professional in this field. and now, i have went through all the challenge to become a pro. all the explanations above are very true. to make sure im not jump into the sinking ship, im prepare my own boat.
i leave my current job as a government servant and focusing on photography. and now i can proud of my self, i have my own studio photography and the monthly income so good.

so, moral of the story, read and understand the sketch. photography can make money...very huge...believe me.

Ðavið Ðeanðre's picture

Love it , Great Inspiration !

Ðavið Ðeanðre's picture

I still want to be a photographer even after all that eye opening.
I just starting ( actually i don't own a Camera Yet ) , but i got faith i will get there someday . Start from Kenya and move on to become Africas' Greatest and/or even the world !!! Click My name up there to view my work ( and even help a brother up the ladder if you don't mind ) . Regards Yáll [ @LilDavidSODMG on Twitter ]

God Bless .

rachel V photography's picture

This is great, I worked at a Studio during college and knew how much work it all took. After years at a desk job I decided to make my love of photography into a business. I interned/volunteered/carried reflectors/did what ever for other photographers in my area while I learned what it really takes, built my skills, my knowledge,established my business properly and legally, and what price point I should be at to sustain my business and contribute to my family before I jumped into it fully. When ever anyone contacts me saying they want to be a photographer, I tell them that's great! How are their business skills?

Joanne Clapp Fullagar's picture

Hmm, Synchronicity: Immediately after reading this article, I opened a Groupon email:

Portrait Scene – Multiple Locations
$19 for Outdoor Photo Shoot with Prints and E-view CD ($218 Value)

Dean's picture

Honestly, this whole thing is spot on except it missed one thing between the "amateur" & "dollar bill" part. The a##hole semi-pro/professional photographers that wont help. Whether its online forums or in person. They all call new photographers "fauxtographers" and treat them all like shit, as if when THEY started they knew EVERYTHING about the business. Even AFTER the person is ready to start a business (knowing their camera and all that) I blame all the OTHER photographers, why? Here is why, if everyone didn't act like selfish dogs over a bone they could as a community of photographers SET THE MARKET! Create a team that meets once a month or so that helps build plans for everyone to keep the market in check otherwise it will crash! If a "noob" doesn't know how to price themselves and gets no help, what are they supposed to do?? If everyone quit acting so pig headed about it as if they are the end all be all photographer and craps on "noobs" because apparently from birth they understood it all, the market wouldn't be crap.

Mark Brian's picture

Yeah, that's actually anti-competitive behavior and there are laws against businesses colluding to attempt to control the price customers pay. By and large, the US is supposed to have a free market economy. Joining a trade association and educating the noops about the subject of cost and price is cool, but you probably should let them figure out their own pricing.

Mindy Davis's picture

I agree with you on the calling people fauxtographers, but I don't like it when amateurs claim to be a professional right out of the gate.

MLK's picture

I'm appalled over the countless "victims of fauxtography" thinking the system only works that way. Ya ever think the photographers who are successful may have just started much different than the newb's trying to start today?? They sure didn't start by contacting successful photographers asking for tips, secrets, & for them to become an accountant for the newb's by helping them price! No, they volunteered for 'free' to help Sr. photographers.. From washing their props for free, cleaning show rooms, cleaning the shooting grounds, raking leaves, doing lots of hours of free volunteer work for the successful Sr. photographer so that they could study under them. They didn't learn it all from better photographers for nothing, it was a mutual work agreement for training VS FREELOADING off the great photographer. It was an even trade-off!! They helped each other!! They was a community of photographers!! And the newb's-in-training didn't go off bashing the first 10 photographer's who turned them down.. Nope, they respected them and kept trying. And they sure didn't start out by practicing on paying clients. They worked alongside pro's plus they chose family members to practice on for mutual trade like salon work for photography work, bartering, & they done all that a couple of years before ever putting themselves out there as photographers. Before looking at what someone isn't doing for you, you should think about what your can do for them. Can't think of nothing & still expect their training for free?? Then good luck.

Jeff Yarbrough's picture

Join ASMP or APA in your area... You in a small town...Go to the next biggest town or call a local professional photographer and ask about APA or ASMP or Google it!

You want a sense of community this is where you will find it.

Vada Ryerson's picture

This the most PERFECT thing i've seen on self-employed photography. FANTASTIC!

Lucy Merriman's picture

One thing I appreciate about this infographic is that it doesn't blame the consumer; rather, it seeks to educate the creator. So much of this can apply to freelance writers as well as freelance photographers. I hear on writer forums a lot that editors are not willing to pay as much for a freelance article as they used to, and they blame "greedy editors." And, while their might be something to that, there's also something to say about novice writers who are willing to accept low fees (or, worse, publish on Huffington or similar sites that don't pay at all).

But we can't just yell at noobs ^__^ We have to educate each other. AND we have to not be pissed about free content people put out that they retain creative control of (like most webcomics for example) because, as you mentioned in the solution part, that's actually an equally valid route and doesn't undercut the market. It's a different market.

That's why I am an amateur, putting some India photography on http://www.fabienpenso.com and I'm not trying to make a living from photography shooting weddings.

penis's picture

Nice not to subtle attempt at free advertising.

Alvin Toro's picture

They should be every camera's "Read Me First" pamphlet...

connie's picture

This applies to most self employed individuals;after 30 plus years in the hair business I can say we share a lot of similarities. Don't under estimate your talents, don't sell yourself short, confidence in your work and yourself is key..

Justin Mullet's picture

When does one become a pro?

Heather Curiel's picture

Why is the cute sweet looking lady the "hobbyist" and the older white dude the "professional" . So wrong.

hamishNIVENPhoto's picture

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

Lets discuss's picture

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.

Charl's picture

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.

Cesar Ghisilieri's picture

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?

James's picture

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?"

bseaman112's picture

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

Angela Ferguson's picture

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 :)

Thomas Gillespie's picture

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

Billy Suratt's picture

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

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