How to make a living through artwork/photography?
September 9, 2006 10:14 PM   Subscribe

I am a photographer in the San Diego area. I would like to submit my work to book publishers, magazines order to generate some income and get more of my photographs out into the world. I have no idea how to go about this however. I am also looking for a steady job that somehow incorporates photography and art and travel. I feel stuck and broke.
posted by drunkghosts to Work & Money (8 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Hey. Your stuff is great. Professional in every way. As you know already photography is amazingly hard to make a living at, but you have the skills with your equipment and, just as importantly, it appears you can get yourself into the right situation to take those good shots.

If you want to make it as a photographer it's nothing more than doing everything to get your work out there. Send your stuff to a rights-managed agency like Alamy, Getty etc, put together a printed porfolio and bang on every magazine's door in town and in LA and everywhere else you can think of.

Better still, don't wait for someone to send you on an assignment. Pick a band or any current subject and photograph the hell out of it and then approach magazines with the story already packaged. An editor is much more likely to say yes to publishing a story if it's already finished.

Looks like you're shooting a mix of 35mm and medium format film, by the way. Yes? Great stuff. Lovely colour.
posted by jimmythefish at 10:41 PM on September 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

First, a bit of etiquette. Other people will likely jump on you for that. Don't sign your posts. Don't put your URL in your AskMe question, it looks spammy as hell. You might email an admin and ask them to take it out. Instead, put it in your profile.

Now, go to the right and click on the "photography" tag. Many people have asked about this topic before, in various ways. You can use AskMe like a database to address the different facets of your question.

How do I price photography work?

How do I get my photographs into galleries and/or sell prints?

How do I sell a photograph for online use?

Books about independent professional photography

Where I can share/promote/package/sell my photography?

Where to travel to as a photo-journalist?

As you can see many aspects of your question have already been covered better than they could possibly be in this question. There were other questions about travel photography, but using the search box at the top right and some time will turn them up- I need to get going. Good luck.
posted by fake at 10:47 PM on September 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Absolutely amazing pictures. I am not really qualified to answer your question, but based on your work... you should contact professional photographers to ask how to get started. Also, you should contact agencies to show your portfolio. Really great work. Your work stands on its own and if you can show it to the right people it will open doors for you. I'm waay jealous.
posted by xammerboy at 11:55 PM on September 9, 2006

Best answer: Don't put your URL in your AskMe question, it looks spammy as hell.
while I generally agree with this statement, I'd consider a link to his work indispensable here. this is a special case.


let's get the main issue out of the way: I find you to be a very talented photographer who is obviously capable of producing location as well as artificially light shots that are both well crafted and highlight a unique perspective. I say this as an art director for a major ad agency who gets a stack of portfolios dumped onto his desk every other day and who has extensive experience in both print and film.

I would encourage you to seek representation. assemble a book and show it to a couple photography reps. talk to other photographers to get a decent idea of who is good. I personally like anderson hopkins in new york. a photo rep should be able to help you make a giant leap. they can adequately advise you on stock photography issues (or you could contact corbis, getty images, et all directly - no difference) and show your work to ...well, people like me. make sure to approach a bunch of magazines you like directly. I think FLAUNT and DOMINO might fit you quite well, perhaps HOBO or (gasp!) VANITY FAIR. seriously, talk to a rep.
posted by krautland at 12:15 AM on September 10, 2006

while I generally agree with this statement, I'd consider a link to his work indispensable here. this is a special case.

Including a link to your work in your profile is a totally appropriate way to do this and then there is no fuzzy line about whether it's spammy or not and people still get to see your work. This is in the FAQ.

posted by jessamyn at 7:49 AM on September 10, 2006

Seeing as no additional comments were made after you changed where the URL was placed Jessamyn I am reposting it:
posted by xammerboy at 11:29 PM on September 10, 2006

Response by poster: Krautland,
First, thank you for the compliments and the encouragement. I would love the opportunity to have my work represented by a big time rep like Anderson Hopkins. Their stable of photographers are all impressive, talented artists. I actually sent them an email link to my website recently.
There is an article in this months PDN about Anderson Hopkins. It mentions the fact that they recieve 15 unsolicited emails a day from photographers seeking representation that go straight to the bulk email junk box. RATS!
I was wondering if there was anything you could do to help me make some connections. I can't tell you how much I would appreciate any kind of help in that department. You can email me through my website, if you'd like. thanks again.
posted by drunkghosts at 8:33 PM on September 12, 2006

eh, call lisa raffo. she's nice.

I wouldn't do email for initial contact anyway. everybody else does it.
posted by krautland at 10:54 AM on September 14, 2006

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