Ive spent at least 70% of my time since 2010 trying to break my mind, and my world into relearning what it is to live.
I started photography as a love, and still to this day want it to remain that. I realize now that MOST people just do not care for photography as an art form.
Most people assume oh you bought a nice camera, that must be how you do it.
If there is one thing that I have learned in 5 years, is that photography IS NOT EASY.
I realize that people don't understand that producing keeper printable, and wanted landscape images is insanely difficult. Unless that person has an attachment emotionally or relationship wise to the image ( sports, object in image, ) they just wont spend the $200+ it takes to get a print, and it be framed correctly. I state $200 as that's just the beginning of spending money on prints.. it gets MUCH more expensive to get them produced.
That $200 framed print easily could have cost me $5000 to create, just because it cost me roughly $50-70 to print and frame doesn't mean I am getting rich from selling a few.
Photography is a labor of love, not a labor of profit. I don't have what Peter Lik Fine Art Photography has in marketing prowess. I do think that I am able to produce images on occasion that would be in the same quality range... but will I ever get $6.5 million? No .. that's not what I aim for.
I have on rare occasion had very significant sales, up to $5000 from one individual. When you are talking about how expensive this "hobby" is that amounts to paying for a camera, a lens, a flash, a tripod, some gas and a backpack. ( one lens mind you )
When I made my huge sale, I bought a new camera.. and a lens and just kept snapping. I made more sales, and landed an internship with Real Salt Lake. That was a HUGE Learning experience, I was able to make tons of friends and sell quite a few canvases, and even give away a few prints/canvases.
Shooting sports is probably one of the most fantastic things I have done with my camera, problem is go look at my images, most of them did not use the correct shutter speed that type of shooting DEMANDS. You really need the best quality gear. Just the correct body to shoot sports is around $6500 with an ACCEPTABLE lens being in the range of $6000-$8000. That's why most of my best stuff was emotions, faces, and the crowd.
The pay is atrocious for sports photographers, I wont even try to tell you what that pitiful pay is, Im sure Jeff McGrath could tell you as he had an opportunity to grab a paid gig last season. What did they offer you? $160 for one game? That would cover the rental for appropriate gear.
Now that I am essentially unemployed once more officially on LOA ( oil prices are killing that avenue ) I would really like to take some of my absolute best work, and get it printed and continue pursuing what I started 5 years ago. I want to create works of art, not snapshots.... I think that currently I have around 10-15 really great producible images, after having taken 100's of thousands of images.
I am also thinking I should just hang it up, and forget that life... not many people in my inner circle, family, friends really have a clue what is involved or what it takes to really be successful. I cant justify $5,000 ( just on the surface..) for a hobby that sells around $500 in sales a year.
People just want $500 wedding photographers, and $50 family photographers which there are plenty of on the Market. The glut of Modern digital photography has created an incredible amount of one click Photoshop "actions" photographers the stay at home moms ( hard job by itself with kids ) have found a way to make an extra $500-$1000 a month by really killing the true professional photographer. ( to be honest I have come to realize, I am sort of in between that pack )
To finish up this rant, I just want all of you who have purchased a print or canvas from me to know that you all own a little piece of my love, and my world. I want you all to know that every sale has furnished me with self esteem, and has moved me a little further along in wanting to keep on creating my own little corner of the world, or the world as I see It.
Thank you to those of you who have, and shame on all of you who have wanted a print only to let me fall flat on my face by devaluing what I do. I realize this is a bit of a caustic comment, but I really don't care. Those of you who know me, know this is the real me. I am not very politic about it, I just say what I want for the most part.
I really don't expect many replies, or for many people to read this. I just had to say it after a situation tonight really riled me up..