Being a 'Professional' Photographer in Singaporegreenspun.com : LUSENET : Photography Singapore : One Thread
I'm sure most aspiring photographer would like to turn professional one day and earn money from the hobby they love. But is life really so simple as to turn pro and 'live happily ever after'?
I think most would start off as freelance wedding photographer. What's the life to be one?
What about being a photographer for the press? Can photo journist here really earn the rank of those from National Geographic?
And what about selling to stock agencies here? There's only a couple here though the market could be worldwide.
And especially in Singapore where so few people are willing to pay for copyrights, how do you really make a living out of it to open something like a gallery?
And I'm sure the list would go on and on and on...
Any pro here to share their opinion?
-- Wee Keng Hor (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 03, 1999
Hi Keng Hor,
Being a pro is tough. Not all photographers lead glamorous lives like those that you see on TV. Some are and many are not.
To leave your day job can be rather scary, but then, you have to burn your bridges to achieve your aim.
For me, I began with weddings & portraits. Then moved on to studio, industrial, PR & editorial. I didn't know what my forte was so I did whatever that came along the way.
I had a lucky break when a client suggested I sign a contract to cover all sporting events in a club. I was good at it so stayed on this way till today.
One club led to another and eventually one hotel to the next followed by PR consulting companies so on and so forth.
More or less the client base is achieved but sometimes do still run into dry seasons, so putting aside your earnings for uncertainty is always a piority.
From the press point of view it would be good if you post this question at asiaphoto.com . There are several of them contributing at the forum page. I'm speaking from a private operation point of view.
I was never interested in dealing with stock photos, so this is an area I never delve in, same with gallery. From experience, there's more money to be made from shooting an assignment. This may be different for others.
It would make a difference doing something you like and liking something you do. It gives you the determination to move on despite the difficulties.
Somehow, after being a pro, the way that you see as a amatuer is not always the way you would as a pro. The clients do give you a guideline to work with and sometimes this could be restrictive to your creative process.
Meeting and liking to work with people is in my opinion very important in sustaining the business. This could be a problem for alot of people for not many are equipped with interpersonal skills. Many suffer from communication problems thus loosing a client to another photographer who speaks well and possesses a better disposition. So photographic skills in this sense is secondary.
This should not discourage aspiring photographers. Perserverance would see you through and success would surely go your way.
-- Paul Chuah (the_photo_workshop@Yahoo.com), May 08, 1999.
Paul, thank you for sharing your experience.
I totally agree that taking picture is secondary. Your marketing, organisation and management skills etc are more important. This applies not just to photography but to other professions as well.
-- Wee Keng Hor (email@example.com), May 08, 1999.
Dear Paul Chuah, Your contribution was very helpful to any full-time photographer "to- be" and I liked your honesty in your reply. Personnally, I am tearing my hair apart every night thinking whether to go full time photography. I always liked people photography but like any other, we are just afraid of the consequences if our full time biz do not even turn out to meet the minimum. I guess we tends to be more careful when children are involved, as they will be the first to suffer if father make mistakes. In your experience, what do you think will be a figure to say, besides equipment cost and set up cost, to be set aside for emergency if we ever think about full time photography business? Of course no glamorous studio/office rental location.
-- Tommy Ng (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 12, 1999.
Thanks for your comments. Honestly, you have to ask yourself how much you're currently providing for your family and yourself a month. Multiply that by 12 or even 18 and you have a figure that should be reflected in your bank account.
Not to forget the loans you are currently servicing, if you have any. Factor those in as well. Also to let you know, clients do not always pay on time. Be prepared for those that don't even pay you!! So a bigger cushion than your best estimate would be better.(It's obvious I know). I don't mean to be pessimistic but it's the truth.
Once you're in it, it's do or die. I chose to do, I must and I will.
Good Luck & Best Wishes to all aspiring pros and to you, Tommy. Paul Chuah
-- Paul Chuah (the_photo_workshop@Yahoo.com), May 12, 1999.
I'm looking for good freelance wedding day photographers to joint my company. Do drop me a email if you are interested. Rate base on your creativity. Thanks!
-- Chris (email@example.com), June 08, 2001.
dear sir I am po photogaphar in rajkot [india] I looking more expirians and whant astablis in sin, good job olso prefebal. can you halp me? thankyou, pankaj parmar
-- pankaj parmar (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 15, 2001.
I am 16 years exp in commercial photography. I am a establish commercial photographer of India ,Calcutta. My full day assignment charge is S$400 only(eight hours) . I want assingment at Singapore and Thailand. If any body hire me full month or full year I shall do assingment on behalf of the same person. Both will benefit. All person have a Camera is a commercial photographer ,this is a ery big problem of a original commercial photographer. Better you see my web site and then think of me Profotos Web: http://www.profotos.com/pros/profiles/index.cfm?member=11 Personal Web: www.kanailal.net
-- kanai Mukherjee (email@example.com), May 12, 2002.
I am 16 years exp in commercial photography. I am a establish commercial photographer of India ,Calcutta. My full day assignment charge is S$400 only(eight hours) . I want assingment at Singapore and Thailand. If any body hire me full month or full year I shall do assingment on behalf of the same person. Both will benefit. All person have a Camera is a commercial photographer ,this is a ery big problem of a original commercial photographer. Better you see my web site and then think of me. Profotos Web: www.profotos.com/pros/profiles/index.cfm?member=11 Personal Web: www.kanailal.net
-- kanai Mukherjee (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 12, 2002.
wah, 10 Q for sharing ur experince with us. I got one more question, what is the requirement to become a photographer for magazine, i.e Her World, Cosmopolitan, etc ? and also are they open a part-time photography job ?
-- andre (email@example.com), July 01, 2002.
There are professional photographers who are willing to share your passion and promote those who aspired to be a photographer.
-- Wen Li (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 27, 2004.
i am having 14 years plus professional experience in photojournalism. do u have any source to join full time job in singapore.. kindly let me know.. thanks.. willing to relocate..
-- Jay (email@example.com), May 30, 2004.