It’s a full time job

I’ve been working as a full time wildlife photographer for over 15 years now. I get asked about pretty much every part of my business/career all the time. One of the most frequent questions I get is: “Do you make a living doing this?”. It’s kind of a long answer.

Yes, it’s my only “job”. I spend hours a day working on every little thing that goes in to running a small business. I’m essentially an independent artist. When I set up at an art festival, I’m surrounded by other independent artists. I have a lot in common with potters, jewelers, painters, wood workers, etc. The actual time spent on photography is way less than 50% . The rest is marketing, book keeping, social media, photoshop, and oh yeah, I do art festivals/markets 40 weekends a year. This business model has become exhausting. This is a good place to state my family would have long been screwed without my wife Patty’s income and benefits as a nurse.

I’m looking for change.

This was taken mid December, during covid. All indoor shows had been cancelled, so a few of us die-hard artists kept showing up outside. did what I had to to do. It was an interesting time. My consistent business in Ashland became very unreliable. My wife (a nurse) has a steady paycheck and benefits, more critical than ever during Covid.

My New Vision

I want to sell more online. Greeting cards, prints and this time of year, calendars. Making quality products with my images and shipping them to customers nation-wide. I think I can do more good for conservation via social media/website/blog etc , than I can do at shows too.

Why can’t I sell 30,000 calendars a year, give a buck of every sale to conservation and call it good?

My calendar season has just started. I’ve had 16 online sales so far, mostly for the 3 calendar deal. I have four upcoming shows and my website to move 1000 calendars. I’m predicting i will run out, but we shall see.
The back of the 2023 calendar.
I’ve been getting a little restless at both camera trap locations. Part of me wants to try new locations, but there has been so much activity where they currently are, I can’t bring myself to move them. So a few days ago, I decided to just tweak the set-up at the “waterhole” changing the lighting, angle and I moved the camera in WAY tighter. As I was walking up to this trap today, I was thinking it was a stupid idea … that most animals wouldn’t fit in the frame.
And then I saw this, and I kind of freaked out with joy. I guess i won’t be moving this yet … I REALLY hope our bobcat shows up here now!
This one is beer worthy.
I can’t get over how beautiful this Gray Fox is.