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.
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?