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11-29-2009, 08:53 PM   #1
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Can you make a living selling prints?

I'm 56 years old, and have been in love with photography since I was about 15. I've always had a camera of one type or another. Over the years I've won a lot of contests, even had one of my shot on display in EPCOT. But photography has always been a hobby, something to do to relax. I've done close to a hundred weddings for family and friends, but dont really like to do them. I've had people who are not related ask me to do their weddings, but have always turned them down. I also dont really like shooting people. I like nature, landscapes, abstracts, etc.

Anyway, my career has been in IT for the last 30 years. Last year, the company that I worked for closed, and I have not been able to find another job. Age discrimination in the IT field runs rampant, and once you get past your 40's, it gets a lot tougher to find a job. Get into your 50's, and it seems like its almost impossible.

So now I'm looking for something to do to make a living. I'd like to make my dreams come true, and maybe just do some traveling and try to sell some photographs.

Which leads me back to the title of this thread. Is it possible to make a living selling prints? If so, how do you go about it? Do you contact art galleries and hold exhibits? Are there other ways to do it? I'm totally in the dark on this, and would really appreciate some honest advice. I'm not trying to get rich, just want to make a living doing something I really enjoy, for the years that I have left.


Last edited by jeryst; 11-29-2009 at 09:18 PM.
11-29-2009, 09:24 PM   #2
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11-30-2009, 08:23 PM   #3
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I suspect it will be hard to make the same kind of $$$ that you made in IT, but being paid to do something that you love is priceless, isn't it? Your success will be based on two things...

1 - your abilities as a photographer
2 - your abilities as a marketer and self-promoter

Some would argue that #2 is actually more important than #1. And these days - not in 2001 as in the link provided - the web can play an important role in marketing and sales. Check out Etsy.com and others as a possible venue for sales.

Good luck!
11-30-2009, 08:37 PM   #4
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Heh, this is sort of something I'm debating.
I'm an IT student, looking to graduate and start working within 2 years. Over the past year I picked up my first DSLR (My K100D) and been fascinated by photography, so much, that I wish I made it my career. I've had a lot of fun, and really enjoy capturing everything around me in photographs. I'm sure you could make money selling prints, you just need to find the right venue, the right business workflow, and the time to do it all.

11-30-2009, 11:26 PM   #5
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Can you make a living selling prints? Reality check - no. There is nowhere near enough of a profit margin on prints, nor is there a hot market for it. Going to shows and showcasing your prints will perhaps net you a few dozen print sales over a good weekend. Unless you expect to sell them for $100-$200 each, you will never make enough money to replace a steady income.

I certainly hope you find a job soon, as I know this is some crazy economic situation we're facing.

I'd recommend you find yourself a help-desk job, customer service job, something that will provide you with a steady income and flexible schedule. The you have a better chance of supplementing your income by providing photographic services.

I am an IT guy and my wife is a graphic designer, our day jobs if you will. These jobs that pays the bills, affords us having medical insurance, and also allow us to have a boutique photography business which can afford to be as selective as we want to be. The business became self-sufficient after 1 year, which I consider an accomplishment considering our crazy situation, and once in a while it affords us some extra cash, buy a couple of lenses and cameras, etc.

We've already figured out that in order for me to drop my IT job I would have to probably cuadruple my bookings and probably double my prices. I'd rather not have to do elementary school pictures and passport photos just to make ends meet. No thanks!

Again, best of luck on your job search, and don't forget that telephone support, although not as profitable as a standard IT job, can actually pay a decent wage!
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