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zukester Registered since 17th Jul 2008Fri 23-Jan-09 02:32 PM
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"Making Money with your Nikon DSLR"


Southbury, US
          

Hi:

I just wanted to thank all of the shutterbugs who have jumped in to help with answers. The more I learn, the better my shots are. I have more than enough good ones now to make a nice portfolio, so as I learn more I wanted to know about making this passion into more than a hobby.

I am going to be taking occasional classes on photography (Nikonian flash one coming up in NJ for a start) and shooting more and more every day, especially when the Ice Age ends here in New England. But what I wanted to know was how to actually turn this into a way to profit from all of this hard work and long hours.

What would be a good step? I am not a kid any more, but not an old man (48.44383561643835616438356164383562 years young, according to the Microsoft Winders calculator).

Which avenue is easiest to start, equipment wise? I have a D40X with the 155 kit lens, one long Nikon 55-200, three extension tubes, and will soon get a much better tripod (currently a pathetic Velbon DF 60)and a Nikon SB "something" flash (off brand now), and some longer glass, up to 300MM, or a teleconverter.

It does not matter which type I do, from outdoors, closeup, sports, photojournalism, stills, portraits, as long as I can start out, and earn to get more equipment along the way.

I have no "official experience" although I have taken good enough pics to be in a book and posted in papers over 50 times, so I am not a beginner at photography, just new to digital.

So how does one start?

Thanks so much,

Bob Z.
Zukester

  

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Replies to this topic
blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Fri 23-Jan-09 04:28 PM
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#1. "RE: Making Money with your Nikon DSLR"
In response to Reply # 0


Richmond, US
          

If you're getting the images that move, you have enough equipment. If you can't get an image that you need, that's when you should be getting more equipment. Obviously this can be done in a proactive fashion: don't wait to get backup gear until you've actually been stranded.

This applies whether you're trying to make money or not. (I can't tell you anything about doing it for money. I sure don't make anything significant at this.)

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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edac Registered since 18th Jan 2007Fri 23-Jan-09 08:04 PM
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#2. "RE: Making Money with your Nikon DSLR"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Bob,

A couple of things that may help you out. There are some sites that let you start a small store for no charge, photo storage and printing. Some that come to mind are Printroom, DOTPhoto, and Freewebs, I would at least go and check them out. Freewebs allows you to create a website that is really not bad at all and gives you the option of upgrading as business grows. Event and sports photography seem to be a place where you can get your foot in the door. Everyone loves to see pictures of their kids, and they will pay if those pics are good enough.

Two years ago, by accident I made a little cash by taking pics at my daughter's soccer games. I was coaching and had my wife take pics at the game, I then set up a free website, and filled it with team information and pictures. Told the parents that that is where they could go to get game schedules, practice times, and any other news that was team or association related. They used the site and loved it. They loved the fact that their kids pictures where up every week. I then started getting calls about whether I would print some pictures of the kids for them and I did. After the end of the season I put together a very short photo album and made a DVD with music and pictures of the team, and gave it to all the parents as a thank you for a great season. It was a smash hit, they loved it and wanted to know if I could do the same for other kids in other sports. I did a few but my real job limited my time and I had to quit doing it. In retrospect I should have made the time and pursued it more, but I did not. So, there is just one example of how you can perhaps get your foot in the door, I am now not at that job anymore and have the time now to pursue other avenues of interest and I am thinking once again of doing sports and event photography. This time as a means of making a living. It can be done, you just have to put some effort into it and continue pressing on.

You can try advertising on Craigslist, it is free. Go to all the sporting events you find, have some cards made up, and pass them out. Take lots of good photos, set up a web site and put your work there for all to see. I think if you specialize in something you will be better off. Find something you like and and become the best you can at it.

Just one more quick story, then I'll close this out. I read a story not too long ago about a guy who went to a road that people come from all over to ride their mototcycles on. He had a banner made up with his web address, mounted it on his truck so all who were on the road could see, and spent all day every weekend taking photos of the bikers riding the road. The bikers went to his site and bought the photos and he is apparently very busy doing the same everywhere he can find a place where people gather. From what I read he earns a nice living doing what he loves. He now has acalendar of where he will be photgraphing and people go to him.

Good luck with your photgraphic endeavours.


Thanks,
Mark


It's Good to be Gold!
Proudly Supporting Nikonians

---------------------------------
Not all those who wander are lost.

  

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damibru Registered since 14th Apr 2006Fri 23-Jan-09 08:34 PM
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#3. "RE: Making Money with your Nikon DSLR"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Marketing, marketing, marketing! Go to the library and read business management books. Read about the marketing aspect.
IMHO a mistake often made by photogs becoming pro is thinking that your unique skills and equipment will be enough. In many ways you'll need to be a better manager than photog. Get a wesbite. You can't market a product people can't see. Look into google adwords. It's a very nice tool.
Also try to narrow down the area of photography you want your expertise to be known for. You can always photo "hoe" yourself out to get in an extra buck but name recognition comes with a certain product/service.

Good luck

________________________________________________________

"Give me a flash big enough, and I shall light up the world!" ~damibru~

  

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zukester Registered since 17th Jul 2008Fri 23-Jan-09 09:04 PM
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#4. "RE: Making Money with your Nikon DSLR"
In response to Reply # 2


Southbury, US
          

OK. This is somthing I can do. In addition, at least half of the year, there are constantly (nearly daily and nightly) antique car shows around the area and a family friend sponsors many, with a lot of famous people he invites. Last year two I remember were CIndy WIlliams from Happy Days and the kid who played Eddie Munster, Butch something. A few more I forgot. I have even seen a few photographers (one I grew up with, actually her younger sister K-12) there snapping. Occasionally I have seen them hand out cards.

I can do this. What about in winter like basketball? Can you get in close to the game like HS games without some sort of permission? I am just thinking about hte flash being too far away or having to raise the ISO. Football, soccer, track, baseball I can do.
The local HS has the sports schedules on the website, so I can attend, but I have no idea if I need permish or if I have to sit in the crowds or not. I would love to use a tripod. But a flash would distract a layup or an ourtside shot I am sure.

Bob Z.
Zukester

  

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zukester Registered since 17th Jul 2008Fri 23-Jan-09 10:49 PM
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#5. "RE: Making Money with your Nikon DSLR"
In response to Reply # 3


Southbury, US
          

Well, this concept is long in the waiting, so since I was already thinking of doing this, I just now I signed up with hostgator to get

http://www.zukesphoto.com

I have not gotten back the logins to build and launch it, but soon I should. A close friend is excellent at search engine optimization and offered to show me once how to do that. It is a start.

Now I have to make cards, which is easy, I already have the stock from my Rainwater Catchemtn company cards left over.

Have to decide which avenue of photography to so. This site will be worked on for a while before being actually live.

Thanks Everyone. Keep those cards and letters coming in.

Bob Z.
Zukester



  

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edac Registered since 18th Jan 2007Fri 23-Jan-09 10:55 PM
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#6. "RE: Making Money with your Nikon DSLR"
In response to Reply # 4


US
          

I would suggest doing as many daytime events as possible, build up your portifolio and then concentrate on doing some of the lowlight stuff. As far as access goes, it depends on the individual schools. I would find the easy access places first, little league, pee-wee football, and those kinds of events. Those are what you want to use to build your portifolio. You are not going to be selling those photos, likely to start with. But you do want photos for people who come to your site to see, does that make sense?

As an example I recieved an e-mail this morning, asking me if I would allow a hot air balloon site to use some of my photos for their site. I would recieve no compensation but I would recieve credit for the photo. Although I wont be paid I will get some exposure and sometimes that is better than some small fee I could have asked for upfront. I also offered to photograph them at the next festival and am awaiting an answer.

So look around for all the activities that are going on you will be amazed at how many sporting events are going on, any given weekend. Go use these to perfect your craft, use the best of the bunch and build your portfolio.

Thanks,
Mark


It's Good to be Gold!
Proudly Supporting Nikonians

---------------------------------
Not all those who wander are lost.

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Sat 24-Jan-09 01:19 AM
26783 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to send message via AOL IM
#7. "RE: Making Money with your Nikon DSLR"
In response to Reply # 6


Richmond, US
          

> little league, pee-wee football, and those kinds of events

If you do these, be VERY careful. I'd advise being very explicit about getting permission from the organizers, or you may find yourself hauled off as an unindicted pedophile. This is particularly true around elementary schools. Men with cameras can be extremely threatening to some parents. I know - it's happened to me twice.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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dclarhorn Moderator In depth knowledge and high level skills in a variety of areas including landscape Nikonian since 31st Mar 2002Sat 24-Jan-09 12:02 PM
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#8. "RE: Making Money with your Nikon DSLR"
In response to Reply # 5


Berwyn Heights, US
          

Check out our Turning Pro forum. These questions and more come up often.

Dan L.
http://www.danlarussophotography.com/

  

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