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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> DPCers who have "Gone Pro". Have you?
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12/01/2019 03:50:00 PM · #1
Originally posted by kirbic:

It's wonderful the quality of large prints we can get from modern equipment.

Originally posted by NikonJeb:

Especially if your printer is a new equipment freakazoid. He's got a folder of images of mine in his computer he uses for test runs when he gets a new printer.

Originally posted by GolferDDS:

So you do your own printing?

I can do standard paper prints up to 17x22 inches. The big stuff is all done for me by a secret wizard here in my city. I found out much to my surprise and delight that I'm the only retail and photography guy he'll print for as he's mostly just graphics and commercial work. I was seriously humbled to find out I'm his one "special" photographer.
Originally posted by GolferDDS:

Do you also do your own framing?

I have a framer for paper prints who does exquisite and stupidly expensive work. I'm very careful about what I decide to do with that.
Originally posted by GolferDDS:

Do you have a lot of copies of the same print for immediate sale or do you take customer orders?

LOL!!! Having the gallery has taught me even more about having stock than I had previously surmised. There is *NO* silver bullet, no guaranteed sale. Any image that you're proud of you could print & mat beautifully, have a stunning mahogany frame, and the sucker would never sell. The one that you did for cheap at Staples and got a frame at Michael's just for an event? Yeah......that one you could have sold twelve copies at the event had you had them.

I will say this about inventory. I decided when I'd first decided to reach outside doing it just for me that I would never enlarge, mat, & frame anything I wouldn't want on my own wall. That way inventory that doesn't sell is at least decor for your own home, not in the basement or stacked in the rafters of the garage.
Originally posted by GolferDDS:

Thank you for initiating this discussion. I am sure that all DPCers find your and other responses very interesting. This is one of the best forums I have read on DPC!

I can NOT tell you what works. I *can* tell you about the many mistakes I've made, the hopes and expectations that have been dashed, and a bunch of stuff not to do. Yeah, I do have some useful info for the nuts and bolts of it, but mostly, do it for love, because it's what stirs your passion, and also, bear in mind that what you're doing is your legacy. My kid is better off than I materially. But I have a gazillion images for her to have when I'm gone to show her my vision of life, and much more than a passing story of many of my adventures. That's important to me, and it's something that should be for anyone who is serious about showing the world him his view of it.

By all means, anyone, if you have any questions about any of this stuff, ask away. I keep coming back to DPC be instrumental in a very big change in how I've lived my life since 2006.
12/01/2019 07:05:20 AM · #2
Originally posted by kirbic:

It's wonderful the quality of large prints we can get from modern equipment.

“Especially if your printer is a new equipment freakazoid. He's got a folder of images of mine in his computer he uses for test runs when he gets a new printer.” (NikonJeb)

So you do your own printing? Do you also do your own framing? Do you have a lot of copies of the same print for immediate sale or do you take customer orders? Thank you for initiating this discussion. I am sure that all DPCers find your and other responses very interesting. This is one of the best forums I have read on DPC!

Message edited by author 2019-12-01 07:08:09.
12/01/2019 04:51:43 AM · #3
Originally posted by kirbic:

The "local focus" is always a draw, IMO. There will always be folks that want something that is a part of the community.

Yup! Since most of my work is local, it seems to evoke a lot of interest.

However..... I also like to have fun with this kind of stuff. I will see someone looking at this image and ask them if it looks like it's in the jungles of Central America.
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And when they do.... I tell them how I found it twenty minutes away near a suburban neighborhood and we have a good chuckle.

Originally posted by kirbic:

It's wonderful the quality of large prints we can get from modern equipment.

Especially if your printer is a new equipment freakazoid. He's got a folder of images of mine in his computer he uses for test runs when he gets a new printer.

That *SO* sucks......NOT!!!

12/01/2019 04:46:36 AM · #4
Originally posted by GolferDDS:

Besides the monetary reward that must be quite satisfying for you that people enjoy your work that much.

Yes, it is. That's definitely the best part about having our own gallery as well. I love watching people as they walk through and view the work. In nice weather when we're open, we often sit outside and when people come back out I'll ask them if they saw anything that made them smile. That virtually always starts an interesting conversation on something that the work touched in them and stirred their emotions. That's a truly wonderful thing.

Originally posted by GolferDDS:

Do you have your signature on your prints or do you sign them individually! Is that appropriate for photography?

Ya know.....funny that. My partner ' . substr('https://www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('https://www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' LoVi thinks I should sign my work, especially the large pieces, but it feels weird to me. I do it on request, but not as a general rule.
11/30/2019 11:51:24 AM · #5
The "local focus" is always a draw, IMO. There will always be folks that want something that is a part of the community. It's wonderful the quality of large prints we can get from modern equipment.
11/29/2019 05:50:00 PM · #6
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

Part of what prompted this whole thread for me was this.... I just sold two large canvases. Random walk-in, looked at my website and DPC port after talking about wanting local bridge pics.

So.... DPC shot:' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1016/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_780096.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1016/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_780096.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Canvas @ 36"x44":' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/60000-64999/63398/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1243438.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/60000-64999/63398/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1243438.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

DPC shot: ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_874077.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_874077.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

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The Vanishing Point image did an 11th place and the Windblown & Weatherbeaten screamed into 28th place, although it did garner me a Posthumous Yellow, which cancels out any feeling of inadequacy I would have had about the image.....LOL!!!

The pair went out the door @ $1200. This has been happening for me a couple times a year for me ever since opening the gallery six years ago. We'll be open more than our occasional days & weekends soon, and who knows, maybe I'll be able to retire one of these days and have this thing keep me in food & beer!


Besides the monetary reward that must be quite satisfying for you that people enjoy your work that much. Do you have your signature on your prints or do you sign them individually! Is that appropriate for photography?
11/29/2019 05:18:06 PM · #7
Part of what prompted this whole thread for me was this.... I just sold two large canvases. Random walk-in, looked at my website and DPC port after talking about wanting local bridge pics.

So.... DPC shot:' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1016/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_780096.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1016/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_780096.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Canvas @ 36"x44":' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/60000-64999/63398/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1243438.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/60000-64999/63398/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1243438.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

DPC shot: ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_874077.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_874077.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Canvas @ 40"x72":' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/60000-64999/63398/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1243439.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/60000-64999/63398/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1243439.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

The Vanishing Point image did an 11th place and the Windblown & Weatherbeaten screamed into 28th place, although it did garner me a Posthumous Yellow, which cancels out any feeling of inadequacy I would have had about the image.....LOL!!!

The pair went out the door @ $1200. This has been happening for me a couple times a year for me ever since opening the gallery six years ago. We'll be open more than our occasional days & weekends soon, and who knows, maybe I'll be able to retire one of these days and have this thing keep me in food & beer!
11/29/2019 10:44:55 AM · #8
Originally posted by kirbic:

What a beautiful moment you captured there Jeb.
I think "grabbed" is a better word... ;)
11/29/2019 09:12:43 AM · #9
Originally posted by nam:

Does selling the occasional piece on Fine Art America or a similar site count? I do that and find it very gratifying to have a complete stranger select one of my images for wall art :)

Absolutely! That was more what this thread was about than the full time thing. That DPC has done so much for people with no illusions or intentions of doing photography on a commercial level who found themselves in demand.

What you're describing is a constant thrill for me and the inmspiration for my wanting to ask if others have experiencd the same thing.
11/28/2019 11:10:09 PM · #10
Does selling the occasional piece on Fine Art America or a similar site count? I do that and find it very gratifying to have a complete stranger select one of my images for wall art :)
11/28/2019 10:28:37 PM · #11
What a beautiful moment you captured there Jeb.
11/28/2019 09:50:10 PM · #12
Originally posted by snaffles:

Great work Jeb...I HATE shooting weddings,no matter how well I know the couple (or don't). To me, weddings are stressful and chaotic. There are so many wonderful candid moments that are missed because you had to go and shoot some stock wedding pics. Things only get worse the more drunk the guests get.

That's why I love to go to weddings just as a GWC (Guy with camera).

This was one I shot of my girlfriend's daughter and her new husband while they were waiting for the official photog to get set up for their next professional shot....

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Just a random, irreplaceable quiet moment that only I got. That's what I love most about photography. Being a part of people's lives that I wouldn't have otherwise. It's been 5 1/2 years ago, and I just had it printed for them on canvas at 16" x 30" for their Christmas present.
11/21/2019 04:08:13 PM · #13
i'm one of the lucky ones, i guess, in that photography is what i do even when i'm not getting paid to do it.

Message edited by author 2019-11-29 14:32:42.
11/20/2019 06:20:02 PM · #14
Originally posted by alanfreed:

I've been doing it professionally for around 15 years or so. Mostly I'm doing things on my own... a lot of work with various school groups and sports teams, senior photos, as well as weddings and corporate head shots, etc. I've also been shooting Steelers games for a group of 5 newspapers in Northwestern PA (I've photographed well over 200 games, including two Super Bowls).

I also do occasional work for Reuters, which is fun because those shots wind up in very high profile locations. I've had shots in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and throughout the world on those occasions.


That is very impressive Alan. You have obviously put alt of work into getting where you are.
11/20/2019 03:35:56 PM · #15
I've been doing it professionally for around 15 years or so. Mostly I'm doing things on my own... a lot of work with various school groups and sports teams, senior photos, as well as weddings and corporate head shots, etc. I've also been shooting Steelers games for a group of 5 newspapers in Northwestern PA (I've photographed well over 200 games, including two Super Bowls).

I also do occasional work for Reuters, which is fun because those shots wind up in very high profile locations. I've had shots in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and throughout the world on those occasions.
11/19/2019 10:04:00 PM · #16
well I used to shoot social occasions, loved doing it and the people I worked with,All the Blushing Brides and all, including one thatshot through to Aussie with the best man a few weeks after her wedding.,,,,,lots of laughs and dramas and meeting a whole heap of lovelly people
11/19/2019 09:50:50 PM · #17
Originally posted by GolferDDS:

Yup. Been in practice over 40 years! Its hard to believe all that time has past.


It sure does go fast, LOL. Got a few years left myself, but it seems like it is coming up unbelievably fast.
11/19/2019 08:35:45 PM · #18
Great work Jeb...I HATE shooting weddings,no matter how well I know the couple (or don't). To me, weddings are stressful and chaotic. There are so many wonderful candid moments that are missed because you had to go and shoot some stock wedding pics. Things only get worse the more drunk the guests get.
11/19/2019 04:56:25 PM · #19
Originally posted by tjbel05:

I guess if you consider being hired to shoot by different event companies and shooting some wedding for pay being a professional. I would qualify under those circumstances. I have had the fortune of being hired by Spartan and shot many of their events...including them flying me to Iceland for an event. I also shoot cheer, gymnastics, triathlons and marathons for a few different companies. On my own end, it is usually HS sports where parents or boosters pay me. I also do a few wedding here and there.

Yup...

It's that we've gotten to a point by being here after a while where we've not only learned a little bit, but established our own styles, genres, and people notice. Sometimes we find ourselves in the position of getting to be a part of something we would not have were it not for being the photogs that we are. That's what I like most. I've shared some really good times and had some excellent adventures 'cause someone said to me, "Hey, would you mind coming along while we do this thing and shoot some pics of it?". That has been terrific for me. Sometimes I almost feel guilty if on top of some cool adventure that they want to pay me. But I graciously acquiesce......(Mercenary slut that I am!)

Oh.....the cheer thing? Yeah...... I showed up at one of my daughter's events to shoot. Strangest thing...... I ended up with 85 daughters! LOL!!!

Most importantly, it's been my time here that has made it possible. The community especially. I have gotten so much support and encouragement as well as tips and general photography help.

Another thing that amuses me. I belonged to a couple of local camera clubs for a short time. Even told 'em about DPC. But both of them were these little insular societies with their heirarchy and old boys' network such that they haed it all firgured out. It was kind of funny 'cause I used to clean house in the competitions. When they'd have their "experts" come in and grace us with their vast knowledge, there was never even one time that anything was shared that I hadn't been already exposed to here at DPC.....and in much more depth than what they had to offer. Don't get me wrong, there were some good photogs in the clubs, but they were not widely knowledgeable in the ways you can't help but be exposed to here.

Good stuff, this place!

Last thing. I *hate* being *the* wedding shooter, but I love to go to weddings with my camera. One thing I have been particularly grateful for is that I have phenomenal photography luck. That weird thing about being in the right place at the right time with my camera. If I show up at your wedding with my camera, I *will* get a couple of shots you'll love forever. Do I have any clue what that might be? Nope! But it's happened at every single wedding I've attended.

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Yeah....speaking of unusual adventures, that's my ex-wife getting remarried. I shot their wedding for their wedding present. We had fun with that!


11/19/2019 01:41:22 PM · #20
Originally posted by kirbic:

Originally posted by GolferDDS:

...I am retiring from dentistry in a few weeks ...


Retiring from dentistry?? I didn't realize that you were that long in the tooth ;-)

Well somebody had to say it!


Yup. Been in practice over 40 years! Its hard to believe all that time has past. I have loved my profession and the honor of helping people enhance their smiles and their health. I have had the pleasure of treating grandparents, their children and their children's children. After dedicating my life to my profession and raising a family I decided that it was time to see what other things that life has to offer while I am still healthy and able to enjoy. Its been a great ride:) P.S. The term "long in the tooth" goes back to the 1800's when the age of a horse was determined by the length of his teeth!
11/19/2019 12:07:19 PM · #21
Originally posted by markwiley:

I have made a little money for a few portraits, Linked-In profile pictures, and some family holiday pictures. Mostly for friends of friends. I was approached about having one DPC entry be a cover on a small run self published book. I asked for a nominal fee and a copy of the book. When I go the book, it was unreadable -- really bad. To me, it just confirmed the old saying that you shouldn't judge a book by its amazing cover.



hahahahaha!
11/19/2019 11:28:58 AM · #22
I guess if you consider being hired to shoot by different event companies and shooting some wedding for pay being a professional. I would qualify under those circumstances. I have had the fortune of being hired by Spartan and shot many of their events...including them flying me to Iceland for an event. I also shoot cheer, gymnastics, triathlons and marathons for a few different companies. On my own end, it is usually HS sports where parents or boosters pay me. I also do a few wedding here and there.
11/19/2019 11:17:47 AM · #23
I would never sell out and go pro. For me, it's all about the art.

OK, that is not true at all. I have made a little money for a few portraits, Linked-In profile pictures, and some family holiday pictures. Mostly for friends of friends. I was approached about having one DPC entry be a cover on a small run self published book. I asked for a nominal fee and a copy of the book. When I go the book, it was unreadable -- really bad. To me, it just confirmed the old saying that you shouldn't judge a book by its amazing cover.

I have never shot a wedding, but I am not sure I'd want to. I don't think the tremendous amount of work required scares me so much as the pressure. I would like to shoot more portraits, but, sadly, I am not very good at it. My technical and lighting skills are fine. It's interacting with the subject, putting them at ease, and coaxing the best out of them that I suck at. I shot a friend at our house. She was generally uncomfortable getting her picture taken, and it was evident in the photos. My wife stepped in and sensed the situation. She began chatting with the subject. She was great at getting her to relax. The photos improved enormously. So, if I were to go into the portrait business, I need her as a partner.
11/19/2019 10:29:40 AM · #24
Originally posted by GolferDDS:

...I am retiring from dentistry in a few weeks ...


Retiring from dentistry?? I didn't realize that you were that long in the tooth ;-)

Well somebody had to say it!
11/19/2019 10:19:19 AM · #25
This is great! And also about what I expected in the way of self-deprecating commentary. Personally, I think the completely professional only aspect is all out hard work. I've done weddings, sports, portraits, product photography, real estate, and pretty much anything you can theoretically find a way to charge for.......and pretty much hated it all. I'm with ' . substr('https://www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('https://www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' MAK as far as having the businerss aspect of it suck all the air out of the room. ' . substr('https://www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('https://www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Lydia, your experiences are much more akin to what I'm talking about. Most of what I've been paid for has been due to someone seeing what I'd done and contracting me to do so. That's how I ended up doing weddings, sports, portraits, found myself in a restaurant shooting, then eating, the product, and various other jobs. The gallery that ' . substr('https://www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('https://www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' LoVi and I have has turned out to be the best of both worlds for us. We do what we want, then offer it for sale. It's working out well for us because as well as having something tyo sell right now, we do commission work for those specific requests.

As far as the self-deprecation sh*t, I'll tell ya one thing. There isn't a one of you that spoke up who doesn't have at least a half dozen prints that I'd buy in a heartbeat if I was looking for seriously good stuff to put on my walls.

' . substr('https://www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('https://www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' GolferDDStoo bad you're retiring. All that gallery space in your office, halls, & waiting room GONE!!!! LOL!!!

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