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Show me the money!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Uncle Frank, Apr 8, 2005.

  1. Being a photo-hobbyist is as bad as owning a boat... there's no end to the bits and pieces I just have to buy to fill
    out my kit. Many harbor dreams of being"discovered" someday and making big bucks, but just selling enough to break
    even is my favorite fantasy. I've sold some stuff, but haven't come close yet... but maybe I've been looking in
    the wrong direction.

    One of my neighbors is VP of marketing for a small electronics company, and he stopped over yesterday to see if I
    could help him out with some product shots for a preliminary data sheet. The shop he normally uses couldn't meet
    his deadline. Hey, no problem... I've got the 60mm micro, and do quite a bit of tabletop work. They're mostly
    flowers, but I didn't tell him

    So he signed me up to give him 2 shots of the front of the black box... door open and door closed... and gave
    me a sample of a competitor's data sheet for guidance on the perspective.

    The job took about 2 hours, including editing and putting the shots on a CD. To sweeten the pot, I threw in two
    extra perspectives, and gave him an 8X10 print for his office. Here's the shots.

    side view (extra)
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    back view (extra)
    View attachment 7144

    front views (required)
    View attachment 7145

    He paid me hundreds of dollars, and still saved a tidy amount over his normal costs. Do you think I'm hoping for more
    assignments? Heck, I'd mow his lawn to get a few of them 8).

    Hey, this is better than being a wedding photographer! Now, what should I buy? 8) :lol: :)  :D 
  2. You did a very nice job! Really!

    Yup, you can dream for more. Don't leave your day-time job though. As you see, photography can be very easy to cash once you're into the wheel.

    If he gives you more jobs you know what to do for excellent product photography: 85mm PC and 28mmPC with extenders and bellows. With either lens you will have the edge over any other photographer who doesn't own that setup and your pictures will be special.
    Let's call it a great advantage.

    I think you've made an excellent job :!:
  3. Oh, no! You mean I have to buy more gear to shoot product? But, but... if you saw the competitor's data
    sheet, you'd realize that my pictures, by comparison were.... well, OK 8).

    BH Photo has the 85PC for $1170 after rebate. I think I'll wait for more business... a lot more business...
    before I consider buying one. The 60 micro will just have to do :wink: .
  4. THe 60mm micro does the job and will always do it wonderfully... but the LLD must not die either... :wink:

    Cameta sold a couple brand new USA models with 1 year warranty on eBay for 900$... those we're good(!) deals.

    Anyways, the 60 is excellent for this type of work and unless you're really into the business, don't think about the 85.

  5. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Wait a minute - not lusting after a new (and different!) lens?!?!

    What have you done with the real Uncle Frank??

    By the way, those are GREAT shots!
  6. Congratulations, Frank.

    I really wish I had the skill and the connections required to emulate you.

    This must be a great boost to your confidence - as well as your photography budget!
  7. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Getting paid for what you love

    is one of the little things in life that's so rewarding. The challenge of getting it right, and the pot of gold at the end is great reward. LOL, that part about mowing his lawn for more work cracks me up!
  8. mrdinh


    Mar 8, 2005
    North Dakota
    awesome frank....guess you got to start somewhere...i'm trying to make a living doing photography also but not i went back to my day job...haven't quit dreaming yet
  9. Great shots, and with product vs wedding, you don't have to wait at the bottom of the stairs while she does her hair, you don't have the flower girl screaming in the front hall and one of the bridesmaids gone missing! !*LOL* Keep it up, Frank, anything to help with the kit budget!
  10. Who said that? I've still got the 20/2.8 and the 300/4 on the wish list 8).
  11. PGB


    Jan 25, 2005
    Way to go!! What is it anyway? I see some RJ-45 plugs and a dot matrix display too I think, and a couple of trim-pots.
  12. You've got plenty of connections, Clive... the Burly Boys, the Has Beens, and now I see you're appearing on the front page of the Barnsley Chronicle! It looks like your plate is pretty full already!
  13. Darned straight, Sandi! This one little job paid for my 60mm micro 8).

    I'm just hoping they come back for more.
  14. You know, I never asked :roll:. I just looked at it as another subject... like a hummingbird or a bride. But if they ask me to do the production artwork, I'll definitely ask.
  15. Now that's the kind of job I am looking for. While I did make $1K on my Heritage Choir shoot it certainly took me more than a couple of hours. Congratulations to you and your images came out very nice. Hope this will be an ongoing money source for you. With your continued desire for more and better lenses you will need all the help you can get. :? :lol: :lol:
  16. Cool! Whatcha gonna buy :lol: ?

    Out of curiosity, do you declare this income as business revenue, with all the attendent forms, withholding, etc.? Does that mean you can write off that huge lens in your avatar?
  17. Well, first off, Way Cool :)  , and the best thing with Product is that you don't have to deal with Mothers (-in-Law) either :wink: .

    As to income and expensese, I show what I earn as income for the IRS and track depreciation on equipment. I also write-off mileage for the shoots I do, since they are usually at athletic fields 30-40 miles away. It is actually pretty darned simple. I don't sweat withholding as I don't make that much (yet), but maybe in another year or two :lol: . And the depreciation really does help.

    Lastly, remember this: "Our 'needs' increase in direct proportion to our income", well, in our cases perhaps "exceeds" would be more appropriate :wink: .
  18. OK, how about sales taxes, city business licenses, etc? And while writing off equipment sounds great,
    doesn't the government require you show a profit in several years to qualify?

    It sounds pretty complicated to me :cry: .
  19. Here in Washington it is not too complicated, just rather annoying :x . Yes, you do want to show a profit, which I make sure that I do at least once. As I have been told the real test is to see if you are truly trying to make it a business or not, that is where the justification hits. And one real test of that is to be sure that whatever you are writing off is clearly business, and not personal. For example, I do not try to do any "home office" write-off. Now that is a REALLY complicated mess. And the reality is that even with my write-offs, I am not showing things like thousands of dollars of loss per year. I am, actually, pretty close to break-even after just a few years, which is really good. Now I just have to get to the point where I complain bitterly about how much extra tax this is costing me :lol: .

  20. I was going to buy the 85mm f1.4 lens but my wife was complaining about all the money I had spent this year so I put some with it and we bought a couch. Every time I sit on the couch I have a twinge of resentment. :? :? :cry:  Now the only answer I could give is that sure I claim every bit as business revenue and in the process write off my lenses and camera.
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