Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Making money with a camera

I am a commercial photographer. That means that I trade images for checks. The only thing better about a client sending you money in exchange for an image is the client calling you back time after time for a new image and a new check. Wow.
I was asked by a client to shoot a three day conference a few years ago. I never really do that kind of photography. I am primarily a studio shooter and for my first 30 years in business never used an on-camera flash. I am now onto my 4th or 5th job like this and am finding them to be lots of fun. This image is of the 2010 Breast Cancer Walk in NYC. I was hired by the Sensible Portions company (I usually shoot food packaging for them) and got to spend the day in the sun, in Central Park and just look for interesting images that told the story of how Sensible Portions was helping the walkers.
This Thursday I will be driving for about an hour to get to a winery where I will be photographing people from the Post Foods company as they get to know each other better. I will be bringing a very nice Nikon SB900 flash with a Quantum battery (that I borrowed from my good friend Bernard) and will try to visually tell the story that is happening there. Wow again. Money with a camera and a new option for me. This is too much fun!

Keeping busy during a downtime

I keep on being blessed in this business. Things have definitely been slower this year as the recession moves on but I have spent the last 2 months shooting high-end jewelry and products for a great catalog house and printer. The day rate is low but they pay at the end of each week and I am able to keep on shooting for my own clients in the evening and on weekends. The printer owners are orthodox Jews as well, so I have been able to schedule most of my jobs on the many Thursdays and Fridays that they have been closed. It gets crazy but it's money with a camera and I love it. This image is of a set of Etienne Aigner bags that I shot for this company. They came to me at just the right time and now the work has ended for a while. I usually slow down as my clients take summer vacation but this year I worked right through. Welcome to the freelance life of an independent commercial photographer. I wouldn't have it any other way.