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Submitted on
September 12, 2012
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My business works because it's actually not a business. And by this I mean I hardly make any money with my pictures. For me photography is not a way to make money but to invest money, and I work several other jobs to be able to pay for my art. I'm a tour guide on waste to energy plants and wastewater treatment facilities, I'm a concierge at the house I'm living, I work as a Photoshop instructor and on weekends I take care of the library of the University.
Sometimes people say to me: I can hardly believe you're not making money with your photos because they are better than the work of many professional photographers.
Of course it's flattering when somebody says something like that even if I don't always agree. But here's the thing: the very reason why I'm able to work on this level is because I don't have to make money with my pictures. If you're a photographer who wants to make a living out of it you are forced to do things differently. You have to focus on what your customers like and not what you like, even if you're the artist and they're not. And if they pay several hundred bucks for a shooting they are going to want more than just one picture. They don't understand that sometimes it's better to have just one outstanding shot than a lot of the same. And also, because most people don't like how they naturally look, they don't even recognize a good portrait of themselves.

I have calculated that I spend around thousand bucks for every picture I publish. I pay for the location, I pay for the model's compensation, I pay for her travel as well as for mine and I don't pay a salary to myself. Not for the shooting and not for the editing. That's a lot of unpaid hours. My friends and my family all think only a fool would throw his money and his energy out of the window like this. But the truth is I have always been a fool. And it was the only way I have been able to make those pictures.
People often think if you're successful and famous you also have to be rich. This may be true for a Hollywood star but apart from that there are a lot of successful artists who are not rich. Goethe never made a fortune with his poems, he was a clerk for most of his life.
There's a common misconception about the reasons why someone chooses the way of an artist. A lot of people seem to think you want to be an artist because you are not satisfied with the career you can have with a normal job. They think you want a bigger career and a more glamorous life and that is why you're trying to be an artist. What they don't see is that maybe you want to be an artist because there is something in you that wants to get out. If you want to get rich your odds are actually a lot better if you don't become an artist. My life isn't glamorous at all. I have to work hard and compared to my friends I am poor. But still I feel rich. I feel rich because I can put all my efforts into my work without having to ask if I ever get it back. And that's how my business works.
Chapter 4
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:icontrewsk8:
trewsk8 Featured By Owner 11 hours ago
You have a great attitude and we benefit from it. Thank you.
Reply
:iconaycrom:
aycrom Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014
Love for the Art and love for the money don´t walk together very well,
I never earned a dime with my girls illustrations

I´m with you in this 
Reply
:iconalance123:
alance123 Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014
i totally agree & understand the position of your work. you are a great artist no doubt. 
Reply
:iconbatevladco:
BateVladco Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2014
Love your work ! 
Reply
:iconseptare:
septare Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2014
No matter where and when this will end, you will be happy for you did what you loved and wanted. You will die happy, satisfied and not the least, appreciated by all of us who are continuously applauding your endless passion and devotion. Trully aspiring and respectfull. Bravo x100. Thank you for sharing.
Reply
:iconserkulka:
serkulka Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
True (:
The best salary is your satisfaction as an artist (:
Reply
:iconapoklepz:
Apoklepz Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for your enlightening words.
You speak for MANY of us in this community.
Keep doing what you do as long as it makes you happy.

My Respects.
Reply
:iconultrasoundguy2003:
ultrasoundguy2003 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014
Eloquently put. All the Greats lived lives of paupers. So poor in fact that many masterpieces are painted on top of each other,due to lack ability to buy just a piece of canvas, or their self doubt as to the quality of their work. Simply stated no one is recognized till their dead. Whoops a little late for accolades now. So take a bow my friend, Good Job, Kudos and all the other verbage  that cannot begin to communicate the depth of appreciation there is among those who get your style of Art. I cant fix stupid, and there seems to be a pandemic of it going around.Money is only good as long as the Bank backs it. Art knows no limits.Remember sons of God left their proper dwelling place(heaven) to have sex with the sons of men. Put a price on that.
Reply
:iconilviandantealex:
IlViandanteAlex Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
you have my respect and admiration for what you do
Reply
:iconzippydoodah:
Zippydoodah Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2013
As an artist, I completely agree with your sentiments, however I believe some of your work is commercially viable because it transcends the glam/pinup genre.  There are several of your photographs I would use to decorate semipublic space in boutique, hotel or spa.  And your cityscapes are magnificent. 
Reply
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