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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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:iconhowdoidothis01:
howdoidothis01 Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2015
Thank you so much for your art it is delightful and provoking and very well shot.
Reply
:iconjarijukka:
jarijukka Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Words of wisdom. I'm pretty new here in dA, but I must say that when I recognized your photos and especially those shot in Venice? I must say You are doing so great job!
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:icontrewsk8:
trewsk8 Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014
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
:iconmroblesmx:
mroblesmx Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2013
It's good to know that a guy that has this (high) level of artistry doesn't make a living from it. Thanks for sharing.
Reply
:iconinviv0:
INVIV0 Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013
I just read the journal. I couldnt believe what I read. I think you are one of the top nude photographer I have ever seen online. 
Reply
:iconfeebonacci:
feebonacci Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013   Photographer
I clicked once on the fave button , it should count as the ultimate fave. I realte to your words.. a lot.
Reply
:iconsiegfried40000:
Siegfried40000 Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Everything is said in this text!
Reply
:iconredtapephoto:
RedTapePhoto Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2013   Photographer
Thank you for sharing this. It really means a lot and you are putting things into perspective. You are so talented, I am sure at some point you will be able to make a good living out of what you love doing, without compromises.
Reply
:iconinfinitedave:
InfiniteDAVE Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That is the only "reality" that matters.
BTW great pictures.
Reply
:iconcarnisch:
Carnisch Featured By Owner May 30, 2013  Professional Photographer
I completely agree with you.
I'm a photographer for passion and not for profession too.
I spend money for carrying out my ideas.
I'm happy as I'm free.
Keep up with the good work Stefan.
Reply
:icona-minute-to-smile:
A-minute-to-smile Featured By Owner May 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for this gift. Great insight
Reply
:iconjoecorreia:
JoeCorreia Featured By Owner May 12, 2013  Professional Photographer
Beautiful heartfelt gift to as all!!!!
I honor you for all you say and do in this context!
Reply
:iconjinx58:
Jinx58 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013
You sir are an inspiration!
Reply
:icondk-gm:
DK-Gm Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2013  Hobbyist
These words you share are about as beautiful as anything I can find in your gallery. I truly wish you joys and successes. Life isn't easy - we all know - but I hope yours will not be so tough to get by. Be strong!
Reply
:icondefhermann:
defhermann Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013   General Artist
Tes paroles sont sages.
Reply
:icon38super:
38Super Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013
How in the world do you have time to take all these beautiful pictures and drive a Formula 1 car for a living?? ;) Everyone always thinks that it must be the greatest thing in the world to be an F1 driver,and to them it probably only seems that way,because they're not driving that car all friggin' day,over and over and over,eating,sleeping,drinking,shitting,walking,talking F1! Aside from the reason you mentioned about having to produce what a client wants specifically, I think for a lot of us,it's only through the desire of expression and creation that we can do that in which we love. Meaning, if someone was "making us" do what we love....we wouldn't love it as much or do it so well. Personally, I'm glad it costs you a fortune....`cause it makes for some wonderful images. Thank You for being a Fool!
Reply
:icongrandartifice:
GrandArtifice Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
An exceptional and moving perspective on what it means to be an artist. Never thought of it this way, thank you for these words of wisdom and incite
Reply
:iconandie-c:
Andie-c Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
what a brilliant statement, wise words and oh so true. Thanks for sharing that!
Reply
:iconannestern:
Annestern Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Professional Artist
Golden words.
Reply
:iconmanoloagui:
Manoloagui Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013
I'm learning of you. Thanks
Reply
:iconmonlerma:
MonLerma Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Well said man, keep it up
Reply
:iconval-mont:
Val-Mont Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2012  Professional Photographer
wow!
Reply
:iconamonkane:
AmonKane Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012
Halleluyah! :-) True wealth is freedom, doing what you want and what you think you're meant to do, being independent (except of your loved ones), waste as little time is necessary so you can dedicate a maximum amount of time to the goals of your own choice. Glamour is the thin layer of veneer that people use to hide the shallowness of their life, polishing it more than it's worth so that they can be regarded as succesful to others. In the end they are enslaved by their own image they want to project to the outside world, scared as they are that a bit of the veneer would chip off.
Reply
:icondizzyradar:
dizzyradar Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012
Who sais it have to be a bussiness? It's better to be out of passion...
Reply
:iconsonofselin:
sonofselin Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012
great
Reply
:iconjeannot7:
Jeannot7 Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012
True for most artists.. The secret is to be happy after all is said and done. Not easy in this world,,
Reply
:icondarrianashoka:
DarrianAshoka Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Professional General Artist
Well said. I understand. I make a decent living with my custom copper work and not looking to make money as a photographer.
Reply
:iconwagmorebarkless:
WagmoreBarkless Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Before I read your "How My Business works" post I was looking at your gallery and said to myself - Here is an artist that thinks outside the standard nude/glam photography box and yet captures what evades many photographers inside that box - the beauty and sensuality of the female form.

Congrats!
Reply
:iconmahircelik:
mahircelik Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Professional Filmographer
well toughts but if u really feel that way and u already rich to nirvana what was the reason you write all thoughts and feelings here
Reply
:iconbuck-fuddy:
Buck-Fuddy Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012
My conclusion is simple, as I too share a passion for an art that may never compensate me: you are a true artist.
Reply
:iconsuperapartmentbros:
SuperApartmentBros Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012
Well said.
Reply
:icongary-gray:
Gary-Gray Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012
Great dedication.
Reply
:iconideoda:
ideoda Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012
Brilliant, thought-provoking read! thanks for sharing it :heart:
Reply
:icontondevrind:
tondevrind Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Excellent opinion
Reply
:iconkennethsanford:
KennethSanford Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2012
So awesome, and so very true. I still wish I could do it all my way AND make money.
Reply
:iconorganicvision:
organicvision Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2012   Photographer
I have never invested in a model for it isn't my style of work, but I have lived for my photography and not on it for many years and I can relate to everything said here. (j'aime ton travail parfois surtout la photo en haut) Thanks for sharing.
Reply
:iconmtarr:
MTARR Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Stephan, Thanks for the inspirational post. I, like you, shoot for the art. Your work is terrific! Keep it coming.
Reply
:iconcbaeriswyl:
cbaeriswyl Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2012  Professional Photographer
Besser hätte ich's auch nicht schreiben können... Hoffe, dass du noch lange deinem Geschäft nachgehst! Keep on your good work!
Reply
:iconmarep:
marep Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012
Congratulations!
Reply
:iconpronus:
Pronus Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2012
Always enjoy your writing as well as your art.
Reply
:iconaussieinlondon:
AussieInLondon Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2012
I think your creativity behind the lens is amazing. I wish you a future filled with the success you deserve.
Reply
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