Raise your hand if you’re a photographer. Raise your hand if you want to make $100k as photographer this year. Sounds easy enough right? All you have to do it follow these steps and you’re making 6 figures a year as a photographer.
Now I hate to disappoint you if you thought there is some magic pill that allows photographers to make $100k or more a year just taking photos. That pill doesn’t exist. Luck does, but it doesn’t come that often. Most people just starting off in photography make just enough so they can pay attention.
The problem with photography that I have is that there are well established photographers who use their fame to be snake oil salesmen. They host webinars or give you a free .pdf that shows how you can make money. They tell people new to photography how easy it is to make all this money just being a photographer and in reality all they’re doing is selling a dream. A dream that never comes to reality.
Can photographers make $100k a year? Absolutely. Can they make that type of money after just picking up their first DSLR and their 70-300mm f/5.6 lens and never booked a shoot or wedding before? No. Hell no, but that doesn’t stop people who have been in the industry for year preying on them.
I’ve always felt that if someone who is new to photography and wants to learn or ask me questions, I’d do the best I can to help them our or point them in the right direction. I’d never thought or had the idea of trying to make people pay me so I could sell them a system or idea on how to make money. Needless to say I found out quickly not everyone thinks like me.
These certain photographers see new people coming into the industry as a hobby or what not, but all they see is cash money signs in their eyes. They see easy prey. These photographers sell them on the dream that they can make $100k or more by either buying actions and presets from them or they host a 1 hour webinar and show them all the glitz and glamour of their lives thanks to photography.
And once they show you this magical fairy tale, they then ask you to pay an absurd amount of money to learn their secrets. Of course as a new person in the industry your want to make as much money as possible as quickly as possibly. Forget about learning about your camera or the fundamentals, just show you how to make $100k or more and you’re all in.
Case in point. A few years back there was this well known photographer who transitioned in more of a marketing type role who sold the dream of “Spray and Pray” to potential or aspiring wedding photographers. He told them to put their camera into “P” mode and just shoot bursts and hope that one photo comes out good. And so the “Spray and Pray” model was born. People bought it hook, line and sinker. Imagine being a bride who hired a photographer who subscribed to the “Spray and Pray” methodology. How happy would she be when the majority of the photos look like shit? Not happy at all, but this photographer didn’t care. All he saw was dollar signs.
Now is every photographer selling classes, actions or ideas trying to take advantage of people? Of course not. There are people out there who truly want to help people learn and while you have to pay for their knowledge or classes, they’re not out here selling you a pipe dream.
Two people come to mind who offer classes and what not, but who truly want to help people learn so they can be successful. Scott Kelby and Chase Jarvis are two who instantly pop into my mind. While they do charge for their content, their main goal is to educate. They’re not selling pipe dreams or false hopes. Just education.
So the next time you see someone selling this fantasy of how easy it is to make money in photography, just take it with a grain of salt. What they’re really saying is how easy it is to scam new people into the industry. Don’t be their next victim!