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Bartering: Profiting Without the Money


Sometimes the “business” of photography reminds me of this old children’s nursery rhyme:

All around the mulberry bush,
The monkey chased the weasel.
The monkey stopped to pull up his sock,
Pop goes the weasel.

As a metaphor it’s a bit of a stretch I grant you, but the more you think about it the more it makes some kind of quirky sense. Assuming for a moment that we’re the monkey and the weasel represents success, money or recognition (take your pick.) We chase after it in circles until we’re exhausted, stopping only briefly for a respite, and then suddenly there it is: Pop goes the weasel. A new moneymaking idea jumps out of the box.

Bartering. It’s the new “old” idea. It’s the ancient practice of trading goods or services for another person’s goods or services of equal value. Bartering has a lot of benefits, it’s an exchange based on negotiated value not on retail prices, it’s a currency of exchange, not money, and you can do it anywhere at anytime. Photography is a natural commodity. People always want great photographs of themselves, their family, their pets, their homes and their business. Sometimes they just want beautiful wall art. The one thing they don’t want is to pay for it.

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How to Capture Street Portraits: In Their Face and In Their Space


Photographic genres seem to change all the time, and what was once called one thing is now called something else. This may be splitting hairs and I may be full of crap, but I think there’s a difference between capturing a portrait on the streets and photographing a street scene with people. I would call the first example a “street portrait” and the second example “street photography.”

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How to Make Money Taking Pictures

Monterrico Sunset WEB2

The simple answer is it ain’t easy folks. Everyone with a camera or smart-phone thinks they’re a photographer these days. The digital age has been a boon to photographers in many ways, but its brought along with it a whole host of detrimental side affects. The word professional is used to imply a certain level of competence, and when shooting film it took years to gain sufficient competency to actually get paid for your work. So if you want to make money with your photography you first have to ask yourself the question “am I good enough?” You owe it to everyone to be brutally honest with yourself and others.  If you haven’t reached that level of competency yet then don’t charge for your work. Be content to provide it gratis, and just be thankful that someone is giving you the opportunity to hone your craft. So having said that here are my thoughts on making money with your photography, keep in mind that these are just my thoughts based on my own personal experience:

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