Art or Job – How Do You View Your Photography Business?

There’s no putting a price tag on art. It’s subjective, and in the eye of the beholder. The more popular your artwork becomes, the more you can charge. And the bigger you can build your name and your business.

Today a press release cam through my email box from a photographer announcing:

…the release of copyrighted material to its customers. This will allow all wedding photography customers to reproduce their wedding pictures at will for anyone they want. In the past, customers needed to purchase all pictures from the photographer because the photographer owned the copyright. Customers will now receive a CD or DVD with all the photography taken at their wedding. These pictures are copyright free and can be emailed to family members or taken to any photo shop for printing.

The photography industry is currently producing two types of photographers. the art of photography

1. A photographer who simply wants a job, a paycheck, and a way to bring in a few bucks to pay for their current lifestyle.

2. A photographer who is passionate about his or her photography, looks at it as an art form, and truly offers a unique, artistic experience for his or her clients.

There is a difference.

The photographer who simply wants a paycheck doesn’t care about the art. He simply takes his list to an event, walks around covering the event being sure to check off each picture as he snaps them. He grazes through the buffet line the entire reception. He watches the clock, wanting desperately to “punch out” and get back to his normal routine. He charges accordingly.

(taken from the press release) Wedding packages begin at $599 and go up to $1499, with an engagement session costing only $50. All packages include an album full of pictures and the CD with all of the originals.

The passionate photographer loves what she does and thinks about the final product she’ll give to her clients. She thinks about the album that will touch her clients hearts for years. She thinks about the tears of joy her clients will have when they view photos they never even saw her take. She looks for perfect moments to capture on film. She enjoys not just taking the images, but presenting them in truly artistic ways.

You can be any type of photographer you choose. You can do it either way. One will net you’re a paycheck of a few bucks per hour. The other will give you a lifetime of joy, and a chance to build a VERY profitable business.

Which photographer are you?

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4 thoughts on “Art or Job – How Do You View Your Photography Business?”

  1. hello, i went through your site, it is really awesome. i went through the different types of photographers. Your idea about passionate photographers is really great, i read that and found it really interesting.

  2. i’m just curious why the person who treats their photography as a job is male, and the passionate artist is female. I agree with what you have to say about finding passion in what you do, but this one bit bothered me.

  3. Hi Adam – thanks for your comments. I simply used he/she references to make a distinct difference between the two types of photographer, without really much thought to the order. I definitely know just as many male photographers as female who are passionate about what they do.


  4. Who gets to say when a photo is art or just a photo? The photographer who took it? or the allmost all the time uneducated client? A photographer on my area calls her photos “art” and most are almost snap quality photos taken with a DSLR on auto mode with full frontal flash… (well I guess there’s mediocre art too) then her clients go along and tell her she is an artist, her business is booming because people don’t know a good alternative and because it’s them in the photo after paying a decent amount of money for her product.
    Other photographers in my area (male) have a professional approach that I find almost artistic 1000% better than the autocalled “art” photographer but their business are nowhere near her success… it only goes to show that networking as marketing is 90% of the photography business the other 5% is management and the rest photography skill and vision, a sad reality


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