Retirement Entrepreneurs Blog

Comments, rants and tips on baby boomer small business ideas
and working after retirement.

Author: Ingvar - Retiree In Training  

Working after retirement


Bald EagleI have been an active photographer since high school when I earned a few bucks (or Kroners) taking pictures for the local newspaper. Paid for my camera equipment. Well, that little side line never really stopped. I never made a living with photography, but I am still more than paying for my equipment.

To make a long story short, using high end cameras since the beginning (1968) I manage to earn enough to support my habit. There are several ways to do that, personally I do some Realtor work - taking pictures of listings, I have done some team sports and nature/wildlife images I have printed out and sold.

The knowledge I have is really not much, but I suppose I have a natural "eye" for composition. Here's an acid test when it comes to "great" nature images: when people look at your picture and they don't ask "where is this taken", THEN you have a great image. Nature pictures should be location independent.

On out trip to Norway this year I managed to score lots of great images. The fall colors were incredible, the weather just perfect for photography. How can I monetize this portfolio? I can make postcards, print them up and sell them at Scandinavian fairs (which I have done) or post them on a website for sale on-line.

Here are my Norway images:

Just read a great blog post about giving away your work for "credit"

Assignments in photography can be anything from spot news for a local newspaper or senior-class portraits for the yearbook to architectural photographs or images measures a major newspaper. Anyone can snap a picture, but only a photographer can take a picture.

Finding a part-time job or assignments in photography does not mean you should have many years of schooling under your belt. There are many photographers who would be happy to be your mentor, or you can take some classes online or at your local college.

1. Take hundreds of pictures. Key to getting that one good shot is undoing many - even the most experienced photographers do not rely on one shot.

2. Learn the basics of composition, proportion and what makes a great photo before you hit the photography job ads.

3. Construction of a portfolio (online or in print) some of your best photos to show when you apply for photographer jobs.

Newspapers are always looking for that special shot not only for the front but the inside pages, sports pages and even advertising pages. A way to get a photography position with a newspaper, is to start out freelancing. Taking pictures of car accidents, the children playing in the park or community events help fill the pages with interesting photos. Take a few visits and editor of the local newspaper and see if she is interested in buying some of your pictures or even send you on missions.

Wedding photography career

There are many aspects to take wedding portraits that go far beyond traditional tabled photos. Day-of-life and wedding portraits have become popular with the journalistic portraits. These are usually done outside the studio, making the price to shoot for the photographer much less since he will use natural lighting and simple props.

Local Realtor photography

Real estate companies often pay top dollar to a photographer who can make a house sparkle in its catalog. Many times companies as well as property insurance must also photographers. Start small by asking local estate agents and insurance companies, if you could take some pictures for them. This will get you some experience that is invaluable to move on to bigger jobs.

Fashion photography

If the glitzy, glamorous lifestyle of the fashion industry appeals to you, then fashion photography can be just the photographic work for you. Build your portfolio by practicing shooting at people you know or local beauty pageant contestant and aspiring models. Not only will they be able to build their portfolios, you will too.

Magazine photography

The magazine industry is harder to crack than the newspaper industry. But magazine editors are always on the lookout for these excellent photos. A lot of times before landing the newspaper photography gig, you need a portfolio filled with pictures similar to what the newspaper usually publishes. Read the guidelines before a photo to an editor. If you do not follow the guidelines, then the chances of your images published are slim to none. Trying to get in the head that the editor and figure out what he wants in a photograph. Scrolls in and study the various pictures in the magazine you're targeting will help you get a handle on what kind of shots the editor likes.

* Take a few lessons or study other photographers work to develop a feel for how can anyone see a normal situation in a different light to get.

* Always carry a camera with you, even if it's just a disposable camera in your glove compartment. You never know when a photo opportunity might present itself.

* Practice, practice, practice. Even if you've got 40 million images of children and the neighbor kids, keep shooting. Look for different angles, different settings and different subjects.

* Make sure you do not send the only copies of your pictures you have. Keep the original digital copies.

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