These numbers are mostly from assisting, but also includes some of the photography work I did.
Technically, 11 years as a photographer. 8 years as a photo assistant.
My income is Photo Assistant – 90%, Event Photography – 5%, Portrait – 3%, Food – 2% All of my clients are local. The pay range for assisting is anywhere from $350-600 depending on the type of shoot.
I don’t have a lot of overhead. Either I do work in my apartment, but I am mostly on location doing my own work though mostly assisting.
I have retirement accounts, but unfortunately, I’ve had to dip into them so I really don’t have much.
I really try to take on what I can within reason of course. I make sure to have boundaries so I don’t get burnout and try to stick to other obligations.
My income started off really low when I first started freelancing. 2019 was a good year and my goal for 2020 was to gain more income than the previous year. Of course, we know how that went. This year is kind of feeling more like when I first started. There’s a lot of uncertainty and not a lot of income coming in.
I’ve sort of taken on a temp job, which has been helpful when things are slow. And though there’s no income in it, I’ve been volunteering at a local organization when I can.
Most of the shoots I’m on average about 2 days. But they can range anywhere from 1 day to 8 days.
My best recent job was a 2 day shoot with talent and two different locations. This was for personal care products. We had 10 hour days, which included wardrobe and HMU. Licensing was only for social for 2 years, but later the client wanted to add for web to the existing license. The brands could only use the images for web as well as internal use. Take home after (including the addition to the license) was $19,400. This was in 2021.
I don’t shoot video, but this is something I want to start getting into.
I need to work on marketing. I’ve been focusing on building up my portfolio again as most of my work is kind of old. But I plan to reach out to potential clients about possible future work.
It’s okay to want to perceive yourself as not being on the same track as your peers. We all work at our own pace and deal with our own setbacks. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Do what works for you. Try to set aside those feelings. Keep your focus on your work and the work your peers are doing so that you can better yourself as a person and an artist.