How do you go pro?

Started Feb 19, 2011 | Discussions thread
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JoannaR
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How do you go pro?
Feb 19, 2011

. . . . or at least sell your work occasionally?

My husband and I are hiking the Appalachian Trail starting next month, and have had many discussions about what we're doing when we're done with this adventure. He says he wants to focus exclusively on his music (he's a drummer) and I've told him of my desire to get my dream DSLR kit.

Well, okay. A pro drumset costs $2,000 and lasts him . . . forever. My dream kit amounts to about $18,000+ and lasts . . . as long as I can coax great photos out of it, or until something newfangled comes out that allows me to express myself better than I could before.

In my mind's eye, I see my total kit as eventually being:

D700
14-24mm f/2.8G
50mm f/1.4G
135mm f/2 DC
70-200mm 2.8G
400mm f/2.8G

Seeing as we've always hovered around poverty level, the realistic me says I'll actually get:

D700
14-24mm
50mm
70-200mm

Even that is a tough pill for hubby to swallow; I'm still out $6,650 for this kit, and since I've never made a cent off my photos, it is unthinkable to drop this much cash on a hobby. He's not opposed to me getting the D700 and 1 lens, he just doesn't quite understand how I need all 3 lenses to cover the spectrum, or why there isn't a lens on the market that covers pretty much all of these and still works fine.

Well, "fine" isn't enough for me. I want stellar, I want stupendous. I've always been extremely discerning with my own work and I'll be darned if I'm going to buy sub-par gear to just replace it later. So in this area of my life, I want to go big or go home.

I'm interested in EVERYTHING - no, really - which is why I've picked the lenses I have - I like to shoot wildlife, I like to shoot landscapes . . . macro, candid 'street' style, portraits, weddings, architecture, product photography . . . . I just like getting behind that viewfinder and going. I think, however, I would like to specialize in nature and 'street'-style photography, with things like weddings and portraits on the side.

I'm personable but not overly chatty or friendly and since my accident (left with a mouth disfigurement) I'm not too keen on face-to-face contact with strangers - or in other words, potential clients. I have good days and bad days but I can't always turn "it" on, a negative, I assume, in a business where you have to sell yourself as much as your work.

So essentially, hubby is limiting me to the D700 and 1 lens until I can prove that my photos are marketable. So: (unless I'm missing something important I should be asking)

~ Do you have to work through an agency to sell your photos?
~ Is it common to shoot stock photography and make money just from that?

I apologize for the excess of information. I figured it would all come out anyways so this is my preemptive strike. : )

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Canon EOS 5D Mark II
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