Right Moves: What To Expect In Your First Year As A Professional Photographer

Myrna Kresh

Myrna Kresh, has 30 years of experience working with emerging and established photographers. Formerly the Executive Director of the Advertising Photographers of New York, Myrna energized and expanded APNY’s Assistant and Emerging Photographer Programs and has a profound understanding of what it really takes to make it as a pro. Myrna is an industry insider, producing and representing visual artists, in their commercial and personal projects.

Dear Right Moves,

What’s a reasonable expectation for earnings in my first year of business?

Financial Planner, Austin, Texas

Dear Financial Planner,

Usually in the first year of a photographer’s ‘solo’ career, he’s assisting part-time to pay bills. I don’t think there is a day one from which a photographer “begins” to earn. It’s so gradual, you often hardly notice.

One day, you’re a student, then you become an assistant. After a few years of steady work for busy photographers and networking with other assistants through ASMP, you’ll slowly acquire a small client here and a slightly larger client there, until you have a client-base.

Then, you’ll enter the legitimate photography contests (CAREFUL with these), get your work seen, and get your name out there. And then…the proverbial break into an agency with a creative who wants to use you. Unfortunately, Financial Planner, photography is right up there with acting as a career NOT to choose, if you want to plan your finances.

To submit your advice questions to Right Moves, send an email to myrna@myrnak.com.



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