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Which is the largest group on Alamy? Tough question to answer since the forum is a very small sampling of the 1000's of contributors.

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52 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

Which is the largest group on Alamy? Tough question to answer since the forum is a very small sampling of the 1000's of contributors.

 

I think we would have to set definitions against the groups John - esp the semi-pro/hobbyist definition split.

 

Based on my own definition split between these two - I would say "hobbyists" could be the larger overall group, with "professionals" being the least.

 

Pros - least

Semi pro - mid

Hobbyist/Amateur - most, by a long shot

Edited by Panthera tigris

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but what constitutes what? % of income based on occupation? I know some "amateur" photographers who possess tremendous skill and rival anything I have seen in travel books anywhere.

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Have to say semi-pro now; probably heading toward hobby status. I was full time for twenty years shooting slide film for assignments and stock, 50/50. I no longer take assignments and find less time for stock now than I would like. No idea about the largest group on Alamy. Over 600 agencies and more than 60,000 photographers here, according to Alamy.

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16 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

What are you, and which group do you think is the largest on Alamy?

 

Edo

I'm a tradesman, photography is my trade.

 

I apprenticed at a commercial studio in Honolulu were I worked my way up from a luggage monkey to mastering the use of a 4x5 view camera while doing 30+ table top product shots a day. I learned how to light subjects in studio and on location. I learned how to find, manage and service clients. I started my freelance career doing editorial assignments but I now specialize in architectural photography with real estate being my bread and butter.   Stock photography is what I do when I’m between jobs.

Edited by dlmphotog

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Semi retired pro, ex news photographer turned freelance in 1998.

Still doing commercial and PR shoots, I'm just more picky about what I do these days. Get my state pension early next year when I'll get even pickier and pricier to temp me out of my garden.

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I now say that I am semi retired but take photos as and when. Have been in this game for many years covering both stock and freelance but have seen income from stock dwindle - I wouldn't like to be starting out on the stock route now. In the past prior to going freelance I had a "proper" job and now get a modest pension from it. As a well known UK supermarket says "every little helps"!

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100% professional and always have been since age 15. Started taking photographs aged 11. Stock accounts for a miniscule proportion of my output as I now concentrate on my 'personal' work; the major self-initiated projects and other work that I exhibit and sell either as B&W archival gelatin/silver prints or chromogenic prints if colour through galleries etc. I also make platinum prints of some work. Major national and international galleries and museums also collect my work. One national institution is in discussions with me at the moment about acquiring my archive when I go to the great darkroom in the sky. (No plans yet). I also have no plans to stop photographing until my safelight goes out. I'm at work all day, every day on one aspect of my work or another. I have enough projects in progress or planned to keep my going for many years and as long as folks want to exhibit, publish or buy my work I will make it. I'm so passionate about photography though, that I'd make it even if they didn't; as long as I was able to make work that was happy with.

 

Pete Davis

http://www.pete-davis-photography.com/

http://peteslandscape.blogspot.com/

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Retired, but still working from time to time in a variety of roles. None of these to do with photography. I’ve always been a keen photographer but only acquired my first DSLR a few years ago and it’s been a steep learning curve. That makes me an amateur/hobbyist I suppose. Happily, I am now making some money from Alamy (the only agency I use), and have just used my proceeds so far to buy a new iPhone, allowing me to upgrade from a iPhone 4S :). Now to reimburse myself for a tripod, lenses.......

http://www.sallyanderson.co.uk/

 

Edited by Sally

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Also an ex-geography teacher but saw the error of my ways and after a little bit of meandering retrained in IT. Now working part-time. Only interested in stock as it provides the freedom and flexibility I require.

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Got my first SLR about 14 or 15, then taught myself how to develop the odd B&W print. Work, marriage and children put paid to photography until I was inspired by the digital age and started the learning once again with a DSLR. But what to do with these pictures I'm taking. Alamy came along and I've been doing this ever since. I learned a lot quickly on here about producing a competent photograph and so far no failures. I'm not the most creative of people so stick to stock and consider myself an enthusiast who tries to act professionally. Money was never the issue when joining here (just as well eh ;)  ) seeing work in print is much more satisfying. That's not to say the little extra isn't nice now I'm in early retirement. I'm envious of pro togs, those who have been pro togs and of Betty La Rue who produces magnificent work on FAA. :)

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NHS doctor, took early retirement to reduce stress and sell stock on Alamy. Hobbyist since aged 18. Now do almost entirely stock with occasional paid work. Passed 200K gross on Alamy a little while back, so dont know if I would be called a semi-professional photog or a keen hobbyist.

 

Kumar

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That's what I need to do, Kumar, reduce evil stress. Constant stress can damage the immune system, and mine used to be very strong. 

 

My background story of how I got into photography is on my blog: http://edoruan2.blogspot.com

 

But let me add, before I traded that guitar for a Nikon F, I had never owned a camera or had photography as a hobby -- I became a pro overnight. I did draw and even paint as a kid. 

 

Edo

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My father was a keen amateur photographer in the late 50's and early sixties and got me acquainted with the technical side of photography through helping him in his darkroom (blacked out bathroom).  Oddly, it didn't get me into photography = but it did get me into science and I followed that through to PhD level in Ecology before going into Science teaching and then, following illness, IT training and consultancy.  

 

From the early 80's onwards I wrote a good number of articles for UK and US gardening magazines.  Some also wanted photographs so I took up plant and garden photography to supply the occasional needs.  I sold a few but it was all very part time, fitted around my training and consultancy work.  January 2014, coming up to retirement, I took the decision to submit to Alamy.  In part it was forced on me by a number of commercial nurseries stealing images from my blogs, on line articles and website and using them for their own commercial advertising.  With no decent sales record I found it difficult to establish any consequential loss, so I looked around, settled on Alamy, read everything I could, nervously submitted my test images and got in first try.  5600+ images  uploaded without a QC failure, 456 sales to date and a good ranking I'm now as pro as I ever want to be given that I passed pension age 3 years ago.  The money is a useful supplement to my pensions, I'm doing something I love and I can now pursue infringers with a solid earnings basis to support any claim.

 

Categorising any of us as amateur, hobbyist, semi pro or pro I don't think matters.  What matters is a professional attitude and a desire to provide a constant stream of high quality images that will meet clients needs.  To me that means constant development of processing, keywording, technical and other skills - the mainstay of any professional's self improvement.  I'm only part time but I treat it that way.  Will I leave any sort of lasting legacy?  Probably not.  I don't have an artist's eye.  I admire the true pros who do.  But it's very satisfying to have images used and be paid for it.  It tells me I must be doing something right :)

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Very interesting, Jeff and John. I'm glad I started this post. :)

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Retired, living in Nicaragua (and plan to stay).  Inherited some money and put it into photo gear.   Setting up assignments for myself gives me something to focus on.  Last photos uploaded have been orchids and people building barricades.  Only professional (sort of) priors was being a reporter/photographer for a weekly paper in rural Virginia. 

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Full time stock shooter. I had the opportunity to take a nice redundancy package from working as a Risk Analyst for a bank back in Feb 2013 aged 42. Decided to give it a go shooting stock full time, less stress and more freedom.  Never looked back. Naturally there are days that make you curse but, when I walk the dog first thing in the morning and see people getting on the bus to go to work.... yeah, wouldn't swap it!

 

 

Edited by Duncan_Andison
typo
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23 hours ago, Duncan_Andison said:

Full time stock shooter. I had the opportunity to take a nice redundancy package from working as a Risk Analyst for a bank back in Feb 2013 aged 42. Decided to give it a go shooting stock full time, less stress and more freedom.  Never looked back. Naturally there are days that make you curse but, when I walk the dog first thing in the morning and see people getting on the bus to go to work.... yeah, wouldn't swap it!

 

 

 

Duncan, very interesting.

You also do footages? Are you exclusive to Alamy for pics?

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I guess I would describe myself as semi-pro as I worked full time as photographer before I completed my degree (after a false start) and switched to IT & management consulting/project management. Continued to shoot stock all through my career and since I retired but to paraphase Dr Samuel Johnson: No one but a fool does photography (writes) but for money - so I don't qualify as a hobbyist or amateur!

 

However rather disillusioned with stock in recent years so do little photography these days. However I have a place at University of Nottingham to do PhD research on photojournalism in a digitally connected world. I start formally in October but as it is a big change of direction in an Arts faculty (first degree is maths/physics and a career in IT) so I am into serious reading to build my base knowledge in this new field. It is for the intellectual challenge, I miss spending time around bright, interesting people and a doctorate is a long held ambition. It is not for a new career, totally personal encouraged by my wife and adult kids!

 

I might try and earn enough from stock to pay my university fees if I can rediscover my mojo and a niche.

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13 minutes ago, Martin P Wilson said:

I guess I would describe myself as semi-pro as I worked full time as photographer before I completed my degree (after a false start) and switched to IT & management consulting/project management. Continued to shoot stock all through my career and since I retired but to paraphase Dr Samuel Johnson: No one but a fool does photography (writes) but for money - so I don't qualify as a hobbyist or amateur!

 

However rather disillusioned with stock in recent years so do little photography these days. However I have a place at University of Nottingham to do PhD research on photojournalism in a digitally connected world. I start formally in October but as it is a big change of direction in an Arts faculty (first degree is maths/physics and a career in IT) so I am into serious reading to build my base knowledge in this new field. It is for the intellectual challenge, I miss spending time around bright, interesting people and a doctorate is a long held ambition. It is not for a new career, totally personal encouraged by my wife and adult kids!

 

I might try and earn enough from stock to pay my university fees if I can rediscover my mojo and a niche.

Good luck with the Ph.D. I did mine part time while I was the course leader of Documentary Photography at Newport. I used mine to produce a major body of work which led to a major international exhibition, (part of the requirements) and a book which was published internationally. I had to write a thesis too! If you have chosen your subject for your own passion and interests, (many are selected now because there may be a bursary available for a specific topic from a particular institution), you will gain a lot from it. At the end you have to face the dreaded viva, which, since the abolition of bear baiting is the most cruel thing left! I had to face two, one for the thesis and one for the exhibition. Ph.D's through Fine Art9which is what I did, I know yours is a different subject and structure) are notoriously demanding in their requirements.

 

If you want to discuss anything do feel free to contact me. I have a wealth of experience in academia and Ph.D structures and protocols etc.  I know you will get good advice from your institution but sometimes chatting to someone neutral who has seen 'both sides' can be useful.

 

Pete Davis

http://www.pete-davis-photography.com/

http://peteslandscape.blogspot.com/

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1 minute ago, Dyn Llun said:

Good luck with the Ph.D. I did mine part time while I was the course leader of Documentary Photography at Newport. I used mine to produce a major body of work which led to a major international exhibition, (part of the requirements) and a book which was published internationally. I had to write a thesis too! If you have chosen your subject for your own passion and interests, (many are selected now because there may be a bursary available for a specific topic from a particular institution), you will gain a lot from it. At the end you have to face the dreaded viva, which, since the abolition of bear baiting is the most cruel thing left! I had to face two, one for the thesis and one for the exhibition. Ph.D's through Fine Art9which is what I did, I know yours is a different subject and structure) are notoriously demanding in their requirements.

 

If you want to discuss anything do feel free to contact me. I have a wealth of experience in academia and Ph.D structures and protocols etc.  I know you will get good advice from your institution but sometimes chatting to someone neutral who has seen 'both sides' can be useful.

 

Pete Davis

http://www.pete-davis-photography.com/

http://peteslandscape.blogspot.com/

 

Thanks Pete that would be much appreciated, I will take all the help I can get. This research is purely about pursuing my interests, at this stage I am self-funding it unless someone wants to sponsor me ;)

 

My PhD will probably not involve taking photos (but an interesting thought), rather I will be exploring some aspect of what is happening with long-form photojournalism, the photo-story, in a digital world. So, it may well call on my main professional background (digital technology and perhaps some aspects of business, marketing). I am being encouraged not to ignore aesthetics as I originally planned; I felt  it would be easier to come up to speed on 200 years of photography than 2,000+ years of art history! I am getting deep into the literature review at the moment so my research topic will probably change, certainly it will have to be narrowed to a manageable scope.

 

The viva is my biggest worry, I am well past the age of the average PhD student (see my profile pic!). My problem these days is recalling the specifics, especially names, even while understanding the big picture, and I will be at least 3 years older at viva time

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Hobbyist with a non-photography full time job, but in some years I will be a gal "over 65 with a camera and pension income that needs a monthly boost".

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I got started in photography when my parents gave me an Instamatic for Christmas. About a decade later they gave me a Canon AT-1 for college graduation. Went to grad school, got an MS in molecular biology and to work researching antibiotic production at a now merged out of existence pharmaceutical company.

 

Then I moved into research imaging instrument sales with a brief hiatus as a photo researcher at a medical and scientific stock agency that had its own studio. Learned how to light and started shooing stock. Went back into selling research imagers for a big Japanese imaging firm you’ve all heard of. Continually shot stock during free time on business trips.

 

By a strange turn of fate, I was hired by my state senator to shoot his campaign photography in the mid-2000s. This led to getting asked to shoot additional politics. Ultimately, I became the top Chicago presidential campaign event photographer for a former state senator who was friends with my state senator. All the while still selling imaging instruments.

 

I went out on my own as a manufacturers rep, but did photo assignments as well. Having enough of a roller coaster income and having to pay for medical insurance, I went back to full time work in 2016. I make a couple grand a year on stock, although this year one image licensed for $4K gross for a worldwide ad campaign. Currently shooting with a couple of Lumix GX85s (GX80) and a few Lumix lenses.

Edited by TABan

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Ok, I am a Finance Manager (Accountant) by day and an amateur by night and weekend. I get a miserable income from doing this but love it all the same. It continually forces me to lift my game and learn about photography which i have loved since i was 12 with my Dad's AGFA rangefinder and Sekonic light meter. This is a numbers game and i need to keep working on getting my numbers up. My most important discovery in recent times has been the fabulous font of advice and info that comes from these Forum discussions so thank you one and all.

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