Story and photographs by Jack Graham
I am often asked if it’s possible to make a living as a nature photographer. No matter whether you attempt to do it as a full-time professional or a part-timer to supplement income from an existing job, there are many things to consider. Nature photography is a tough way to make a living. However if you do it right, you can make it work.
Both full-time and part-time photographers need to remember and understand these concepts:
- You need to get really (and I mean really) good as a photographer. This takes many years of working hard. As the late, great Henri Cartier-Bresson famously observed, “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”
- Be prepared to spend as much or more time in your office as in the field.
- You must deal with rejection.
Full-time photographers can add these to the list:
- If no one buys your work or attends your workshops, you don’t eat.
- You have to know your market and change when necessary.
- Develop business savvy.
- Be able to justify expenditures such as travel, equipment and extensive marketing (website, social etc.).
- Become known.