Last Updated: 14-6-2021 11:41
June is here, and with it, the end of our club’s year, and also nearly the end of my time as club president, and also as a member of the committee. After seven years continuously on the committee, it’s well and truly time for a break. The last two years have certainly been pretty intense what with Covid-19, and all that entailed in terms of keeping the club operating. Fortunately the committee have been really good at stepping up and taking on some of the tasks I’ve been responsible for in the past. Rewriting the entire competition system as a cloud based system has been a huge task, and as big as any commercial projects I’ve taken on for clients, and there are still a few bug fixes and refinements to work on with this, so I’ll be relieved to no longer have committee responsibilities.
I joined the club back in January 2013, so by the AGM, I’ll have been a member continuously for eight and a half years. In that time I’ve seen a number of members come and go, including a number who have passed away, but also success stories like Ricky Wilson who has moved on from club photography to a full time career as a professional photographer.
This brings me to the topic I’d like to discuss this month, photography as a source of income. I realise that members join the camera club for many reasons, and with a wide range of skills from absolute beginners just learning to use their cameras, to experienced professionals, and not everyone is interested in earning money from their photography, but some people are, so I think it’s an issue worth discussing, and I thought I’d start by sharing my own experience.
I’ve earned non-trivial amounts of money from my photography, even if it’s intermittent and not enough to put a roof over my head. I’ve self-published a couple of books that have sold well, and I’ve sold the occasional print. I also earn a modest amount each year from blogging which includes a combination of writing and photography. In addition to photography, I’ve also been known to paint on the rare occasions that I have time, and I’ve sold artwork.
Being self-employed, I have the luxury of relatively easily being able to decide how I want to dedicate my time based on what will pay the bills. If photography paid the bills, I could easily justify doing more of it. For those who are not as flexible with their time, there’s quite likely some new gear, or a workshop, or a trip that you’d like to do, that you’re more likely to be able to justify if you can sell some of your photography. Achieving an honours with an image in a competition is one way of validating your photographic skill through critique by another photographer, but selling an image is validation from the general public, and is equally a worthy achievement, especially when everyone now days has a camera in their pocket in the form of a smartphone.
In the past, when I’ve had more time, I’ve been a member of the Art Society, which not only provides training, but also facilitates the sale of members’ art. The Marlborough Camera Club committee is small and already pretty stretched, so it’s not realistic to expect them to address this area on their own, but there certainly are club members or outside speakers who could address this for those who are interested.
As always, feel free to discuss in the comments section (You’ll need to be logged into your member account.)
I managed to sneak out to the Wairau Lagoons to catch the supermoon rise back on the 26th of May, and later in the evening, the lunar eclipse. I met another intrepid member of the camera club, Jo Southgate, out there, who had cycled out to the lagoons to capture the supermoon rise. Last time a supermoon and lunar eclipse coincided, I was just eleven years old, and it makes me appreciate the power of photography to capture rare natural phenomena and other events.
This is almost my last post as club president, but I suspect it won’t be the end of my blog posts for the club unless the incoming president in August is a keen writer.