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Author Topic: Would you consider going fulltime on $200 a weekday?  (Read 24745 times)

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« Reply #75 on: May 13, 2010, 16:41 »
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I agree with you.  For many it is a very respectable income and as an employer of over 100 people, most of whom do not make $50K per year I know it is a lot of money.  I've been very fortunate (the harder I work, the luckier I get) to make a good living to provide for my family.  Unfortunately, that has come at a huge price...65-85 hour work weeks, high levels of stress that I sometimes can't help but take home, not to mention spending 75% of 2009 over a thousand miles away from my family.  I was just on the cusp of making the move to become a full time wedding photographer as I was getting more and more calls.  I chickened out and made a big career change that severely limited my availability for weddings and cut deep into that income I had grown accustomed to.  It turned out I would have been in good shape had I stuck with the weddings as I wound up getting more inquiries for 2009 than for all other years combined!  Couple that with the increase in my income at Fotolia and things would have been well.

The moral to my babbling you ask?  It's going to be a risk regardless of where your comfort level is with income.  It takes courage and some intestinal fortitude to go out on your own and make that decision.  Even more when you are the sole provider for your family.  My hat is off to those of you that have already done so and I am rooting for those of you considering it.  I didn't have the stones to pull the trigger but maybe someday down the road.  I'm beginning to believe I can do it long term even without weddings.

Good luck all,

Mat

I think most of you people need a reality check: 75% of working people in the USA earn less than $50k, and 88% earn less than $75k (USA Census Bureau, 2008). Referring to $50k as "residual income" or mentioning it in the same breath as a McDonald's or student wage is way, way, way, out of touch with reality, as is regarding it as an insufficient salary to provide a good quality of life. From his grammar, I'm guessing that the OP doesn't live in the USA, which may make $50k USD even more significant. As whitechild said, if he was making that much he'd "be awfully rich".

To answer the question, I started doing this full time in Jan 2007 - with zero images and zero microstock income - and haven't ever looked back or regretted it. I'm fortunate to live in Canada, where healthcare is taken care of. For what it's worth, I agree with Microbius:

I would certainly go full time. Not because it is a lot of money-- what we are forgetting is that money isn't everything.
For me there is no better way to make a living, no boss, no awkward clients and flexible hours, need I say more


« Reply #76 on: May 14, 2010, 00:59 »
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Sharply-done is right about reality check, and I agree with Microbius. Even if you think it's not a very good starting point financially, then just look at other circumstances and you'll see it's worth trying.

lagereek

« Reply #77 on: May 14, 2010, 01:04 »
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You may not think so, but there would still be plenty of doctors, firefighters, clerks, and shelf-stockers to go around. Not *everyone* is trapped in a job they utterly dislike, you know.

Plenty of shelf-stockers would do their job for free?  Really?
The majority of us dislike our jobs, according to this study... http://www.conference-board.org/utilities/pressDetail.cfm?press_ID=3820
QUOTE:
"Americans of all ages and income brackets continue to grow increasingly unhappy at work-a long-term trend that should be a red flag to employers, according to a report released today by The Conference Board. The report, based on a survey of 5,000 U.S. households conducted for The Conference Board by TNS, finds only 45 percent of those surveyed say they are satisfied with their jobs, down from 61.1 percent in 1987, the first year in which the survey was conducted."
I suggest that if those 55% quit their jobs to fly-fish, fingerpaint or microstock, society would fall apart.

Well, the world is bigger than USA. In Norway 70% are happy with their current jobs. http://www.karrierelink.no/al.php?ar_id=977 I've tried being a WAHM, but prefer being amongst the 80 % who love teaching. At least part time. It is a bit to much hassle sometimes, having to work 6 hours every day. I think I would like to reduce it to 4. :P


well you aint gonna get very far on 200 bucks a day in Norway, probably the richest country in the world. Being a Swede I remember when we used to call Norway our little brother, boy oh boy, thats changed, today Sweden is the smaller guy and can in no way compete and our stupid politicians here have really acquired a sort of Norway complex. Serves them right.

best.

« Reply #78 on: May 14, 2010, 04:07 »
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I think most of you people need a reality check: 75% of working people in the USA earn less than $50k, and 88% earn less than $75k (USA Census Bureau, 2008). Referring to $50k as "residual income" or mentioning it in the same breath as a McDonald's or student wage is way, way, way, out of touch with reality, as is regarding it as an insufficient salary to provide a good quality of life.

^^ Seriously!!  Folks on this forum must have some pretty lavish lifestyles to consider 50k/year pocket change  :o

I considered myself FT at half that.  Maybe because we had been living off my husband's income for over a decade while I raised my daughter, and also because his job provides health insurance. 

50k seems like enough income for one person to me, and most Americans seem to make do on that or less. 

I make about half of 50k in my day-time job (though I live in Europe and only work part-time). The photography income is a good supplement, even though it is is not a whole lot either. However, even if I were to earn 200$ a weekday with photography I would not do photography fulltime. I simply love my day-time job. Again - it's not just about money... .  :)

« Reply #79 on: June 01, 2010, 16:17 »
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i am a full time microstock photographer (here and there... :) )... why do you ask?  :)

« Reply #80 on: June 06, 2010, 19:51 »
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I have to jump in here. I got laid off my medical job which I held for 10 years with good pay and benefits. I look everyday for a job and can find nothing in Cat Scan and Radiology in the Greenville SC area. I mainly shoot video for stock and am accepted at Getty Images as well. Since no jobs are on the horizon I have been shooting fulltime and paying my bills. I have cobra medical for 15months. I have 1 kid and another due Aug. 27 2010. Lets talk about job security. If you think working for someone else is job security then I feel sorry for you. I am having the time of my life right now and if the train were to stop I can always jump back into the medical field. Life is short and nothing will last forever but if you can make a living doing what you love then why not go for it. The worst thing that can happen is you have to find a different job and to that I say so what. I work just as hard now as I did before but I am twice as happy now so who wants to put a price on that. Life is a risk  and rewards come to those who take the challenge. I am loving it and have been full-time stock now for 2 months.

« Reply #81 on: June 06, 2010, 19:58 »
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yeep. -agreed some 100%  :)

« Reply #82 on: June 06, 2010, 20:19 »
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I work just as hard now as I did before but I am twice as happy now so who wants to put a price on that. Life is a risk  and rewards come to those who take the challenge. I am loving it and have been full-time stock now for 2 months.

Great story. I discovered stock while I was struggling as a freelancer after quitting my full time job. For me, it was like being hit by a lightning bolt. I immediately saw the potential.

P.S. That Cobra has to be costing you a fortune.

« Reply #83 on: June 07, 2010, 07:00 »
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Lucky for me I fell under the cobra help plan and pay $300.00 per month for my family. Same coverage as before and in 15 months I will switch plans which will cost me a little less actually. The good news is I can write off the cobra expense. Its filed under a different deduction but it helps none the less. I also have a very good accountant and I highly recommend anyone considering this to get a very good accountant!

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #84 on: June 08, 2010, 05:59 »
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The photography income is a good supplement, even though it is is not a whole lot either. However, even if I were to earn 200$ a weekday with photography I would not do photography fulltime. I simply love my day-time job. Again - it's not just about money... .  :)

Agree. I like my ordinary job (architect) even more now thanks to microstock. Because thanks to the additional revenue I can now afford to ditch my worst clients and concentrate only on more interesting projects. My suggestion to the OP is to turn the regular job into a "hobby" if the kind of occupations allows this

« Reply #85 on: June 08, 2010, 06:07 »
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my theory is that people should be employees of their hobbies (you got the point - when you do your hobby for a work - this is cool. and of course, i agree - not everything is in money.
hypothetically speaking: if i have choice :to have a job that i do not like for a "full meal" -or job that i really like, and i have a good fun while working - for "piece of dry bread, and glas of fresh water" -my choice is always "just bread and water".
to be honest, my current microstock income makes me a lot more closer to this :) - but i do not complain at all, and don't regret.
 an option "did i made a mistake to do so?" -has never been an option in my mind.
*one very successful man - i think he is really cool either:

Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address


all the best ;)
sasha

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #86 on: June 08, 2010, 07:49 »
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hypothetically speaking: if i have choice :to have a job that i do not like for a "full meal" -or job that i really like, and i have a good fun while working - for "piece of dry bread, and glas of fresh water" -my choice is always "just bread and water".

bread and BEER, and I'm completely happy

« Reply #87 on: June 08, 2010, 09:22 »
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The downside of turning your hobby into your career is that you lose a hobby. While this might at first not be a concern, and might even sound trivial, you'll eventually have a need to fill in that great big hole you've created.

« Reply #88 on: June 08, 2010, 09:58 »
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^^ well, i am happy with ONLY beer. but did not want to mention this at the first place. -there might be some minors members -and i do not want to advertise alcoholic beverages.
"if the beer is an alcohol =>than i am an alcoholic" :)
(*thanks to d.a.maradona)

^ no. if you have deceision in your head: my hobby is going to become my occupation, and i want to earn as much as i can... than - you're right.
 if you have option "i live my hobby" -things are slightly different ;) . what i am tryin' to say is that anything people do, must be done with love. if yo do not love something you do, whatever this is, than you better don't. off course - if you can.

lisafx

« Reply #89 on: June 08, 2010, 11:41 »
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The downside of turning your hobby into your career is that you lose a hobby. While this might at first not be a concern, and might even sound trivial, you'll eventually have a need to fill in that great big hole you've created.

Absolutely true.  My former hobby is my job now.  Not nearly as much fun as it used to be  :(

I avoid taking pictures unless absolutely necessary if it isn't for stock.  I used to love taking pictures.

« Reply #90 on: June 08, 2010, 11:57 »
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My former hobby is my job now.  Not nearly as much fun as it used to be  :(

I avoid taking pictures unless absolutely necessary if it isn't for stock.  I used to love taking pictures.

Hmm, same here. I still love taking pictures __ but only when I think they'll sell. The excitment is all about 'harvesting' something that most others wouldn't see the value in.

Having said that I much prefer doing my 'job' now than I used to when I worked in a factory. I've got a nasty feeling that we're all going to have to work much harder in the future attempting to maintain an ever dwindling income though.

« Reply #91 on: June 08, 2010, 12:04 »
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...
I avoid taking pictures unless absolutely necessary if it isn't for stock.  I used to love taking pictures.

Yeah, I can say the same thing - taking pics is still fun, but it's no longer something I do in my off-time or spare time. Before I made the career jump, photography was a way for me to exercise my creative/artistic muscles and provided a regular and pleasant escape from the normal day-to-day stuff. I never saw it coming that I'd need an escape from photography, but like everything else, taking time off can pay handsomely. Finding a hobby as engaging as photography has proven to be a challenge.

Also, I've found that specializing in stock has the added downsides of working in relative isolation and a lack of camaraderie. If the feeling of being a part of a team is important to you, or if you enjoy interacting with clients, or you aren't strongly self-motivated, you will likely run into problems.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 12:05 by sharply_done »


« Reply #92 on: June 08, 2010, 12:11 »
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... The excitment is all about 'harvesting' something that most others wouldn't see the value in.
...

Yep, same here. I used to do a lot of studio work, but I find 'harvesting' to be much more of an engaging and interesting challenge.

rubyroo

« Reply #93 on: June 08, 2010, 12:20 »
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The excitment is all about 'harvesting' something that most others wouldn't see the value in.

I must agree with that - for me, that is really exciting.  When the mental light bulb goes off with an original idea, it's such a great feeling.  Must jot it down fast!  ;)

Then, when you see your intention through the lens, get the lighting just right, and then play around with distance and focal length until that magical 'eureka' moment when you know you've captured something even more beautiful than you're original intention.

Wowwww.

When the mind runs dry - I can feel defeated - but then it's time to go through all my 'idea notebooks', lists and sketches I've built up, to try to find inspiration - and I love doing that too.

Best job ever  :)

Maybe not the best wages (some of present company excepted) - but definitely the best job  ;)
« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 12:25 by rubyroo »

« Reply #94 on: June 08, 2010, 14:58 »
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Also, I've found that specializing in stock has the added downsides of working in relative isolation and a lack of camaraderie. If the feeling of being a part of a team is important to you, or if you enjoy interacting with clients, or you aren't strongly self-motivated, you will likely run into problems.

Yep.  Thus hanging out here. :)

« Reply #95 on: June 08, 2010, 15:16 »
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lisafx

« Reply #96 on: June 09, 2010, 10:24 »
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Also, I've found that specializing in stock has the added downsides of working in relative isolation and a lack of camaraderie. If the feeling of being a part of a team is important to you, or if you enjoy interacting with clients, or you aren't strongly self-motivated, you will likely run into problems.

Good points.  Of course for me it's perfect because I can't stand working with, and especially FOR other people. ;)

If I didn't sing in the choir at church I would probably go nuts from the isolation though.  And as Sean points out, this group is great for getting in some social interaction...

« Reply #97 on: June 09, 2010, 13:07 »
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hm... virtual community is o.k. but, i think that human beings have to have real "live" friends, and social contacts/network e.t.c.
 i'm drinking beer regularely with few my friends - also microstockers, and regarding the fact that i am a pro night club musician also for over 20 years, i have a lot of friends from that population also.
 but, virtual community also has it's own benefits, that's for sure. (on example you can find a lot of help from other people on the forums regarding business).
*i'm speaking in generally, not pointing anyone specially.

« Reply #98 on: June 09, 2010, 13:21 »
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Very general question, but if you were consistently pulling in over $150 to $250 a day (weekday) from microstock and revenues actually were going up from month to month as u put more time in it, would you do this fulltime? Im just curious on the ones that jumped on the fulltime boat if this was roughly the amount of income they started with...

It depends on how much your full time job pays. If it pays waaaaay better than $200 a day, and makes you happy then keep it the way it is.

If you don't make more than $200 a day in your day job + hate your job why would you keep torturing yourself?

You don't really need my advice or other's opinions here as you are the one who should evaluate your specific case.

If you insist that you need more opinions here is mine: If your day job is nothing special then quit right away, because if you make $200 a day  while doing another job, just imagine how much more you can do once you go full time.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2010, 13:24 by cidepix »

« Reply #99 on: June 11, 2010, 13:19 »
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We decided to retire at 44, and are traveling the country adding to our portfolio. Stock will be one of the incomes we count on, it's been steady enough to know that if we start pushing our portfolio we should have better sales.
We traded in our concrete foundation for black rubber tires.  We're young enough to enjoy camping, and being mobile will allow us to be in some important spots when things are going on.
The amount of income isn't important to us. What IS important is we now have freedom. Freedom to pursue what we love the most. Freedom to travel at will, and in comfort. Not to mention, it sure is nice, knowing we don't have to worry about rent or mortgage payments! I know it's not for everyone, but it IS right for us, so we're starting this adventure in a few days! We just have to finish selling off the furniture tomorrow, then we can roll out of here :)
We're going to be blogging on it, and we have a facebook fan page  ;D Feel free to follow us there!
Robert & Lori Gebbie, RGebbiePhoto


 

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