Saturday, 24 April 2010


Each year at this time, I face the yearly income tax return, and remembering the years spent at the faculty of Economics I try to have a look at the economic results. While Photography may seem exciting for those who live, or try to live taking photographs, is also a profession. And we must look at all the revenues and expenses and at the final result. I like to make statistics and comparative charts, the balance of the year in relation to the past, and how the billing sectors are distributed. As expected, the balance of 2008, the year of the crisis, is not good. I will not give figures, is a very personal matter, but comparative data.

So far, my best year was 2001 with interesting results. However, we must always bear in mind that what a documentary photographer may earn will always be far from what may win a doctor or an architect, for example. Although I know some of the latter, after the puncture of the housing bubble in Spain, that are having serious problems. Usually the areas of billing are: stories published, stock sales, classes, books and institutional jobs. The latter two, are not always present, and are often decisive in tipping the balance one way or another.
After 2001, the next best year was 2005 so I am going to make the comparison of 2008, the year when the crisis began, with the latter.
Last year, 2008, I earned a 12.98% less than in 2005. Given that the cumulative inflation in Spain from 2005 to 2008 was 9%, it means that my buying power was reduced by 20.17%.Bad, huh? (If anyone is interested in knowing which formula I used only has to write a comment).

We could say that people employed shouldn’t have this problem. But when a company obtains these results, they are generally offset by reducing the workforce. The only advantage of being freelance is that you can not fire yourself, but if things get worse over time, like any company, can lead you to bankruptcy.
A photographer friend, to whom I explain it, told me it my results wasn’t bad at all. -Look to what happened with the sales of cars and apartments. What you should do is to analize the first 6 months of 2009, where the effects of the crisis have been still much stronger-.
Phew! I think I’ll leave it for the next year.

How has been the billing in the different sectors in the two different years? I explain it in the next post.

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