I’ve been shooting corporate jets lately. Here is a link to another photographer that does the same work and
an article in the Washington Post. It’s cool work, but it’s hard to get. It’s just like everything else, clients want to see the work in your book before the hire you to do it.
Charles Tack, the photographer mentioned in the article grossed about 300k last year, not bad!
“I don’t do bids. No proposals. Somebody will call me and say we have an airplane in Long Beach, when can you be there?” he said. “I don’t negotiate. I bill them what I think it costs and I’ve never been stiffed.”
A typical job to photograph a midsize jet with a caterer putting food on display would probably cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,500 to $3,000.
This year, he expects to gross more than $300,000. His personal expenses come to about $80,000 a year, including around $30,000 to maintain his Beechcraft, which uses about 15 gallons of fuel per hour. He was audited once and got a clean bill of health, he said.
He ends up with between $200,000 and $250,000 before federal and state income taxes. He also pays about $500 a month for health care and stashes every penny he can into a self-employed retirement plan.