So you’ve decided to become a photographer. There are some things about the profession that you probably haven’t read in books or online. There is much more to being a photographer than snapping pictures and owning a studio. Here are some things no one has probably told you about becoming a photographer.
1. Being an amateur can still take you places
When you first decide to devote all your efforts into your photography business, you will find yourself going through a learning curve. Even if you start small, you can still meet your goals and find success in the most unexpected places. Many photographers start selling their work on stock photography websites and grow professionally as a result.
2. You will also have to be an entrepreneur
Before we get into all the details, no one’s probably mentioned that a photographer also has to be an entrepreneur. Your work becomes a consumption where you play the main role in growing your business on your own. Yes, you are an artist but to flourish in your field you have to have some background knowledge in how to run a business otherwise you won’t last very long.
3. You will have to hussle 90% of the time
As a followup to the previous point, you probably found out early on that taking photographs is only 10% of the job. In today’s competitive market, you have to work harder and devote more time to hustling that your actual photographic work. You will have to be good at writing to produce articles, marketing materials and eloquently communicate with your clients. People skills are also of great importance.
4. You will have to deal with difficult people
It comes with the job that you will inevitably have to deal with difficult and sometimes frustrating people. Clients come in a really wide spector and part of the job is learning to deal with different types of people. If you work in stock photography, you’ve managed to bypass this stage!
5. Photography is actually about consistency
You have to have a signature style to stand out from the crowd. At the end of the day, your reputation will depend on the consistency you deliver. If you take a look at renowned photographers, their work is usually particular to a niche. To be excellent at something, you have to focus on a genre and bring on a signature style to your chosen niche.
6. Equipment does matter
Some will tell you that all you need is a camera but if you’ve been in the business for a while you know that’s not enough. You will have to invest into better equipment and with that will come inspiration to better yourself. You also know by now that acquiring more of it won’t necessarily make you a better photographer.
7. You will have to learn a lot about the tech side of things
You quickly learn that the post production stage of photography is just as important as the work you do in the studio. Some photographers will say that the post production stage is about business which is why it’s crucial that you familiarize yourself with the latest technologies, applications and editing tools.
8. You will have to master patience to succeed
Success almost never comes overnight. If you’re devoted to your work and passionate about what you do, you will need a lot of patience before you reap the benefits of your hard work.
9. People will react differently to your profession
Some may not take you seriously and consider photography a hobby, others will be thrilled at the thought and jump at the opportunity for a free photoshoot. Either way, frustrations may arise and that’s something every photographer has to learn to deal with.
10. Photography becomes a lifestyle
Lastly, photography isn’t just a profession, it’s a lifestyle. The truth is that you have to be a photographer 24/7 or not be one at all. Even when you’re off work hours (if that exists), you’re still looking at the world through a camera lens. Some may call this an obsession but in reality it’s because you love what you do and you’ve trained yourself to seize opportunities even when your work day is over.
The most important thing to take away from these is that there is much more to being a photographer than meets the eye. It’s not a dreamy profession where you take pictures all day everyday, more like you have your own business and it consumes your life.
It’s not as easy as it first seems and there are skills you have to master to be successful. In spite of all these difficulties, there probably isn’t any other profession you would rather have. As you can probably already consider yourself a photographer, on a more humorous note, check out 11 things photographers hate hearing.
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