Becoming a professional photographer is hard, really hard and there’s a pile of reasons why you shouldn’t do it. We’ve picked out 8 of the pesky things but to balance things up,
we’ve also included the 1 reason why you absolutely must become that pro.
1. You will eventually do your back in carrying all that gear. You'll either have to work out, buy a trolley, get an assistant to carry everything for you or get so famous shooting phone images that you don't need to carry anything heavy.
2. There's lot of other people trying to get business. Chasing the same potential clients as you. Photography is hugely popular which means there are lots of people considering becoming a 'professional' photographer. You'll need a bagful of tenacity, business acument and skill to rise above the rest.
3. Marketing is hard and expensive and probably the blackest of arts within business. Without telling everyone your business exists, you are unlikely to get enough clients to make money. Marketing is essential and yet, possibly the hardest aspect of any business to get right. There are no silver bullets when it comes to marketing.
4. You'll never be rich. Probably, but we sincerely hope you make it!
5. You will have to shoot things that bore you to tears and do it as well as if you loved it with all your heart.
6. Being in business is all about selling yourself and if you're any kind of introvert you're going to struggle because you have to talk to people! Networking should be a key component of your marketing strategy.
7. You spend most of the time doing non-photography stuff like invoicing, marketing, filing receipts, backing up, blah, blah, blah. All boring, it will drive you nuts but to run a business properley this has to be done. Once you appreciate this, you become more than just a photographer, you have a business and you're running it. You have become a business owner. How exciting (or scary) is that?
8. Everyone is a photographer. Phones (damn, can you believe it, phones) now take great images. It's easy for some potential clients to think that they don't need images from a pro because they can do it themselves. How do you convince those potential clients that your work is way better than their phone pics? So much better that they pay you to shoot those images?
That one reason to do it:
1. Only do it because you can't bear not to. Do it because you are deeply,deeply passionate about photography and can't imagine yourself having any other kind of career. If you read those 8 reasons above and still want to do it, then you probably have the passion and nothing is going to stop you. I feel sorry for you and feel elated for you, all at once. It's a crazy job but if it's in your soul, it's the best one in the World and I wish you all the very best of luck.
Shoot,upload,repeat is the mantra of many a stock photographer who aims to make as much money as possible from their images. See how that's possible here.
We've put together a list of 50 things to consider before you start a new photography business. Applies too if you've already started.
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