Doesn’t it seems so easy to start a photography career? Of course it does! Someone told you that you were taking nice photos, They asked you to take some photos of this and that and you consider photography fun. Then you are ready to let the world know that you are a photographer and start making big amounts of money for something that easy. People come to you, ask you for photos and suddenly you have plenty of orders from lots of customers.
And this is how this fairytale ends. No, it really doesn’t work like that.
Less camera, more monitor.
First of all, when you are considering buying a camera – lots of people think, that the bigger the camera the better. Not at all. Of course, for us photographers it often works like this – usually when you look at DSLRs you can see that the more expensive ones are bigger and that means the bigger are better for professionals (I mean full frame are usually bigger than cropped, DSLRs are bigger than mirrorless cameras atc.).
But buying a big DSLR for yourself as a person who simply wants nicer photos is not a good way. When looking after cameras you need to decide or find out whether you want your photos to be good at the moment you download them to your computer or you are prepared to spend hours making them look good.
In case you are not prepared to spend hours by your computer playing around with graphic programs you can be sure that photography isn’t job for you. Because being a pro means lots of postprocess , much more of postprocess then photoshoots themselves. This means that those of you who love being out there (ok, we all love this) taking photos but are not willing to give it a little bit (or bigger bit) more are perfect candidates for smaller cameras which do most of the work instead of you.
However, for those of us who actually don’t mind our time spent sitting at a desk there is the option of buying DLSR and playing around with ways of postprocessing photos. Because more professional photos are being made instead of taken.
Quite common issue I see people dealing with is the size and weight of photography equipment one needs. For most of the people it gets too big and too heavy. Even I only go for hikes with D. or someone else who is willing to grab the needed things in their backpack since my backpack is full of cameras and lenses and other equipment and it is heavy enough for me not to take anything else.
I know many people who do have big cameras and who even don’t mind postprocess but by the time they stop taking their big toys with them that much and eventually stop taking it and using it at all. Usually they later go and buy lighter toys (cameras, drones or whatever). This is the point when lots of hobby photographers find out they were too enthusiastic at the beginning and that time showed them that it really is more hard work than fun for them.
The real hard work
We went through the issues of starting photography as a serious activity. Now, as you are probably ok with all of this and you feel like an amazing photograph is the most beautiful award for you we can get to the last chapter of this endless post.
People will always want to have photos you created while you are learning. It’s fun and it’s for free. This gives a photographer a feeling of their work being liked. And yes, the people around really like it. Then the photographer starts charging a little fee. This is still ok, because people feel like it is truly a good deal. But every photographer comes to a conclusion that his equipment cost money and also his time does. They decide to charge more. And at that time when they charge to be paid well enough people seem to lose interest as usually there are better photographers with same (or just a little) prices but more experienced and better known.
At this point photographers goes one of those two ways. One, they give up, because they left jobs to have time fot photography works and it doesn’t pay off. Two, they go and spend hours trying to get customers and learning marketing to survive and keep they dream job.
And more about this in next part of this series.
By the way, there’s lot more that coul’d be written in this post, but it would be more of a short story than a blogpost, haha.