You need to watch this before you turn your photography into a career

Tips & Techniques

Many of us have considered turning our artistic passion into a profession. Many of you may still be having second thoughts about it. If this is the case, then this video from Sean Tucker is a must-watch. In this very inspiring and honest video, Sean tells you why you should, but also why you shouldn’t, turn your photography into your career.

Sean starts by sharing his personal story behind becoming a professional photographer. In fact, he started as a filmmaker, and photography came later. He did it all while he had another job, but he lost this job when he turned thirty. This age was a turning point for him, and oh I can relate! It was time to make a decision: should he turn his photography into his job?

Like many of us, Sean was afraid that he would lose interest in photography if it became his day job. However, a friend told him: “If you’re going to start from scratch, you might as well choose something you love.” And so he did. Once again, I can relate – I didn’t choose a career in photography, but I chose to write for a living, and writing was only a hobby before that. Thankfully, I still haven’t started to hate it, just like Sean hasn’t started hating photography. But…

Just like any other creative job, being a photographer has its downsides and challenges. Sean explains that there are two ways of observing your photography: as an occupation and as a vocation, and I think that his video helps you make the best out of both worlds.

If you decide to make photography your occupation, there is a chance you’ll start to hate it. It’s often not as creatively fulfilling that you would like it to be. In fact, it’s often speed and consistency, rather than creativity, that the client will ask from you. There will inevitably be times when you’ll feel like you have no creative control over your own work. So why on Earth should you do it?

Well, you’ll learn a ton if you choose photography as your profession. You’ll learn a lot about photography and all aspects of it, especially through problem-solving. But another useful skill is that you’ll learn to work with other people, no matter if they’re different clients and teams. If I may add, you’ll also make a bunch of contacts and even meet new friends.

Now, photography can also be your vocation. This means that it’s your calling, your expression, something that you just have to do. If you feel this way about photography, be mindful of it. If you feel like you’re losing interest, make sure to regain it, or otherwise you’ll leave photography completely and lose a big part of yourself.

But how can you do it? How can you rekindle your passion? Sean has a couple of suggestions. He also had a period in life when he started to lose his love for photography. He didn’t want it to perish, so he gave himself a challenge: he would walk from work every day and take street photos with his phone. At the end of the day, he would choose the best one and share it on his social media. This was something personal, something he did only for himself – and it reminded him that photography had been more than just occupation.

Another thing you can do is work on personal projects. This may take away some of your time from other activities, but it will do wonders for your love for photography.

Finally, no one says that you have to be paid for photography to be “a real photographer.” Okay, some people do say it, but I say screw them! You can be a marvelous photographer if you only do it out of love, and do something completely different for money. After all, you can also make some extra buck from shooting while having something else as your full-time job. The bottom line is – there’s no universal answer for everyone. But if you feel like photography is your vocation, then nurture this love and passion even if you chose it to be your occupation.

[The Truth about Becoming a Professional Photographer | Sean tucker]

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