Have you ever dreamt of making it big as a photographer? Capturing breathtaking landscapes, immortalizing precious moments, and earning a living doing what you love? While the industry may seem enticing and glamorous from the outside, the truth is, many aspiring photographers struggle to turn their passion into a successful career. In this blog, we will delve into the harsh realities and undeniable challenges that photographers face in today’s competitive market. However, fear not, because alongside these obstacles, we will also explore the solutions and strategies that can help you stand out and overcome the hurdles on your path to success. So, buckle up, fellow photography enthusiasts, and let’s dive into this insightful journey together.
Why You’ll Never MAKE IT as a Photographer
So yeah, I remember thinking what it would be like to sell my first print and what it would be like to get booked for my first photography job and then when both those things happened it didn’t feel anything like I thought it would.
The Concept of “Making It”
Hello everybody, I’m currently off a very, very misty mountain more on that in a minute. The main point of this video is to talk about a question or a type of question that I get asked a lot, and that is something to the effect of “can you give me some tips on how I make it as a photographer?”
I don’t believe that in photography or in any creative pursuit, you can ever get to a point where you’ve made it. And I think that on two fronts.
From a Business Perspective
The reason I eluded firstly to remembering back to what it would feel like to saw my first print, get my first job, is that when those things happened, it didn’t feel anything like how I thought it would. I thought it would feel like I’d made it, thought I’d kind of be overcome with this sense of “I’m a photographer now, this is amazing.” And actually, the feeling that I got after a kind of a really short period of elation is a feeling of “oh crap, I’ve got to hustle now.” Until I do a job that pays enough money for me to put it in a bank and live happily ever after off it, I don’t feel like I’ve made it.
The Creative Perspective
As a creative, your job is to do the very best work that you can do. It is never possible to get to a point where you couldn’t possibly improve the work that you’re putting out. Therefore, you’re never at the top of the mountain, you’re always climbing the mountain and you’re always making it. You’ve never made it.
The Challenges of Being a Photographer
I have no idea if this is making any sense or not, but when you’re a freelancer or nowadays even if you’re an employee, work can dry up pretty fast. I don’t think it’s ever been tougher to get work in the creative field than it is now. Just because you secure a job now, thinking that you’ve made it for any time period beyond that particular job, I think is a mistake. It’s a trap and it’s one that I’ve fallen into in the past and it’s one to be avoided.
The good news though is that if you have the hustle and the tenacity and the determination to get to a point where you can get work in the first place, then so long as you keep the attitude, you’re well positioned to keep getting work in the future. So yeah, to me, a big part of being a photographer or creative is keeping the underdog mentality. Otherwise, I think there’s a pretty good chance that the work could just stop and you would just not be at the top of the mountain, you’ll slide all the way down to the bottom.
I hope that made some sense. As you can probably tell, that’s just as much a kind of a pep talk to me as it is a response to some of the questions I get. Yeah, anyway, as I was saying before, I’m at the top of a very misty mountain here in North Wales, or on top of a place called Devil’s kitchen, which is a pretty cool name. I wish I could show you more of it, but yeah, visibility is down to about 20 meters at the moment, so that’s not going to happen. I have a vague idea where my tent is, we camped here last night, we being me and Nigel Danson, and the plan had been to get up super early, which we did, in the hope of catching a good sunrise, which we didn’t. Because anyway, I got footage of it all, so here’s the footage.
Okay, we’ve been walking about half an hour making some good progress, but the plan is to go out there and as you might be able to see, it’s currently in cloud so that is a good idea. And I don’t want to speak too soon, but I think I think we found a camp spot. Nigel, you missed the 10 met visibility continues to decrease, so if it doesn’t clear in the next hour or two, I think we’ll have no choice but to head down. I can’t wait to go to bed, but I’ve just remembered that for the fifth sick video running, well right, we’ve made it down and I am absolutely shattered. I don’t fancy spending all morning up here if it’s just not clear at all. The rush is on, right we’ve made it down and I am absolutely shattered. I can’t wait to go to bed, but I’ve just remembered that for the fifth sick video running. I mean I don’t look well, but I look better than I feel. Well right, we’ve made it down and I am absolutely shattered. I can’t wait to go to bed, but I’ve just remembered that for the fifth sick video running. Something like that.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why You’ll Never MAKE IT as a Photographer
1. What does it mean to “make it” as a photographer?
In the context of this article, “making it” refers to achieving a level of success and recognition in the field of photography where you can earn a living solely through your photography work, establish a reputable portfolio, and gain a significant following.
2. Are there certain factors that could hinder my success as a photographer?
Yes. Like any other profession, photography has its own set of challenges. Some factors that may affect your success include a saturated market, lack of unique style or niche, poor business skills, ineffective marketing, and failure to adapt to changing industry trends.
3. Does not having expensive equipment mean I’ll never make it as a photographer?
No, having expensive equipment does not determine success in photography. While having quality gear can certainly enhance your work, it’s your skill, creativity, and ability to capture compelling images that matter the most. Many successful photographers started with basic equipment and gradually upgraded as they progressed.
4. Can I become a successful photographer without formal education or training?
Yes, formal education or training is not a requisite for becoming a successful photographer. While it can provide valuable knowledge and techniques, photography is an art form that heavily relies on individual talent and creativity. Many renowned photographers are self-taught and have achieved great success through passion and dedication.
5. Is it necessary to specialize in a specific genre of photography to make it?
Specializing in a specific genre can certainly help you establish yourself and build a stronger brand presence. However, it’s not an absolute requirement. Some photographers find success by being versatile and offering services in multiple genres based on client demands and opportunities. It ultimately depends on your personal goals and preferences.
6. How important is networking in the photography industry?
Networking plays a vital role in any creative industry, including photography. Building relationships with fellow photographers, clients, industry professionals, and potential collaborators can open doors to new opportunities, collaborations, and exposure. It is crucial to network effectively to expand your reach in the industry.
7. Is social media presence essential for becoming a successful photographer?
In today’s digital age, having a strong social media presence can greatly benefit your photography career. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok provide excellent avenues to showcase your work, connect with potential clients, and build a supportive community. However, it’s important to manage your online presence strategically and authentically.
8. Can failure be a part of the journey to becoming a successful photographer?
Yes, failure is often a part of any creative journey, including photography. It is through failures and setbacks that we learn, grow, and refine our skills. Embracing failure as a learning experience, staying persistent, and continuously improving your craft can eventually lead to success.
I hope you find useful my article Why You’ll Never MAKE IT as a Photographer…, I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.
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Best of luck! and follow your passion.
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