1st March, 2024
Photography is something that many people find themselves drawn to because of its ability to capture moments, express emotions, and tell stories. However, when photography transitions from a hobby to a profession, it can sometimes be a challenge to maintain the passion and love for the art form. The path that was once illuminated by sheer passion and creativity now intertwines with the demands of a business. You learn to mediate your creative vision with the needs of your clients. It’s an interesting journey, trusting your ability and asserting it, both for the benefit of yourself and others. Considering this, I’ve thought about some different learning points and tips to share, for those who might face similar processes with their photography careers, or any other creative endeavour.
Embrace the Vocation
Transitioning from capturing moments as a hobbyist to doing so professionally can feel like a daunting leap. Learning to hold yourself to a certain standard and appear confident in your dealings. When your work is such an intimate extension of how you see the world, sharing this and selling it can feel vulnerable and risky. But photography is not just a job; it’s a vocation that allows you the great privilege and opportunity to infuse your unique perspective into every photo set. Re-framing that vulnerability as something that isn’t risky, but rewarding, helps the job feel more personal. I know that for me, hobby photography is largely an exercise in mindfulness and gratitude, and bringing that energy to paid shoots only enhances my work and the client’s trust in me.
On the journey of a professional photographer, stormy weather is part of the forecast. Challenging clients, unpredictable schedules, and endless travel can test even the strongest passion. There might be times you feel disillusioned with your career path. It’s important that in moments of self doubt or frustration, you remind yourself why you started. By embracing the hardships and viewing them as stepping stones to growth, you can keep your love for photography alive and well.
Photography’s allure lies in its ability to push boundaries and capture the extraordinary in the ordinary. As a professional, it’s crucial to embrace innovation and exploration. Try new techniques, experiment with different styles of photography, and embark on projects that seem insurmountable. Venturing beyond your comfort zone might intimidate, but it’s where growth and inspiration thrive. You’ll build new skills and open new creative avenues to re-excite and re-direct your interest.
Nourish Your Passion
Amid the hustle of the photography business, it’s vital to reconnect with the core reasons that ignited your love for this art. Whether it’s the magic of freezing a moment, the thrill of making emotions tangible, the joy of seeing your vision come to life, remind yourself of those initial sparks. To reignite my passion, I try to set aside time for personal projects that align with my artistic vision, free from commercial constraints. These projects act as a reminder of why I love with photography, and keep me from continuous burn out.
Communicate Your Passion
Translating your passion into your work can set you apart in a competitive field. As a professional photographer, infuse your interactions, online presence, and portfolio with your genuine enthusiasm. Your passion sets you apart from others in the field and can be a significant factor in why clients choose to work with you. If you’re excited and keen to be there, your clients will be too.
Take Care of Yourself
It’s also important to take care of your physical and mental health. Professional photography can be physically exhausting and stressful, and it’s easy to burn out if you’re not taking care to check in with yourself. Take breaks when needed and make time for relaxation and self-care. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break when you’re struggling to find your passion.
In conclusion, maintaining your passion for photography as a professional involves understanding that photography is more than just a job, staying committed despite the challenges, continuously pushing boundaries, nourishing your passion, effectively communicating your passion to your clients, and taking care of your physical and mental health. By doing these things, you can continue to love photography even when it’s your job.