Friday 10 February 2017

A change of career.

There are many ways to make a living from photography. 

I have wondered what it would be like being a travel photographer. At first glance it seems very glamorous. Traveling the world, at someone else's expense. Visiting great places and staying at nice hotels. 

But it is more likely not that easy. Like any photography career. It will be difficult to break into.

I at first tried to get a foothold in motorsport. But it was not to be. I worked with a pro photographer, and for a while was the pro, providing pictures for an Autograss club. But gradually more people assumed I should provide pictures for free. I wasn't intent on making a living from it. Just to cover some of my expenses incurred attending the events. I started thinking that they didn't really value my pictures. Once it became clear that was the case it took some of the enjoyment out of it. Then a mechanic started taking pictures and giving them away. 

The pro photographer I worked with didn't have enough extra work to give me regular opportunities. The work I did gave a valuable incite into making a living. Anticipating what the client wants. And it gave me access to areas of race tracks I wouldn't have normally had. So it was a very good experience. I did get a few pictures in the Autograss magazine, but mainstream magazine publications and commissions eluded me.

Landscape photography appears to be very speculative. And for me too much of a risk. I know I could produce pictures in my spare time. I'm just not sure how to get the business of selling prints started.

Over the past few years my portraiture portfolio has improved a great deal and I have developed a style of my own. But it's the move to selling my time and knowledge that I am having trouble with. 

There is wedding photography of course. I'll need to gain experience and a portfolio. But it is a stressful job. You only get one chance to get it right. 

And like everything I do. I wouldn't commit to a photo shoot or wedding commission if I didn't think I could do it.  I know some would say yes and worry about how to deliver later.  But not me.  

Maybe that's the problem, I'm not a risk taker. And I would need to be for a change in career.

This post isn't meant to sound like I'm complaining or think I am owed a living from photography. I applaud anyone who has made the change I am thinking about. 

This year I will keep building my portfolio and experience but focus more on marketing what I can deliver for people.

I enjoy photography.  Should I risk changing that in an attempt to make a living?

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