Roadmap from amateur to professional photographer

Started Jan 10, 2011 | Discussions thread
OP frugivore Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: Unwelcome reality

Michael Thomas Mitchell wrote:

Becoming a pro because you love photography isn't really the best reason to do it. That love will cloud your judgment and distort reality. It'll convince you that you need a 1D IV and a 24-70 L with 600ws strobes and pocket wizards to take elementary school yearbook headshots,

Very true, Michael. I'd like to thank you and all the others for giving their input. It is very helpful - not just to me, but to others thinking about taking this craft up as their livelihood.

The general undertone in most posts seems to be a precautionary one. Jumping into a situation without first making a thorough examination of it is a quick road to failure, certainly. But I think that success relies upon something other than taking a survey of your competition, determining how much income is required to break even, finding a niche that will give you an edge, or some other approach that is monitored by the thought of failure. My philosophy on the matter is a little different. I want to produce something that is of great value to society. I have been doing this with every job that I've had in my life and I've loved every job that I've ever had - even those that others might consider crummy jobs. The one thing that every job has in common is that the net outcome is 'helping others'. This is what everyone should keep in mind and what will motive one to get out of bed in the morning.

Now I've decided on photography because I feel I can contribute to society with it more than I am contributing with my current job. To be able to provide great value through photography, I feel that one must really know what the purpose of taking pictures really is. And to do it well, one must know the rock-bottom fundamentals of photography. One of the many important things that I've learned in my study is that above all, the message is of more importance than all other aspects of photography. Everything else is a tool to help get that message across.

With regard to success in business, there is an entirely independent subject that must be known, which is the subject of organization. There are probably as many approaches to business and organization as there are texts on the subject. Someone has had some success and so has authored a book to help others achieve the same success as they did. The problem is that what worked for one or a few may not work in all cases. What is really needed here is some workable knowledge that can be applied in any situation with unqualified success. And I think that for this type of knowledge to work, it would have to teach the student the fundamentals of the subject of organization, just as I mentioned about photography earlier in this post. This may sound simple, but I doubt that many 'expert' texts really have the fundamentals. As an example, a lot of focus seems to be placed on money when it should instead be placed on the product being created. This is not to say that money should be tossed around without regard.

In any case, I really enjoy reading about the successes that some of you have had in this field. They are very inspirational!

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