Would Going Pro Spoil My Love For Photography?

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altjonny Forum Member • Posts: 71
Would Going Pro Spoil My Love For Photography?

My family and friends continue to comment on my photos in social media and I am often told, especially by my parents and siblings that I should be a professional photographer. My parents run their own company and are huge advocates for starting your own business, getting clients and making a great living out of that. While I love the idea of being a great photographer that is able make a living doing what I love, I just don’t see it being a reality.

For some context:

I’m 20 years old. Last year I married my amazing wife and we’re moving from Idaho to Arizona just before fall and starting our new life together. I have no idea what I will do for a living if I’m going to be honest. I will mostly just be looking for something that’s full time. I doubt that job will pay anything more than our monthly expenses but I will find a way to get by I’m sure... I hope... this leads me to wonder about being a pro photographer instead of doing a job I’ll hate that doesn’t pay well... and I think about it over and over and my answer continues to be “no, I don’t want to do it. I’ll just force myself to go to college or go into real estate or something... and I’ll probably hate it”

I just can’t see myself doing pro photography though and here’s why:

1. I’m definitely not a sales person. I am very bad at talking to people, very introverted until I get to know someone. I’m super shy and I have the (probably common) millennial problem where I cannot easily talk on the phone. I hate it, and I hate that I hate it.

2. Getting paid for photography will spoil photography for me. The thing I love about photography as a hobby is that I can give myself a relaxed and healthy creative outlet. I don’t like the feeling of being stressed or worried that I have to deliver the perfect shots to the client. If I miss the client’s moment for whatever reason I will have possibly ruined their memory forever. This is totally different to how I see photography and why I enjoy it in the first place. It’s something I can be calm and patient with. It’s not a rush.  But as soon as you go professional, there is now money on the line, a client, and their photos/memories.

3. Photography is a super saturated industry. There seems to be an overwhelming abundance of photographers out there. I don’t know how on earth I could compete. Especially considering how terribly unsocial I am. My father tells me that I take amazing pictures. He said, “out of all those ‘pro photographers’ you see, how many of them love it so much that they are actually going onto forums like you and sharing photos and talking with other photographers?” I just laughed and shrugged. Yes I love photography, but... am I really that good? I’m good based on what? I just don’t see how I would stand out. (I always talk to my dad about my camera and sharing with him the cool photos I take. He doesn’t really understand what aperture is or anything but he always tries to be encouraging)

4. I don’t even know where to look. I’ve always heard wedding photography makes good money and it’s very rewarding. I feel it would be too stressful, and right now I can’t see myself affording a second or third Lumix G9 as backup cams. The ideal would be some sort of wildlife photography, travel photography, or even shooting in a cool studio. But I have no clue how to even enter those fields professionally or if anyone even makes money from that.

I mean, in theory being a professional photographer and making money doing what you love sounds cool! But then I really think about it... I’d almost like to just keep it my favorite hobby. I’ve been doing photography since my first smartphone when I was 14 and with interchangeable lens cameras since I was 16. It’s been fun. I’m obsessed.

So, should I go pro?

The reason I bring this question to this forum is because I shoot m43 and I would like to hear the opinions and thoughts of other m43 photographers. Or really any photographer with thoughts on this topic.

Thank you.

 altjonny's gear list:altjonny's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art Panasonic 20mm F1.7 II Olympus 12-100mm F4.0
Panasonic Lumix DC-G9
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