When we all started photography, we were this bright eyed camera owning shoot anything in plain sight individuals. It was pride and joy to be finally owning a camera (or for some, like me, it meant a lot that I got to hold a DSLR in my hand), and we couldn’t help but just talk about cameras and photography all day long with our friends and our social media accounts. It was pure bliss, waking up each day, looking for friends that would be our test subjects in our quest to replicate photos made by professionals or test out tutorials that we saw on the internet.
The beauty of it all was that we were pure; our motivations were based on fun. Our internet time was spent on researching new techniques, understanding functions of gear, and establishing a network of people that we could at anytime ask who was free and have a “fun shoot” the day after. Our approval was based on the reaction of the subjects and their expressions on when they see the unedited photos on the LCD of the camera.
We get to attend our first workshop or we got commissioned to be a secondary / back up shooter for a friend who does events and learn the business side of photography. Money is there. We believe that it’s as easy as contacting people, meeting them for a quick chat over what needs to be done, sign a contract or have an agreement, and finally do their event. It was a quick buck for something we enjoyed. But alas, at some point we experience an encounter with an unruly client. We start to get frustrated with our creativity and focused more on the income.
To some it may be a difficult thing to understand and take in, but for those who do photography for a living, it is a natural course of things. Balance is necessary in every shoot, though our concern is to feed, provide and create financial stability for ourselves and family, we should always remember the reason and the fire which started our fondness for the craft.
Years pass on and we garner titles, accomplishments, and an arsenal of hardware. Pride and ego becomes a downfall yet a rising level of confidence converges upon us each time we face clients and compromise on their needs.
Our quest for perfecting the craft settles in again, personal projects are a need to spark the self contained creativity, and we bring up advocacies which we hold true because we see that our photography is a tool to change, create awareness and have an impact in people’s lives. We yearn for stability but it is a day to day struggle with marketing (and sometimes hard selling ourselves) and holding on to our pride of being a “well known” photographer.
The future is never clear. It is an unwritten page in everybody’s book, a chapter which only we can write. It is often said that we create our own demons, chase them down or run away from them, it’s always up to us. Keep moving forward.