Deciding to take my love for photography from a hobby to a career was the most frightening experience of my life. Seriously, it was a huge risk. But today, I couldn’t imagine my life or career any different. As with any other major life decision, I had to push myself beyond my comfort zone to become a professional photographer. I had to make myself vulnerable to potential criticism and let downs.
I think this is an important thing to point out to aspiring photographers; you have to break through your walls of comfort and stand vulnerably out in the wide open, in order to find success in this business.
Now, success for some may mean becoming a well-known photographer. I’m a little more conservative, so I felt successful when I captured my first event booking. I really didn’t think it would be possible, so when it happened, I felt like I had conquered the world!
When I first started out, I felt successful by accomplishing tasks that other photographers may find trivial. Some may not feel success until one of their photos is published in a magazine or exhibited in a gallery. Everyone is different.
The point is; however you define success, you won’t get there until you break through the wall. I had many incorrect notions about professional photography before I made it my career. I thought that my technique would never be as good as others. I thought that there were already too many professionals in my hometown. I thought that my work would never be accepted. All these negative thoughts kept me from pursuing and living the life that was calling my name.
Here’s the truth; your work will not be the best when you first start out. Why should it be the best, though? You are new to the game. The old adage “practice makes perfect” is so true when it comes to photography. There are many different techniques and tools, and it takes time to perfect your use of them. In the beginning, take photos of natural landscapes, buildings and inanimate objects, and focus on the basics (lighting, shutter speed, aperture, rule of thirds, etc). Getting a grasp on the basics before you photograph people will help you avoid making your model wait while you try to get your settings right for a good shot.
If you are a true amateur and need help choosing a camera, go to your local camera shop or call a town family photographer and ask their advice on a good beginner camera. They may even have used equipment that they are willing to sale. Also, know that there are several learning resources out there; books, DVDs, classes or workshops at your local community college or university, etc.
Although I now only work part-time as an event photographer, I still consider photography a main source of happiness in life. If you’re like me, and photography is your hidden passion; take a chance at turning your love for this great form of art into a part-time or full-time job. The opportunities are endless!
About the Author:
Allison Lane works part-time as an event photographer (mainly corporate event gigs). She also owns the website MPA Programs and enjoys writing guest blog posts.
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