Five reasons why you should never choose landscape photography as your career

May 25, 2020

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Five reasons why you should never choose landscape photography as your career

May 25, 2020

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Leaving your day job and turning a full-time landscape photographer sounds like a dream come true. But is it really all that romantic? Professional landscape photographer Joshua Cripps knows a thing or two about turning this hobby into a career, and he confirms that it’s not all sunshine and roses. In fact, he believes that landscape photography is a bad career choice for most people, and in this video he’ll give you five reasons why.

YouTube video

1. You will get to do photography a lot less

When you’re a landscape photographer, no one is paying for the actual shoot like with event, wedding and other similar genres. You still need to go out and take photos, but then you need to do so much more to actually get the money. You need to market them in one way or another: stock photography, selling prints, photo tours… Whichever way you choose, it requires a lot of additional work. Oh, and since this is now your business, there’s also social media, accounting, and other joys of running it. All these things require a lot of work, and none of it is about taking photos. Personally, all this is one of the reasons why I never turned pro.

2. You will work harder than ever

In a way, this s related to a previous point. If you decide to make landscape photography your career, you’ll need to maximize your creativity, ingenuity, and entrepreneurship. Remember, it’s not a 9-5 job, and it will become hard to separate your private life from your work life. From now on, you’ll need to do everything that has to do with business ownership, and it will be especially tough in the beginning while you’re still learning.

3. You will see your friends and family less

Although you will now do all those business-related things, you’ll still have to make great photos you’re your portfolio or for sale. This means that you’ll sometimes need to sacrifice your personal life to get the best shots.

4. Relationships can be very difficult

When you turn pro and get to the point that you can travel a lot, how will your partner handle it? Should they go with you? Can they? And do they even want to? Or should they stay at home and wait? Joshua admits that some relationships didn’t work out because he was always on the road and he just wasn’t around much to nurture the personal connections. Of course, it’s not impossible to maintain a healthy relationship as a traveling photographer, but it can require a lot of extra effort on both sides.

5. Something you love can become something you hate

While we’re at relationships, you know how we sometimes grow to dislike someone we used to like a lot? Well, a similar thing can happen in your relationship with photography. When it’s just a hobby, there is no pressure, no expectations, you do it for your own soul. As soon as money gets into the equation, photography becomes a chore, there’s a lot of pressure and expectation, and of course lots of stress. All this can make you want to stop shooting, and I’ve known some people who stopped doing photography altogether because they just couldn’t handle the business side of it. On another personal note: this is one more big reason why I never chose it as a career. I was afraid I’d stop enjoying it, and it’s just not worth the risk. Plus, I’m better at writing anyway. :)

As far as I’m concerned, I’d never turn pro as a photographer, regardless of the genre. I agree with all of Joshua’s points and I think some of them can be applied to any type of photography you choose to turn into your full-time job. However, this doesn’t mean you should get discouraged. After all, if a career in landscape was all that bad, no one would do it. So, if you’re still considering it, Joshua also gives you a five reasons to go for it. And of course, it’s up to you to set your priorities first, and then make your decision.

YouTube video

[5 Reasons You SHOULD NEVER Become a Professional Landscape Photographer via FStoppers]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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5 responses to “Five reasons why you should never choose landscape photography as your career”

  1. Michael Beckerman Avatar
    Michael Beckerman

    Well, first off, you’d starve to death in about the first month. So, there’s that.

  2. Philip La Lumiere Avatar
    Philip La Lumiere

    With stock photography sites, pretty much every landscape has been photographed, and probably better than you could do it, and sells for a fraction of the cost of what you’d need to get paid to even make minimum wage ? some enterprising photographers are able to make a bit of money doing prints but it’s rare it’s anything more than a side hustle.

    If you want to work full time in photography, your choices are pretty much advertising or weddings. It’s vary rare anyone gets full time year round work outside of that. You’ll see the occasional portraitist sometimes. I would say photo journalism but it’s no longer 2005 ?

  3. Nelson Club Avatar
    Nelson Club

    All absolute tosh. I have been a pro for 35yrs – and I/we make a very very good living from ‘scapes’. All of these ‘reasons’ above are wrong. As for the comment below from Philip this is as about as far from the truth as it can be. Good imagery is always a better substitute than the dross of poor imagery on the internet. Find your style, stick to it but do not be afraid to adapt. Think less about what you need and more about what you don’t need. This is what you need: 1 camera – 1 lens 1 tripod 3 filters, a camera bag/rucksack and apart from a bottle of water, some energy bars and a good pair of shoes/raincoat – thats it. I use a Canon D5sr a 17-40mm some lLee filters and a Hoya Pola and off we go. That will cost you less than £2k. Admittedly our good fortune has allowed us to invest into a lovely little VWT6 camper replete with loo and bacon frying machine but that’s it. And we did it for years without that. Then comes the sell. do not print at home. Use an artisan fine art printer – does not even have to be local. Get them to test print a colour strip for your first few (diagonal across the frame to your desired size). Then set up a cheap ass website and off you go. Build it yourself, get a mate to do it, easier than it sounds. You can sell them framed, unframed, you can sell them for thousands or a few hundred quid. Finally bracket, bracket, bracket and get to know your editing software inside out before you hand in your notice. Now get out there and start practicing your photography and rehearsing your resignation.

    1. Redd Wolf Avatar
      Redd Wolf

      Your comment Nelson really helped and I thank you??

  4. Bhavin Shah Avatar
    Bhavin Shah

    You can but it has to be a niche, I know someone who only photographs sunrise 365 days