The emotional rollercoaster of professional photography

Nov 7, 2019

Mike Kelley

We love it when our readers get in touch with us to share their stories. This article was contributed to DIYP by a member of our community. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact us here.

The emotional rollercoaster of professional photography

Nov 7, 2019

Mike Kelley

We love it when our readers get in touch with us to share their stories. This article was contributed to DIYP by a member of our community. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact us here.

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For the last four or five years, I have tried to produce one annual workshop for aspiring architecture and interior photographers. While I hope that they are technically helpful and the students come away with new skills and knowledge, one thing that I’ve noticed is that every year each workshop inevitably transforms into a session of group therapy for all involved.

It’s no secret that freelancing can be boom and bust, amazing and terrible, discouraging and empowering. Anyone who has tried to carve out a living in a creative field knows this in every fiber of their being. So when I stumbled across a hysterical graph created by writer Guillame Morisette, I was immediately inspired and had to adapt it to photography, noting plenty of parallels in my own career. Without further delay, please enjoy this all-too-real attempt at humor and the highest form of fine art, the shoddily created meme:

I’m not sure if this is a “problem” specific to architectural photography or all photographic genres in general, but without fail, the most requested topics at workshops is the psychology and business of photography, rather than the techniques or equipment. On one hand I’m grateful for this, as it means my workshops are attracting photographers who have moved beyond the simple “what camera do I use to get that look” phase and are usually well on their way to a career in photography.

On the other hand, it can be tough to have a delicately planned day of workshops and light-chasing consumed by business questions and concerns – and believe me, those subjects are a huge source of curiosity, frustration, and anxiety.

At the end of the day it feels great and is clearly helpful to let everyone get their frustrations, questions, and vents out, and I’m happy to be able to provide a platform for that – there aren’t many other places to do it in a private, professional setting in a field that is as independent and personal as photography. Hey, business idea for the budding therapist: focus on small business owners. I’m sure you’d have a steady client base!

About the Author

Mike Kelley is an architecture and interiors photographer who has photographed projects all over the world. He is a self-proclaimed airplane food enthusiast and the founder of the Architectural Photography Almanac. Make sure to check out more of Mike’s work on his website and follow him on Instagram and Twitter. This article was also published here and shared with permission.

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5 responses to “The emotional rollercoaster of professional photography”

  1. david carnes Avatar
    david carnes

    I am stuck at about 2/3 pi on this chart.

  2. Chris De Vine Avatar
    Chris De Vine

    True. Very true

  3. Michael Groah Avatar
    Michael Groah

    Very true

  4. Randy Hendrickson Avatar
    Randy Hendrickson

    They forgot purchasing new gear to make up for talent shortcomings. Ask me how I know about it.

  5. Marciano Kluivert Avatar
    Marciano Kluivert

    Consistent! ?