When you decide to pursue a career in photography, you’ll get a lot of reactions and advice: and not all of them will be positive and useful. photographers Evan Ranft and Chris House have talked about the things everyone told them before starting a photography career that actually have nothing to do with a real photography career. Evan discusses five of these lies in this video. Do they seem familiar to you?
1. The camera doesn’t matter, it’s all about the photographer
Okay, there is actually truth in this statement: a good photographer should be able to produce a good photo on any kind of camera. However, photos shot on an iPhone will have different quality than those shot on a professional camera with a high-quality lens. So, if you want to pursue a career in photography, of course you have to work on your skill – but you should invest in gear other than a smartphone camera, too.
2. You have to shoot weddings
Evan says that whenever he tells someone that he’s a professional photographer, they say something like: “Oh, so you shoot weddings.” And yet, he has never shot a single wedding in his life. I find this funny, because I’ve been through something similar. While I was trying to figure out whether I wanted to turn pro or not, everyone who knew it and who was encouraging me to do it was trying to find me a wedding to shoot. Why weddings? I have no idea. But the truth is that you can center your photography business around plenty of other niches.
3. You are your own boss
Again, there is some truth in this statement: you get to set your own schedule and there’s no one boss under whom you work on a day-to-day basis. However, it’s a bit more complicated than that. First of all, earning money from photography usually requires working for clients, which kinda makes each of your client your boss while you work on a certain project with them.
And second, you don’t always get to set your own schedule. If you shoot events, weddings or concerts for example: the dates of these events determine when you will work in case you accept the gig.
4. Cream rises to the top
You’ll often hear that, if you’re good enough, your work will be recognized and you’ll rise above the others. However, it’s not enough just to create good work. You should be strategic about presenting your work to right people and marketing yourself the right way. It’s easy to get lost in the sea of good photographers (and there are many good photographers out there). So, the skill itself is not enough, but you have to work hard on building a brand and promoting yourself.
5. You’ll never make money
When you first get started, you’ll hear this a lot. Maybe even later, as you start growing your business. While it can be tough to make money at first, it doesn’t mean that you’ll never make money. Photography can be a slow-building career, and have in mind almost every business takes around two years to become profitable (maybe even more). But, as you grow your business, expand your network and start figuring out how the market works – you sure will make money from your photography career.
So, these were the five lies every photographer hears. Some of them you might have heard at the beginning of your career, and some maybe even later. Even I who don’t have a career in photography can relate to some of these. Do they seem familiar to you? Have you heard them as well? And do you think that, perhaps, some of them are actually true?