Approximately 7 years ago, I fell in love with the art of photography. I have always been an artsy person, but after years of painting and drawing…photography somehow won me over. When I began, I saw everything as having the potential to be interesting. I found myself constantly experimenting with light and angles and finding interesting new ways to create compositions. I remember first beginning with film and then eventually buying my own digital SLR. When I picked up a camera, a whole new world of possibilities opened up.
Soon after I started posting some of my experimental photography online, people I knew began approaching me. They asked me to photograph events, portraits, and everything in-between. Eventually I found myself turning my hobby into a business endeavor.
Photography as a business has always been a part-time gig for me outside of school and/or my full-time job. I worked hard to better my skills, however, I felt like I lacked a lot of time to really get myself to the point where I was happy with my work. However, my clients have always seemed to be very happy with the photos in the end. I am always my own worst critic!
So here is the point I am getting to.
I am beginning a new chapter. I will no longer be focusing on the “business” end of photography, but to be more specific, the photography I have focused on over the past few years. I have a lot of reasons for why I have made this decision, and here are a couple. Please, by all means, do not get offended by my reasons. These are personal opinions that you may or may not agree with.
1) The “art” of photography is quickly dying – ESPECIALLY in regards to portrait photography. The digital camera has been both a blessing and a curse to the industry. EVERYONE has one now and EVERYONE wants to use it to make a buck or two. When I started with photography, I had no intention of making money from it. I did it because I loved it and it was a great creative outlet. I didn’t even ask for payment until I got to a point where I was comfortable with my work. As long as digital camera sales are booming, so are the amount of photographers in the world. I have recently been pricing my rates to what I feel my time is worth, as I had practiced for a while and I know how much time I take in not only the photo sessions themselves, but the post-processing as well. Those who are out there to make a few bucks are hurting professional photographers by charging little for mediocre work, leaving legitimate photographers unable to get paid what they’re worth because someone’s aunt has a nice camera down the street and can do it for $20. I refuse to compete with these people, and I won’t. I respect photography way too much and I know how hard I have worked to better my skills over the years. I will continue to better my skills as the years go by.
2) I want to try new things creatively. I have been losing inspiration and the ability to “see” things the way I used to. Could I try new things by maintaining the same type of work I have been doing in portraiture, etc? Probably. Do I have that kind of time? No, not really.
3) I want to work more on the types of photography that I am passionate about. I love candid/street/sports photography. I would also like to try more fashion photography and landscape work. I am hoping to sell some of my framed work in the near future, but it isn’t my primary goal.
All that being said, does this mean that I am not going to accept any clients anymore? Absolutely not. I am not completely abandoning maternity/engagements, etc. There are people who I have worked with repeatedly over the years and I would happily continue. I am simply choosing not to market myself in the same ways I have been and am looking to expand my horizons.
I had contemplated this decision for a little while, and when I took my trip out West last week, the photographer I met told me something that finally made me pull the trigger. Mr. Watts said, “you don’t HAVE to do anything you don’t want to do. No one is going to hire you for something you don’t want to do.”
I have a new website on the way (it is currently down) and hopefully some new work for everyone to view. My website will be geared toward my artistic side more than the business end. I don’t feel that I have been doing a good job in maintaining the artistic side of myself lately and frankly, I miss it. It’s time that I get re-inspired. I am hoping I don’t lose any of my Facebook fans, blog followers, etc. as a result of the upcoming changes I have decided to make.
Thank you to everyone who has worked with me, helped me, etc. over the years. Please continue to support my goals as I work toward discovering what makes me truly happy in the world of photography. It is time that I focus less on finding clients and more on what makes me happy.
Thanks everyone! ❤