I subscribe to the daily email digests from Digital Photography School (which I encourage anyone interested in photography to do), and yesterday, this digest contained the article, “Running the Photography Marathon to Success” by Deidra Wilson, a guest contributor to the site.
Although I have no experience running marathons, I think she makes some excellent points and comparisons. So often, I find myself trying to figure out what I want to accomplish with my photography… Do I want to go professional, or just share with friends and Flickr users? Do I want to make a giant leap into doing this professionally, or do I want to take baby steps and potentially never go all-in?
The crux of her article is that you can do anything you put your mind to, and that if you go into something, you have to go in full force. Whenever I decide to make that change of going full force (if I do), I will keep her statements and story in mind. I just don’t think I’m ready yet!
(**SEMI-RELATED, TANGENT/RANT ALERT!!*)
Part of my lack of confidence or enthusiasm is the sheer number of people who are now “going professional.” Armed with their DSLRs, backdrops and processing software, and not really taking a look at the true form or art and communication that is photography, many of these photographers make the jump too early in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, some of these people take great photographs and are truly good at their job/hobby/passion/livelihood/etc. However, so many, including several in my area here in Southwest Kansas, have a “[NAME] Photography” “business” and don’t appear to have taken any time in getting prepared, or having done any research, for starting a business. Contrary to my thoughts on this, I created a Facebook fan page for my “photography business” just a few days ago, but I decided that, basically, I don’t want to just go into it half-assed. If I am going to do this, I feel I would owe it to myself and any potential clients to do my research, practice more, and do the groundwork to make the business a true (and financially/business-legal) success.
I feel like I do “make” some good shots, but I don’t feel that I have the expertise, abilities or – dare I say it? – time yet to make it more than a hobby, and I am scared of the idea of feeling “forced” to take good photos of people or travels instead of enjoying the moment. (This is not to say that many professional photographers still do not enjoy what they do.)
So, anyway, I guess my rant is about people calling themselves pros when maybe they’re really not. I like taking photos, but does that mean I should start a business?
So, for now, I will enjoy taking photographs and sharing them with people, and learning more about photography from friends and sites like DPS, but I will keep Wilson’s encouragements in mind and “Just. Keep. Going.” in case I really do decide to make a go for it.