When starting out, photography looks like a fun thing to do. In the beginning, you have the mindset that after a little practice, you will be able to make excellent photos all the time. Well I’m sorry to be the one to ruin the fairy tale, but that is just not true. Yes, photography is fun, motivating, inspiring and fulfilling most of the time, but often can be frustrating. This is due to the fact that no matter how good you are, there are many things that are out of your control. For one, you can’t control the weather, nor you can do much about it if it goes bad. But this is just an example.
It Doesn't Always Happen The Way You Want It
That is the part of the game, and you’ll have to live with it. Even if you have all the conditions perfect, you might shoot about 500 shots in order to use 5 of them. Most of them will be decent photos, but only a handful will have the wow factor that you aim for. If you are lucky enough, that is. Many photographers (including me) have gone through photoshoots without any shot that pleases clients. There will be photos that will be good enough for the editor maybe, but you know that you can do better and it will frustrate you because you didn't, in the first place.
It Takes More Practice Than You Think
While you are at the learning phase, you probably thought that if you are talented enough you’ll master the basic concepts that you need to start off in a workshop or two. Well, not really. It will take a whole lot more. Photography, just as any other art form, requires practice. It requires probably the equal amount of practice as you would need in order to be able to draw a perfect portrait of anybody in the world. It is a tough process and you will never be at the point that you don’t have anything else to learn.
A photographer friend of mine, who has more than 20 years of experience in the field, once told me that I need to shoot at least 10,000 photos before I learn how to hold the camera properly. To be honest, he was spot on. Took me 20,000 photos in order to learn to use my body to stabilize myself, hand, arm, and hips position in order to avoid most of the handshake and so on. I did learn composition, light, and tons of other stuff in the meantime, since you practice photography with every picture you take, but still, 10 to 20 thousand photos is a long way to go. A long and frustrating way with a great reward at the end.
Photo by greg westfall.
Photography is About Consistency
You can’t have it as a weekend hobby. You either are a photographer 24/7 or you aren’t a photographer at all. I mean this literally. Even if I don’t have the camera in my hands, when I walk down the streets I look at the light and anticipate how it would fall upon a model by using the bystanders as reference and so on.
Making Money From Photography Isn't Easy
There will be a point in time when you would want to monetize your skill. And you’ll find that it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Fact is that most of us photographers aren’t good businessmen, nor we are good at marketing. And don’t feel bad about it. You were focused in photography the whole time, what did you expect? Now you have two options: invest even more time and educate yourself into business and/or marketing, or ask for help in that matter. Learning business and marketing by yourself is another field that you will need to venture in. It is not as tough as photography, so it will probably be enough to grab a course or two about it. It is not as hard since you need it only to manage your own business and you will be able to learn as you go.
Photo by diana_robinson
So photography isn't as easy as it sounds, nor it is easy thing to master. Nonetheless, there is nothing else in the world that I would do. I simply love it with all the challenges and falls it has, and I’m sure that most of you that read this feel the same. The point was to warn you about the harsh sides of photography in order for you not to give up.