9 Things They Don’t Tell You About Photography


Photography is different things to different people. People see it with professional curiosity or as a new hobby that they can add to their busy lives; photography is undoubtedly an attractive discipline to many folks out there.

In fact, if you are reading this, there is a high chance that you still aren't sure what to do with photography in your life. Today I want to share with you some points that camera brands and photography schools won't ever tell you about photography.

1. It Is A Very Crowded Place

Photo by Rob Curran

Photography's popularity isn't a new thing. The first massive milestone in terms of the photographic discipline happened almost 120 years ago with the appearance of the Kodak Brownie camera.

This $1 camera empowered society by allowing the general population to simply “point and shoot” to record meaningful, everyday moments via images. Since then, many people have joined the ranks of photographer

Photography is getting more and more crowded, and there is nothing wrong with that. This allows us, as image consumers, to see more exciting photos and also, the social dynamic involved helps us to enhance our capability and style.

The sad thing about not knowing that photography is indeed a very crowded place is that people think that making a living via photography will be easy, and that is very far away from the truth.

2. You Don't Need To Go To School

Photo by Roman Mager

There are some highly expensive photography schools, and it probably seems contradictory to hear this from an academic like myself, but it is true – you don't actually need to go to photography school to be passionate about it.

So don't let not attending the right school limit you. As long as you practice daily, almost like working out, you will develop a keen eye that will respond quickly not only to light but also to meaningful moments that deserve to be preserved in a visual format. There are also plenty of free education available that will not only cover the basics but help you master the craft

Of course, if you are completely determined to become a professional photographer, then some academic guidance would be a great idea.

3. Gear Doesn't Really Matter

Photo by Rayan Almuslem

This one is the most bitter for camera manufacturers. As long as you have discipline and a huge passion for photography, it really doesn't matter what tool you use in your practice. Of course, some tools are more sophisticated and can make your work easier, but at the end of the day, they are just mere tools in the hands of people.

I'm sharing this with you not because I have some sort of dislike for camera manufacturers, they need to make money, and they follow a marketing roadmap. What is sad for me is to see people that think that they won't be able to take meaningful photos because they don't have the latest and greatest piece of kit. We, as human beings, need to be more critical about all the products and services out there.

4. Style Develops with Time

Style is a highly desired state in photography, but it won't just appear out of the blue or in no time. It takes years even to start to bloom, and almost a lifetime to properly develop. Many people won't tell you this, and it is essential for you to know it, so you don't get frustrated that you haven't developed a style. Of course, some gifted individuals seem to develop a style overnight magically, but those cases should be considered as outliers.

5. You Need To Be Good At Other Skills

Photo by Lucas Clara

From being in good physical shape to even being good at reading news, there are a considerable amount of skills that you might want to develop to make you a better photographer. You can become a wiser traveller, and you will get better photos. You can become highly skilled in social terms, and you will get access to photos nobody else could. You can become highly qualified in terms of wildlife, and your landscape will be out of this world.

Photography is humble and quite the opposite of jealous, and it copes perfectly with other lifestyles. Never forget this, and you will enjoy your life more thanks to photography.

6. You Never Stop Learning

This is very beautiful, and that's why photography makes such a great life companion. Photography is a lifestyle; therefore, you will never stop learning. And I'm not talking about technicalities or skills; I'm talking about the great experiences it delivers to our lives.

7. You Learn About Management

Photo by Headway

Management, what a fascinating science it is. Learning about management (or simply being well organized) will help you become the successful army-of-one you want to be. From finding the sweet spot of your hourly rate to organizing your next landscape photography adventure, to even dealing with taxes and other adulting stuff, many things get better when “management” gets involved.

8. Dealing With Clients

Oh boy, dealing with clients is a bitter-sweet experience, and I've talked deeply about it here. There are some problematic types, but there are some high-quality clients, and those are the ones that we need to make recurrent to be sustainable in time. Even if they don't require our services often, they will recommend us to their friends and peers, which makes everything worth it.

9. It Is A Big Responsibility

Photography carries a significant responsibility on its shoulders, and since its conception, it somehow was perceived as a synonym for reality. Personally speaking, I think that photography is an approximation of truth, and thanks to its visual realism, it can be quite objective.

You need to remember that if you have a camera, you have a huge responsibility in your hands. A camera is a powerful tool, and it should be treated with respect.

The idea behind this brief column is to share with all of you some of the hidden nuances of being a photographer, and I hope you've enjoyed these 9 things you usually don't hear about when you discuss photography.

If you have something to share, please tell us in the comments below. We all are here learning about the wonderful world of photography. 

About Author

Federico has a decade of experience in documentary photography, and is a University Professor in photography and research methodology. He's a scientist studying the social uses of photography in contemporary culture who writes about photography and develops documentary projects. Other activities Federico is involved in photography are curation, critique, education, mentoring, outreach and reviews. Get to know him better here.

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