Monday, November 8, 2010

When should you become a photographer?

Should you become a photographer because you have had 3 people tell your pictures are great?pine tree         13 people?
How about 34 people?jenna and maecy 047 
Should you become a photographer because your camera is big and it cost $1,500?fundraiser for molly juans puzzle 042
Should you become a photographer because you want to make money and shoot weddings and be a super star?carletta part 2 117
Should you become a photographer because you are a photoshop or lightroom genius?fundraiser for molly juans puzzle 022
Should you become a photographer because you have taken a class and you understand aperture and you can shoot in manual?fundraiser for molly juans puzzle 023
How about if you have a big fancy flash and and incredible reflector.jenna and maecy 038
What about if people come to your blog and ooooh and aaaaah all day about your pictures?fundraiser for molly juans puzzle 041
What about if your Mom and Dad and Aunt Lillypad all think you are so cool it is ridiculous?workshop
Should you then?brooke2
I say no.      freckles 011 
I say absolutely no.freckles 030
Being a photographer is a lot of work.
It is a lot of commitment.zoo with david and tina october 2010 164   
I think too many people slap the name on themselves and head out into the big bad world. kitty3It irks me a little. kitty4
Now, this is just my opinion of course,
but I think you should become a photographer when
you are passionate about shooting.zoo with david and tina october 2010 144
You LOVE it.orange 8
You can’t wait to grab your camera.betsy and brooke 3
You want to keep learning and growing every day.
You find joy in shooting.
Then is the time you should become a photographer.brooke3
Then and only then.
Love, Becky, who is STILL learning
and growing and shooting up a storm every day.fundraiser for molly juans puzzle 045_edited-1
How did you know when to start a business?Study 1 - black border (resized 150)
This is what I am thinking about today,
what is your today like?

56 comments:

Kristina P. said...

I have to say, it does make me laugh a bit when I see a blogger who bought a big new fancy camera all of a sudden decides to start a business, even though they've only taken 2 pictures with it.

Angela said...

Love that last photo!! Love love love it! I have decided I am NOT a photographer. I thought I was but I am not that go-get'em type of girl to push myself etc. And I can't shoot in full manual!!

Life with Kaishon said...

@Kristina! That makes me laugh too. Like, are you crazy. I don't care if your camera cost $3,000...you need to learn to shoot first : )

@Angela, you know what, I honestly don't think you have to shoot in manual to be a great photographer. I mean, of course, it can't hurt, but if you have a vision, and you are passionate...well, it can be done. I happen to know of a very (semi famous) in our blogging circle shooter that uses full auto for every shot. Kid you not! I think you are great Angela! Super duper great!

LceeL said...

You start a business for one of two reasons - because you need to do it to put food on the table, or - because people insist on paying you for your work.

Just remember - once you start a business, your relationship with your camera changes. What used to the the instrument of a labor of love becomes and instrument of Work.

Caroline said...

You are such an inspiration! I love this post. Photography is my passion...it breathes life into me. I think I would wither away if I did not shoot something everyday. And yes, I am still learning...always learning! xoxo

theTsaritsa said...

I call myself a photographer, but I am certainly not a professional and don't pretend to be one. Great photos!

Stephanie Faris said...

You become a photographer for the same reason I write...because it brings you happiness. Being able to share that fun with others is just a bonus.

I'm just the MOM said...

GREAT post. One of my really good friends all of a sudden wants to start a photog biz. She just bought this new expensive camera and thinks she can be a photographer. BLAH. On the other hand I have another great friend who has been shooting AWESOME pics forever...and all she talks about is going out to take pics for the heck of it. I'm helping her start her photography business :)

ThisMamaRAZZI said...

hehehe.

hehehehe.

SORRY! I just love it when you do a bit of a rant or um lecture.

Great photos Becky. Love them all.

Why did I decide to do it?

I guess it took a few people believing in me, combined with a fancy camera, a passion for shooting and editing in photoshop, a drive to make people happy through beautiful images, and a need for a challenge in wanting just a little bit more out of my passion.

I've worked long hard hours these past few months but I've found my groove and it makes my heart sing.

:O)

Marjorie said...

can't agree with you more!!! i have a few friends that spent a load of money to get the same photography gear i have so they could start a business like i did. it's a lot of work and if you don't have a passion for it don't bother.

Buckeroomama said...

Amen!

Can I say how much I love this post?

(...and can I ask for the linky code please? I said 'please.') =)

TOLIVER FAMILY said...

agreed!

FootPrints said...

LOVE LOVE this post. TOTALLY irks me to see people call themselves photographer when they DO NOT deserve the title... awful photos!! Photography is my love, and something wanna share with everyone, but i also know that my pictures are good enough to be sold, until then, i'm just a girl who likes to take pictures. lots of pictures.

Jabacue said...

I take photos because I see it as a challenge to attempt to capture a moment in time. When I 'see' something out there, my heart flutters at the task ahead.
And away I go, snapping like I'm obsessed, well, like I'm determined to 'find' that moment.
Jim

Dina @ 4 Lettre Words said...

Awesome...and I couldn't agree more!

Darlene said...

Well, I'm certainly not a photographer, but I do like to take pictures, and do try to capture moments. Maybe someday. Your photos are great, by the way.

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

I love your photos. I am not a paid photographer but I love taking photos and learning more each day. I think you said it well.

Tracy P. said...

"What about if your Mom and Dad and Aunt Lillypad all think you are so cool it is ridiculous?"

I laughed my head off right there! You are hilarious Miss Becky! I would love a great excuse to be out taking pictures constantly. I would honestly probably get really bogged down with the editing. Bleh. That's why I love iPhoto! Quick tweak here, quick tweak there, done.

If you were in business, I would probably go to the moon to hire you. You have enough passion for both of us and several more! ;-)

Tracy P. said...

And did you happen to tell the dude on the skateboard he was about to kill himself? Just sayin'. Love that you stood there and snapped a great shot instead. You so understand about letting kids be kids.

Michelle Feeney said...

Really great post! Thanks for sharing. I'm loving the more we do and discover, the more in love we are with photography. Also, the more I realize I'm a participant in a much bigger picture and plan. :)

Skeller said...

hmmmm. tough question/s. no easy answers. awesome pictures!!!

oh, and I probably think you're as ridiculously wonderful as your Mom, Dad, and Aunt Lillypad ;-)

Sarah said...

I remember my mom saying that you should go into ministry (as a profession) only when you just CAN'T not do it. Besides being grammatically ridiculous, she meant that in the most positive way; that calling on your life must be so intense that you can not walk away from it. I've always felt like that same thought could apply to other professions too.

become a pro only when you can't NOT do it.

Wanda said...

Again my Becky - you mend my head. Really good questions. The thing that makes me smile though - is how you are so passionate in capturing everyday beauty and sharing it to lushiously.

Love you girl!!

Monkey's Mama said...

It's been a while! I hope you are well. So glad I caught this post - and I ain't a photographer!

Ky said...

I love your passion for photograghy. I love your passion for encouraging others in their passion for taking photos.
Thank you for you encouragement and kind words. You made my day!
I have wanted to be a photographer since I was a young teenager, but I guess I'm just not passionate enough about it to turn it into a business. I just love to take photos for me. I love it!

Sonya said...

I never call myself a photographer..I just love capturing moments and details I wouldn't normally pay attention to. My world has opened up to me more visiually since looking at it through the eye of a lense : )..gives me much needed peace and total aggravation when I can't figure out why one part is clear but not the other..lol

Gigi said...

You've summed it up perfectly! You can only call yourself a photographer (or a writer or an artist or whatever) when you have that passion for it and it is something you HAVE to do. Now the starting your own business part - I'm clueless. Listen to your heart - it will tell you.

Love Letters To China said...

As always.... what an awesome post! Love it!

I agree with you wholeheartedly. Every time I turn around I see another photographer popping up. I feel I have a long time before I step into that realm of business. I'm fortunate enough to be a SAHM and will continue to do that until my little one is in school full time. Once that happens, maybe I might consider taking the plunge. I have to admit I'm a bit scared to take the first baby steps. I love taking pictures of my family so much, I don't want to start hating it.

Grace

Busy Bee Suz said...

My Aunt Lillypad told me to start a cleaning business because that is what I am good at.

Love your photos Becky...they are AMAZING!!!

Adoption of Jane said...

Great post Becky! You were one of the first people to encourage me to keep shooting with my brokedown digital camera. I left a comment on Communal Global stating I really wanted to shoot around my city for the group but I needed to get a better camera first. Do you remember what you said? You really made my day!

Dot O said...

You are so right!!

Signed,

Dot - your friend who will forever be stuck in amateur mode and is just fine with that.... :)

Hey, I love the photo of the water washing over the little girl - that is way too cool!!!

Dot O said...

Oh, and P.S. - I so wish I had an "Aunt Lillypad"!!!!

Maddy said...

I felt all sorts of ways when I read this post. Maybe it’s because I feel like I’m part of that group of people that recently picked up the camera and now calls herself a photographer ;o) In order to answer your question, I decided to look up the definition of photographer: a person who takes photographs using a camera. That’s it. Plain and simple. That means that you, me and everyone else with a camera is a photographer. Just like anyone that drives a car is a driver. Now, are we professional photographers or even good photographers? That’s all a matter of opinion, but I don’t think anyone should ever shy away from the label of photographer. As for people turning to photography as a way to make money, obviously, I don’t see anything wrong with that either. With any business, many attempt, but few are actually successful at it. It takes a lot more than talent to run a business and photography is no different. That doesn’t mean we should discourage people from trying. If they feel it in their hearts to give it a shot (no pun intended), then it deserves a solid effort. I think the only one that can decide whether one should pursue that career path is the individual with the guidance of their Higher Power. So it really doesn't matter what anyone thinks. It's God's will then :)

Caroline (Frogmum) said...

Hi Becky ~ interesting, thought provoking post ~ with some awesome shots!! I would like to go pro one day, but I don't see that day as yet. I have learnt so very much this last 18 months and I get serious withdrawal when I don't shoot much (like now, because it is so physically difficult), but I confess my creativity ebbs and flows too. I don't see this as abnormal ~ I think it's natural ~ well to me anyway, much like my appetite for food and my enthusiasm for being a SAHM! Most of the time I'm "Lovin' it!", but every now and then my passion wanes. All that said I still know I want to go pro' one day :D I'm not ready yet, I don't even have a 'real' DSLR, but at least I've done/am doing my homework and I shoot full manual on my bridge (to the point of always being irritated by the lack of flexibility in any other mode), so that when at last I do own a DSLR the learning curve will be just a little less steep. I don't envisage owning a 'fancy' camera for a very long time yet though, and the challenge will be to see if I can shoot pro without it! To me the essence of an image is shaped by the photographer, not the camera or the processing ~ and that's the steepest learning curve of all!

One thing I have learnt though, whilst hopping around the photography blogosphere is that beauty is most definitely in the eye of the beholder! Fix-it-Friday is such an eye opener to me! When I hop around I often see edits that make me wonder how someone could find that effect attractive? I look back at some of my earlier edits too and wince a little! But in the moment I liked them. For me, the challenge now is creating images I am STILL going to enjoy looking at in a year, two years, or more from now and NOT wince! BUT I know that every individual sees with a different eye and there it gets complicated! My husband likes images that sit central, are straight and are tac sharp, whereas I have begun to fall in love with off-focus, skew and 'well composed' (whatever that means to you). So could we ever agree to an image for the wall? It would be a difficult -but I don't believe impossible!

What/Who is a photographer ~ how long is a piece of string? But if people love your images (as I know many love yours Becky) then I guess that counts you in!!

For me... Am I a photographer? ~ definitely!
Am I a 'wanna-be' pro? ~ One day...but not yet!

Laura said...

@Caroline - I had to laugh at your story about going back to your previous edits and wincing, and also to seeing some of the fix it friday edits and wondering what they're thinking. I had the same reaction while clicking around yesterday. I do the same with my early edits, when I was just seeing what contrast could do to pump up a photo, and what actions were and how they could affect a photo.

It's easy to have a HEAVY hand with editing. My editing style now is a more streamlined, clean and classic approach. I too want my edits to still be pleasing to the eye in a year or five or twenty.

But you are right, photography and art in general is all relative.

Becky - I heard some good quotes the other day, along the lines of 'There are lots of photographers. Just not many pros.' Or something like that. I too feel like it seems there's always someone each week, popping up with their website or blog promoting their photography. But I can't knock it, because I just up and started my business a year and a half ago when I started shooting too. In one year, I've made unreal progress and I'm sure I'll say the same in another year.

But passion must come first.

Thanks for the thought provoking read. And stunning images too!!!

Manisha said...

I love this post. I've been shooting for over twenty years and just recently considered myself a photographer. While I want to encourage those who have just taken up photography, I have no patience for those who think they are better because they have a better, more expensive camera. Also, those people around me that are in the biz seem to be rather judgemental of those who shoot because we are passionate about it. I speak of certain people I know and not in a general sense. Anyway, didn't mean to leave an negative litter around. I have to say again, I love this post and your images!

Carol said...

Interesting post. I've had this converstation with a girlfriend of mine who is a pro photographer and is quick to point out the difference between a picture-taker and a photographer. I believe the difference lies in your passion, not your skill. Not everyone with a DSLR wants to be a pro, not everyone wants recognition, some of us, just like to learn something new and enjoy a hobby and be the very best picture-takers we can be. Great post, Becky.

Holly Anne said...

I really want to be a photographer... I loved this post, I was waiting for it, waiting to see if you thought I had what it takes, and I think I do :] taking pictures is all I think about. I carry my big heavy camera in my purse almost every day. I walk to work to find photo ops. It's in my blood now, I'd love to quit my desk job to go out and take photos full time!

Kim said...

In my opinion, generally I don't think you should do anything in life that you aren't passionate about or that does not give you joy. Of course we all have things we have to do to pay the bills, eat, provide a roof over our heads. But when you have the choice to do something, make it something that gives you joy - everyday. You will enhance your life ten fold. As for when to start a business? All I can say is don't wait for the right time - it may never come.

April said...

I am simply a recreational photographer...nothing more, nothing less. Aperature??? What is that? :) I just aim and shoot and hope for the best! Perhaps, one day...I'll be as good as YOU!

Rebecca said...

Great post Becky! You are right...it's the passion for the art. I am not the greatest - but I am learning by leaps and bounds. And people started asking me to take photos and then gave me gift cards, which is lovely. Then they referred me to friends, who would ask 'how much do you charge?' And I would answer them truthfully, that I didn't have a set price. I would do it for free. They gave me gift cards too. So that is when I decided to start a little business of it. I am not out to be a big time photographer and never a wedding photographer...just shoot for fun. And I set my 'rates' accordingly. Just so people feel comfortable asking me, and know they are not imposing. (I have had friends want to rush so as not to take up too much of my time - gotta get rid of that mindset!) Hmmm...does that make sense?

Brook said...

I love to take pictures, however I do not have a good camera. I am stuck with my cell phone camera for the time being. :( Perhaps one day I will get a decent, sturdy camera again. :) Just for fun though. Not for income. :) Thank you for sharing your heart.

Kindest regards,
Brook
www.Matt5verse6.blogspot.com

Mandy said...

This is an absolutely fabulous post!!! Thank you for sharing this. I have been feeling this way for quite some time as there seems to be budding photographers all over the place. Many of them I know. And I am happy for them, but at the same time it sort of bothers me when people are just in it to make a quick buck and don't take pride in their work, and are not truly passionate about it.

Unknown Mami said...

It should always be about passion.

Kel said...

First of all, thank you for the lovely comment on my blog...sooo sweet of you!!! secondly, I am LOVING the pics that are in your MY Family button at the top. Those pictures are amazing. Sooo crisp and the colors....wow mama. You are a great photographer!!! ;)
k

likeschocolate said...

I agree. Every one can take a photo, but not everyone can take an amazing photo.

Ewa said...

I have to say I bought my good camera recently, I am taking a photography course so I can take better photos, I just want to enjoy capturing the moments and have few shots that I can say I am proud of, but I don't think I will never be as good as some of the photographers out there so I don't intend to start photography business, I just want to enjoy what I do and try to improve bit by bit.

oh, and I love your photo :))))

jennykate77 said...

I think you're absolutely right! Passion is the key!!

Hope you're having a beautiful day, Beautiful!!♥

Yanet @ 3 Sun Kissed Boys said...

Agreed! That last shot is awesome! But then again I had a hard time choosing a favorite.

Michelle said...

What a lovely and thought provoking post! Beautiful photos =)

Courtney said...

This post is so inspiring and very true. I wholeheartedly agree with everything you have said. If you don't start shooting because it's something you love and are passionate about, you'll burn out pretty quickly. Thanks for posting this:) I think I need to go and read it again lol.

Sarah said...

You are one of the most fabulous photographers I know!! I want to interview you. If I ever make it back to my poor little blog, that is :)

Sarah Halstead said...

This is so true. Thanks for writing this. :) I am in no way fabulous, I have a lot to learn. And I don't want to be famous. I love taking pictures with a passion and love capturing family moments. It makes it worth it.

keli @ kidnapped by suburbia said...

so good and so true!!

H.K. said...

My hubby got an expensive camera and I've shot a few photos and one thing I know for sure...I am not a photographer!

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

Hmm... well... I don't really know who gets to dole out the titles... I know that I loved photography before I got a fancy camera. I manipulated that little box as far as I could without getting a DSLR and made it practically do back flips on its own. When I finally got my DSLR - the most basic, mind you - I was giddy. I wanted to take my camera and kiss it and stroke it and love it and make it breakfast.

I guess I call myself a photographer because it has changed the way I look at the world. I see more details. I linger when I look at things. I see beauty where some may think none exists. I don't just look forward; I look up and down and sideways and upside down and crooked.

My business is simply to help me maybe get some better equipment. I don't expect to ever make a career out of it. I'd love that, but I love focusing on my kids more. Get it? "focusing"???