We admire the brave and thrilling day you chose to become a professional photographer. Having the chance to pursue your passion, and even get paid for it is a dream for many – and you’re living it! And while it may look like a bed of roses from the outside, we understand the double-edge sword, or should we say tripod, that can come with this career.
As part of our efforts to make your life easier by offering you the tools to create your own unique photography website, we decided to share some of the most annoying things about being a photographer. The next time you experience any of these 10 situations – know that you’re not alone (except for number 3 – you’re on your own for that one!).
Whether you’re shooting outdoors or in a studio, rest assured you’ll find yourself on the floor (or ground) several times a day. A special thanks goes to the magazine that decided to shoot a swimsuit edition in the freezing winds of February, and the couple that got married in the peak of July’s heat. You will never get used to it, no matter how many times you’ve been freezing your fingertips, or melting like a popsicle. Countless ruined shirts – we salute you!
If we could get paid for every minute we’re waiting for the subject to get dressed or do hair and makeup, we’d be writing this post from our yacht in the Maldives. Golden plated yacht, that is, with lights made of diamonds. Seriously, every photo shoot requires a setup of at least 2-3 hours before we can get to our favorite part, pressing the shutter. And if you’re depending on someone else’s preparations (the model / the happy couple / the expecting mom), the waiting becomes as heavy as your photography equipment. It’s like you’re a professional WAITer, right?
You might have some people to interact with when you’re shooting (although sometimes you wish they weren’t there…) but when you’re editing images or updating your online portfolio, you’re all on your own. Closed in a dark room in front of a computer screen on the weekend. And the weather is so nice outside! And your friends are all going out tonight! But you have photos to deliver, so that the next time your friends go out, you’ll be able to afford to join them.
In an ideal world, “That Job” would be photographing what you’re most passionate about. In the real world, you sometimes have to take on projects that have nothing to do with being creative and/or holding a camera. After all, photography projects come and go, but the bills are here to stay. When the local camera shop is not looking for staff, it can be a real downer to be a bartender, an office assistant or a babysitter (include here any title here that doesn’t have the word “photo” in it). On the other hand, taking your eyes off the viewfinder for a while might bring that long-sought-for idea for a creative personal project .
Doing something completely “unphotographic” is a drag, but let’s be honest – being forced to shoot genres you dislike is even worse. Your dream was to capture undiscovered tribes in the Amazons, not shooting a pile of carrots from ten angles!
Somehow, when it comes to photographers, customers tend to have the weirdest expectations. Let’s see how these expectations would sound, if they were addressed to, for example, a carpenter:
Enough said, we believe the idea is clear by now. What would normally seem like an inappropriate request from a professional, is a daily routine for us, photographers.
Bookkeeping, taxes, answering emails, negotiating prices, setting prices, advertising, marketing, finding new clients, selling prints, submitting photos for contests… Seriously, all we want to do is what we’re good at – taking photos. Hiring someone else to do it would be just perfect, but what photographer can afford to do that? Luckily, Wix really simplifies the process of creating a sleek online portfolio and also offers mega useful tools for marketing and managing a photography business. Blog, newsletters, social sharing, friendly SEO tools and even online booking and invoices – you name it, we have it.
If only office workers had to carry their desktop computer, screen, keyboard, desk, coffee maker and what not to the office every single day – they’d know what our routine looks like.
Throw some heavy equipment on your back, add constant movement like crawling, stretching one arm, bending, climbing four flights of stairs (your rolling bag ain’t rolling up those!), put some extra long work hours on top of it – and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a physical injury. Maintaining your physical health is a top priority, but unfortunately chiropractors and acupuncturists cost money (and time) that we can’t always afford. It’s expensive, and we can’t expense it.
It’s only natural to compare yourself to other talented photographers, to the good-looking models you’re shooting, or to other friends with better-paying jobs with fewer hours. Even to smartphone photographers some days. Too often we find ourselves being examined under a big lense, and our sensor is way too sensitive. But as natural as it is, it doesn’t make it easy.
As if working extra hours and weekends weren’t enough… The little family get-together you planned to enjoy? That concert of your best friend you wanted to go to? Even your most loved ones expect you to to be the outsider documenting their magical moments. It’s hard to be present in your own life, when people always see an opportunity for a photo shoot instead of time to just hang with you.
Perfectionism is a good virtue, since it eventually helps you get a great result. But on the way, there is so much pressure to take the perfect photo while finding (and maintaining) your own style. No wonder many of us get very anxious before a big photo shoot! It’s not just the client’s criticism we’re worried about, it’s our own. Even a simple photo of your child or loved one is hard to enjoy when you’re aware of lighting, composition and the right facial expression.
Something about being a photographer annoys you, and we didn’t mention it? “A sorrow shared is a sorrow halved” – tell us about it in the comments, and we’ll share the pain together. Except for the back pain, that one we already have enough of 🙂
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