October will always be a special month for me, it's the month 4 years ago where I left the City and became a full time photographer. It's also the month that, last year I held my first gallery.
Going from working in an International Banking job to running your own business is quite a change but ...
as the old saying goes if yo don't try you'll never know. If I'm honest I actually thought it might last a year and I'd have to go back to my old ways.
If you had told me I would have taken over a quarter of a million photos across a range of bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings; portraits; taken pictures of the Chief Rabbi; held a gallery and this year started to enter competitions I would have laughed in your face...
If you Google reasons not to become a photographer this, or others like it is what you get
You'll do your back in carrying the gear
OK it's true that the kit bag is a bit of a beast but frankly I'm fitter now then I ever have been. I spend most of my time on my feet, I've been known to cover 5 miles of more at a bar mitzvah. That's got to be better than sitting hunched over a desk all day.
There's lots of other people trying to get the business
Competition is healthy, it allows me to rise above and become a high value, fulls service supplier. Over the last few years I have seen many things, helped many functions come together and captured many images.
Marketing is a dark art
Yes it is ... but I'm not a marketing expert. Others are and I use their services just as others who are not photographers use mine.
You'll never be rich
Again no ... but I will be happy, satisfied and content .. take your pick.
You'll have to shoot things that bore you
Not any more, it's true at the beginning you take any job that comes your way, but once you are established and found a niche then you can determine what you do well and ficus on that.
Being in business is about selling yourself not what you do
Of course it is ... so what. I've never been shy, I've never doubted my ability to do what I want to do or how I do it. At the end of the day, I might not be the right choice for every one, but there are clients I have also turned down as not being the right fit for me.
You spend a lot of time on non photography stuff .. invoice, admin etc
Yes I spend about 5% of my time actually holding a camera, but I spend a lot of time with lovely people at networking events, or event planning sessions, or collaboration with others. I get to be outdoors on beautiful sunny days taking pictures just for the fun of it, I get to eat cake and drink coffee when I like.
Everyone has a camera on their phone so what do they need you for ?
Soon enough people realise that a phone camera is good for a snap in a well lit room. But they can't organise a group shot, look for distractions, look for a shot that is unusual, put nervous posers at ease, edit the image, print or display the image. The list goes on ...
So for every reason you can tell me not to be a photographer I can tell you why I want to be one ... but it boils down to this.
I want to wake up and love what I do. I want to capture images of people that they don't think possible. To make them reassess what they think about themselves and see themselves having a good time ... what ever that means.