Photography as a career
It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here as always. Today I’m writing from the UK. I was in the Balkans and made the difficult decision to return owing to many factors including my experiences while traveling and some plans I have coming up in the near future. There’ll be more about that on my own social channels, and the latest video on my YouTube channel eludes to some of the reasons. It was a heavy decision to make and I’m trying to work out the best way to explain it, so that will come soon, but let’s get into the reason I’m here today.
I’ve been a professional photographer for years and last year I took a big step. I was working a full-time job and working on the side as a photographer. I tried many photographic fields and genres up to the point that I landed on travel photography as my specialty. In that process there were lessons to be learned, so I want to share some of those with you today.
The dedication and commitment are probably the best place to start. Earning a living as a professional photographer requires dedication to learning all about the craft. This learning in turn helps us to develop a style and specialty. What it also does is help us to build a portfolio. This process, as described in three sentences, contains a massive importance.
All the best photographers I know place a huge emphasis on learning and continued learning. If we look at KelbyOne courses, for example, we find some incredible photographers who share their best tips and tricks. They go into detail on their processes and the reasons why certain things work in photography and post processing, and similarly, why other things don’t. These same people are all learning from one another, honing their skills and refining the craft.
Taking the leap into being a professional photographer is therefore, a journey of continued learning. We must always stay on top of our game. Believing we’re the best in the business is a very dangerous thing because it can give us a false sense of security and push our confidence beyond our competence. Being a professional photographer means not necessarily being the best, but being the one who is committed to personal growth and constant education.
The big point I’m trying to make is that no matter the skills, experience or qualifications that you can bring to photography, without the continued practice and learning we simply can’t keep up with the evolution of photography. Continued learning is the key.