I was standing at the registration table when I heard these words come out of the mouth of one of our students. I nearly spit out my coffee! I had never heard such abrupt honesty about being a “professional” photographer. I actually gasped as I realized that he was part of the 98% who try to earn a full paycheck as a photographer and fell way short. We all laughed out loud, but it was a forlorn moment of reality.
Professional photography used to be a craft which required study of films, lens characteristics, light, and chemistry – this weeded out the masses.
Today we see iPhone images that blow our historical perspectives to smithereens. This is the new reality for professional photography. Still, to survive as a full-time pro photographer, the individual must exhibit strong business and sales skills. The photographer must imagine they are peddling used cars or timeshare condominiums. These is not an easy sell anymore.
Quality and good service over a few years will pay off and lead to a fruitful career as a photographer without having to pour beers for a paycheck. (nothing wrong with beer. Just sayin’.)