Maybe you can’t make money doing what you love.

 

Maybe you can’t make money doing what you love. Is that really the right question to ask yourself?

 

Today, it is so much easier to get your images out there for the world to see. That hidden talent may find a long tail fan willing to hire you or purchase a print. Awesome.

 

You have gotten your college degree.

 

You have done multiple internships.

 

You have paid your sweat equity assisting asshole shooters just to gain more experience.

 

When what you do is what you love, you’re able to invest more effort and care and time. That means you’re more likely to win, to gain share, to profit. Being a parent can be what you love in life but it doesn’t pay. Sometimes the price we pay to do the things we love has a price that might be too high to pay. Be careful what you wish for.

 

The commitment it takes to be a professional photographer is all consuming. Artisans in many ways are selfish little beings. The paycheck as a shooters comes with some strings attached.

 

The pitfalls:

1. In order to monetize your work, you’ll probably corrupt it, taking out the magic in search of dollars. Eating cake is great; eating cake everyday can be a drag.

2. Attention doesn’t always equal significant cash flow. Be sure you understand the market place in which you are working. Shooting for charitable causes feels right, but it’s hard to pay the rent with a hug.

3. Life will pass you by. That 80th birthday for grandma, a close friends sudden death and even opportunities for a relationship are samples of emotional parts of life that will miss because you are location in a remote place or on a plane going to the remote location. Are you ready and willing to let part of life go by?

 

Along the way to being that professional, take time to look around you and embrace other ideas that can pay the bills.

 

Maybe you can’t make money doing what you love (at least what you love right now). But I bet you can figure out how to love what you do to make money (if you choose wisely).

 

Shoot everything. But don’t wreck your art if it doesn’t lend itself to paying the bills. That would be a tragedy.

 

 

 

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