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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 10 Jul 2018 (Tuesday) 20:08
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Am I crazy for wanting this as a career?

 
ericz34
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Jul 10, 2018 20:08 |  #1

Everyone thinks they’re a photographer these days, I suppose that includes my self.

So I’m Looking for some advice from you guys so I can put this in perspective.

I’ve always been extremely creative with anything I’ve ever done in my life. As you grow older, at least my family, always said to get a real job. So I did, hated it, went back to school, hated it again.. I’m 26 now, and I’m not getting any younger. I definitely hate my job and the only thing that makes me happy Is being creative. I love photography, I love everything about it and at the moment it’s just a hobby. But am i crazy for wanting to become a wedding photographer in 2018? A time when people could care less if a picture was taken from their cell phone.

It scares me to think I’m 26, give it a shot, and at 32 I realize I have to go back to school for a third time because I failed at trying something I enjoy instead of just dealing with my crappy job. I’ve seen some very successful people and others who make peanuts. I guess I don’t want to die broke lol. Dramatic, but I always like to think ahead financially and making peanuts doesn’t sound good for retirement.

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brian4646
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Jul 10, 2018 20:22 |  #2

I'm not a professional, just a hobbist. If I were going to start a photography career, I would start part-time. Maybe do afternoon or weekend jobs and see how it goes. I think photography as a hobby is more enjoyable than photography as a business would be.




  
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ericz34
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Jul 10, 2018 20:40 |  #3

brian4646 wrote in post #18660206 (external link)
I'm not a professional, just a hobbist. If I were going to start a photography career, I would start part-time. Maybe do afternoon or weekend jobs and see how it goes. I think photography as a hobby is more enjoyable than photography as a business would be.


Yeah, I wouldn’t quit my job as much as I hate it. I keep telling my self anything is better than wiping Butts and dealing with crackheads. (I work at an ER).. but the idea would be to pursue it and hopefully make something of it.




  
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Alveric
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Jul 10, 2018 22:01 |  #4

Are you a good businessman? If so, you might just make it. If not, it won't matter how good your photos are.


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ericz34
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Jul 10, 2018 22:05 |  #5

Alveric wrote in post #18660255 (external link)
Are you a good businessman? If so, you might just make it. If not, it won't matter how good your photos are.

Would it be worth my time to study business at a community college?




  
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gjl711
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Jul 10, 2018 22:12 |  #6

ericz34 wrote in post #18660256 (external link)
Would it be worth my time to study business at a community college?

If you plan on starting your own business then studying business is a very good idea. I would almost say that business acumen beats talent nearly every time.


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Alveric
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Jul 10, 2018 22:26 |  #7

Agreed. Business acumen can not only make your photo biz succeed, but might come in handy when it's not going anywhere and it's time to move on —it can even give you the insight needed to see that a photo biz is a bad decision, even before you start.


'The success of the second-rate is deplorable in itself; but it is more deplorable in that it very often obscures the genuine masterpiece. If the crowd runs after the false, it must neglect the true.' —Arthur Machen
Why 'The Histogram' Sux (external link)

  
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ericz34
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Jul 11, 2018 00:31 |  #8

Alveric wrote in post #18660266 (external link)
Agreed. Business acumen can not only make your photo biz succeed, but might come in handy when it's not going anywhere and it's time to move on —it can even give you the insight needed to see that a photo biz is a bad decision, even before you start.

Well that’s the problem, I would’ve pursued wedding photography (or I suppose any for that matter) when I graduated high school 9 years ago if I didn’t think it was a bad idea.

It’s hard to figure out what to do with your life when the one thing you like is potentially not the greatest business.. and bills aren’t free. Lol.

So I’m torn between passion/possibly go broke.. or Stable job/be miserable at work..




  
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Jul 11, 2018 00:36 |  #9

ericz34 wrote in post #18660295 (external link)
Well that’s the problem, I would’ve pursued wedding photography (or I suppose any for that matter) when I graduated high school 9 years ago if I didn’t think it was a bad idea.

It’s hard to figure out what to do with your life when the one thing you like is potentially not the greatest business.. and bills aren’t free. Lol.

So I’m torn between passion/possibly go broke.. or Stable job/be miserable at work..

I love photography... but wouldn't want to do it for a living.... esp. not wedding photography. If I were in your shoes, I'd look into some sort of rep job.... like a pharmaceutical rep.... lots more money, a bit of freedom. I would continue to use photography as that creative center for your life.

And if it doesn't work out.... you'll have learned a little bit about business which will prepare you for your next venture. I was a manufacturer's rep for 18 years... loved it. The job sort of went away when the hi tech bubble burst back in 2001-2002.


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john ­ crossley
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Jul 11, 2018 01:54 |  #10

ericz34 wrote in post #18660195 (external link)
...But am i crazy for wanting to become a wedding photographer in 2018?..

Do you have any experience as a wedding photographer?


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Fordsabroad
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Jul 11, 2018 03:16 |  #11

I would seriously suggest you find a wedding photographer that will let you accompany them on a few shoots, then become a second shooter for a good few weddings then and only then you may have the skill to go solo. Jumping in at the deep end is a recipe for disaster both professionally and financially.




  
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ericz34
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Jul 11, 2018 06:59 |  #12

john crossley wrote in post #18660331 (external link)
Do you have any experience as a wedding photographer?


Fordsabroad wrote in post #18660348 (external link)
I would seriously suggest you find a wedding photographer that will let you accompany them on a few shoots, then become a second shooter for a good few weddings then and only then you may have the skill to go solo. Jumping in at the deep end is a recipe for disaster both professionally and financially.

No experience at all. I’ve done one wedding but it was for a friend, it was a very small wedding and it was me or an iPhone so they didn’t have any expectations and appreciated whatever I could’ve done.

How can I go about finding a photographer?




  
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gjl711
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Jul 11, 2018 09:11 |  #13

ericz34 wrote in post #18660295 (external link)
...
It’s hard to figure out what to do with your life when the one thing you like is potentially not the greatest business.. and bills aren’t free. Lol.

So I’m torn between passion/possibly go broke.. or Stable job/be miserable at work..

Something to think about. Sometimes the thing that you really enjoy, your passion, can become as boring and tedious as any other career once it becomes your primary job, and that's doubly true once you go into business yourself and the photography takes a secondary roll to managing the business.

Also, production line photography, (weddings, portraits, product, real estate) when doing it as a business is more about the process and less about creativity. Weddings especially. On that special day you have almost no time to get creative so you better have your process optimized and all your creative shots well planed in advance as well as all of the expected shots, first look, first kiss, ring shot, bouquet toss, cake cut, etc. and all the expected portrait shots well planed out. You need to have everything ready to go on that day so that it becomes a production line, one shot to the next.

Add to that all of the tasks maintaining a business, book keeping, marketing, post processing, r/d (creative part),etc., and your passion becomes a regular high pressure, high stress job.


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Jul 11, 2018 11:25 |  #14

Wedding photography can be a demanding thing to do!

  • You can have very high expectations on the part of the bride and her mother.
  • You have the pressures of being able to ad lib the shooting, based upon unexpected schedule changes that occur during the day.
  • You have the pressures of being technically well prepared to deal with a wide variety of shooting situations instantly at the drop of a hat, without the luxury of lots of time thinking through how to accomplish something in advance.
  • You have the burden to 'get it right', without the luxury of 'shoot it over' as in studio work...many guests at weddings will NEVER again be able to come for a 'reshoot' if/when you have blown it technically!


If not ready for all of the above, think again before trying to do wedding photography! Many a studio shooter has tried and given up doing weddings because they are not up to the task of dealing with all of the above.

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Jul 11, 2018 12:02 |  #15

ericz34 wrote in post #18660195 (external link)
It scares me to think I’m 26, give it a shot, and at 32 I realize I have to go back to school for a third time because I failed at trying something I enjoy instead of just dealing with my crappy job.

I'm not going to comment on the specifics everyone else already has, but 26-32 to take a chance on something is most likely better than 32-38; or like me, 46-52 or even later. From my perspective, there may be something to "getting it out of your system". I've always gone the easy way and stuck with the paycheck while tinkering with a wedding or two a year; a few senior sessions a year. The older I get, the more my soul dies. I know it sounds dramatic, but I may be happier knowing I tried with all my heart, and either succeeded or failed, learned and moved on. There is no part timing dreams. But if you decide to execute, be well informed and well prepared. You may even find some off-shoot from what you started with and be able to move forward with that.




  
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Am I crazy for wanting this as a career?
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