So I just spent the past hour writing this blog out and decided that It dragged on too long. It didn't have a point or it touched on too many. I'm going to make this clear, simple and short. I have given this speech to multiple people who ask me how to get into photography. I get asked quite regularly to take people on as an assistant or to bring them to a wedding i'm shooting or show them how to make money with photography. This is what I tell them.
If I was a painter, a mason or made money doing carpentry I would pour all of my efforts into it. I would have the best brushes, watch videos on painting, try out different canvases, learn to make my own canvases. I would make sure everyone knew I was a painter, I might even have my own studio space just to paint. I have all the coolest painters clothes, aprons, gloves, hats to keep my hair out of my face. I have a cool logo that lets people know i'm a painter with my name in it and website. I would also write about my paintings, enter them into shows. I would make sure I was on all social medias and I would pay someone to scan or get copies of my paintings online to share with everyone. I would make shirts and broadcast what I do. Everyone would want to come to me to have a painting done because they know i'm a painter because that's all I talk about. You could find all the books on my shelf have a common theme, painting. My instagram would feature my own paintings and a link to my website which has my work and also ways to purchase my paintings. I also would love to go to Meetup.com gatherings to meet other painters. My good friend is also a painter from Boston and we talk a few days a week on the phone and he does some things similar to me and some different things from me but we both love painting regardless. We regularly talk about how to price our work and what people will pay for it and what's fair and how to treat people who don't pay. I would also be doing some work for charity with my paintings, maybe a themed project to help support a group, cause or person. When I do charity work, that gets shared on social media and talked about and every once and awhile my name will get thrown out to a commissioned painting or a series that someone will auction on. I love to go see famous painters speak as well and I always check in to whatever place i'm at to brag about my painting related activities.
If you truly love what you do and want more of it then show the world. Focus all of your efforts on it, leap without looking, live without the money and success and know that it's coming and it will. I'm where I am right now because i've made sacrifices with my time, money and relationships. I have had multiple people over the years tell me that it won't work and that you can't make money being a photographer. When I hear this all I can think of is how sweet it will be when i'm sleeping in or in a foreign city while they are scheduled to be sitting in a cubicle in front of a computer for the foreseeable future.
I love what I do and wouldn't change a thing. I wouldn't have the friends I have, the life I have without buying that first camera, without shooting that first wedding, I regularly take all of my profits and roll them back to equipment costs and take work off and go on a "vacation" where i'm just taking photos so I have interesting stuff to share on social media. I also give up time with friends and family to spend with strangers taking their photos.
In the end i'm doing something important, i'm capturing memories that someone will have forever.