I recently asked my friends on Facebook to help me out with a very important and charged question that I often get asked by aspiring photographers, young and old.
A question for all of my photography friends, I often get asked the question, “How do I become a professional photographer?” I respond the same way each time and I’m hoping to gather some bright new responses for young enthusiastic photographers.
How do YOU respond to this question?
The following are some of my favorite answers.
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When you can’t imagine doing anything else — and are aware of the privilege to be paid to observe life & earth in all it’s glory (& pitfallls) — then, well, what else can you do? – Dave Gilbert
Apply your passion and skill to the type of photography you’d like to practice. Start and along the way you will find all the answers. – Marisa Bojiuc
Dare to be different – Chantal Uijtendaal
If you love it and know that that is what you want to do, keep moving, keep exploring trends and be creative. There are always set backs and disappointments, but those who reach their goals are those who never gave up. – Mary Louise Cook
Start as an amateur, be yourself. – Jia Guo
I always say Don’t get caught up in fancy equipment, don’t get caught up in needing to assist, don’t get caught up in the competition or rejection, just take out all the “should’s” and just DO it. – Jonathan Pozniak
Passion, passion, passion. And the courage to show your work to the media. Maybe a good dry suit =0) – Peter Eberhardt
Be yourself! Natural! -Sang Yakthungba-Limbu
Talent. Hard Work. Passion. Talent. Hard Work. Passion…. – Greg Shaw
You have to enjoy taking photographs first. Once you are addicted, instinctively it becomes a way of life. -Joanne Orth
Alan Watts said, “What would you do with your life if money was no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life?” I’m only 19, but the plan is to get into a low-paying, high adventure animal biology job and hopefully the photos and experience will come! – Peter Jay Flint
Professional as in money or learning it? I think a person needs to understand the difference. Put your whole self into it and….just DO it! However, to really succeed at the art of it, I think you need to be a little crazy like Van Gogh or Picasso and be welling to give-up everything…including your life for the passion of it. I think you have to want to do it even if you never make a dime and you are poor most of your life. So…you can’t just do it…you have to BE it. – Ninon Nickerson
You can be the best photographer in the world but without an objective and persistence you will not make it. You must dedicate a lot of time to photography. -Luca Diana
Before thinking of being “professional” you have to become a photographer , that means going through all the steps required to convince your self that photography will become your way of living/seeing life, way beyond the confortable and romantic side photography is often seen, it is a tough job and only the ones that are truly convinced and willing to do what ever it takes including lots of personal sacrifice will survive, Beyond that it is no different from any other job, (hard work/ethics and clarity of purpose), I will include a recent quote I posted which encloses this:
“All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory. I was naïve. I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with: that I am nobody but myself”. ~Ralph Ellison, “Battle Royal” -Miguel D La Cueva
Want to add to the list? Please post your comment below!
Photo by : Göran Ehlmé