“Am I Ready To Be Professional Photographer? Part 1
I have asked myself that very question so many times since I retired form eighteen years of being a cop. I have dabbled in photography since the early 90’s but bought my first digital camera in 2006. That purchase opened up a whole new world to me. I have since bought much better, and more expensive equipment in anticipation of my retirement because I knew that I wanted to be a “professional.” But, was I ready?
In this first blog of a series about my journey to become a pro, I will briefly cover what I have experienced in my first months at my attempt to achieve this goal.
I will say that it has not been easy and I knew it wouldn’t be. If it weren’t for a good photographer friend that opened my eyes to the dynamics of being a true professional, I seriously have my doubts that I would be where I am today as far as my skills and knowledge base. I mean this guy IS a pro and his work shows that he has been in the photography business for quite some time.
It has been an uphill battle with doubts about my skills and the daily tasks that I had no idea were necessary to keep above the rest of the endless number of “pros” in my area. Website maintenance, blogging, social media, networking groups. The list goes on.
My first priority has been to build my portfolio. To do this I have occasionally had to take photos for free. Yes, I said for FREE! In order to have a solid portfolio with a variety of images, I had to work many times for free. No one, in their right mind, will hire a “pro” that does not have proof of their work. This had to be done and I am still building my portfolio.
Second, I am always reading, studying, shooting. Then repeating.
The training NEVER stops. Even the guy I mentioned above is constantly trying new things. I can compare images I took last year with images I took recently and there is a big difference because I am always trying to improve. Keep training. Keep pressing on and your work will sell itself.
Am I ready to be a professional? My hard work has paid off. I can definitely do the job at a “pro” level. It can only get better from here because of the solid foundation that has been set by my mentor and friend, the “Professional!” You know who you are. Thanks, friend…..