Has anyone ever told you that being an artist or a photographer is nothing but a hobby…not a career?
This has always been a struggle for my when I was growing up. My father would call my love for art and photography a “hobbie” and that it’ll pass – how I needed to focus on something more stable like a desk job. And for a while I did sit behind a desk and
got my paycheck day by day…and I was miserable.
It turns out that he is not the only one who views photography that way. And for some time I even viewed my photography as something that was just a pipe dream – that it wasn’t going to actually be a thing. But when I was let go from my safe and stable desk job, something hit me deep down inside. I had realized that nothing in this world is concrete. Nothing is certain and things can change in your life in a blink of an eye…so you might as well go for what you love!
As a freelance working photographer, I can say that there has and will be some up and down struggles when you branch out and try to turn your hobby into a career. But it is possible to live a life that is entirely your own! Here are some tips that I have learned along the way that I hope will help you take that amazing step into turning your passion and hobby into a career.
1. Change Of Mindset
If you do not believe in yourself and your work – no one will. That is a fact. Yes there are a lot of artists and photographers who do the same work as you…but think about it this way: If they are able to make a living off of what they do, you can too! Fear will come up in your mind and say that you are not good enough or that you won’t make it. You have to muster up the courage in yourself to actually get up and show the world what you can do. It is easier said than done but as long as you TRY everyday to show up it will become easier.
2. Take Risks & Be Bold!
This means getting out of your comfort zone whether that is opening up an online store, speaking at an event or just introducing yourself to strangers and saying “Hi!”. I am an introvert and I know that there are some days where I have to literally force myself to get up and go get clients because in reality if I don’t make myself known I will never get work. No one is going to hand you everything on a silver plater – you have to actually WORK for it. That is the key! And even thought we live in a technological work, you cannot solely rely on the internet to get clients for you (at least not in the beginning). So get out there and introduce yourself to the world!
3. It’s OKAY To Have A Bridge Job
Some creative people feel like frauds or that they aren’t truly authentic when they have a job that helps them pay their bills while they are trying to get their business up and running. And this is what I say to you: It’s okay! In fact, it’s the smartest thing to do. An art professor once told me that at the end of the day, we all have to eat. We all have to survive and if our art isn’t doing so well in the beginning – it’s normal to have a bridge job that will help you with art supplies, photo equipment, a better website, etc. So cut yourself some slack and just remember that you are doing okay.
4. Patience Patience Patience
That being said, remember the old saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. You will need to go out and try a million times (and a million times more!). You won’t get responses as fast as you think you will because you are new and no one knows you yet. So be prepared to try and try some more with no responses…but do not get discouraged! Keep trying and keep putting your work out there. That is the secret: to just keep trying and it will happen for you.
So these are just a few of the things that I had to learn the hard way and I hope that this will help you start the season off the way you want! Please remember and understand that you only have ONE life to live….so make the most of it!
Til next time my fellow creator,