The challenge hits at least half the photographers in our industry. It's the decision that answers the question: Am I ready to go full time as a photographer?
Fifty percent of the photographic industry are made of part time photographers. The number might even be higher in the wedding and event specialties. There’s nothing wrong with being a part time photographer as long as you’re making sure your skill set is top shelf.
Cindy Harter Sims spent her last five years as a music teacher, before going full time. She saved every penny, attended every workshop she could and fine-tuned her skill set. She worked to develop her network and had an amazing group of photographers and friends in the industry. She had one vision, to some day have her own studio. If you need a little inspiration, her guest post is one of the most read and inspirational pieces I’ve ever published.
So, if Cindy can do it anybody can right? NOT – nothing could be further from the truth, because you’ve also got have Cindy’s belief in herself, her unwavering dedication to be the very best and the level of support she had from her family and friends. I'm not saying everybody can't do what Cindy did, but you need to have incredible focus.
So, where’s the madness come in? I’ve seen some of you drive yourself to a level of insanity on your quest to be a full time photographer before you’re ready. I’ve met of a few of you who are very talented, but you’ve buried yourself in a state of depression, because you haven’t made the jump to full time yet. I’ve also seen a few of you jump, before you're ready and guess what, “the net doesn't always appear!”
Here’s a great way to think about it…you don’t want to go full time until you can’t afford not to! In other words, your business as a photographer has grown so much that it matches or even passes up your day job.
Cindy’s success happened because she laid out a plan. She knew her budget going into the transition. Most important of all, she believed in herself and knew what skills she needed to develop to make it all work.
Let’s stop the madness you’re creating and let the obsession of being a photographer full time go. Do NOT let go of your dream, just the obsession that’s causing career blindness , deafness and affecting your judgment. You simply need to be patient.
Ever fall in love? Changing career paths is almost the same…when it’s right you know it in your heart and feel it with every fiber of your being. But, if it's not right or still half baked, you can feel that in your heart too. So many of you are so talented...just stop rushing the process.
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.