Monday, February 7, 2011
The Ideal Photography Career
I recently began teaching a college-level photography class. One of my responsibilities, along with teaching the technical aspects of lighting and composition, is to prepare the students for a career in photography. Not all of them are planning to become commercial photographers, but they're all interested in knowing what that might entail. These days, photography careers are different than they were just a few years ago. There's a lot of competition, and a lot of great work out there. That's great for photography, but it makes it more difficult to excel in a crowded field. So what's the lesson? In my opinion, the way to succeed is to do really great work. But more than that, if you want to be happy in your photography career, if you want to carve out your ideal place, you've got to do work that you want to do—not just the work people will pay you to do. I made a little Venn diagram to illustrate this point in class. Find what you want, find what you can get paid for, and seek work in the place where they overlap. This makes for an ideal photography career.