What kind of photographer am I anyway?

On occasion, I get fed up with photography. Not so much the taking pictures part, but the everything else (editing, processing, printing, marketing, social media, business management) part…

I often tell people I’m a horrible business person, and it’s true. Because I don’t care very much about the exchange of money (despite realizing that it is an important fact of modern life in the US) and I don’t care very much about out-competing other photographers doing work similar to what I’m doing. I photograph because I like it, not because it’s getting me anywhere…

I don’t like the term “pro” photographer. Because it implies that photography is my business, that it is a career for me, but not that it’s my passion. I’d rather still be considered a hobbyist than called a professional, because to me photography is about the love for creating and capturing captivating imagery, and about being out in nature. I don’t need or care for the street cred that a “pro” label provides. I think my images speak for themselves…

I’m an educator. I love to teach. I enjoy interacting with other people and enjoy sharing my passions with others. It’s important for me to feel like I am making a difference and that I have a purpose…

I’m a collaborator. I love working with and bouncing ideas off of other people. I’m an independent person, but I often have more fun working with others (competent, compatible others) than working alone. While the conceptualization of imagery and actual act of taking a picture for me can be very personal, the research about and exploration for subjects, refining and mastering photographic techniques, and creating and collaborating on a project is, I find, often much richer experience when it is a team effort…

And because of all this, I don’t think I’ll ever be a full time professional photographer. Too many other things matter to me for me to focus all of my energy on working in isolation from other people, dealing with all of the headaches and technicalities of running my own independent business, and using my creative energy to fulfill someone else’s vision. I’d rather be out shooting and teaching, focusing my energy on what matters to me and makes me feel happy, than spending countless painful hours at the computer and worrying about all of that needlessly stressful extra stuff. Leave that to the pros.

One thought on “What kind of photographer am I anyway?

  1. It sounds like you just figured out a large key to making your future a happy one. Find out what you love, put your energy toward that. In your case, teaching. If that’s what makes you happy, pursue it with all your might. Leave photography as your hooby, your creative outlet, and perhaps even incorporate it in your teaching. Teaching is an honorable outlet for your talents (plus you get a lot of time off to play!!!!). Whatever you finally choose for yourself, you will do well for you’re a passionate, honest person.

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