A few days ago, Adrienne Pitts, a lifestyle & travel photographer originally from New Zealand put out the message on Instagram on how she was taking on questions from anyone in response to the overwhelming inquiries she was receiving from people like me who are intrigued and curious as to how she manages to do what she does for a living. I’ve been following her work for quite some time and I have to say that while it’s uplifting and stunning to look at, being the curious person that I am, I undeniably have a fascination like many people to want to know more about the inner workings of what truly goes into becoming a professional photographer.
I say this because a lot of times, we as viewers, only have a chance to see the end result but behind each frame, there’s a lot of sacrifice that went into either getting the shot or to even be in a position to say you got compensated to shoot it.
Adrienne received several fantastic questions, and she equally gave wonderful answers that weren’t surfacy at all. You can tell she took her time and for that noble gesture, it’s made me admire her even more. She may think certain things in her life may not mean much to other people but they're in fact very valuable for others who aspire to follow along her same path. If you’re wanting to extend yourself far beyond just being a hobbyist with your photography, I highly encourage you to grab beverage of your choice, find a quiet space in your home or nearest coffee shop and give all these responses a read. As an incentive, I wanted to quickly share some statements which resonated with me the most.
- “I use to think I had to shoot ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING in order to please the client…but I’ve gotten to a point now where I just won’t take a photograph if I know the light is wrong, or the situation isn’t right. Having the confidence in knowing how you shoot, and how it is that you get shots that you’re happy with, can’t take a long time. I say practice…”
- “Do I think you necessarily HAVE to get a formal education in photography these days? Nope. I think life can give you those lessons and experiences. But you have to want it, and you have to always want to be getting better.”
- “In terms of getting clients, I think it really helps to narrow down a field of focus in terms of the type of work you want to do. Currently, I shoot mostly editorial work (poorly paid) and a bit of commercial work (much better paid) – so I’m working on that ratio myself. “
- “So, I went into bookshops, looked at magazine mastheads, copied down (or figured out) email addresses and started emailing people. I made promo postcards. I updated my website and tumblr religiously, and I was persistent. I don’t have it sorted out by any means. The past month has been super quiet, and I’m OK with that. I just think you have to be really pro-active about your career and your work, and get out there and make it happen – you can’t sit back hoping opportunities will just fall into your lap.”
- “Find the things that you naturally gravitate towards, and photograph them."
My assumption is she'll continue extending the invitation for people to ask her anything which I'm really lookig forward to.