If 100% of your income is not coming from your photography and you're more like me, where I'm functioning on the sidelines while maintaining full time employment with a company, it's natural for us to ponder what it's like pursuing photography professionally. I know I have and luckily, I have colleagues in the industry who are very candid in sharing their ups and downs in spite of how magical and unworried the professional may seem from a bird's-eye view.
It's hard shit and if there's anyone who's a true wordsmith in dishing out the type of information you're not willing to hear because we're too enamored with the idea of being a full-time photographer it's David duChemin. As a side note, I own several of his books, which I've refused to buy digital versions in spite of being a true Kindle fanatic simply because I love the feel of the hardcopy as well as referencing back to the endless notations made on it throughout the years.
David recently talked about what it's like being a pro photographer and while I encourage you to read the entire article, I couldn't help squeeze out the real eye-opening points made if by any chance we've failed to consider that being a professional photographer is not so much about shooting all the time but about everything surrouding it:
"If you want to be a photographer and have all the freedom in the world to shoot what you want, when you want, how you want, then keep your day job. Because “going pro” is a commitment to starting and running a business."
"If you don’t love being an entrepreneur and working 12 hours a day so you don’t have to work 8 hours a day for someone else, then being a professional photographer probably won’t, for you, be doing what you love. In fact it will steal your joy."
"The entrepreneur side of you doesn’t – must not – give a shit about photography, especially shiny new gear. His or her only preoccupation is making money so the other side of you can make photographs and serve clients."
"If you want to spend your spare cash on gear, don’t become a working photographer, because working photographers spend their money on some really boring shit...things like: Dropbox, Shopify, MailChimp, Freshbooks. Web hosting. Insurance. Printer ink! Boring, boring, boring."