I think 99% of the people think that professional photography is travel and adventure, and they forget that photography is very, very hard work. You’re “on” all the time. Nobody cares about any of the excuses about bad weather or logistics, or how the authorities wouldn’t let you do your job. All that matters is what the photos say, how much money the magazine spent on that time, and whether or not it’s a successful coverage. Most people don’t really want that.

Advice from Michael Nichols on the question of How do I get published in National Geographic magazine?

When I read this, it instantly reminded me a lot of when I was a retail manager. The associates I worked with may not have voiced it but from an outsiders perspective, I assumed they deemed the work I did as being uncomplicated. I walked the sales floor continuously, I took sale reads every hour, I engaged with the customers and it’s these observations that often led them to make comments on how they “could be a manager too.”

It’s not that I doubted their capacity to become an effective manager but it’s the aspects of the job that they didn’t see the made me wonder if they really wanted to become one. To be a manager, you have to like responsibility. You have to be able to deal with uncertainty and making decisions when you never seem to have all the facts aligned and a lot times, these particular associates would be the type that enjoyed acting the role but didn’t mind for the rest of unwanted burden that unevitables comes along with the position.

I’m not doubting that being a professional photographer is fun but for anyone wanting to pursue it as a career, it’s important to realize that very much like a manager, it’s more than just having a camera and and title.