Mostly 15 yr old girls with big dreams about becoming a photographer.
The first thing I tell them shatters their dreams.
I don’t mean to be mean, I want to help them. The worst thing would be to feed them a pack of lies.
I can’t do that. And sending them down a road with no future.
“There is no career path in photography” I tell them.
“This is not like becoming a teacher, an accountant, a doctor, engineer…
where you follow a structured step-by-step plan. It does not exist.”
I continue…“If you want to take a college or university level photography program for the sake of learning photography, that’s fine. But, if you want to make a career and
make money, then you should take a business course. Forget about the degree in photography.
It’s a waste of time. Think about your favorite musician. Do they have a formal education? Likely not. Learn to run a business so you can make money. Learning photography is the easy part. Everything is on youtube.”
I show them samples of what I do in my photography business….weddings, babies, families,
executive and grad portraits and some commercial photography.
“Besides, going to school will not give you passion and ambition for photography. Only you can bring that to the game.”
Doing my part.
What I don’t tell them is the struggles, the pains, the frustrations that come to bear.
They’ll figure that out on their own, if they choose this path.
If they are ambitious, eager, passionate about business, selling, and photography,
they will find a way.
I did. And the successful photographers I know all know this basic truth:
You don’t need a formal education any more than a coffee shop owner or baker or butcher needs one.
Having a degree and a brain filled with academia will get you no where fast. It’s one of those industries where your laurels quickly become wreaths and covered in cobwebs.
Unless you move, move, move…and don’t stop moving.
It’s why I write these emails. It actually helps keep me in check.
It’s why I do goals.
It’s why I created so many business based resources, mostly to do with marketing, for and by professional photographers.
It keeps me in check. So my laurels don’t become dusty old wreaths.
Yours in photography and success,