Happiest as a hobbyist

15Jun10

I used to dream of becoming a professional photographer. I knew a couple of studio jockeys—and worked with a bunch of photojournalists—and I could never get over the fact that they got paid to take pictures.

Their jobs don’t seem quite so sweet anymore.

Over the past couple of days, I’ve had a glimpse behind the curtain of professional photography. It’s been quite a revelation.

I spent most of my weekend on a technically challenging job for a demanding client who specified a list of “exact precise moments” I “must capture.” Oh, and also, they said they’d only pay half the fee I’d quoted.

The shoot took only two hours. The post-production took ten. I should have stuck to my guns and turned down the job.

Today, I spent my lunch hour shooting head shots for a friend who is starting a career as a model. He’s a handsome guy, and very photogenic, but I couldn’t get the lighting right. I’ll probably spend my evening trying to tone down his neon-yellow forehead.

I’ve heard that the happiest people are those who find a way to earn a living doing what they love.

I’ve decided that—for me at least—it’s enough to just do what I love.

From now on, I’ll leave the paying gigs to the pros.



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