My name is Valérie and I am a photographer…
I do it for a living, I do it on my breaks, days off, vacation… Sometimes I wonder if I ever have a day off or if I have a job. Is addiction one of the job hazards? Should it be added to the list of things to seriously consider when you’re thinking of turning pro? Or is it simply pure happiness?
It wasn’t always this way for me. Actually, for those of you who have read some of my articles, I almost quit photography a few years ago. I had almost lost the passion for the craft. It is definitely one of the dangers of turning pro in any profession that starts as a hobby. Once it becomes a job and you shoot for clients anything can quickly become mundane and turn into a chore. You soon forget your camera at home on your days off, you don’t feel like spending any more time on front of you computer than you have to, etc. I know, I’ve been there!
You may be wondering how my situation made a 180 degree turn. It wasn’t just one thing or one person, but a series of events that triggered other events. It all started with sharing my work and ideas with the photography community and working on personal projects alongside my professional work. The more I spent making pictures or talking about photography with others, the more passionate I became about it.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you are running your own business and dealing with personal life, family obligations, etc. We all have perfectly legitimate excuses to refrain ourselves from doing more work… I made it one of my top priorities and I found the time. I not only love shooting, I also enjoy writing about photography, sharing ideas and tips with other photographers of all levels. It’s part of the package and it’s the most satisfying job in the world! Although I do specialize in my commercial photography work (I shoot mostly food and interiors), I feel like the sky is the limit when I shoot for personal projects. I’ll do street photography one day and macro in nature the next. The world is a beautiful place and I want to see it all through my lens.
My camera is an extension of me. I feel restless if one or two days go by without shooting. Is it always a good thing? No… The rest of my family has little interest in photography. They support me in their own way but they don’t share my passion for it and I don’t expect them to. I know they often roll their eyes when I get excited about a moment I just captured or when I can’t sit still at dinner because I am missing the perfect light outside. It’s all about compromising. I do leave my camera behind once in a while, when it’s a special family time. But when I need a day to myself to do a photo walk or meet with other photographer friends, I take it and it feels great! It can be a pretty lonely hobby or job, and some people enjoy that solitude. I’m a ‘people person’ and there is no greater satisfaction than being with people who share your passion and your vision.
The goal of this article is to open a discussion. Are you addicted to photography? Please share your thoughts and experience.