Deciding what you want to do for a living can be a very frightening thing, especially if you’re an artist. The field of photography is ultimately recession proof, making it appear as a safe job. However, if you are unaware of how this career works, you are headed down a dangerous road. An Austin photographer once told me that photography is like showbiz, you either make it or you don’t. If planning on going into photography, you need to have both a plan A and Plan B. For example, if your dream is to open up a gallery and be a world-renown artist, maybe think about being a Houston Wedding photographer if all else fails. You need to think critically before deciding on the path of photography.
One common misconception people have about photographers is that you can just show up to an art show and become famous. This is a huge lie. Becoming a serious photographer takes a lot of work. Ideally, one would start dabbling in the field before college. Most professional photographers attended some sort of art-program in school. There are some well know photography schools in the United States and even better ones abroad. While in school, the artist learns and develops their skill and artistic eye.
Photography isn’t just taking pictures willy-nilly of whatever one likes. There are fields of photography just like a business profession. There is photo-journalism, which would be like taking pictures for magazines, newspapers and similar publications. There is bio-medical photography, the taking pictures of bodies and science for scientific purposes. In addition there is fine art photography, crime scene photography and advertising photography. All of which are pretty self-explanatory. Each field has the same fundamental rules but also each has it’s own aspects that require specific training.
Even after going to a great college, a photographer can’t just waltz into a firm and land a job. Most photographers will have to apprentice first. Just like many careers, it’s about starting on bottom and working your way up. This weeds out the weak, letting the true artists shine. For the better part of their career, most photographers are struggling to get by. They make on average, twenty nine thousand dollars a year. This is about then thousand dollars less an elementary school teacher makes. They are truly suffering for their art.
The little amount of money made and extraordinary amount of time spent in photography requires a genuine passion for it. You can be sure than any one who has a full-time career in photography does it because they enjoy it, not because it’s what they have to do. It is not like working as a construction worker or real-estate agent, photography takes love. It comes from a drive to see the world differently and a passion to capture something in each photograph. Those who have successful careers in photographic arts have a great work ethic. They conquered a competitive world of artists to achieve their status.