What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a photographer?

All photographers have room to grow, and we all commit to honouring that growth in different ways. One way to dedicate yourself to your photography is to commit to doing it daily. It does not matter whether your camera is a phone, a compact camera, or a top-of-the-line DSLR. Daily photography simply means picking up your camera and using it every day.

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Advantages of Being a Photographer

Photographers use their technical expertise and creativity to produce photographic images to tell a story or record a live event. Some photographers are paid for photoshoots and travel quite extensively. The advantages of working as a photographer are not necessarily lucrative, but they can be rewarding all the same.

Opportunities to be Creative

Photography provides an outlet for your creative nature, and successful photographers get paid for doing what they love. Good photographers can bring forth beauty from the most mundane objects, helping people see things around them more than they appear to be. Their work may grace the pages of magazines or be hung in commercial galleries. Creating exceptional photography can be lucrative for some; several notable photographers earn millions annually.

Generalise or Specialise

As a photographer, you may generalise or focus only on specific types of photography. Some photographers specialise in advertising photography, for example, while others work as photojournalists or photographic studios. Other photographers work as freelancers for many employers, taking sports photos for one employer while snapping wedding photos for another. Versatile photographers with good equipment and the right work ethic may find themselves with an always interesting work life and a diverse clientele.

Travel Opportunities

What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a photographer?

Travel is mandatory for some photographers. Catalogue photographers, for instance, may be asked to photograph people and objects in many locations, both at home and abroad. Travel photographers must travel to the locations they’re hired to photograph, which may land them in exotic or isolated sites.

Photojournalists may travel quite extensively to many parts of the world on behalf of large media and news organisations. At Wild Romantic Photography, we have the best Melbourne wedding photographer to take memorable photos on your wedding day.

Artist Relationships

Photographers often collaborate with other artists, including makeup specialists, hairstylists, photographers, prop stylists, set designers and wardrobe experts. Some get to work with beautiful models. Regardless of who or what they shoot, photographers have the opportunity to network with other creative professionals on a regular basis. Through this network, photographers hear about work opportunities, forge professional and personal relationships, and gain photography-related skills.

Exposure

If it’s truly good, a photographer’s work can lead to wide exposure if photos are published in local, regional, national or international publications and other media. In addition, assignments may offer opportunities for domestic and international travel. The potential for exposure both at home and abroad ties into all of the other personal advantages a photographer can reap — freedom, more work opportunities and new relationships — not to mention the pride that comes from knowing that others appreciate your art.

Job Satisfaction

By creating high quality or memorable photographs, photographers ensure some measure of immortality. Photographs are timeless objects, with photography from the 1840s or even earlier still appreciated in the 21st century. When photographers do what they love, creating photography likely to last for generations, they may also experience high levels of job satisfaction.

Self-Employment

Self-employed photographers enjoy the freedom to make their own schedules and be their own bosses. As long as they possess cameras and other photography equipment, they can work virtually anywhere — and don’t have to be chained to a desk or office environment. Photographers may combine their personal interests with their careers.

For example, a photographer with excellent skills and a nature lover might find herself conducting photo shoots for clients such as National Geographic magazine. Self-employment also allows photographers more earning potential than a salaried position would.

The Business of Photography

For many photographers, photography is, by necessity, a business through which they support themselves. And while it’s true that professional photographers can make top wages, others earn more middling or average salaries.

Disadvantages of Being a Photographer

Here are the disadvantages, risks and challenges of being a photographer, 

Exploitation from friends

Some friends are more than willing to invite their photographer friend to their parties because he can help them capture the moments for free. It doesn’t mean all these friends are super cheapskate, but, for sure, they don’t know the actual cost of professional photography (cost of equipment, energy and time required for post-production work) is very high.

The most insulting thing some friends can do to a photographer is to suggest him to help them with some photoshoots for free so that he can “build up his portfolio”. Unfortunately, they are belittling his existing portfolio and/or think that no client is engaging his photography services.

Of course, all these are probably unintentional and may actually benefit a photographer if he’s really new to the trade.

Exploitation from clients

One common thing is that some clients will try to help a photographer to determine the duration he will need to do certain photography jobs. For example, some clients may approach a photographer to do a one-hour interior or product shoot.

Many things are do-able, depending on the quality of work. Staff from a big property website approached me to shoot both the interior and exterior of a property, telling me that they would only require half an hour of time for each session. When I went to the website, the few albums that I randomly clicked onto were all poorly done.

Given the quality of the work, no tripod stand was even required; besides, given half an hour of time, there’s no time to use and adjust the tripod. Well, I could have worked with the property website, despite having to provide substandard work, on a long-term basis in order to secure a regular income so that I could continue to produce masterpieces outside the “working hours”. Eventually, I couldn’t get over my passion for producing good work.

This is why many professional photographers will charge by the number of photographs for non-event shoots so that they can do their work properly to create excellent photographs without rushing to meet the (short) timeframe.

There are also various other ways clients will exploit a photographer, such as asking him to turn up early for event shoots instead of booking his timeslot earlier.

Clients and models set their own ridiculous expectation

Clients may be on purpose or not by not reading the service agreement. They may then throw ridiculous expectations during or after the shoot, which may sour the relationship.

For example, some clients will request the raw files that most professional photographers would not provide unless agreed upon for a commercial shoot. There are two main reasons why they want the raw files. Firstly, they want to have “memory of the actual shoot”, which is common but, unfortunately, will likely tarnish the reputation of the photographer somehow in the short or long run.

Secondly, they know that professional editing is expensive. Thus, they want to either do the editing work on their own or send the files to some cheap editing services to do cheap work since non-professional photographers couldn’t really tell the quality anyway.

There are many other misconceptions and myths in professional photography that will lead to all the wrong expectations.

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Some clients may have doubts about paying the booking fee

While it’s essential for clients to place a booking fee (deposit) to secure the timeslot of the photographer, some of them will hesitate to pay upfront. They are afraid that the photographer would “run away” with the money even though the photographer has a good reputation to maintain after spending so much time, effort, and money to set up the website and social media profiles and have large portfolios testimonials from previous clients. They are likely not going to think in the photographer’s position that they (clients) are actually unknowns who may find another (probably cheaper?) photographer after confirmation, which will waste the photographer’s time and causing loss of income due to rejecting other clients’ requests.

Unfortunately, there are stories of photographers (and service providers in other related fields) who have spoiled the market and the trust of clients. They are very rare, but they still exist.

Many models/clients waste the photographer’s time

Many models and clients who approach a photographer to collaborate or engage in his services are actually much less enthusiastic than they sound initially. Most people will eventually change their minds soon because of the Chinese’s saying “three minutes of heat” (directly translated). Some people may suddenly realise they are too shy for portraiture shoot, while some think they do not need to spend the money to get professional photographs taken for their events. When the person asks the photographer for ideas and somehow doesn’t go ahead with the shoot, it’s certainly wasting the photographer’s time and effort.

Ideas may be stolen

Most people don’t realise that ideas are important assets of a photographer. Photography services do provide ideas (or solution), which many photographers may have overlooked. When a client or model approaches a photographer, the photographer may propose a special concept for the photoshoot or even come out with a unique idea that suits the model. The photographer’s ideas may be stolen, such that the person can use it, with or without modification, with other cheaper photographers.

Being undercut

What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a photographer?

Many new or inexperienced photographers out in the market are charging very little amount for their work. Most clients do look at prices rather than the quality of work and will skip a professional photographer if they happen to come across photographers who charge much cheaper rates.

Of course, photographers who undercut the market are usually being hated by other professional photographers. At the same time, they are likely not able to sustain their photography business for long unless they have other full-time jobs and simply taking photography as a hobby.

Many people think post-production work is easy

Some people expect photographers to return them the photographs soon after the actual photoshoot. They do not understand that photographers may have even taken duplicated photos sometimes for a backup purpose (for example, if one of the subjects blinked) and thus will need extra effort to choose the best out of the photos taken. They also don’t know that photographers will need time to make other adjustments like cropping, colour correction and exposure adjustments.

Many people think that post-production work, including skin touch-up, is simple, probably due to the availability of many phone applications (app). They don’t know the differences between working with high and low-resolution photographs, partly because they usually view photographs only on small screens, such as screens of mobile phones. They also don’t know how to appreciate the quality (natural and detailed) of photographs, just like how they know nothing about professional skin retouching. 

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Therefore, they may belittle photographers, their skill and effort. It can be insulting. Unfortunately, the belittling would also lead to the low rates clients are willing to pay for professional photography.

Pros And Cons Of Photography As A Career

Being a professional photographer these days is not easy. Everyone with a camera is out to make money, and the industry is saturated. However, despite this, there are some serious — and sometimes serendipitous — perks to the job. 

PROS

Freedom and flexibility

Most photographers choose to work as freelancers rather than work with companies. This gives them the freedom to choose the projects they want to work on and the numbers of hours they want to put in behind their craft each day.

Talk to anyone who holds a regular 9-to-5 desk job, and they will tell you that they find it next to impossible to get leaves or leave early from the office if they want to socialise with their family and friends.

Working as a photographer will free you of these limitations. This profession also allows you to embrace your creativity on your terms. For instance, you might hate shooting weddings, but you might be crazy about wildlife photography. Depending on your likes and dislikes, you can choose the projects you want to take.

You get paid to do what you love

Photography is not something most students are encouraged to pursue as a profession. Several people, at least in India, practice it as a hobby. So, if you are the odd one who gets to do what you love, you should consider yourself lucky!

And what’s more? You not only get to turn your passion into your profession but you also get paid for it!

Unending potential

Whoever said that it’s difficult to make a decent income as a photographer didn’t know what they were talking about. From shooting weddings and birthday parties to wildlife and travel photography, there is no limit to the things you can get paid to click through your camera.

Action and adventure

If spending five days every week in front of a computer screen isn’t a way of life you’re willing to accept, allow photography to come to your rescue. This profession has the power to thrill and scare you all at once. 

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CONS

Good cameras and gear don’t come cheap

A good camera won’t define your photography skills, but it sure will enhance them. If you want to offer the best to your clients and keep them coming back for more, you need to be willing to invest in expensive technology.

To give you an idea, a Nikon entry-level DSLR camera costs at least INR 65,000. A good quality 50mm lens will cost you nothing less than INR 10,000. Then, there is other equipment like tripods, memory cards, and lens filters you need to invest in. All photographers need to own this essential photography gear. To put it simply, being a photographer comes with a price tag.

Loneliness

While a 9-to-5 work culture can be extremely taxing, one cannot deny the fact that it allows you to work with other people, interact, and bond with them.

On the other hand, a career in photography is for the lone wolf.

Yes, you meet more people than you otherwise would in an office setting. But, working by yourself won’t allow you to build the same friendships that people who spend eight-plus hours a day together can build.

No guaranteed income

As with any freelance career, photography doesn’t guarantee you a fixed income. If the workflow is good, you’ll make more than you expected.

But there will also be times when you will be out of work.

If you want to pursue photography as a profession, you need to be mentally prepared for a time when you will have a lot of money as well as a time when you will have little or no money.

You have to do everything

Working in an office will ensure that you have designated duties. You do what is expected of you – nothing more, nothing less.

But when you branch out on your own, you have to look beyond your craft. You will be required to look into your finances and tax, correspondence and sales inquiries, making invoices and contracts, photo editing and even social media promotion!

Most of these activities will need to be done at least once a week. And unless you can afford to employ someone to handle these things, you’ll have to do it yourself. If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.

Many photographers enjoy the creativity involved in using a camera to capture moments in still images that can later be used for art, news or even science. We’ve listed the pros and cons above of becoming a photographer