If you really want a shot at making a name for yourself in photography, you are going to do things you won’t like. It’s not all about the talent, getting the pretty picture and hoping the right people will see it and give you a call. Prepare yourself to become familiar with some of the things that will most likely make you miserable, but are also indispensable to your success as a photographer.
A lot of photographers think it’s easy to keep a small business going. Well it’s not, and accounting is part of the dirty work. Why not just hire an accountant you say? Because you will have a hard time finding work and getting paid in the first year, so let’s not talk about hiring extra help. Buy a good book on the basics of accounting, read it and get used to the idea of working with numbers.
You have to sell your work and yourself as an artist, otherwise, just sell your camera. Promoting yourself is something you already know you can’t survive without, but I would go as far as to call it selling. You might have to borrow some skills from used car salesmen with wigs, but given the fact you have to make it work, I would say you are going to do just fine. Just get over your ego and roll up those sleeves!
Oh how I love it when fresh art school graduates come face to face with real life and realize that they are not the cool artists they thought they were, who just click the shutter while somebody else does their dirty work for them. That level is achievable but, you are going to carry a whole lot of furniture and equipment for yourself and others before being even remotely close to that status.
Might as well do yourself a favor and hit the gym while you still have time to prepare.
Taking a lot of BS from others
Your best bet in this industry is to assist a known professional who gets a ton of work. It’s the best way to learn, make contacts and put your name on the radar. But it comes at a cost. You are going to have to take a lot bad treatment and smile in the meantime. If you go to work with a bad attitude, let’s just say you will be back to taking useless portraits of friends and posting them on Facebook in the hope that someone significant will see them. And in two years you will be applying for corporate jobs and hating yourself for being a sellout.
Being a chauffeur
Own a car for your own good. It is the most important investment you will make after buying a camera and a decent computer. You do not want to get an important contract with a big company for some corporate shots and move your studio gear via train or pay significant amounts of money to other people to drive you there. If your dad decides to give you his beat up Chevy, don’t say no just because it still needs some work. Buy him a beer because you will have a car do drive yourself and your gear to future assignments. The bad part is that you will also have to drive other people and run errands. That is if you decide to do the right thing and assist someone first.
Good luck, and remember that all this nasty stuff is just a fraction of the price you have to pay for living the dream.