What Exactly is a Professional Photographer
I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. I have a really hard time calling myself, “A photographer”. It gives you a label, what you do, who you are. Like, “I’m a doctor”, or “I’m a used car salesman.” It’s super easy for me to say that Al is a sculptor, but when asked what I do, the answer is…”I do photography.” See, that doesn’t give me that I’m a professional photographer label. Al insists that I am a professional photographer. It’s how I (try) to make money, I have sold my photos online, in stores, and at art shows. In terms of the dictionary definition of professional, I guess I’m there. But still…..
So what has been an ongoing dialogue both in my head, and with the hubby, has now evolved into my 2017 goals. I honestly can’t remember the last time I said I had goals for the new year, never mind wrote anything down, which I have done. The idea grew from a blog post I read last week. Funny how the universe works, you think about something long enough and almost certainly you will be handed some sort of an answer. This post on Improve Photography, 43 Goals to become a real photographer, got the wheels turning even more, and gave me some good ideas. 43 goals is kind of a lot, and some of these don’t apply to me at all. And, some of these I have done, or do already. But there are a few that I am going to implement, and I also came up with a few of my own.
First on my list was to take my photography seriously. Learn something new, perfect methods, and most important, find my photographic voice. I have a pretty good start on finding my photographic voice, but I need to refine it somehow, make it all mine.
This is one of my favorite photos from 2016, and also a very popular image as far as sales go. This is certainly in a voice that I like and want to explore more.
This is another favorite, and is similar to the raven in that I have used textures to make it unique.
But, I also like the pureness of wildlife photography. Nothing fancy, just showcasing the animals for what they are.
And black and white is pretty cool too.
Another goal is to shoot something everyday, no matter what, no matter where we are. This….is going to be hard. But sometimes when you look hard enough, you find some very cool things. Cobwebs on my heart is another 2016 favorite.
Two things that are mentioned in the article are, going through your images at the end of the year and picking 10 of the best. And also, using Lightroom to help you rate your photos as you edit them throughout the year. The article recommends choosing 1 image from each photo shoot that you can give 5 stars to in Lightroom. Then print these 5 star photos and place them in a book. I am doing both of these. I have gone through last years images, and picked some favorites, and I’m getting prepared to make my own little photo book with my best stuff for 2017. I just need to find a book.
This image is definitely in my top ten.
Learning new things is certainly something that every professional needs to be doing, always. There are so many things I don’t know about Photoshop, and I want to learn all I can. This image is different, but I learned some new things while making it.
I’m also doing the 52 week challenge again, that always get the brain thinking.
My end goal is to feel comfortable saying..”I’m a photographer.” Hopefully it won’t take a full year to get there. I would also like to make enough money from my photography to get a new camera. Al wants a camera of his own, so we can shoot together, especially when we visit the horses. So he could have mine.
Ok, your turn. Do you have goals for 2017? Would you like to share?