I enjoy having money. It is why I work. Money is what makes things possible in many ways! Money is not why I do photography though and for several very good reasons. There really aren’t many photographers that will get rich from photography, it is my hobby first and escape from work, and my photography is about what is important to me not what sells.
It ain’t the $$$
Photography is not an easy way of making money, and it’s not like I have big plans of being rich through other means! It is competitive and forces long hours that stretch from the early mornings till late in the evenings. Creating a profitable business isn’t possible for everyone and in the ever more challenging subcategory of landscape photography, it doesn’t get any easier.
Like many others, I have a different career that I pursue professionally outside of photography because the money is there. It allows me to survive and put additional money into making my photography thrive. The time I am not working can be spent with family, friends, and hobbies that I enjoy like photography! If I were doing landscape photography full time, I would have to sacrifice the money or the time with others in addition to losing photography as a true hobby!
It is my favorite pastime. I could spend hours and days watching photography videos, studying images from others, and being in the field myself capturing images and then processing them. I like this hobby of mine quite a bit! I have made a small business out of it which I have print sales from occasionally. However, I don’t push that to the point of feeling like work and I don’t feel a need to. Since I am able to leave photography as an avocation the allure is never lost.
Selling vs Creating
It is important in a job to be focused on doing things that aren’t just activities but doing things that lead to results. The things that just feel good or are interesting in work are not likely to be everything that makes up a day in the office. I like to photograph some things and process in specific ways that don’t appeal to others. That is ok with me and I don’t feel pressured to change at all.
If I were forced to always be selling, producing, and bringing in money through my photography it would force me to compromise in some ways with what I shot and how I process. The forest images I have enjoyed capturing over the last year may not have happened. I wouldn’t have the time to fine-tune my composition skills and try out things that might not work so well. If I were to always be trying to sell and create things that sell I would probably be finding something that works and using the same formula over and over. Perhaps this appeals to some people out there, but I like to live by the saying of “variety is the spice of life”.
Chasing a passion professionally isn’t always possible. Of course, if you can keep something enjoyable like it were as a hobby and earn your income from it that is always ideal. I am still working towards some way of making this landscape photography business happen without compromising on what makes me enjoy it today. Nevertheless, it is ok to let your hobbies be just that. This can be applied to many things if you enjoy baking, crafts, woodwork, car maintenance, etc… Having a career (or multiple careers) in something unrelated to your hobby can be a good thing! Just make sure that in the pursuit of a dollar you don’t lose your mind or soul. It isn’t worth it!