Do I have to be in business to be a "real" photographer? This is the question I have been asking myself lately. And, it's a question I have been discussing with some of my close photographer friends.
I have always been in business. Before I was a photographer, I ran a very successful online retail store. Before that, I learned everything about running a business, sales and marketing from helping my parents with theirs. So yeah, you can say "entrepreneurship" kind of runs in the family.
After having a professional photography business for more than 3 years now, I am reevaluating this decision. Maybe, being a professional photographer is just not my cup of tea. Let's face it, I don't enjoy sharing my family time on the weekends after homeschooling my 4 boys and devoting time in teaching a workshop all week long.
At the end of the day, there are 3 things I absolutely LOVE in photography:
- documenting my family
- travel photography
- teaching Embrace The Grain Workshop
I don't care if I ever sell a print or get published. If I do, awesome! If I don't, I'll just keep on doing what I am doing right now - enjoying my love in creating and sharing photography and art.
So, my question is "do I have to be in business to be "legit"? Can I just shoot only my kids and family and still be a "photographer"? I know many online workshop instructors are professional photographers, some are "super stars" in photography. Can a hobbyist photographer get the same respect as a pro?
What do you think?
I would love to know how many Little Bellow Fans are professional photographers and how many are hobbyists (see poll below)? And if you are a hobbyist photographer, do you feel you are less "real" because you don't take client sessions? Leave me some advice friends!