Virtually everyone who has started a photography business has asked themselves this question. The short answer is “it depends,” but this video gives you five solid questions you can ask yourself if you need to make the all-important decision.
In this video from Adorama TV, Pye Jirsa of SLR Lounge breaks down this difficult-to-answer question into five somewhat less difficult dichotomies. Being a photography educator, Jirsa is well placed to be able to condense this subject into something more elemental, having seen thousands of aspiring photographers cross his path over the years. I love his analogy of his friend’s coffee ritual in relation to his first point of process versus efficiency. When we’re shooting or editing an image for ourselves, we can take our time with it, play with it. However, if it’s something for a client, then it’s just another thing that needs to get done that day.
I learned this the hard way. When I started out shooting interiors, I went through each image with painstaking precision. After a while, I realized that different types of clients had different expectations and needs. Lower-paying clients who just needed decent images as quickly as possible received HDR images, while the bigger clients got the works. I just didn’t put everything in my portfolio. Not much passion in that, is there? But what it does is it allows me to concentrate on projects that I do enjoy. I’m still working — and I’ve developed efficient strategies for every type of project — but the work is that bit easier to manage.
Did you consider any of Jirsa’s points before becoming a professional?