The past few months I have been thinking a lot about my love for photography and trying to make a living from doing what I love. I started doubting myself why don’t I get any business? Is there something wrong with my work? Why can’t I approach people and tell them I am a photographer and that I would love to do a shoot with them. Why if people ask me what I charge I feel guilty about my pricing and always end up giving them discounts without them knowing it and still don’t get the business? Yes I am a self taught photographer and I don’t have any formal training but I love what I do. I work hard and keep learning new skills. I have changed my logo for a cleaner look. I branded the back window of my car. I also got myself a T- shirt with my logo on and on the back it says photographer and my cellphone number. I am a my own walking advertisement.
Sunday night I started watching a workshop I downloaded last year; Confronting your challenges. Sue Bryce said something that’s hitting a nerve. She said if you are not doing it you don’t want to do it. My first reaction was but I love doing it. Why did this upset me so much? Then later she talked about if you are a genuine photographer you will do anything to just take photo’s and to make a success of your business. I felt relieved that’s me. I will even shoot for free just to take photo’s. Two days before a shoot I do my planning. What props I am going to use what backdrops, what poses and I memorise it. I treat all my clients with respect and I give them my best if they paid for a shoot or got a voucher I sponsored. I get sick very easy and I did many shoots with a fever and aching body. I did a wedding last year while sick with food poisoning. This did not stop me. I can not disappoint my clients I made them a promise that I will give them beautiful photo’s/memories. I do love photography, I do want to be a photographer with all my heart and soul. When I walk in shopping malls and I see the windows I imagine how I would incorporate the items in a shoot. I don’t see a basket I see a baby in it. I don’t see a hat I see beautiful face wearing it…. When I drive around I would say wow this would make a beautiful photo…
Business have been very slow since the beginning of the year. Because of all the time I have on my hands I started editing vacation photo’s and I realized something very shocking… Isn’t vacation photo’s suppose to be all about the people that is with you, the activities that you do as a family? When I go through my photo’s 95 % of what I captured was birds, animals, flowers and landscapes… When I had my student what did I teach her to photograph 95% birds, animals, flowers and landscapes…. Now I am sitting with another question how do I make a living of photographing nature in all it’s beauty. How can I incorporate it in my business? Everybody that follows my blog will know that I use my nature photo’s and put quotes on them. Yes I have thought about selling them but how to market them? When I walk into stores and see the postcards I think by myself wow I have beautiful landscapes for postcards….
When I look back I started out photography with landscape photography and flower photography. When I got my Canon EOS 500D I started with bird photography. It was only when I had my website that I started focusing on portrait photography. Since then I have tried macro photography, Low light photography and I am not finished yet. I will not give up until I do it perfectly.
Don’t get me wrong I do love capturing weddings, babies, children, families, events and portraits. I get excited when I look at the back of my camera and see that I nailed a shot. When I edit I relive the shoot and when I get to the special moments I feel so happy that I got the chance to photograph them. I have a very important job! I capture moments and freeze them for eternity.
Okay now I am totally confused can one person love what they do so much that they can’t identify what she loves doing the most?
When I am in nature I am relaxed, I can sit on a rock for hours to get the shot that I want. I think it’s a lot like hunting and fishing… Nothing bothers me and I even catch myself talking to myself telling myself that this is the life. This I can do full time and it would be great if I can get paid for it too.
I love traveling and my long term plan was to go overseas in 2016. Well things did not work out like I wished and this plan will have to be moved on a few years. I asked for a map of South Africa for my birthday. I want to visit and photograph all the different towns, cities and parks in South Africa. This is a great project for me but lets face it without an income from my photography I am not able to do this. So to do what I think I really wanted to do from the very beginning I need funds.Travel photography is an expensive genre and for now I will only do this occasionally. My car don’t run on air, I don’t run on air and I need a place to lie down my head at night. South Africa is not the country it was many years ago where you can stop go lie on your back seat and sleep for an hour or two. It’s not safe. When I go on trips I always take the boys with or my mom and dad. LOL and by luck I will take a photo or two of them also (this is embarrassing to say and I feel ashamed).
When I am busy with a family/portrait shoot you are working against the clock. You have to produce a certain amount of photo’s. People are much more complex and one have to be very careful what you say. You deal with different identities the whole time and have to keep that in mind. Not everybody are extroverts not everybody like a camera pointing at them. 99% of women don’t like their bodies. When I look at a photo I just see the beauty shining through. They only see their ears, crooked teeth and nose… We can’t all be perfect, God made us and to Him we are perfect. Working with newborns and babies is my favourite. Why? Because I capture the innocence, beauty and the greatest gift of God. Yes it is stressful I may come across confident when working with the babies but inside I am praying that I don’t let them fall, bump their head or make them feel insecure. Also the new mommies are like a Lioness just waiting to pounce and take her precious bundle. When setting up you feel their eyes on you watching your every move. But when you show them the photo’s and see how their faces light up that is precious and then I know why I do it. Unfortunately I don’t do it enough anymore. There was a time where I did one a month and then it just stopped.I still get emails asking for my packages but that is where it stops. When I look at facebook I see they did their shoot at either a more expensive photographer or a cheaper photographer. This is when I start doubting myself and ask questions like what is wrong with my work?
In February started a glamour photography course that I bought last year . I have my models lined up for test shoots I just need to get through this course first. To be honest I started with a bang and then I got so depressed because I don’t earn any money and I stopped. I was not concentrating and frankly I did not feel like picking up my camera and practice and I am the one preaching to everyone that photography is 95% practice and 5% teorie.
My husband, boys and friends was suppose to go hunting the beginning of April 2015. Due to my depressed state I told them I am not going with I’ll rather stay at home and edit the event I did that weekend. God decided that He needed to help me out of this depressed state. My husband got a call a week before the hunting trip that they can’t go anymore. So our friends organized a house at Montagu Springs for the week. They asked me if I am coming with. I thought about it and decided why not. This breakaway did much more for me than anybody would realize. While sitting on the rock taking photo’s of the ducks I felt at ease. The next morning I woke up early took my camera and started walking and ended up in the dried up river taking photo’s. Once again God and nature came to my rescue…
Back home I was feeling much better and I was feeling more positive. I decided that in order to get more work I need to clean up my computer hard drive and also my external drives. First I needed to finish all my paid and free shoots. I finished the Sunshine festivals photo’s within 3 days. It normally takes me 2 weeks. I did a talent search but did not get paid for it. The contestants have to buy their photo’s… Not doing it this way ever again. I finished that in one day. Posted it online and are now waiting for the orders. I had a matric ball I finished this in 2 days and this normally takes me 4 days. While editing I realized that my I don’t need to do that much anymore. I only do the very basic tweaks on contrast, sharpening and cropping. The rest I already did in camera.
I am currently editing all my personal photo’s. Making space for all the work that is going to come in when I am finished with my course. Yes I have started my course again. Had to start at the beginning again and make sure that I nail every aspect of this course. The marketing part of it is a bit scary. I have trouble introducing myself and selling my services…. But I have to be positive that I will overcome this hurdle. If all goes according to plan I will in the near future get to Travel more and very soon my map will be one colorful pinboard…. Then I can start getting maps of other countries…
While writing this very long post I came to the conclusion that I love to capture everything and freeze special moments for eternity.
Photographing what I love……. EVERYTHING…
Thank you for stopping by.