From Student to Professional

I’m not going to waste much time going into excuses as to why I haven’t updated the blog nor posted since November, when I linked my final dissertation film to the world. I’ve been busy. Let’s just leave it at that and move on!

So, during my hiatus, I’ve been keeping myself quite busy. I went to Chicago, I went up north in Michigan, I got a job, I bought a super expensive camera, I played in a billiards tournament, I moved to Royal Oak…all in no particular order.

I suppose the latest and greatest, though, is that I’ve decided to start freelancing photography.

The logo that my very talented sister, Julia, designed for my business.

The logo that my very talented sister, Julia, designed for my business.

Getting paid to photograph people, places, and things was honestly something I never gave any serious thought to. I think I’ve always felt I never had the talent, much less, the ego, to consider asking money for my images, but with a new rent bill to foot and more photographic equipment calling out to me, I’ve decided to give it a go and see where it takes me.

For anyone who isn’t involved in photography or who doesn’t any photographer friends, photographic equipment is expensive. And by ‘expensive,’ I mean preposterously unreasonable. Good lenses start at around $600 and go up to $2,000. But a photographer will also need to accumulate lens filters, camera bags, microphones, and a tripod at some point, which, that grouping alone could all total +$500. All of these prices swimming around in my head have me wondering…is getting into freelancing even worth it? To truly flourish as a photographer, besides the ‘eye’ and business sense, let’s face it, good glass (lenses) and other equipment is a necessity.

Roll your eyes as much as you like, but I’m going to bring it up…I’m a Libra and will, guilt-free, read my horoscope every single week and a larger one, every month. Libras are not logical-minded business people. Many Libras think with their emotions and, while they may have grand business venture ideas, have little motivation or business-sense to make them realities.

Libras normally don’t jump to conclusions, whether it is concerning people, places, or ideas. But, having said that, once their mind has been made, it’s made, and they will do whatever it takes to carry out that goal.

So hmm…So what does my April horoscope say about all of this?

“The events that transpire now have actually been building since November 2012, when …new work and money seeds [were planted]. Perhaps an illustrious job offer or high-profile account will come to fruition. Whatever happens now will be for the best, even if you’re not crazy about having to ride the mega-winds of change. All of life, including your career trajectory, is a process. This may sound cliché, but that old Zen saying is true: every step of the journey IS the journey.
Whatever comes your way, address it directly and systematically. Tap a trusted mentor for advice. Pick up a journal and devote three mornings a week to writing about your dream job. Commit to a more positive frame of mind. This new opportunity to grow could mean sacrificing some of your freedom or that flexible schedule you’ve grown so attached to.”

I can take that! While the stars may be in favor of me committing to this new photography business, a famous and very true saying about photography is “You can be the best photographer in the world, and still starve if you don’t know how to run a business; or you can be a mediocre photographer and make millions if you are a good business person.”

So my photographic and creative skills are almost pointless without any business sense. Aaand, that, dear reader, is where I need the most help.

The transition from student to professional hasn’t been without its bumps. Most of my friends know that my life has been anything but stable and my schedule, anything but regular. Some of my current goals revolve around vamping up my productivity and organization. That being said, I need to devote more time to the business by getting more organized and becoming quicker and more efficient at my edits, rather than drawing them out over two or three weeks. I’m realizing that having a 9-5 job (which more often than not is actually an 8:30-7 job) is very time-consuming! Which sounds pretty obvious, it’s a job, but making that transition from student to professional is a big adjustment. There isn’t exactly a manual written on these sorts of things. And the warnings we experience from elders about these types of transitions are usually handed out between high school and college. Hell, I can even remember being told in 5th grade to prepare ourselves for 6th grade, or middle school, where we wouldn’t get recess anymore, and had to stay in class all day long.

Alas, life drives on and all I can do now is to enjoy being the passenger. When the opportunity arises, I’ll take the wheel, but growth should be steady and consistent, right? Right?

So here goes my shameless self-promotion: like my Facebook page, or don’t like it, but look at it. You could even be so bold as to tell your friends about me (I can guarantee I have the lowest rates in town)! Lastly, ask questions and make comments – What has your student – professional transition been like? What sorts of business tips do you have?

Until later, TTFN!

TTFN (Ta-Ta For Now)

TTFN (Ta-Ta For Now)

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2 thoughts on “From Student to Professional

  1. Didn’t I ask you to be a photographer for me in November?? Hmmm sounds like this horoscope is pretty spot on.

    As a fellow Libra, I can only hope the same will be true for me.

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