Photography isn’t my job

Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. That’s the saying, right? What can also happen, though, is that by doing your hobby as work you can suck all of the joy out of that hobby for yourself.

I make some money doing photography. But, by and large, my photography is for me. And I plan on keeping it that way. If someone wants to pay me to take a few photographs – great. That helps me to justify buying photographic equipment for no other reason than to learn how to use it. However, because I have other means to make a living I do not have to do any photography I don’t want to do. I’ve turned down several jobs simply because I didn’t want the pressure, or the project didn’t interest me, or the pay wasn’t good enough.

A recent post on the Flickr blog by Lou Noble of The Photographic Journal had me nodding my head in agreement. Here are some bits of it.

You can enjoy taking pictures, making art, engaging in the act of creation, as something totally separate from work, separate from stress, maybe even separate from other people, if that’s your thing.

And

The notion that we have to turn every skill and talent into something that generates revenue… I’ll tell ya, it ignores a crucial aspect to healthy living: joy.

And

Not everything has to be a job. Not everything has to result in getting paid. Most of my favorite things do not give me money.

Very true. I hope to continue making photographs for me. To continue to improve in my photography to the point where I feel like I’m making great photos. And I don’t mind earning a few dollars here and there while I learn. But other than that, photography isn’t my job.

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