Someone: "Can you take pictures of me/my family/baby/new business/car/?"
ME: "Njääh, sorry mate, I don't have the sufficient camera/lens/lights/mental capacity"
I am incredibly talented, wait for it, at making excuses because I’m not fully confident in my photographic ability.
I love photography, I really do, and have so for more than half my lifetime. I shoot a lot, publish my works quite a bit, and enjoy photographing very different kinds of scenes. I have made a relatively impressive amount of money over the years with photography, thanks to this place and only this, compared to your average shooter who just posts everything on Instagram and only does a paid gig once every blue moon. But as of now and going forward as a profession, I can not sustain myself like this, I need to start shooting for actual clients. Yikes.
I’m not a very career oriantated person, at all actually, never have been. Quite frankly my dear, I don’t give a shit. What ever I do, I just wanna do it well, I never really think if that will make me money. I wholeheartedly believe that if you are good at something, people will hire you, so it’s not something I concern myself with. Sure I want to make lots of money but I’m not great at compromising my comfort to make a coin, but more importantly, I hold my work to the highest standard, and if I can’t promise that, I won’t do it and I don’t want your money.
I have to start thinking contrary to what is natural to me, and start thinking what I need to do to make money with photography. When someone needs my services, I want to be able to say, yes 100% I can deliver what you need, and even better than what you expect. If I have any doubts or many doubts, I refuse to do it.
So, I have devised a plan; eliminate excuses one by one until I have no choice but to just do it. I have no way of knowing exactly what I’ll shoot professionally, only some ideas, but here is the aspects I need to consider and what is the current status.
I can’t think of a shoot I couldn’t do with the camera I have, so I’m good here.
Unless I need to shoot macro, architecture or wildlife, which I’m not too interested, I can get by with the lenses I have. 135mm Sigma Art is still on the shopping list but I can do most things with its little sister 85mm.
Computer and post process✅
Macbook and Photoshop, I’ve got this. Will need to upgrade the computer at some point in time but not a concern right now. Photoshop I'm always learning more about.
Ability to see photographs and know what is good ✅
I would say this is an aspect I am very confident in, I see images well, can analyse them and best of all, I know what is good photography. It’s also very important to know what kind of photography is needed for the occasion. My opinion about a photograph is the absolute and only truth obviously.
This is why I go to school and am always studying at home too. From the basics of exposure to understanding lighting gear. The former I know, the latter I’m studying really hard on to get good with it.
Light, the most important thing in a photograph. If there is no light, there is no photo. If I was only shooting for my own pleasure just whenever I feel like it, fine, use available light, love it, but as a profession, fat change. I live way up north on this globe and for majority of the year, quality light is in short supply. There is no way one would be able to take good business headshots mid-November on an afternoon in an ugly office with only halogens way up in the ceiling. How about fresh looking food or product shots, or clothing catalogue where you shoot 100 looks in a day and the light can't change at all, not happening without artificial lights you can control. Lights and light modifiers are my main goal of research and learning right now.
Backgrounds, different colours and textures, something to hold them up. Flags, v flats, scrims, etc studio gear. Stools, steps, tables. The more you know god damn it... I have none of this yet. This is something that I’ll need to build to over the years to suit my needs.
Car and a studio🆘
A girl will dream.
Hardest part of photography to an introvert, but once I have everything else sorted, there is no more excuses left for me. When I have the gear, knowledge and time, so I just have to go and execute it. I will leave this part as the last thing because it scares me the most.
Realistically, my biggest need right now is light. I am asked to shoot this and that more and more, but I can’t take jobs because I can’t know if there is light for me to use. Most people don’t have high expectations or they settle for less, but even if someone pays me, if I don’t think the results will be up to par, the shoot is not happening and I don’t negotiate on it. I was asked to do some shots and thought okay fairly easy, until I walked past the space and fuck me, even at the best time of day, on a sunny weather, it's a dungeon. No way I could make due with only available light.
The more I research speedlights and modifiers, the more I'm understanding that it is in fact possible to create amazing images with them. I've just been so against them because no joke, 99% of the images using speedlights I see, are actual garbage. Only a handful of people can mimic beautiful available light with speedlights and I fully intend to one day be in that group. Many of the best portraits I have seen are taken with artificial light, but you can't tell from the image unless you really know what to look for, and sometimes it's impossible to tell if it's natural light or speedlight, that's magical.