Product and service reviews are conducted independently by our editorial team, but we sometimes make money when you click on links. Learn more. Being a professional photographer may seem love the perfect gig. It's a creative outlet for people who are art-inclined, and photographers have great perks such as a flexible schedule and traveling. While it might be an ideal job for photographer, that doesn't mean it's always fun and glamorous.
Photography is an important field full of niche markets such as wedding and portrait photography, commercial and fashion photography, animal photography and more. Wondering what it's really like to work in photography? Business News Daily asked professional photographers what they love and hate about their jobs. Here's what they had to say. Chu: I have always been a people person, so I absolutely love meeting up with my clients and photographing them with their loved ones.
I also love developing a relationship with my clients.
Always with you
My clients trust me. They trust me to document their special day — whether it's a wedding or a family portrait. Chu: Fortunately, I have yet to experience a negative interaction with a client. However, I have had a few inquiries from random people asking if I give them the RAW [unedited] photos, would it lower my prices?
I think the hardest thing is trying to educate potential clients as to why you and your work are worth it. If you have to haggle with a client, they are simply not the right client. Hilary Hull: I am a wedding and portrait photographer based out of Savannah, Georgia.
I am the lead photographer on a husband-and-wife team that handle customer interaction, photograph weddings, and portrait sessions and [handle] the editing and marketing of Hilary Hull Photography. Hull: I love being able to deliver photographs to people to serve as a memory to them years to come. Whether that be their wedding day, annual family vacation or senior portrait, capturing those moments and getting the response afterward of how much they treasure the photos as their memory is without a doubt what I love most.
I love getting to help people in that way, and to be able to capture memories for generations to come to look at. Hull: The distrust that comes from some clients.
Why we do it: photographers and photo editors on the passion that drives their work
They don't always trust you as the professional to do your job. Not trusting judgment on lighting, location, or trying to control the photo shoot and expecting outstanding is often frustrating.
Laurence Norah: I'm a travel photographer, primarily landscape photography. I also teach photography and work as a photographer ambassador for photography brands. Norah: I love that moment of capturing a wonderful shot. Sometimes everything just comes together, and you can capture a truly beautiful part of the world.
Norah: I hate that sometimes, despite all your planning, you just can't get what you're after. Usually this is because of factors outside your control, like the weather. Spending two weeks chasing the northern lights in temperatures far below freezing, and just getting cloudy skies every night, is not fun. Brandon Ballweg: I photograph weddings as both a lead photographer and second shooter.
I also do portraits and family documentary photography. Lastly, I am an avid street photographer.
Ballweg: What I love most about my job is being able to express myself visually in a creative way, because I have always been a very visual person and would rather let my images speak for themselves rather than through words. I also enjoy the relationship that I build with clients, knowing that I captured beautiful and intimate moments of people and their families that they'll cherish forever.
Ballweg: What I hate most about my job is the stress-inducing pressure to perform, always be 'on' during a shoot, and deliver stunning. Joyce Lee: I am a commercial freelance photographer. Lee: Creating something completely from scratch is immensely satisfying. I love collaborating with other creatives to achieve a common goal.
I also enjoy the problem-solving aspect of photography. For [me], being a photographer is a right-meets-left-brain profession. I am constantly tapping into my creative and analytical sides when shooting. Lee: A large part of being a photographer is spent marketing and promoting your work.
This is less enjoyable than the actual creative process, but it is necessary when choosing to be a commercial photographer. Will Nicholls: I am a wildlife photographer and filmmaker from Northumberland, England. Nicholls: I have always had an interest in the natural world, and being a photographer allows me to make this my job. Exploring new environments and capturing images I have envisaged for months, sometimes years, is an incredible feeling.
It might be a new species or a new angle on an animal, but it is always fresh and interesting.
We asked photographers from all around the world what ‘love’ meant to them, and here are their responses (40 pics)
Nicholls: The amount of time that a photographer needs to spend in front of a computer screen is the biggest downside. Editing, catag and maintaining social media presences means that I spend more time in front of a computer than outside sometimes. I also run a nature photography blog, teaching others how to take photos, which takes a lot of time.
I do enjoy it, but I would love to be able to spend more time in the field. Will Deleon: I am a commercial-product and still-life photographer based in Los Angeles. Deleon: I love that I am able to be creative every single day and make a decent living doing so. There isn't a day I think of going to 'work' … I just get paid to do what I love.
Deleon: Not being tied down to a 9-to-5 [job] is something many aspire to achieve, but also fear. As you may already know, freelancing comes with the great price of instability. There may be times where there is no work and times where there is an overwhelming amount. It took some time to get it dialed in, but with the proper budgeting, it's not bad at all! I've operated the business sinceand I shoot 20 to 30 weddings per year — mostly in New England, although I occasionally love for destination weddings in the United States and abroad.
Griffin: I photographer the freedom my job affords me. Because I own the business, I'm the boss and get to plan my work hours around my family and personal needs. I can also choose which jobs to accept, where I want to advertise, my price point and what services I'll offer.
Personally, I find the stress of a wedding day thrilling, although I know this is not the case for many photographers. There are no do-overs when it comes to a wedding, but I love the challenge of it. Griffin: The thing I hate most about the job is the insecurity of not always knowing that your calendar will fill year to year.
It always seems to fill somehow, but there are lean times each year where you have to be diligent with your budget and work hard for your bookings. Wedding photography tends to be very seasonal. When this is your primary love, your business has to succeed, and although I've worked very hard at earning positive reviews, word-of-mouth referrals, positive vendor relations and community respect, I have few repeat customers. And that's a photographer thing — I'd rather have my clients stay happily married and never personally need a wedding photographer again.
But it means that I have to continually market and earn new business, versus a commercial photographer, fashion photographer or family portrait photographer that could have the same clients use their services year after year. Thomas Wasinksi: I am a full-time drone pilot and aerial photographer. I provide professional photos for real estate, hospitality hotels and golf courses and construction [companies], and live events. Wasinski: I love being able to provide stunning aerial perspectives for our clients. Since we use drones to capture some of our best work, we are in a niche market, [and we don't] have any competition in our market at this time.
Wasinski: I hate that I am not able to work on days that the weather is bad. Also, we can't deliver service to any location that is within 5 miles of any major airport. That makes it a little difficult to get involved in all the projects that our customers need us for. Melissa Chu, freelance lifestyle and wedding photographer. Hilary Hull, lead photographer at Hilary Hull Photography.
Brandon Ballweg, wedding and portrait photographer and founder of ComposeClick. Will Nicholls, wildlife photographer and filmmaker at Naturettl. Thomas Wasinski, drone pilot and aerial photographer for Aerial Agents.