Blognotes from a photographer life...

Aug 20, 2010


If you are passionate with bricolage (Do It Yourself) generally you don't wish to become a carpenter! For years I have wondered why this is different in photography: whoever has a camera thinks that the obvious way to evolve is to go professional. Nothing is wronger then this, of course. First of all if you are a pro you must photograph not only what your client wants rather then what you like, but also in a way that responds as close as possible to the client needs and not to your personal creativity. This is the exact opposite of any photographer wish and dream.
I understand very well that the idea of earning a life through traveling and taking pictures is a great attraction to many, but this possibility is long gone (see the recent posts on the crisis of travel photography) and the opportunities of something similar are fewer and fewer as the days passes by. We, my generation and few others, were lucky enough to have some of these opportunities, but time have changed for good (for bad, actually!).
So, why would you want to become a professional photographer today? If your passion is photography, go for what you like to do and forget the business side. If you are good that will be the natural consequence of your evolution, eventually. If travel and/or documentary are what you like (as it is in the vast majority of cases) use photography as your way of interpreting and going deeper into the situations you find. Leave the thought of a possible publication: it's a far possibility that will spoil your true expression. Instead free your creativity and vision into a personal and innovative way of reporting: if you are really good success will find you.
Going professional is a though choice, a difficult way to follow, especially nowadays. Business matters will be well prevailing over aesthetic ones, and few people have this in mind (or are able to face it). I think that if you are really willing to do something in this life you can achieve it. But this is true for a few, capable and determined guys. If you think you are one of them...


  1. Why you don't want other photographers to become professional, I would ask, actually.

  2. And why, Valerio, you think I don't want others to be' pro? I Said a totally different thing.. If, if, you want to be' free don't go pro.. But, do what you like.. Believe me, 1000000 pro or 1000001 wan't makò a difference...:-)

  3. You said a pro can't only take photos that he likes, but he must take photos for the customers, for a firm, or for an agency or what else... There is no much freedom in a pro life, seems to understand...
    I think it's true in a great part of situations, but I have to ask you, how you make, nowadays, your own choices?
    To organize a trip in a place or in other place (in example) is a someone request or become from a your idea, a personal project, and you have to try to sell the made shots after to the agencies or to the magazines...
    The difference is about freedom or obligation... is also about invest your own money in these trips or going with a someone else budget (or a sponsor)...
    Sorry for my curiosity, but these were the questions i never had answered...
    Thanks for your time.
    (e grazie anche per le tue tante bellissime foto)

  4. I understand what you're saying but I do believe that Art and Commerce go hand in hand. There doesn't have to be an either/or situation. I love photography and want to be published as much as possible for the projects I work on. This requires knowledge of the business side of photography. I love what I am doing and I don't go around taking photos thinking "oh, I hope that this publication or that publication buys this series". I remain true to me but if anyone or any publication on the whole likes what I've done, I have to be savvy enough to conduct business with them, reaching a win/win situation.

  5. What you are talking about is not "being professional" in the term of the word. A pro is somebody that works for living out of this job. This requires that you follow requirements from your client (being a magazine, a different company, or else..).
    When you work on your projects is a totally different case..