Leave it to me to want a job that is not only stressful – but also doesn’t pay well. That’s what CNNMoney says about commercial photography.

While I don’t know what CNN consider’s “commercial” photography, I do know that the median pay of $43,600 seems high compared to surveys I’ve seen by Kodak for the entire industry.

In any event, the point is that if you’re interested in becoming a professional photographer, don’t do it for the money. There are of course exceptions to this rule. I’ve done quite a bit better than $43,600 a year thank you – and so have many of my friends. But we are the exceptions.

Being a professional photographer is a competitive, stressful and sometimes difficult job. And it typically doesn’t pay well. So why would you want to do it?

I’ll tell you why…

Because you have to. Because deep down in your soul – it’s eating away at you. Because it’s all you ever wanted. You need to be creative. You need to tell the stories of the people, places and things around you. You need to document your world. You need to do something that will last longer than you. You need to communicate. You need to find and share your voice. You need to do something that’s meaningful and that matters.

Photography is in your blood. It’s part of your make-up. You are stuck on photography.

If THOSE are your reasons, then go forth and prosper. Get busy and work hard. But don’t stop there. Work smart. Who knows, maybe you’ll break through the stress and the low pay. But even if you don’t, if being a professional photographer is in your blood you can’t get away from it. I know – I tried. I tried several times. The longest I ever lasted was six months. You might as well give in to it. If it’s in your blood, your doomed. :)


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