Guest Post & Photo by Valerie Jardin

One of the greatest satisfactions in the world is to turn your passion into a successful business. While most photographers have no desire to make a living behind the camera, it remains the ultimate goal for many. With skills and a lot of hard work the dream can become a reality. Among all the sacrifices to get there, there is one that is often ignored but can have a devastating impact on your dream if left untreated.

Like anything else, when your passion becomes a job, it can quickly become a chore. It happened to me and many other fellow photographers at one point in their career as pro shooters. For me the loss of interest was gradual, I started forgetting my camera at home on weekends. After processing images all week for clients, I did not even want to look at my computer screen to edit my personal work on my days off. I was starting to lose the passion and the vision that had driven me to make the jump to turning pro in the first place. For many months I was reluctantly pressing the shutter and even considered quitting. I am glad to say that today my passion for photography has never been stronger nor my business more successful. What caused the switch?

I started working on personal projects and sharing my work with other photographers and photography lovers. I started a blog dedicated to only my personal photography work as well as a Facebook page where I feature my personal work and my commercial photography. I also share the work of other photographers I discover along the way. I also started writing tip articles and photo gear reviews, multiplying the opportunities to meet others with the same passion for photography. We are very fortunate to be part of a very generous and sharing community. Sharing your love for the craft helps fuel your passion and dedication.

All of a sudden my efforts paid off. My passion for photography was soon rekindled and my work got better. The results were also apparent in my professional work, I felt more confident and it showed. This change in attitude gave me the edge to better sell myself as a commercial photographer and gain new clients, which in turn allowed me to find a niche and specialize in photography genres that I truly love.

Whether you are thinking of turning pro or are already making a living as a photographer, be aware that this can happen and there are simple steps to avoid it.

-Reach out to the photography community.
-Share your personal work in a blog, on FB or other social media platforms
-Give yourself self assignments on your days off.
-Meet others who share the same passion, go on photo walks with other photographers.
-Start a photo/day or a photo/week project.
-Get out of your comfort zone and try new techniques. Experiment in photography genres that youve never done before. Try a lens that you don’t use for work, just for the fun of it (macro lens, special effect lens, experiment with HDR, etc.)
-Set some goals, write a list of things you want to photograph and do it!

The opportunities are limitless. Just know that if this loss of passion happens to you, its okay and youre not alone. You will find your muse again, and learn from the experience. Chances are, your passion for photography will be stronger than ever as a result.