on January 11, 2023
Welcome to the Career Counsellor's office. She's away today so I'll be filling in...
So, I believe you want to be a photographer, eh? And you're not quite sure how to go about it. Well, the first thing you'll need to do is decide whether you want to be a photographer or to take photographs.
Puzzled? It's simple - some people fall in love with the image of the photographer. They might see it on advertisements for photographic gear and trade schools, or in a movie. The photographer is either rugged and macho or weepingly artistic, but they are always dressed in the latest fashion. And they go to wonderful places and have adventures. Love nearly always enters into the thing...in fact the amount of time spent taking pictures, processing them, and trying to get paid for it is only a minimal part of the plot. Most of it is romance.
Some people, on the other hand, want to take photographs - and they imagine that the press of a shutter button will do it. So it will, if you factor in the time setting up the camera and lights and props and set and contacts and model and location beforehand. And then processing and correcting and re-processing the resultant file...and buying new ink and cleaning the heads and trying to un-wrinkle the paper afterwards. And then trying to sell, deliver, and get paid for the images.
Just that one click of the shutter, eh?
You look pale. Now is the time to think of the things that make up the business. You'll have to factor in the self-promotion that you'll be doing to get a job, as well as the skills needed to actually do it. That self-selling will continue your whole working life - commercial, as well as social pressure will compel you to be out there contacting people, buying advertising space, holding classes, opening exhibitions, giving interviews, writing books, and generally glad-handing the entire world - all the time. If you fall behind, others will run before you into the spotlight, and your income and prestige will fall. You'll also be working for the ATO for a good part of your life, and they will not be all that grateful.
You're still looking pale.
Look, go away and have a think about this. Now is the time to decide whether you'd be better as an icon, a living legend, a national treasure, or a content creator. Influencer is also open, and artist is always a good choice if you don't want to eat regularly. Or you could study air conditioning.
Send in the next one, will you?