Ugly truth: becoming a photographer

Being a photographer is such an artistic job! It is so glamorous, fun and creative all at once. Every day you find yourself surrounded with nice beautiful people. You get invited to all the fashion events of the season. Models, designers and stylists are your best friends. You actually don’t even have to work hard, it is like getting paid for your favorite hobby.

Is this how you imagine us, photographers? Oh I bet you do!
Sorry to disappoint you, but you are being terribly wrong if you really believe that most photographers live like that.


Here is the ugly truth, my dearest friend:

becoming a photographer is a hard and not always pleasant work, as well as being one.
I am not saying that you have to study a lot or make beautiful photos, or have any fine art background to earn a lot or to make great photos, no.  Look at Terry Richardson, he makes usual pics with the same lighting every time and he gets paid very well. But this is one case out of a million. Even if you create pieces of art, you might not be paid a cent for it. A way to becoming well known in definite circles is complicated. A way to getting well known at least in your city is complicated.

In most cases you have to start from doing usual photo shoots to get some money for food and living. From shoots that you don’t really like and that you do not enjoy doing at all. You meet naughty, even stupid clients on your way.
That is inevitable. And that is normal.

What to do in this situation? Everything is simple. Work hard, learn new, develop your skills, do not give up. Because even the most horrible clients give you the opportunity to learn, to get closer to your dream. So be grateful for this chance to master your patience. Consider them a funny obstacle on your way.
Bad things happen to all of us. Some people get depressed by hard situations and give up what they are doing. Others turn it all into experience and carry on with their dreams.

It depends only on you whether you succeed or not.

Okay, enough with this motivational crap. Anyway you will have to figure everything out yourself when your decision on becoming a professional photographer is final. And for now I have a list of phrases and pearls from clients / models / photographers that people really said to me and keep saying.


Yes, that list is not hilarious or super funny. Yes, it does not make sense for usual people and those who are not involved in photography industry. But hopefully it will make you see what kind of people / questions / situations you might face on your way to fame.

– Your photo camera makes such wonderful photos!

– Sorry, I cancel the shoot. My friend just bought a professional camera, she will do it all for free.

– Are you telling me that I have to pay for a photo shoot? But I am beautiful, why should I pay you?

– Well, you will fix everything I want in Photoshop anyway. And change the background to Manhattan.

– I want something unique! What do you think?

– Why so expensive?? My friend makes me 100 photos for 15 Euros.

– Turn off the flesh! Don’t you know that you always have to turn it off? I do it when I make photos on my phone by the way.

– I will bring my mum and sister and brother and dog with me. I know you don’t really mind.

– Photoshop me as hard as possible, I do not like how my face looks here. (In a week after sending photos I get next message) My friends said me that I do not look like myself on the photos. I want you to delete all of them from your page / website.

– I want a photo shoot. How much will you pay me for this?

– Why are you shooting me with this lens, it looks too small? I want that huge one that’s in your bag!

– Where have you learned how to be a photographer? My sister wants to become one as well. Can you teach her next week?

– I have decided to buy myself a professional camera as well. Which one do I need to buy?

– How do you find my appearance? Will I become a famous model?

– I do not have money. Is it okay if I pay next month?

– What Photoshop will you suggest? The ones with frames and effects?

– I am going to receive a professional camera soon too! I will be a professional photographer. Are you happy for me?

– What are you doing there with your camera? Why does it take you so long? I thought you have a professional camera. It has to set all settings itself if it is professional

– What camera do you use? I want to buy the same to make photos like you do!

– I am paying for the studio, right? Will 30 minutes be enough for the shoot?

Looking for more ridiculous things people tent to say? Have a look at another article about funny things that happen at Time for Print or TFP photo shoots in Dublin, Ireland.



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