Lately I have been feeling extremely stressed about trying to be a photographer.
I have been shooting for years now, spent a long time perfecting my portfolio and learning this trade. Had a couple gigs shooting events, a couple wedding gigs, and a couple people actually willing to hire(pay) me for a portrait session but considering the size of my portfolio and how long I have been shooting now(6+ years), I have started losing all of the passion that drove me in the beginning of this journey. Everyone wants to shoot with me, but no one wants to pay me. I can’t keep up with the trends, the technology, constantly posting things on social media when I need to work full time jobs to pay for life because I am not making enough as a photographer to sustain myself.
I quite frequently ask myself, “What am I doing wrong? Why doesn’t anyone want to hire me? How do I market myself better? Is it my art, or do people just not like me in general?”
My dreams and aspirations feel extremely out of reach at this point, and I am questioning whether or not I should even continue trying to achieve this.
Everyone I try to talk to about this says the same thing…”You’re work is amazing, don’t give up, you’ll get there. Don’t give up on your dreams, it’ll happen.”
As much as I would love to believe them and appreciate their kind words, all I hear is blah blah blah. I have been trying for so long, I followed everyone’s advice, I quit my day job and tried for literally YEARS to make it as a photographer and just keep end up having to go back to work because I wouldn’t be able to eat if I didn’t.
I am not looking for “fame” – I am just looking to be able to do what I love, and only what I love. I just want to be able to put food on the table from having regular photography gigs, and from print sales. My feeds fill up with more and more photographers, all able to afford the newest gear, constantly talking about amazing clients and shitty clients, and I can’t help but be discouraged. What am I supposed to do? I can’t keep up, I don’t follow trends, and there are just SO MANY photographers these days, what is going to make someone even hire me over someone else…especially when I have such a weird style.
I am not sure if this is just a rant, or a cry for help…
Is there anyone out there that has any advice for me besides don’t give up?