"Ask Me Anything..." is a weekly blog segment where I answer your questions about photography, me, or...anything. Check back next Monday on my Instagram and Facebook pages where I'll be taking all of your questions.
1-What aspect of being a full time photographer do you enjoy the least?
When I decided I wanted to be a photographer I kind of envisioned this amazingly glamorous life where I get to travel and take pretty pictures for a living. And, to some extent, I get to travel and take pretty pictures a lot of the time. What I didn't anticipate though was the tireless amount of energy put into actually running a business. It's not always glamorous.
I've always thought it's pretty sick and twisted to require a creatively minded individual, like most photographers, to be really great at business. This is an aspect of my career as a photographer that I've had to kind of learn along the way. Honestly, sitting down to go through things like bookkeeping, invoicing, taxes, permitting, and licenses is like pulling teeth for me. I feel like a little kid sitting at a desk in school and looking longingly out the window just wanting to go outside and play.
Here's the thing though...sitting down to do what you need to do in order to run a profitable and successful business is crucial to being able to keep living this dream. Having a keen business sense is what ultimately sets the dreamers apart from the doers and the hobbyists from the photographers who can make a living doing what they love.
2- Do you think it's harder or easier to be a full time photographer in southern California in comparison to other cities or states?
That's a tough question to answer because I've never run my business outside of California. I will say though, that the market in California is booming with new clients getting married every single day. Yes, there are A LOT of photographers in Southern California but there are also A LOT of clients in need of our services. This is a big part of the reason I'm such a big believer in helping other photographers improve. I don't see other photographers as competition because there's plenty of work to go around.
California photographers are also pretty lucky because we have better light, weather, and landscapes than many parts of the country. That golden, California light just can't be compared to anywhere else in my opinion. We also have the option to shoot in the desert, at the ocean, or in the mountains with only a short drive.
3- What resources helped you to grow in your photography knowledge like (some classes/college /or internet courses ). If there is, which would you recommend?
I'm a self taught photographer and I owe a lot of what I learned to the many resources available today. I began to learn the basics by looking up tutorials on Pinterest and YouTube. I then started reading books by photographers I admire like The Luminous Portrait by Elizabeth Messina or Fine Art Wedding Photography by Jose Villa. I also sought out any workshops or classes I could. Samy's Camera offers many hands on classes for beginners that I really learned a lot from. One of the biggest game changers for me was discovering CreativeLive. This is a great resources for online courses from some of the top professionals in the business. They don't just offer courses on photography either. It's a great resource for individuals who just love to learn or be inspired.
As for attending Photography School, I can't say one way or the other whether I'd recommend it. That's such a personal decision. I've had friends tell me it was a total waste of their money and other friends who had an amazing experience and wouldn't have done it differently. I think if you have the hustle and drive to learn though, it's definitely possible to teach yourself.