Gonna Turn Frustration into Inspiration
Being a freelance photographer is hard. Really hard.
Man, I have to just be honest here and let you all know, I am having a tough time right now. See, I want to be a photographer, I want to only be a photographer and support myself on my work alone. I don’t want to work for the man anymore, I want to take care of myself.
I started photographing as a “business” in 2007. I have grown quite a bit since then, but knowing that it’s been 5 years is also very frustrating. I’ve seen other people start up after me and go on to be a “bigger name” already than I am. It’s very hard for me to not compare myself to other photographers, I try so hard not to, but it’s just inevitable that it will happen.
I’ve become increasingly frustrated with the sort of name game that happens, so much depends on you just getting to be popular…like much of life it’s “who you know”, which can be just exhausting.
I’m also very upset by people who seem to think I am charging too much, or that want trade all the time. I love doing trade, I think it’s an awesome system. I can do photos, you can model well and improve my portfolio, awesome. But I can’t do that all the time, it’s not possible. My equipment and props and everything is so expensive. I don’t think people realize how much it can cost to have setups and props and clothing and editing software and a computer and everything it all entails.
That’s why it’s so hard for me when people are beyond excited to shell out $400 to shoot with a “big name.” Not that I am as good as photographers who charge that much for a shoot, I know I am not, but I’m not horrible either. It’s just a hard thing to try to sell yourself and know what to charge and ask for what you deserve, but know that people are struggling with money, almost all of us are. Trying to “sell yourself” and your business is very tricky and can be confusing at times.
Another frustrating thing is that lately I’ve been really wanting to get into some pinup magazines to get my name out. But none of them pay, most of them don’t even offer a free copy of the magazine. It’s a very silly system because these companies are making money and not “sharing” it…but getting into many of those magazines will help me get my name out, which may lead to more recognition and more shoots. I just feel like I’ve been trying so long and doing so many favors and so much work without pay just to get my name out. It’s so very frustrating and tiring.
I don’t mean to whine, and I know this is all part of doing what I do, but sometimes I just get beyond frustrated. It’s gotten to me for the past week or so and I know I will get over it and keep going, but I’m having a hard time with all the politics of it right now. I hope I don’t come across as bitchy or grumpy or anything like that, just wanted to vent a little.
I have a lot of ideas brewing that are more creative and more exciting to me and a little less with an emphasis of making a “business” and just on making art again. Unfortunately the materials I need to execute these ideas cost money, it’s always something! But I will get there and I feel very confident in myself and my abilities. I just need to keep growing and keep my eyes on my own progress and try to stop comparing so much!