Should You Turn Your Passion for Photography Into a Business?

Virtually everyone who has started a photography business has asked themselves this question. The short answer is "it depends," but this video gives you five solid questions you can ask yourself if you need to make the all-important decision.

In this video from Adorama TV, Pye Jirsa of SLR Lounge breaks down this difficult-to-answer question into five somewhat less difficult dichotomies. Being a photography educator, Jirsa is well placed to be able to condense this subject into something more elemental, having seen thousands of aspiring photographers cross his path over the years. I love his analogy of his friend's coffee ritual in relation to his first point of process versus efficiency. When we're shooting or editing an image for ourselves, we can take our time with it, play with it. However, if it's something for a client, then it's just another thing that needs to get done that day.

I learned this the hard way. When I started out shooting interiors, I went through each image with painstaking precision. After a while, I realized that different types of clients had different expectations and needs. Lower-paying clients who just needed decent images as quickly as possible received HDR images, while the bigger clients got the works. I just didn't put everything in my portfolio. Not much passion in that, is there? But what it does is it allows me to concentrate on projects that I do enjoy. I'm still working — and I've developed efficient strategies for every type of project — but the work is that bit easier to manage.

Did you consider any of Jirsa's points before becoming a professional? 

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Eric Robinson's picture

Great message, interesting video, very good slick presentation but please loose the jangly piano track as it does nothing for the video and becomes a real distraction once your ear hooks onto it.
An aside...many years ago I attended a presentation on video editing given by David Gamble. His words of wisdom I took away was .... the motivation for the cut.... overtime I myself added ..... everything on the timeline needs a reason to be there.... from what I could hear the jangly piano has no reason for being there.

ocube O's picture


Rey cisneros's picture

I have always love the art of photography and have done a few weddings , events ect since I have been lay off I have upgrades my photo equipment and thank God for YouTube I have a web site. I need connections and I need to meet videographer thanks for the platform. New York long iland

Catherine Bowlene's picture

Interesting video, but opinions always differ. For me it's a huge NO, because I get burnt out quickly if I turn my hobby into my profession. I just get tired of all the things connected to it since this activity becomes compulsory and I know for sure that even though I can spend the whole night perfecting my shots in Photoworks now, I'll hate it all once it is my job and not a hobby anymore.