What’s your photo motivation…money or practicing the art?


Money is what makes the world go around unfortunately. We use it to buy things we need and some spend their entire lives in pursuit of more of it. To me money is a fantasy, It is numbers moves around on a computer screen and from account to account. We should all ask ourselves from time to time so we don’t forget… “ Did I start doing Photography just to make some money or because I love the art and craft of making images?”

I have always been interested in art and the money is secondary to me. I want to slowly build myself into a Professional rather than always spending my time trying to figure out how I can make some dough in the Photography business. I feel that if my work is good and I deliver results on time to clients then the money will soon follow. It’s about building a following of your work and a reputation for quality.

If money was my main reason for spending hours on researching locations and driving for hours on end to get one shot at five in the morning then I may as well sell all of my gear and get a small point and shoot camera instead. Using money as a reason for doing anything is a foolish way to think and it will show in the work that is made. I admit there is a certain amount of frustration sometimes when I think about the subject of money, But I do also keep in mind the things I do have.

Your passion for your work and the willingness to give up a night out on the town or an expensive cell phone plan to achieve your goals shows dedication. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to make a living doing Photography professionally and this is a goal I am working towards. In the meantime I can use this time of “Artistic struggle” to really focus on producing better work.

Pursuing this dream of mine is a lot like the foundation to a building. (Excuse the cheesy metaphor…It was either this or a baseball  one.) You start slowly, Marking the location of where you want the building to go. You take your time in making sure the foundation is level and square so the resulting structure is solid and won’t collapse. If all I did was worry about how I was going to get paid for building the structure then I would ultimately miss something and the work would be terrible.

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8 thoughts on “What’s your photo motivation…money or practicing the art?

  1. I agree with everything you said Andy. Really if it was about the money then I wouldn’t be a photographer. Life isn’t about the money it is what you make it to be. I chose to be a happy photographer. Following my passion is my dream and my life.

    • Thanks for the comments Cindi! Sometimes in my social media travels you come across folks who may be into it for the paycheck. Thats fine but I think it shows in the work. Im a visual person and I do love the medium. Its a great feeling to produce something with your own skills that people enjoy.

  2. Great post!
    Every once in awhile, I start feeling the “I need to make some money” monster creep into my thinking. What happens next is that I go into overload and eventually burn out and crash. My spirit and my work suffers.
    Of course there is a certain amount of reality that we have to accept when it comes to money, but the truth is, if that was the most important thing to me, I would have finished my degree and become an accountant.

    I second what Cindi said “I chose to be a happy photographer”……..

  3. I love taking photographs, but I hardly consider myself a photographer … yet. I still have to work my day job! I take photos because I enjoy capturing moments and because I love being creative and artistic. I’d love to make money as a photographer, but I have yet to do so. The small amount that I have made has been invested right back into my art – whether that’s a new lens, filters, software, hardware, etc. I’m with you – I hope to develop my art to a point where people want to hire me/buy prints because of the quality of my work. I’m still trying to get there …

    • You will Joseph…I am in the same boat but it gets better year after year as my skills improve. You have to start somewhere.When I started with digital I started at the ground up learning how a camera works. I knew if I relied on full auto I would never get to where I wanted to be with the art. I too enjoy the work and have a passion for it.

      • I work hard at photography because I have a passion for it and want to improve my skills, Not because when I first set out to learn it that I wanted to be rich from it. Read Ansel Adams autobiography…He started shooting at a young age but he slowly cultivated his technical skill into a rewarding career. I doubt he started shooting because he wanted to be rich. He was passionate about his subject matter which was mostly landscapes.

  4. If your just going to do it only for passion etc, then your just a serious amateur. But if your really just doing it for the money and working your ass off every single day to become a professional, then your doing it to be a pro. Good post though.Love the new photos!

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