The best term I can use to describe my “photographer self” these days is “hobby photographer”. I’m in the process of relocating with no set date for “the big move” so I’m unable to book clients in either location at the moment, even though I’m dying to shoot. So… I shoot for “me”. I’m a hobby photographer.
But please understand that while I am not actively pursuing clients, my “hobby” still costs me money. Beyond that, it is my passion, my dream, and hopefully my future. And while I don’t ever want to be so big for my britches that someone is afraid to reach out to me and ask about collaborations, I also don’t want to be taken advantage of.
Forefront in my mind all of the time when it comes to my friends and their hobbies/businesses is “how can I support them?”.
“But what if they’re your competition?”
There’s enough success out there for everyone, I’m still going to support those friends of mine who are hustling in their entrepreneurial lives, who are living with the self-doubt that laces all of the little successes of being any kind of business owner.
I don’t “hoard” my photos and charge for their every use. I don’t roll my eyes when I get a request for a collaboration. I take photos because I love taking photos. Do I need to make money to keep doing it? Absolutely. I’m a horse owner, I don’t have any extra cash! But I’m also a passionate photographer who believes in the value of community over competition.
I enjoy “talking shop” with other photographers or “hobby photographers” on Instagram. I love sharing any knowledge I have stumbled upon, I love the feeling of helping someone else inch toward achieving their dreams and goals and I believe we are all capable of doing our part to create a feeling of community and if we do that, we are all succeeding.