It is not something new that you hear every once in a while that photography as a profession is highly underrated or that photography is a rich man’s hobby and god knows what all. Thriving in the modern era, building your passion up and then actually working towards it regularly is not an easy task. There are millions who earn millions but are not happy with what they are doing probably because of their own restrictions or because of the opinions of others. Everybody, every single soul alive whether actually aware or not has an opinion about everything and anything. So here am I sharing my opinion about what are probably the biggest challenges of being a photographer.
To boil down into 2 separate sections, there are two kinds of people who love photography. One who are professional photographers and that is their passion and occupation and the other category is the people who practice photography as a hobby.
BY POK RIE
For the people in the first basket, the biggest testimonial is probably copyright violations. Leave aside competition from other photographers and the expensive gear you need to purchase the most irritating part is the helplessness one feels when some third party uses your images for their benefit without giving due credit and is not ready to put the image down. In the era of mass social media every day, about 300 million that is 300,000,000 photos get uploaded on Facebook! And anything you, as a professional put up on facebook are available to the mass.
Plagiarism of the worst sort and unethical behavior at the most, even big companies and corporate have been a part of this infringement. That does not mean you will stop purring up your photos on the social platforms. To protect yourself try to maintain your own website, always site your name with photographs, use watermarks wherever possible, stay in touch with big names in the field who when needed can report any such act of violation and support you, use bodies like Artist Scope, Copysafe, Digimark to allow protecting your images or TinEye to reverse image search your photographs to know whether they are being used elsewhere. Do not be demoralized when something like this happens. Work towards getting it checked and keep the spirits high!
Now, coming down to the other category of hobby photographers, what I feel, first things first being there is nothing wrong in taking up photography as an avocation- something you do in your free time. But, what I have seen throughout my life when I meet such people is that there is this impending fear in their minds to take photography up seriously as a profession. There are so many people who are out there who want to travel, click and write but are implicitly scared to learn it in a skillful and polished manner to actually turn it into their bread and butter. So all I want to tell you that all those successful photojournalists and freelancers were just like you at some point in their life. But they dared to go out. They took it up as a challenge and paved a way out of this vicious circle and worked hard to achieve that. Take it as an inspiration and stand up to your dreams and no excuse is good enough to stop you from turning them into reality.
So, challenges and obstacles are a part of the journey, you decide whether to turn off your engines or shift gear and move forward!
Written by Shraddha Ghosh for WorldPhotograpohersClub.com