Six Simple Rules of Making Money Through Photography
This article was originally published in July 2014.
How does one make money through photography, and how does one make lots of it? This seems to be a recurring question amongst a lot of young hobbyists. After having interacted with many masters of photography from India and abroad, I thought of putting down six rules that form a chain of thought about becoming a successful photographer.
Rule #1: It is not about the money. There are other, easier ways to get rich. So, the motive to make money from photography must come from a powerful, raw need to release the shutter for other reasons.
Rule #2: Therefore, as clichéd as it sounds, it is about a craving hunger to make excellent photographs because of a deep-rooted love for something beyond the camera.
Rule #3: Conversely, when perfect frames are required, internalising the craft becomes an indispensable prerequisite.
Rule #4: To learn the craft, making a lot of mistakes early on and quickly learning from them becomes very important. Thus, being curious and experimental is equally important.
Rule #5: Mistakes help you discover things about yourself. They help you put yourself into your own images. In essence, this helps you create your own identity and style.
Rule #6: Building an identity takes time, effort and, most of all, discipline. Amongst all the qualities that are essential for success, discipline usually wavers first. This happens because discipline needs the conviction of a bigger purpose. If it does waver, you need to go back to Rule #1 and ask yourself why you are doing photography in the first place.
That said, the secret for success is actually not really a secret, regardless of which profession you choose. Success needs passion, knowledge, dedication, discipline, willpower, resourcefulness (as opposed to resources), money and effort. And if you think about it, the only part of this equation that can possibly be transposed or interchanged… is effort for money. Everything else needs to be there, unequivocallyTags: K Madhavan Pillai, Editor, Editorial, Better Photography magazine, april 2013, Through Photography, iClick Symposium in Bengaluru