How do you know when you’ve passed the level of amateur photographer and made it as a pro? Professional Photographer interviewed five Imaging USA 2017 speakers about how they realized they were a professional photographer and were successful.
Kay W. Eskridge gives credit to her devoted clients for her success in the photography industry. She says, “When your clients think of you first when planning anything that needs to be photographed—all of their life events, you’re a part of." After having people return to her time after time to have a great experience, she truly felt like a professional.
Mike W. Fulton has also found that clients’ satisfaction was where his success lies. “I had previous clients coming back to me for business knowing I could provide them with a photographic service that others couldn’t. I had a style, a vision, and my clients wanted that.” Mike also made it to the Board of Directors of PPA, which felt like a huge step to him. “The growth I did while on the Board made me realize the level I’d reached previously as a pro photographer had a long way to go."
Similarly, Mary Fisk-Taylor’s clients have pushed her farther in her career as well. “The day clients stopped asking about my pricing and wanted to own one of my portraits because it was created by me—my vision and my work—was the official day I knew I was a true professional photographer." The feeling of being appreciated for what you’ve worked hard for is comparable to no other.
Audrey Woulard dreams of a future where she can be financially secure from the money she’s earned from photography. She says, “I’ll know I’ve made it when I can retire and live comfortably during retirement based solely on my photography.” Audrey doesn’t want to ever feel like she’s made it until then since she’s “always striving to be better.”
Cris J. Duncan follows the same philosophy, claiming, “I don’t think one should ever think, ‘I’ve made it’. If you truly believe you’ve made it, you’ve just shut the door to amazing opportunities for growth and development.” He stresses the importance of setting goals for yourself, even if that goal will only give you the smallest step in the right direction. Some goals he’s set for himself include getting his CPP designation, entering image competition, and selling a certain amount per year. Pushing yourself past where you currently are will make you the best “pro” you can be.
Read the full article by Amanda Arnold on Professional Photographer Magazine. Don't forget that if you're looking for more insight from your fellow photographers, PPA's members-only social network theLoop is a great resource! theLoop is a great place for you to talk to your peers about things that matter to you and your photography business. You've got to be a PPA member to access theLoop, so join PPA today!