A Full Time Dilemma

13th January 2015
In: Blog
I'm behind....not for the first time whilst running this business, but I am. I have a website upgrade to do, which is very time consuming, my 2015 brochures are nearly finished, but are two months later than I normal. The reason?...Lack of time. (Isn't it always?) A hugely busy period leading up to Christmas meant I finished later than usual, which of course has a knock on effect....This got me thinking....

There are lots of things that people don't know about me (and why should they know anything?). One of the more common mis-conceptions is that I am a full-time photographer. I was once told, that I had to be a full-time pro because my photos were so good. I did feel slightly embarrassed listening to this, I'm not very good with praise. However, I know that the standard of a photographer's images has very little impact on whether he or she is an amateur or professional, but I digress......
The point is, that being only part-time has obvious restrictions on the amount of time I can spend on the photography business. This includes not only the amount of shoots I can do, but when I can do them, the editing, the general day-to-day tasks, and the not so general too.

. .
Weekday shoots would be an addition to the family weekend ones

When people find out I only run my photography on a part-time basis, the question that usually follows is along the lines of...."so when will be doing this as your main job?"
Of course I'd love too, but would I actually do it? The answer.....? I just don't know.
It's a catch twenty-two situation. I have a steady nine to five job, which supports my family, so ending that situation would be a gamble at best. On the other hand turning the dream to reality
would clearly have benefits from a time point of view. The amount of shoots I could do would increase, the day-to-day tasks would be just that, in the daytime, not crammed into a few hours each evening. The business could be expanded so that weekday daytime shoots could be added to the family weekend ones....well, I won't continue....I already know what I have in mind (just in case) and don't want to let on!

As I mentioned before it's a gamble, and yes, part of it is financial, but that's not the only major factor. It's not whether the hard work is a problem, putting the work in isn't even an issue, when you do something you love, it's easy.
No, for me it's getting the customer support that's the gamble. Photography to most people is, after all a luxury, not a necessity, and building a full-time business in the current climate would be tricky. The other issue is belief. Although I receive a lot of compliments about my work, which is great to hear, I still harbour some frailties in the confidence department. I suppose it's a typical trait of the creative soul, but it does keep me focused on the job in hand, and pushes me constantly to look for ways to improve.....
I know I'm not alone, many, many people make the transition from a paid employee to business owner, with differing levels of success of course. Whether my time will come sooner, later or at all, I guess remains unresolved.....for now anyway.


Photo comment By Rachael: Martin - I have recently stood at that crossroads too - looking for a direction and made my choice. There are no signposts, so you have to make up your own mind in the end. Nothing ventured nothing gained :)You'll make it work whatever - good luck!

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