Ask Yourself The Basic Question
I have often been asked for advice in helping amateur photographers make the leap from hobby to professional photographer. This is a difficult one for me to answer, as my answer is not usually what people want to hear. But.....as they say, "The truth will set you free."
Let me begin by saying that very few individuals should actually contemplate such a move. Quite frankly, the odds are stacked against you, and most will be completely shocked by the capital investment that must be made if you want to succeed. I'm not talking about cameras and lenses, as that is what most amateurs focus on in the beginning. The real expenses come from travel and exhibition fees, not to mention printing supplies. Those things alone would bring many to their senses. Even more.....it's the dedication and the time one devotes to the craft that can be daunting.
We all tend to think we have great images that others will want to purchase. Sadly, this is not actually the case for most photographers. Often what we think is great, well, it's not "great" to the general public. That incredible image you have that makes you weep at the sight of its' beauty, might get zero reaction from the general public (the folks with the money in their wallets). My experience is that most photographers, and that includes really good photographers, haven't got a clue as to what images will succeed in the marketplace. How many times have I seen young photographers fail, not because they aren't good photographers, but because they are lousy editors. While they may have countless images in their files, they just can't seem to pick out the right images for display and sales.
So, let's now get to the big question. Do I love this thing called photography? Do I love it so much that I can't live without it? Do I love it so much that I'm willing to take huge risks to make it happen for me? Do I love it enough to spend most of my time "working" at it? Finally, Do I love it enough to be open to failure? Passion does not always translate to success. We need to know this going into any adventure. Photography is no different.
I love seeing individuals succeed in life. I especially love seeing artists succeed. Success is not something we are promised in life......it is something we earn through hard work, and it is often attached to a kind heart. My advice........Dream large, Work hard, and let your heart be gentle in all things. Good Luck.