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5 Things People Always Misunderstand About Photography

5 Things People Always Misunderstand About Photography

Photography, as a vocation, is one of the most popular and most commonly written about vocations at the moment. It has immense popularity with younger generations and has spread as a hobby for smartphone owners. This boost in popularity can be attributed to various apps and social media websites that are focused on easy sharing and simple, digital, premade editing solutions that usually come in the form of template settings.

I personally believe that this is great for photography as a whole. A lot of talented people that managed to go pro have started off this way and the whole culture and community benefited from this “hype” about photography. Furthermore, if we talk about how much you vocation makes you attractive, photography is really close to the top of the charts.

Still, even though photography is so popular, it is commonly misunderstood. This wouldn’t be that bad if it had no impact on the work people do, how they do it and what problems they run into. We are here to talk about things most professional photographers would like people to know.

1. You run into people that take your work lightly

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    Due to the fact that there are millions of photography pages out there, people naturally assume that anyone can do it. The general consensus of public opinion is inclined towards believing that all you need to do in order to turn pro when it comes to photography is a good DSLR and a lens or two. The thing is, photography is craft, science and art, combined into one.

    You don’t have to have a degree in photography to be considered a professional (although, admittedly, this helps) but you need to put in a lot of time learning, practicing, experimenting and then somebody comes along and says “Oh, what a great camera! It must snap great photos!”. Great photos don’t come from great cameras, otherwise we wouldn’t need photography as a vocation. It’s like saying: ”Oh, what a great guitar, it must play some awesome solos!”.

    2. You get robbed of work by amateurs

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      The amateur community gathered around photography is great and contributes to the entire thing quite a bit, however, a lot of amateur photographers promote themselves as pros all the while dropping prices of their services and taking work from real experts. Now, we all understand that everyone needs to earn some money and you can’t stop anyone from offering wedding photography services for 50 bucks but the price is very often reflected in the quality of the photographs.

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      This is where photography as a vocation gets its bad name. People who hire photographers need to know how to make a distinction between pros and amateurs. You can’t really blame photographers in general for your own bad choices when picking out business partners.

      3. You get few social signals due to copyright

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        The web is a great place for photographers to promote themselves. Social media and blogs are just some examples of opportunities for exposure. In recent years, a big topic for discussion was the use or more accurately, misuse of photographs in the online environment. Removing watermarks or doing some minor “edits” to the photo so you can use it as your own is just one example of the abuse their work endures and the losses they can take from this are truly significant. Still, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t share somebodies photograph if you like it.

        You should also not avoid using photos in blog posts for example as long as you give credit where credit is due. Take a look at the galleries on most photography websites. Social media buttons are there to encourage sharing and make it easy for people to share what they like. It is a crucial way to get your name out there, especially in the beginning so don’t be afraid to promote your favourite shutterbug. Just don’t attempt to piggyback your way to profit on somebody else’s work.

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        4. You realize people don’t understand how broad photography is

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          Even though it has been in the spotlight for more than a few years, the public still isn’t quite aware in how many directions a career of a photographer can go and what it can include. The workday of a fashion photographer largely differs from that of a travel photographer and so do their skillsets. Sometimes, you need to have web related knowledge like with doing work for eShops. Optimizing photo size, quality, and the overall approach to the photo-shoot needs to be adapted to the environment for which they are intended. A common novice mistake is not realizing how much photos can impact the speed of a website, even your own! Now let’s move away from the web a bit and focus on travel photography.

          Constantly traveling for work purposes includes quite a bit of planning in order to keep the costs down, the timeline on track and your equipment safe. Travel photography includes more than snapping your camera at beautiful scenery all day long. Sometimes you get stuck in places where your personal safety comes into question. Due to the relative compactness and the high value of the equipment they carry with them, they are commonly targets for thieves so having some streetwise is a necessity.

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          *It’s not all fun and games (not for the faint of heart)

          This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the skills photographers need to have. It is far more than pointing a camera and snapping photos.

          5. You are asked to do pro bono work

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            This misunderstanding comes in two forms that are a bit different from each other. The first is the casual approach where acquaintances assume that you should take their photos since “it’s nothing to you really”. First thing’s first, with which other vocation is it common that you ask people to do their work on their free time? No matter how passionate you are about something, you still need a break from it to recharge your batteries with a bit of social time. This can be particularly annoying if you had a bad work day and we can all relate to this. Still, most photographers indulge their friends and take a few snaps but this doesn’t make it ok.

            On the other, more serious side of things there is the famous “work for portfolio business opportunity”. The assumption is that if you get to put your watermark on the photos you get the value of the work back in portfolio material. Let’s be honest, a photographer can create his or her portfolio without actually working for anyone. They do work to present their skill and creativity without any orders so this setup in which they do work for free and you give them the opportunity to brag that they worked for you is unfair and very discouraging.

            I could have gone for statistics here and studies to prove my point but I wanted to make a point that anyone, without any deep research could come to. Photography is not easy and it is not something just anyone can do! It requires a lot of work, big equipment investments, experience and a very diverse skillset. It is a profession worth your respect since you are enjoying the fruit of their labour on a daily basis!

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            Aleksandar Ilic

            Blogger, Social Media Butterfly, Guitarist

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            Last Updated on September 16, 2019

            How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

            How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

            You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

            We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

            The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

            Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

            1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

            Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

            For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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            • (1) Research
            • (2) Deciding the topic
            • (3) Creating the outline
            • (4) Drafting the content
            • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
            • (6) Revision
            • (7) etc.

            Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

            2. Change Your Environment

            Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

            One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

            3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

            Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

            Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

            My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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            Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

            4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

            If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

            Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

            I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

            5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

            I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

            Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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            As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

            6. Get a Buddy

            Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

            I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

            7. Tell Others About Your Goals

            This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

            For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

            8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

            What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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            9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

            If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

            Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

            10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

            Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

            Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

            11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

            At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

            Reality check:

            I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

            More About Procrastination

            Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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