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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 20, 2018

            How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

            How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

            Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

            If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

            1. Breathe

            The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

            • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
            • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
            • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

            Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

            2. Loosen up

            After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

            Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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            3. Chew slowly

            Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

            Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

            Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

            4. Let go

            Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

            The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

            It’s not. Promise.

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            Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

            Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

            21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

            5. Enjoy the journey

            Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

            Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

            6. Look at the big picture

            The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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            Will this matter to me…

            • Next week?
            • Next month?
            • Next year?
            • In 10 years?

            Hint: No, it won’t.

            I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

            Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

            7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

            You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

            Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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            8. Practice patience every day

            Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

            • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
            • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
            • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

            Final thoughts

            Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

            Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

            Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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