I for one, became a photographer because I have a very deep interest, intrigue and passion for the art form and I can honestly say that I truly love my job. There is no greater sense of accomplishment than being paid to do something you love, something that drives you and above all, something that makes you completely happy. I know a lot of people, photographers included, that are just "in it for the money", doing their jobs because "it pays the bills," or just plain thought it would be an easy way to make a quick buck, but they lack the most important aspect of a successful career...passion. I am a true believer that nothing great can be achieved in life without passion. I also strongly believe that there is no reason anyone can't have a career doing something they love and that makes them truly happy. I think that is one of our purposes in life, figuring out what drives us, and making it what we do.
I have always known that I love doing what I do, I just didn't realize how much I loved it until recently. I shot a wedding about two weeks ago and met this couple by first shooting their engagement photos about six weeks prior, then I shot their bridals a few weeks later and then, of course, their wedding. And though they were strangers when we first met, by the time I shot their wedding, they were not just clients, they were friends. This is a pretty typical outcome for me when I photograph someone because it is what I strive for, and I think there is a lot to be said about that. I worked with many different wedding vendors when I got married, and though most of them did their jobs very well, I would not consider any of them my friends. In fact I think I've only actually kept in touch with one of them since and it's only because we are both in the wedding industry and run into each other often. I feel that no matter what your job may be, creating and keeping a meaningful relationship with your clients is not only professional, but plays a key part in enjoying your job.
Recently I have noticed more and more that finding someone who really values their job and the work they do is rare and people who are not terrible at their jobs are few and far between. I actually think it takes more effort to be bad at your job, then good because if you really love what you're doing, it will come through in your work. It is blatantly obvious to me that people who do not do their jobs well have no passion for what they do, it's simply a job to them and nothing more. I can't help but wonder why those people stick themselves in a job they do not get satisfaction from doing. I often think to myself "if I ran my business this way, would it be ok?".
Now I'm not writing this entry to pat myself on the back and say that I'm the world's greatest and friendliest photographer, I'm simply trying to make a point that if you truly love what you do, I believe that it shows in your actions and in the way you treat your clients. I also know that there are times when life does require you to work a 9-5 you dread, a delivery job you loathe or a temp job you can't wait to get out of. But ultimately, if you feel you've found what you really want to do, make sure you have a true passion for it and you will find true happiness from it. When the money you make becomes an added perk and not your sole reason for doing your job, when you look forward to waking up and going to "work", when you consider the people you work with friends rather than "co-workers" and when you feel a true sense of joy from serving a satisfied customer, that is when you know you have found a career you love.
That, is passion.
I cannot thank my clients and friends enough for all of their love, support and friendship and all those who helped me in my journey to find and achieve my passion.