At least once a year, I make time to watch this video. Usually, around this time of year when there’s not much to shoot, but still TONS to get done if you want to pay your bills as a photographer. Sometimes this can get you a little discouraged, especially if you’ve been spending a lot of your free time looking at OTHER people’s work and comparing it to yours. By now I know better than to go too far down that rabbit hole, but I still like to watch this video once a year just to give myself a little perspective.

Why do we do what we do? Speaking for myself, I can say for sure that I’m not a full-time photographer for either money or fame. Nor am I going to cure cancer, as Zack quotes. Heck, I’m not even James Nachtwey the “War Photographer“, so my images aren’t going to help awaken society’s awareness of atrocities committed by inhumane dictators and terrorists.

I am a photographer simply because it’s a job that pays the bills, just like any other. Sure, I have a passion for creating images, but that only comes into play a few hours per week, contrary to the glamorous, relaxed lifestyle that you might think it is. In fact, if I worked a day job in some downtown high-rise, I might currently have MORE time, and more money, to spend on a pure hobby of photography.  But what about the long run?

In the long run, my hope and aspiration is that being a professional photographer will indeed pay off. I will have created a body of work that will positively impact the lives of clients, friends and family alike. That’s more worthwhile to me than sitting in a cubicle until I’m 65. And I can make time to be with family and friends on a weekday afternoon, which is really what life is all about, right?

But anyways, I just wanted to say Happy New Years to all, both professional and hobbyist photographers alike! And to the professionals out there, “happy ‘down’ season!” This time of year especially, be sure you make time for your family and friends, and for yourself. Sleep in till noon on the Saturdays you don’t have to shoot a wedding, or get up at 6 AM and go walk the dog and hit the gym. Whatever is your preferred method of relaxation!

Take care,
Matthew Saville and the rest of the SLR Lounge team

“The Passing Of Time”
Nikon D700, 24mm f/2.8, 12 minute exposure at f/11 & ISO 200