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9 Photographers Share What They Love (and Hate) About Their Jobs

camera, photography
Credit: Pikoso.kz/Shutterstock

Being a professional photographer may seem like the perfect gig. It's a creative outlet for people who are art-inclined, and photographers have great perks such as a flexible schedule and traveling.

While it might be an ideal job for you, that doesn't mean it's always fun and glamorous. Photography is an important field full of niche markets such as wedding and portrait photography, commercial and fashion photography, animal photography and more.

Wondering what it's really like to work in photography? Business News Daily asked professional photographers what they love and hate about their jobs. Here's what they had to say.

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Melissa Chu: I am a freelance lifestyle and wedding photographer based in New York City.

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Chu: I have always been a people person, so I absolutely love meeting up with my clients and photographing them with their loved ones. I also love developing a relationship with my clients. My clients trust me. They trust me to document their special day – whether it's a wedding or a family portrait. 

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Chu: Fortunately, I have yet to experience a negative interaction with a client. However, I have had a few inquiries from random people asking if I give them the RAW [unedited] photos, would it lower my prices? I think the hardest thing is trying to educate potential clients as to why you and your work are worth it. If you have to haggle with a client, they are simply not the right client.

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Hilary Hull: I am a wedding and portrait photographer based out of Savannah, Georgia. I am the lead photographer on a husband-and-wife team that handle customer interaction, photograph weddings, and portrait sessions and [handle] the editing and marketing of Hilary Hull Photography.

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Hull: I love being able to deliver photographs to people to serve as a memory to them years to come. Whether that be their wedding day, annual family vacation or senior portrait, capturing those moments and getting the response afterward of how much they treasure the photos as their memory is without a doubt what I love most. I love getting to help people in that way, and to be able to capture memories for generations to come to look at.

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Hull: The distrust that comes from some clients. They don't always trust you as the professional to do your job. Not trusting judgment on lighting, location, or trying to control the photo shoot and expecting outstanding results is often frustrating.

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Laurence Norah: I'm a travel photographer, primarily landscape photography. I also teach photography and work as a photographer ambassador for photography brands.

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Norah: I love that moment of capturing a wonderful shot. Sometimes everything just comes together, and you can capture a truly beautiful part of the world.

Business News Daily: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Norah: I hate that sometimes, despite all your planning, you just can't get what you're after. Usually this is because of factors outside your control, like the weather. Spending two weeks chasing the northern lights in temperatures far below freezing, and just getting cloudy skies every night, is not fun.

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Brandon Ballweg: I photograph weddings as both a lead photographer and second shooter. I also do portraits and family documentary photography. Lastly, I am an avid street photographer.

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Ballweg: What I love most about my job is being able to express myself visually in a creative way, because I have always been a very visual person and would rather let my images speak for themselves rather than through words.

I also enjoy the relationship that I build with clients, knowing that I captured beautiful and intimate moments of people and their families that they'll cherish forever.

Business News Daily: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Ballweg: What I hate most about my job is the stress-inducing pressure to perform, always be 'on' during a shoot, and deliver stunning results.

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Joyce Lee: I am a commercial freelance photographer. My work has appeared in magazines including Real Simple, Condé Nast Traveler and Esquire, and I have shot advertising images for clients such as Kate Spade, Clinique and Bloomingdale's.  

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Lee: Creating something completely from scratch is immensely satisfying. I love collaborating with other creatives to achieve a common goal. I also enjoy the problem-solving aspect of photography. For [me], being a photographer is a right-meets-left-brain profession. I am constantly tapping into my creative and analytical sides when shooting. 

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Lee: A large part of being a photographer is spent marketing and promoting your work. This is less enjoyable than the actual creative process, but it is necessary when choosing to be a commercial photographer.

 

 

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Will Nicholls: I am a wildlife photographer and filmmaker from Northumberland, England.

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Nicholls: I have always had an interest in the natural world, and being a photographer allows me to make this my job. Exploring new environments and capturing images I have envisaged for months, sometimes years, is an incredible feeling. It might be a new species or a new angle on an animal, but it is always fresh and interesting.

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Nicholls: The amount of time that a photographer needs to spend in front of a computer screen is the biggest downside. Editing, cataloging and maintaining social media presences means that I spend more time in front of a computer than outside sometimes. I also run a nature photography blog, teaching others how to take photos, which takes a lot of time. I do enjoy it, but I would love to be able to spend more time in the field.

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Will Deleon: I am a commercial-product and still-life photographer based in Los Angeles.

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Deleon: I love that I am able to be creative every single day and make a decent living doing so. There isn't a day I think of going to 'work' … I just get paid to do what I love.  

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Deleon: Not being tied down to a 9-to-5 [job] is something many aspire to achieve, but also fear. As you may already know, freelancing comes with the great price of instability. There may be times where there is no work and times where there is an overwhelming amount. It took some time to get it dialed in, but with the proper budgeting, it's not bad at all!

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Kristin Griffin: I run Kristin Griffin Photography, a boutique wedding photography business based out of Boston. I've operated the business since 2004, and I shoot 20 to 30 weddings per year – mostly in New England, although I occasionally travel for destination weddings in the United States and abroad.  

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Griffin: I love the freedom my job affords me. Because I own the business, I'm the boss and get to plan my work hours around my family and personal needs. I can also choose which jobs to accept, where I want to advertise, my price point and what services I'll offer. Personally, I find the stress of a wedding day thrilling, although I know this is not the case for many photographers. I enjoy my niche of photography because it's one of the few that will have me photographing portraits, landscapes, still-lifes/products (rings, flowers, etc.), photojournalism, event photography, food, night shots and even pets all in the same shoot, usually under a compressed timeline, working with real people instead of trained models, and in weather and locations that I have little control over, without the ability to reshoot. There are no do-overs when it comes to a wedding, but I love the challenge of it.  

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Griffin: The thing I hate most about the job is the insecurity of not always knowing that your calendar will fill year to year. It always seems to fill somehow, but there are lean times each year where you have to be diligent with your budget and work hard for your bookings. Wedding photography tends to be very seasonal. When this is your primary paycheck, your business has to succeed, and although I've worked very hard at earning positive reviews, word-of-mouth referrals, positive vendor relations and community respect, I have few repeat customers. And that's a good thing – I'd rather have my clients stay happily married and never personally need a wedding photographer again. But it means that I have to continually market and earn new business, versus a commercial photographer, fashion photographer or family portrait photographer that could have the same clients use their services year after year. 

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Thomas Wasinksi: I am a full-time drone pilot and aerial photographer. I provide professional photos for real estate, hospitality (hotels and golf courses) and construction [companies], and live events.

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Wasinski: I love being able to provide stunning aerial perspectives for our clients. Since we use drones to capture some of our best work, we are in a niche market, [and we don't] have any competition in our market at this time. 

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Wasinski: I hate that I am not able to work on days that the weather is bad. I don't fly my equipment in heavy rain and/or heavy wind. Also, we can't deliver service to any location that is within 5 miles of any major airport. That makes it a little difficult to get involved in all the projects that our customers need us for. 

Saige Driver

Saige received her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Telecommunications from Ball State University. She is the social media strategist for Business.com and Business News Daily. She also writes reviews and articles about social media. She loves reading and her beagle mix, Millie. Reach her by email, or follow her on Twitter.