The Life of a Photographer
By Teamarious Williams
When I tell other students what I do for a living, the first thing they always say is, “Your life must be so exciting!” I am not only a photographer, but I’m also a student at Delgado Community College. I own my photography company called TeamariousJavon Photography.
So what does it take to be a photographer? First, the job is not as glamorous as people think. It’s mostly practice, persistence, and the ability to be adaptable to a variety of situations. Second, you have to be a people person. Being shy will not put nervous clients at ease. Remember, a photographer’s goal is to get the perfect shot. Some will be very uneasy in front of the camera which will translate to your picture. For these clients, I find that talking and joking with them helps them forget the camera is there. For very confident clients, you’ll need to keep them focused, which means you’re talking, directing and shooting all at once.
Next, no client will be the same. Some will know exactly what they want, others will not have a clue. So in this sense you must be a bit of a designer. You will need to be capable of composing shots on the spot, based on the setting, lighting and mood of a shoot. All of those beautiful fashion spreads you see in magazines are planned well in advance but can change at a moment’s notice if the client is not happy. Remember, they are paying you. So you need to do whatever they want regardless of your personal preference. You do get to put your two cents in and be creative but at the end of the day, your client has the final say.
Lastly, let’s talk about equipment and editing. Yep, the most technical part is the bulk of the job. When you start out as a photographer, you will need to have your own equipment. This is expensive, especially if you’re building your arsenal from the ground up. You’ll need a good camera, a variety of lenses, a tripod and some lighting equipment in case the elements are not cooperating. Photography is a skill that you never stop learning. Photo editing is a must. You will need a good editing software program and the dedication to spend many, many hours learning how to use it.
If you’re only in it for the money, then you will never be successful as a photographer. It’s all about passion, skill, and commitment. One of the great aspects of this job is that no day is the same. Being a freelance photographer enables you to pick and choose how you spend your time. There have been many highlights in my photography career, and one is being published. Another is getting recognized by celebrities on social media. I genuinely love what I do, and with this job, there is always something exciting to look forward to.