Every morning I feel the urge to write. The first thing I crave is coffee and an outlet to brain dump. I’m a writer. Declare your title.
I’m also a professional photographer, yes, but I’ve used writing as an outlet my entire life. That’s part of why I love this blog so much and why I believe in its ability to pull my career forward.
I’ve never been afraid to declare a title based off of what I do with my time as of late. Sometimes, I settle into a title. Other times, it falls by the wayside with less weight than when I declared it.
I think that’s okay. No specific level of professionalism or achievement will give you ownership over an overarching title.
(This belief is in part why our medical system is so effed up if you ask me…)
After all, action should show you truth. Any one can declare.
There’s this thing in the photography industry where men and women who chase their dream of being a photographer for days, weeks, months….even years in some cases, are too afraid to ever say, “I’m a photographer”.
I think that’s a shame.
During my music career, I remember looking up the definition of “professional musician”.
I remember what I found defining a “professional musician” as someone who plays a musical instrument, and has been or is paid to do so.
That made me a “professional musician” by seventh or eighth grade.
That was the moment I decided titles were over rated and underused.
Say whatever you want to be and pursue it. When you’re done pursuing it, for whatever reason, it’s okay to shift.
After all, when someone asks you “what you do” (referring to occupation)…they really just want to get to know you. “What do you spend your time doing?” would be a much better question.
Last winter, I’d say “Photography Student“…even though I had grossed 40k doing what I love the year prior. I still might revert back to that title at times when learning takes up more of my time than shooting for couples and income. I’m sure I will see many seasons of “Photography Student” over “Professional Photographer”.
Declare Your Title
Based on what you do, not only on what you have done.