I’ve been a photographer of one sort or another since 2001. When I started I dreamed about becoming a professional photographer. It was all rosy colored speculation. I worked for other photographers and studios and that was GREAT, I loved it. Decent money, not that you could live off of, but great supplemental income. That all came to an end in 2008 when the economy ground to a near halt. I started out on my own. I hated it. To get a solid start as a photographer you have to beg everyone you know to either hire you or send potential clients your way. Every one you meet you need to tell you’re a photographer, you need to hand out cards like crazy. At least initially you need to blur the line between personal and professional relationships. (If you’re looking for advice on how to get started, write that down!) It’s really only of marginal value if your good at what you do. If you’re a self employed photographer you are more of a business person than an image creator by necessity and it will be that way until you can afford to hire staff. I didn’t like it, some of it I couldn’t bring myself to do well. I didn’t want to be a business person. I stopped chasing weddings a year or two ago. I still do Senior Pictures and band/musician/artist promos but my business is on hiatus. I thought I could switch over to a “fine art” photographer, but that’s been more miss than hit. Presently I’m returning to amateur status and concentrating on my film work like the stuff you find here, pinup, urbex, landscape, and other weird stuff. I’m doing this more for me than for money, and hopefully I can keep things a little self sustaining. A bit more on that a little later. This graphic helped me put into perspective the road that I had traveled, the direction I’m headed in and it might help you if you’re a photographer.