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Turning (or trying to turn) my hobby into a career

Welcome back to my blog! Just like many of you amazing photographers, I am trying to turn what started as a hobby into a career. And, as you all know, it is hard!!!

Disclaimer: This post is not so much about photography but about my journey as I start to develop my own business. I know this is not something that might interest everybody so if this is not for you, that's ok! Click here to check out my other posts with lots of photography information.

Also, this post includes what helped me in my journey and what "steps" I followed and it might get a little bit cheesy so you've been warned!

Turn your hobby into a career

First things first... Is your hobby a career? Well, I am a firm believer that whatever it is that you do, there is room in the market for you. Before you think I've lost it, let me explain. If your hobby is related to art then you definitely have a market. Art is art! Not everybody will understand it or like it but there will be hundreds of thousands of people that will love what you do. You just need to get to know your audience.

Now, if your hobby is not an art and it's more like organizing closets or cleaning pavers, then I don't think I need to tell you there are people out there who need their closets organized and their pavers sparkling clean. Is all about what you make of it.

Next steps

So, what’s the next step. Well, very good question! For me was working on myself funnily enough. Working on my confidence, working on believing in and loving myself and what I do. So my next step was literally myself!

I don’t know about you but for me, the hardest part is not doubting myself. I constantly questioned myself like “Am I good enough?”, “Am I wasting my time trying this?”, “Will I make it?”… The list of questions is endless and quite disheartening I might admit. It's hard for some people like me to believe that what I do is good and it will help people one way or the other. Whether it is to figure out what not to do, what you don't like, or what you truly love, it doesn't matter. The truth is that if I can help in any way shape or form then all the hard work is worth it. At least to me it is...

So, you know what? We only have one life so why not make the most of it? I know this is not something we can flick a switch and change how we feel and think but try it. It took me a long time (hence why I didn't start this blog sooner) but I'm getting there and if I can, then you can too, so there! Let’s get rid of all those negative questions and say “YES I can do it and YES I am good enough and YES my work is worth being out there”.

What do I want?

After that, I made a plan. What do I want to achieve?

Girl writting a list

Do I just want to get paid for taking pictures? Do I want to do weddings? Do I want a Youtube channel (this was a straight NO for me – I admire people who can talk straight to a camera because it’s just not my thing)? Do I want a blog? Do I want a studio? Do I just want to shoot things that I love and sell prints online? In my case I want to be a portrait and product photographer but I also want to share my knowledge to make it easier for other people which ended up with me having my own website/blog.

So ask yourself, what do you want? The sky is the limit! Don’t think something is too much because is not. Just write down what you want and let’s work for it, together.

Understanding your competition

In any business, they say you need to know your competition and I agree with that 100%. So go to Google and search for anything that might be remotely related to your hobby. In my case, I searched "photographers in Christchurch", "photography blog", "product photographer near me". Get creative in your searches because this will give you an idea of what is already out there.

Now please don't freak out after your research. Yes, there is a lot of competition out there but there is only one you. Nobody can do things exactly like you do so the key here is to include in those goals how you are going to separate yourself from everybody else. So for example in my case, I thought I would create a photography blog that shows every mistake I've made because that's something I couldn't find when I first started. I also wanted my website to look/read/sound like as if I was talking to a friend. There is no way another person in the world had the same experiences with the same mistakes and feelings and expressed herself like me. It's just not possible. So find that! What makes you, you and that will be your selling point.

What do I need?