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A bit of back story.
In high school, one of the things everyone knew me for was that I absolutely adored photography. My favorite past time when I was home was to go out on walks and bring my camera. We lived out of the city so if you wandered far enough through the trails, you could find some really beautiful sights in nature. Spending time in nature was so relaxing. I would take lots of pictures, come home and edit them, then post them to Facebook and art communities.
Although I loved taking pictures out in nature, one thing I was never comfortable with was taking portrait pictures for people. I felt awkward directing people on what to do or how to look. On top of that, I have always been an introvert. Taking pictures of people, especially people that I wasn’t comfortable around or didn’t know very well threw me completely out of my comfort zone. That’s not to say you shouldn’t try to expand out of you comfort zone; that’s the only way you can grow. Taking pictures of people has never been my calling, and now that I am where I’m at in life, I realize that’s completely ok!
When things started to shift.
After high school, I really wanted to pursue a career in photography. The more I looked into making a career for myself in that field, the more I started to see a pattern. Most of the photographers I’ve seen or met work in portrait photography. I began to wonder if a career in photography would really take me anywhere unless I started doing portrait photography myself. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re probably feeling the same way… right?
Because of that realization, I shifted my focus to studying graphic design and my career turned to a different direction. Over the years, I’ve slowly been making my way back to the career I originally dreamed of pursuing: Photography. I’ve also come to learn that there are so many different fields in photography you can pursue! Although portrait photography is one of the most popular career choices, it isn’t the only choice. Keep in mind though, if you are an introvert and want to make a business out of anything, you are going to have to step out of your comfort zone to work with people. That doesn’t apply to photography alone, but anything. You will need people in order to make a profit and gain opportunities. That being said, below are 3 photography careers for introverts.
You know all those online stores you’ve browsed looking through various products? Maybe it was Ebay, Amazon, or one of your favorite clothing brands. Someone was taking product photos so you could do shopping from the comfort of your home. If you are a well established product photographer, companies will mail you their products for shooting. Be sure to invest in good lighting and have your own studio set up for when you get started in this career! If you’re unsure where to get started, Fiverr is a wonderful way to get yourself out there. According to Payscale, the average salary of a product/commercial photographer ranges between $38k – $60k+.
Have you ever dreamed of being able to take photos of whatever you wanted and sell them for profit? You actually can! There are tons of online stock photography markets such as Shutterstock, iStockPhoto, Fotolia, and Dreamstime to name a few. Simply make an account and upload your best work. If they get approved, you’re ready to start selling! When selling your stock photography through a third party, always make sure to read the licensing agreements because there are companies who will take away many of your publishing or selling rights if you agree to sell through them. Always be careful and aware of who you work with. Apart from that, many photographers make a living off of selling their work for stock! Check out Yuri Arcurs‘ success for inspiration in this field. The average salary depends a lot on the individual and how much time and energy they are willing to devote. The sky is the limit and stock photography could lead to a gold mine of passive income over time.
There are so many different things you can create with your Photography. If you love taking pictures, consider looking into creating merchandise such as calendars, phone cases, selling prints, coffee mugs, T-Shirts, and pretty well anything that you can think of. You will need to find a supplier to make the products, then calculate the production costs and decide how much to charge for your products. This type of work goes hand in hand with creating your own blog/website (I made my website with WordPress.org). You can go beyond just creating products by also creating content that will help build a following of people you can market your products to. Once you have your own website, you can create your own free online store with WooCommerce.
Choose the career that’s right for YOU.
You don’t have to be a social butterfly to be a photographer. However, you will need to be able to communicate with people and get yourself out there. This applies to any career you will be freelancing in. It took A LOT of experimenting and trying new things before I realized what I was meant to do. Even now, I’m still learning. Give yourself time and don’t be afraid to try new things.
What career are you pursuing? Let me know in the comments! 🙂