Why I’m Never Going Full-Time With Photography

full time photography

Why I’m Never Going Full-Time With Photography

Never say never. That’s the saying, right? And of course over my life span I could change my mind, but for the space that I’m currently in full-time photography is NOT the goal. In a day and age where everyone wants to be their own boss, to take the leap and leave corporate America this is not a popular opinion, but I want to tell you a little about why I feel this way and why it’s ok for you to keep working full-time and to do what you love on the side.

At least once every couple of months I get asked the question if I plan to do photography full-time and ever since I got started in this field my answer has always been ‘no’. It’s not that I don’t love photography, I obviously do if I spend so much of my ‘free’ time working on it. And I think it’s because I love it so much that I don’t have the desire to go full-time. When I first dabbled in photography the end goal was never to make this a career. I’ve always been a creative at heart dabbling in fashion design and even considered becoming a makeup artist, before photography stole my heart. So getting into this field was a way for me to be creative and if I happened to make some extra coins on the side then that was the cherry on the sundae! My primary reason for not taking this full-time is because I don’t want to lose my passion for it. Oftentimes when your passion becomes your sole means of income you’re forced to take on work you otherwise wouldn’t in order to pay the bills. And that’s not something I ever want to happen. I like that I can pick and choose the jobs I want to take on. That I can use photography as my ‘fun’ money or to help pay down debt and still allow my primary job to pay my mortgage, insurance, etc.

If you’re wondering if moving your side hustle as your only gig is the right move for you, no one else can answer that for you. You have to know what makes sense for you, your bank account and your lifestyle. But don’t allow anyone else to make you feel less than or like you’re not a real entrepreneur unless you become full-time. What works for one person may not work for another and that’s perfectly fine. I commend anyone that goes after their dreams and leaves a job they hate to do what they love. And I definitely get jealous when I see my full-time photographer friends waking up at 9 am and then getting in an hour at the gym before starting their work day at 11 am while I’ve been up since 6 am. But as long as I enjoy going to my day job on a regular basis (because we ALL have days where we’d rather sleep in) and the stress of working two jobs doesn’t overrun me then I’ll keep on side hustling and I’ll be happy doing it.

My situation is unique because I’m also an entrepreneur in my full-time job.  I own an insurance agency alongside my dad Monday through Friday with a typical 9 to 5 schedule.  While I may not answer to a boss, I am limited in what I can do with my side hustle during my regular work hours.  But this is the job that allows me to keep a roof over my head, heat going in the winter/AC in the summer and that keeps food in my refrigerator.  It’s the job that allows me to live a comfortable life and use photography as my creative outlet on the weekends.  So if you’re working a job that helps you pay your bills and you don’t dread getting up each morning to go there then keep going.  Allow your side hustle to be just that, on the side.  Only you know what works for you and your situation and you’re still considered a hustler, dreamer, creative and entrepreneur by doing what works for you.


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