Recently, a group of us from ACEL (Alachua County Emerging Leaders) spent a day building with our local Habitat for Humanity.
It felt good to get out there and play with some power tools… Arrrr Arrrr Arrrr Arrrrh!!!
I think that Tim “The Tool Man” would agree.
We all felt good about helping someone less fortunate in our community… AND we all actually had fun. Yes. Despite sweating in the hot sun and waking up sore the next morning, we loved it and had fun working.
Wow, since its so much fun… I guess that professional contractors never work! After all, they say “If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.”
But, then again, unlike pro contractors, we don’t build everyday AND our livelihood isn’t on the line.
I guess its like when you were a little kid… washing the car or cutting the grass was fun. But once you are expected to do such tasks as chores (or do them for a living)… not so much fun.
Certainly, doing what you love is way better than doing what you hate. But when it comes down to making a living… work is… well… work.
I love photography. And, yes, I love what I do.
That said, things definitely changed when I started doing this as a living. Before the Daytona Beach News Journal hired me as a photojournalist, photography was solely for me… or my easily impressed family and friends. But now my audience is much more discerning and demanding.
As with many things in life, both good and bad comes along with this profession.
I have had many wonderful experiences as a professional photographer! I have been paid to travel around the world, I have met famous people like Garth Brooks and Pres. Jimmy Carter, I have photographed the Super Bowl… and the list goes on.
Plus, I have learned that my images have the power to evoke emotions, tell stories, and, in some cases, change people’s lives. How great is that?!?
However, with great power, comes great responsibility… OK… that’s a Spiderman quote… but professionalism does come with lots of responsibilities.
Professionals have responsibilities not only to their clients, but also to their families (who depend on their income to keep a roof over their heads, food on their tables, to pay all of their bills).
Professional photographers’ clients (or employers) expect consistency, high quality, creativity, and more… all under tight deadlines… with no excuses.
We are expected to create dynamic images in all circumstances… Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night… oh wait… that’s the post office. But then again, it might as well be our motto as well.
It doesn’t matter whether it is a beautiful sunny day outside or inside the darkness of a cave… whether it is a boring, mundane assignment or a hectic, chaotic breaking news event, we are expected to get “the” image.
To say that photography is all fun and games would be a lie. And that goes for other professions that so many people think would be fun: professional athlete, top chef,
movie actor, rock star… and so on. Just ask any of them and I am sure that
they would agree.
It is more like fun AND work.
Fun because we like what we are doing (& choose to do it).
Work because we have responsibilities (& must always meet high expectations).
After building for a day (and proverbially walking a mile in the shoes of professional contractors), I have an even greater respect for their knowledge, talent and skills.
And even with my professional DeWalt drill and Makita circular saw…
no matter how much fun I had building with Habitat for Humanity…
I have concluded that I am NOT a contractor…
I will leave that up to the Professionals.