What Do Pro Photographers Do When Not Shooting?

It's not all jumping out of helicopters and shooting worldwide campaigns for household names. Sometimes, we just have to take the bins out and change the loo roll.

It was 2008 when I decided that I wanted to be a professional photographer. I was going to travel the world and shoot every day for Nat Geo or some independent arty magazine. Well, I manged to make it as a pro, but along the way, I quickly realized that my romantic notion of being a photographer didn't really exist, at least not for 99% of professional photographers. 

I went through a phase of about seven years where I was shooting almost every day. It was grim. Yes, it was what I thought I wanted, but I slowly realized that I was wrong. I decided to keep upping my price until I found a manageable amount of shoot days where the quality of my work wouldn't slip. If we want to create great work, for most of us, that means limiting the amount of days that we spend shooting. It was the best thing I had ever done. I now shoot work that I am proud of and for a price that I feel is correct.

Nowadays, I work as a commercial food photographer, which is much more fitting for my personality and the way in which I like to control everything I do. For me, a super-busy month may have 10 shooting days. There have been the odd, unavoidable 20-day shooting months, but where possible, I like to keep it sensible. There is a lot of pressure in the jobs that I shoot and often a lot of preparation and research required. 

Although, even if you decide that shooting daily is for you, there are a host of other tasks that need to be completed in order to keep a running business moving forward. In this video, I go through a working day where I don't have any photographs to shoot for paying clients, from marketing through to making sure I am suitably caffeinated. 

What do you all get up to when you are not shooting?

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7 Comments

Rob Mitchell's picture

I do what was my job before my hobby became my job.
Making furniture, wooden toys and commissioned wood decoration.
You get the same arguments in those forums too. DeWALT is far superior to Makita. Btw. 😉👍

Jeff McCollough's picture

Nope. Makita is way better.

C Fisher's picture

Lol agreed. Dewalt is the Kitchenaid of power tools now, all plastic.

Dennis Williams's picture

Well, if the people on YouTube obsessing over themselves are any indicator it appears most spend a good amount of time eating and none at all in the gym.

It's no surprise why these sites are full of comments referencing big, bulky, heavy ...DSLRs lol.

I’m renovating my house, so yesterday was ripping up tiles in the kitchen and today is shooting handbags :)

I had to shoot a warehouse full of handbags once...or twice...trick was getting those floppy handles to stay up in the air in a nice arc...thats what they wanted ( I tried to argue against it)...we used wire on the back side of each one to make it hold a shape. It was a serious pain!

peter matthews's picture

What Do Pro Photographers Do When Not Shooting?
Write FS articles..3 in a few hours ..that's busy :)