This is inevitably the question that pops up in the minds of most photography enthusiasts and amateurs. In this video, a photographer who has gone from I.T. to photography to YouTube recounts his story of how he got to where he is now and gives some advice to would-be professional photographers.
Joris Hermans' path to — and within — photography is a winding one. Not unlike many other photographers — myself included — he started out in a completely different world. What differentiates him, though, is his own unique story. Yes, we all have unique stories, but for those who are indecisive or curious about becoming a professional, it helps to hear as many of these stories as possible. Sometimes, you'll connect with some small detail, and, if you're lucky, something will click, setting you off on a new and exciting path.
The major influence in Hermans' story has to be his decision to go to photography school. As he explains, it's certainly not for everyone, but he credits it for setting the foundations for who he is as a photographer now. My own main takeaway from the video is how Hermans' insistence on following his creative passion led him to where he is, and he appears to be happier for it. He didn't follow security or money; he took some chances and kept following his heart. Of course, not everyone has this luxury, but if you really want it, you'll find a way. It may take longer, and, unfortunately, you might fail, but the worth is in the effort. Personally, I would hate to live a life of regrets, but whether or not you choose the professional route, the important thing is to weigh the pros and cons for yourself in order to make an informed decision.
Are you thinking about turning professional? Have you considered going to school for it?