Six Misconceptions About Pro Photographers

I am sure you have all seen the "secrets about photographers" videos doing the rounds recently. As a full-time photographer, I find this really hard to relate to. I have yet to find something which depicts my working life at all.

In this video, I go over a few misconceptions that I feel are spreading around the internet. When I started out in photography, I was learning exclusively through YouTube and online blogs as was the trend back then; it was before solid content was available for purchase and a bit of a wild west in terms of who was uploading what. The idea that I had as to what professional photographers got up to was so distorted from the truth that I was chasing a career that didn't exist outside of brand-endorsed photographers and online forums. 

Thankfully, after eight years of frustration, I finally found the path I was looking for, thanks to a very well-respected professional photographer taking the time to give me some really good and honest feedback, which is still the tipping point that I relate to in my career of going from a local photographer to being able to shoot big campaigns with big clients; without this, I would probably be back in an office somewhere doing a job I hate. It's something that I now try to do when ever people DM me on Instagram asking for help; otherwise, we will all end up down the same rabbit hole of internet photography that I had. But boy, was it a shock to the system to discover that everything I had been learning was simply not true, from the gear people were reviewing, the way it was reviewed, right down to what photographers actually shot and how they went about finding clients. 

What have you discovered to be completely false since becoming a professional photographer?

Log in or register to post comments

16 Comments

Chase Wilson's picture

Nailed all six. 🤙🏼

Very much on the money. The biggest difference in my career is that because I shoot portraits and lifestyle, I don't get layouts from clients, just a general direction of where they want to go. On set, I spend more of my energy eliciting emotions from my subjects than solving technical issues.
www.zavesmith.com

Scott Choucino's picture

yeah, I think a lot of photographers spend very little time on the tech and far more on the bits that matter and the energy of the shoot.

One misconception I have about pro photographers that most of them sport a hipster beard. Oh wait...

(only jest, take in humour please :) )

Leigh Miller's picture

and beer guts...

Scott Choucino's picture

Helps with my many chins in BTS images ! haha

Sue G's picture

Preety Faces think they must have Pro Photographers shoot them to become Super Models.

EL PIC's picture

This article nails it !!
More of the Gearheads in this forum should take note that real Pros are concerned with great glass and not Megapixel Mirrorless Cameras (#3). The lunacies of these Gearheads in Stoppers make me laugh and keep coming back for more jokes.

Now write an amusing article on these Gearheads and their most profound tenancies in Gear and Habit.

While I am not a gear head, and seldom talk gear with my pro photographer friends. The quality of a camera sensor, especially for those of us who shot on location with ether mixed or natural light, is very important. Also, as a lifestyle shooter, the quality of auto focus also matters.

This is spot on.

I’m a little different I work full time with 3 other photographers at a studio, so no need for an agent. I shoot a bit of everything, product, food, fashion and headshots sometimes a client comes to us with a buttoned down brief and we have to execute it, other times I work on mood boards to best show their product off.

My week is pretty varied, sometimes I’ll be shooting everyday and another I’ll be editing everyday.

As for editing, each shoot we send off for a mild retouch to a post house, they do things like path out labels on products, remove dust or set a tiff up with the layers that we regularly use, this all helps with time management when it comes back to us by having them do the repetitive tasks.

We then retouch the files, but we know what we’re great at and what we’re not, at that point we use professional retouches to finish the file, maybe it’s high end skin retouching.

As for gear, we all love talking about and playing with the latest whatever, but we’ll only buy something if it’ll save us time, money and/or improve the output. Or we’ll rent something for a particular job.

For us the main things is about being efficient with our time, we use photoshop actions and droplets a lot - resizing, sharpening etc.

Love your videos, they’re always a great insight to your workflow.

Scott Choucino's picture

Thanks Paul.

Yeah working weeks as photographers are odd haha. I have been trying to do a day in the life or a week in the life of type video, but I think I am going to have to think of another way of doing these things to give a truer representation as to what it is actually like.

Cristian Perotti's picture

Hey, I still use a Canon T3i for my portrait work most of the times. :)

Ash G's picture

Hi Scott!

Who’s your friend that’s an amazing photographer? We’re all curious now :)