“I can’t compete with people who have full time jobs.” That’s something I have heard several times from professional photographers in the last three short months since I have moved to Durban. It blows my mind how people can think this way. Did you not choose your profession? Is this not the life you wanted and worked for? If it is, then why are you complaining and worried about other (amateur) photographers?
I have been in sales the last 12 years of my life. My very first job was as a sale rep for a large national steel company. As a sales person you have countless other salesman competing for the same customer, the same sale and the same pay day. Some with a cheaper product, better quality product, better sales techniques and better customer relations. I have recently moved to a new company and now I am calling on the same customers as some of my best friends do. Competing for the same customer and sale.
Now here is where my heading comes in to play. “I am a professional – I act like a pro”…think about it. Did I ever turn around to any of my mates and say to them that “I can’t compete against you”? Did they say that to me? Did any one of us turn around and say that our friendship can’t last if we are competing against one another? Did anyone of us bad mouth each other behind one’s back? Did we criticize selling techniques, product quality or even go as far as to break down the person’s personal character?
The answer is simple. NO! Why? Because we are professional and we act accordingly. Why should I stoop so low and start bad mouthing friends and lose them all because of a profession I chose?
If you can’t handle competition then you will fail at everything you attempt in life because around every corner there will be someone trying to get what you have. How you act makes or breaks you as a professional and as a person.
A person’s true character shows when the heat is on and the weight of the world is on your shoulders. How you treat your customers and friends will show who you are. Simply “eliminating” the threat does not make it go away. By walking away from friendships all because of competition shows that you are insecure and afraid of losing .
I am not blind to the fact that every second person owns a DSLR pro or semi pro camera. I am not blind to the fact that there are more and more people out there that think now that they own a DSLR they are pro togs. Yes it is a cut throat industry but you need to realize that my line of work is just as cut throat as photography is.
I choose to work 8 – 5 and earn a full time salary. It was my decision to follow a career of sales and I am happy with it. If you see other photographers as a threat or you can’t compete against them, have a long hard look at the career choices you have made and start thinking about changing them.
Photography is my passion and my addiction. And judging by some, not all togs, and their worries and negativity surrounding being a full time tog, I feel very happy with the choices I have made!