Why I quit my job to follow my dreams of being a landscape photographer
I promised myself I wouldn’t say “new year, new me”, but it’s very fitting right now.
I can’t remember how many times I’ve Googled “how to quit your job and follow your dreams”. Or how many times I’ve psyched myself up to actually do it and chickened out.
How are you going to make money? How are you going to pay off your car? What are you thinking?
Safe to say, it’s been playing on my mind for some time.
Nothing is guaranteed.
The only thing certain in life is that you’ll die. Sorry, that’s a bit grim. The average life expectancy of an Australian male (of which I am) is 82.45 years. That’s a lot of years to fill up doing stuff. And I’ve already spent 23.something of those years taking advice from everyone I’ve met. And the advice is always 50/50 – either “life is short, follow your dreams” or “money makes the world go ‘round, find a secure job”.
Which leads me on to my next point.
Nothing is secure.
A voice in my head tells me “Why would you leave the security of a full time job?” The problem with that question is, just because I had a full-time job doesn’t mean I had security.
I mean sure, short-term security was right in my hand. I had just gotten a promotion and a pay rise. But at the very same time, I was reading stories of people in top management positions being made redundant after over 10 years’ service. I wonder if they felt secure.
Here’s the thing – when I start making money (not if, I’m optimistic) there is no guarantee that will last either. Life changes, things happen, nothing is secure. But I would much rather have this happen 10 years into my own ventures vs 10 years into my crummy day job wondering “What if?”
Landscape photography – and photography in general – is an oversaturated market. There is definitely no shortage of shutter clicks in the world. Even nowadays with social media making sharing your latest snap with the world just a few screen taps away, it’s hard to get noticed.
Now, I don’t have a big following. In fact, as of writing this, I have only just hit 250 Instagram followers. So there is nothing to keep me afloat in these overpopulated waters. But that’s exactly why I took the jump. I honestly envy people who can make their dreams a reality amid a full-time job, family commitments, and all of the other bits and pieces that make up life. I tried doing the part-time thing and it didn’t work. I needed to dive head first into this and just focus on swimming.
More and more people are finding success every day. And I want to be one of them.
So, what’s the plan?
Starting today, I am launching my plan of attack. I have my focus set on 3 key things.
- Tutorials. I am going to be honing my landscape photography skills and sharing everything I know on my YouTube channel and here on my website. This will also be a key educational tool for myself.
- Networking. The saying goes “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”, and that really is true. In the past few months I have met some incredible people that have given me some great opportunities. I want more of that. It’s already started with business relationships and joining online communities, but I would love to get out there and collaborate with other like-minded photographers.
- More photos. At the end of the day, I was just not taking enough photos. If I was lucky I would get one or two a week, and that didn’t assure quality either. I’m going to travel more and see more of the country, and shoot as much as I can.
All guns blazing.
It’s full steam ahead as of right now! I’ve been told that I will be working twice as hard as I was at my “real job”, and I couldn’t agree more. I am super excited for the next few months, even if I am terrified of the great unknown, but that’s half the fun. This is going to be one hell of an uphill battle, but I know the view at the top is breathtaking.