A photography teacher at Maine Media Workshops +College called me to ask if he could bring his students to my studio in Belfast for a discussion about turning professional. I always say yes to requests like these because I learn as much as the students, maybe more. And this time was no exception. The group was lively and bright and we had a very good exchange about what I do and how I have been able to make a good living working in Maine for more than 3 decades as a professional photographer.
As the meeting was finishing up the teacher Chris Pinchbeck asked me a final question
“So could you describe when you turned professional?”
I had never pondered this question before and so I hesitated some as I thought about it and then I had a realization about how I work and I answered,
“Deciding to be a professional photographer is not a one time decision. It is a daily decision. You have to decide to be the best artist, tradesman, and technician that you can possibly be every day. ”
That really is the truth.
I respect the challenges commercial photography for Maine clients presents.
We have a 3000 sq.ft. drive in heated studio large enough to shoot a truck with a plow on it and all the equipment to do the project easily and professionally. Commercial photography problem solving is what I do. I love doing it. And the digital revolution has made it all the more fun because I actually remember having to employ reciprocity failure formulas for long exposures on E-6 process sheet films. Each new assignment is a new day filled with discovery and excitement for the challange. As with cooking, if it does not come out right I find out why and fix it so that it is right…maybe perfect..at least in my eyes…and therefore…professional.