What Photographers Do When Not Photographing

untitled-131 My experience with my photo students, and other photographers I see online, is that there is a mass perception that shooting is the core of photography and if we aren’t shooting, we aren’t being productive.

I can understand this mentality if one is a commercial-type photographer, where money is made by booking shoots for clients, but most of the people I follow or meet are not in that business.  The National Geographic shooter Joel Sartore said in a lecture that his job is 90% setting stuff up and being on the phone.  Below is my list of things that deserve equal consideration to productivity, and are just as core to a photographer’s job as going out and shooting:

post processing new and old work

researching/ learning new techniques

setting up software or cloud services

archiving, tagging, captioning

printing, framing, matting

posting prints for sale on etsy or whatever

exhibiting/ applying for exhibitions

setting up future shoots/ building sets/ investigating locations/ responding emails

blogging, getting work online

creating videos, tutorials, behind the scenes stuff

promotional material like business cards, postcards

physically attending galleries and museums and meeting with people ancillary to photography- hmuas, potential clients, art directors, gallery owners, collectors, etc.

It’s a huge list, no doubt!  Most of this is part of my usual routine and it usually only works out to compartmentalize the big stuff- shoot a lot in a row, do gallery shows in the fallow periods of shooting- and the small stuff, make part of the daily routine.  The point is, we shouldn’t feel guilty if we haven’t picked up the camera as frequently as we’d like, because the business of being a photographer involves a lot more we could and should be doing. For more photoworks goodness peruse my Etsy shop,  become a patron at Patreon, follow on tumblr and twitter and instagram, and rummage around on my full site


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I'm a multimedia artist in Phoenix, AZ. Main Site - http://www.primordialcreative.com Instagram @primordialcreative + twitter @dbmillerphoto

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