The Carty Method.

Letters from the desk of a 33yr Pro.

The Art of Living and Thriving as an Emerging Photographer

Apr 29, 2024
If we don’t live every day like we’re dying, we die without really living. For photographers, the competition is fierce. What effort today are you making to create your legacy? Did you bring value? Regret only comes when we aren’t living every day like it’s our last.

If we don’t live every day like we’re dying, we die without really living. For photographers, the competition is fierce. What effort today are you making to create your legacy? Did you bring value?


Emerging photographers, much like any freelancer embarking on their careers, are in a unique position to embrace the philosophy of living every day like it’s the only day we have.

The past is gone, we never actually catch up to the future. We live in a perpetual cycle of today’s.

This mindset, deeply rooted in the awareness of life's transience, is particularly important in photography—a medium that captures fleeting moments and immortalizes them.

Let us run with patience the race that is set before us.

Today I explore how an emerging photographer can harness this philosophy to not only make a living with their camera but to thrive in their craft and life.

1. Embracing the Fleeting Nature of Life: Photography is the art of capturing moments that are, by their very nature, transient.

As a photographer, your role is akin to that of a storyteller, chronicling life's brief instances.

Embrace this role and use your camera to document the beauty, the mundane, the extraordinary, and the overlooked.

Every photograph you take is a testament to life's fleeting beauty, so make each one count.

The race is hard, the race is long, but we have to run with discipline.


2. Seeking Depth in Your Work: Quality over quantity rings true in photography.

Rather than taking countless aimless shots, focus on capturing images that tell a story, evoke emotions, or challenge perceptions.

Each photo is an opportunity to connect with your audience on a deeper level.

Like the rapper who chooses to live fully after the loss of a brother, let your work reflect a life lived to the fullest.


3. The Art of Seeing: Photography is as much about seeing as it is about capturing.

Train your eye to observe the world in ways others might miss.

Develop an awareness of light, shadow, composition, and color.

This heightened sense of observation will not only improve your photography but also enhance your appreciation of the world around you.

Replace the anxious apprehension of the outcome you don't desire with the joyful anticipation of the outcome you do desire.


4. Building Connections Through Your Lens: Your camera is a powerful tool for connection.

Use it to engage with people, tell their stories, and share diverse perspectives.

Networking is crucial in the photography business.

Attend industry events, collaborate with other artists, and engage with your audience online and in person.

Each interaction is a potential opportunity for growth, both professionally and personally.


5. Continuous Learning and Adaptation: The photography industry is ever-evolving, with new technologies and trends emerging constantly.

Life is either Pleasure or Learning. Commit to being a lifelong learner.

Experiment with different styles, techniques, and equipment.

Attend photo workshops, follow photography blogs, and always be curious.

Your willingness to adapt and grow will set you apart in a competitive field.

It's impossible for you to work on something that you subconsciously believe won't work.


6. Balancing Creativity with a Business Mindset: While creativity is at the heart of photography, success in making a living at this requires business skills.

Understand the market, develop a unique brand, and learn the basics of running a business.

Pricing, marketing, and client relations are as important as the artistic and technical aspects of your work.

The desire to win is innate, it's built into us. You can win or you can worry, but you can't do both at the same time.


7. Finding Your Niche: In a field as broad as photography, finding your niche can give you a unique edge.

Whether it's architecture, portrait, landscape, or street photography, specialize in an area that you are passionate about.

This specialization will not only refine your skills but also help you target a specific market to sell your services.

Discipline is doing what you're supposed to do, the way you're supposed to do it, when you're supposed to do it.


8. Eternity Through Your Lens: Remember, your work as a photographer has the power to transcend time.

The images you capture today could become timeless pieces, treasured for generations.

Approach each project with the understanding that you are not just capturing a moment, but creating a piece of eternity.

If you want to finish this race, look at the fact that other people, who had it harder than you, finished theirs.

Conclusion: As an emerging photographer, living like you're dying means embracing each moment with passion and purpose.

Regret comes when we aren’t living every day like it’s our last.

If we don’t live every day like we’re dying, we die a little bit more every day because we’re not living.

Photography is about seeing the world through the lens of curiosity and wonder.

We need to be connecting deeply with our subjects, continuously learning, and finding joy in the art of capturing life.

Your camera is not just a tool for making a living; it's a conduit for experiencing and sharing the beauty of our transient existence.

Thx for reading this letter. I hope it brought you value.


Want Helpful Pro Photography Tips via email?

Drop me your email and I'll share insights to help you reach your pro photography career goals.

Please checkbox allow emails!

You're safe with me. I'll never spam you or sell your contact info.