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Hobby or Work?

I wanted to write this post to talk about my personal experience with being paid for photos, specifically real estate photos.

When I started taking more photos more seriously as my hobby, I started to entertain the idea of making money from what I love to do. I always had my photos available online for sale as prints, though I never received any orders. So when I had the opportunity to take photos for my Mother, who was a realtor, I was beyond excited. Being PAID with MONEY to take PHOTOS???!? Doing the one thing I loved for money was my dream, at the time. What I didn’t know, though, is that this would ruin taking photos for me for quite a long time.

At first, it was alright. I went to properties and took photos as I knew how after researching extensively online on how to photograph real estate. After taking the photos came the editing. Turns out, living with your client while you edit their photos SUCKS. They were all over me all the time asking me when things will be done, asking to see the photos, suggesting impossible corrections and suggestions, and making me feel smaller and smaller. I absolutely hated this, and after I finished those set of photos, I didn’t accept work from her anymore.

After a while, I had another opportunity to take photos for money from another realtor. It turned out the same anyways. He wanted things that coudn’t be done after the photos were taken and even suggested that I help him put photos on his website. 2/10 experience as a noob.

NOTE: After writing this and looking back, my photos where terrible! Haha. Just look at the featured image and you’ll see why.

I stopped taking photos for a while after because I didn’t want to be reminded of my experience.

Overall, I didn’t have a good time, but I would do it again with the experience I have now as an adult. I may have let them push me around too much which led them to believe they could get away with asking for anything, but I wouldn’t have gotten to try something like it if I didn’t.

For now, I’m keeping my hobby MY hobby and not anyone else’s project. I like doing this because I have control and I make the calls for what I want for myself. I could take photos for free for friends and family, but that’s only because people have lower expectations for free services.

Maybe you’ll have a different experience if you find an opportunity to be paid for doing something you already love. But I hope that it makes something clear to you like it did for me.

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