By: Andrew Barrowman
QUE THE INTRO
This is a hard question for me. Mostly because my reasons for getting into photography are likely much different than what most photographers (or creatives in general) typically tell you. I can go on about how I wanted to capture the beauty in people or places, or rant about how I wanted to be expressive and whatnot, but in reality, that is not what photography started out as for me.
THE COLD TRUTH
For me photography started out as a way to make money… Yes, I said it. At the time I started considering photography I was working for an outdoor retail brand as their Social Media Marketing Specialist. With that role one of my tasks was to manage influencer marketing. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s basically when a brand teams up with someone who either creates “candid” content or has a large amount of social followers and can influence consumers decisions on what brands or products to buy. The idea that a company was paying people to wear their product in a picture and post about it was mind blowing to me! And to be honest, I was jealous. I wanted that lifestyle. I wanted to be paid or "sponsored" to go on adventures and see new and exciting places. Sooooo I bought my first camera and decided to start an Instagram page. It was my first step in becoming an “Influencer”.
FROM “INSTA” DREAMS TO INTERESTING
So I have a camera, I have spent countless hours learning how to use it, and I have started taking and posting pictures on Instagram. People are going to start following me and I am moving to the top, right? Wrong… My plan wasn’t exactly panning out. I was barely gaining followers despite following all the “best practices” and tips and tricks. It just wasn’t working for me.. And to be honest, it was ok, because what started out for me as a way to try and make money and travel more began to turn into something I was REALLY enjoying. I had a new hobby! I was learning new things almost daily, I was meeting new people and I was having fun. Using photography as an outlet to gain attention and make money had become a secondary goal for me. I started to care less about how to gain attention and more about how to create amazing photos.
So, now that you know how this all started and where I am with it, I can tell you where I plan on taking it. Ready for the answer? Well, the answer is “I don’t know”. Yup! That’s it. I don’t know what the next steps are for me and my photography. All I know is that it is something that I love to do. Have my hopes for turning photography into a way to make a living gone away? Absolutely not. In fact, it’s more the case now than ever. I now know it’s something I am passionate about and something I want to continue to do for the rest of my life. I want this to be a career for me. Is that career going to be in the form of “Insta” fame? No, likely not. But I am taking the steps to legitimize my photography into a business and trying to grow my name and portfolio every day! Who knows where this will take me, all I know is that I am down for the ride.