Quitting Your Day Job: Becoming A Full-Time Photographer

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Quitting Your Day Job: Becoming A Full-Time Photographer with Bethany Ellen

When I started my photography career, a lot of people smiled and nodded and said, “Wow. What a great side hustle.”

For a while, that’s all I thought a photography career could be. A really nice side gig to fulfill some creative energy and make me an extra dollar or two. I had no idea this was actually how people sustained themselves.

I’m not alone in that sentiment, and there are good reasons why. People stay in careers that don’t serve them for several reasons, the main ones being:

  • We are addicted to stability
  • We don’t have adequate representation of success
  • We are in a permanent state of analysis paralysis

But the truth many photographers forget is that they aren’t pioneers in their field. Many photographers have overcome tons of external circumstances to support themselves solely with their studio. If you’re looking to ditch the 9-to-5 cubicle life and fully embrace entrepreneurship, the great news is you aren’t the first to do so! The better news is you can plan for long-term success while still in your safety net. Here’s the how-to guide on maximizing your Weekend Warrior lifestyle.

Setting Your Intent

Every morning I worked my 8-to-5 (had to arrive before 9 to account for my unpaid lunch), I would catch myself sitting in my car until the last possible second. It turns out, I was so exhausted and burnt out that I was arriving early just to sit in the parking lot for 10 minutes and get the strength to go inside. One day, I just started repeating to myself, “Quitting is coming. This isn’t forever.”

It’s important to make your desire to quit your job known, even if it’s just to yourself first. There are a lot of ways that people like to do this, and everyone who’s quit their job will tell you their preferred method. Some will tell you to set a number that you’ll earn to prove you have what it takes. Some set a date.

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