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Thread: The Risk - Quiting your current job to pursue photography

  1. #1

    Default The Risk - Quiting your current job to pursue photography

    My younger bro have always had a keen interest in photography.

    He is currently 25 yrs old and working.

    Just last week while we were chatting, he asked me if he shld quit his job, get a part-time job and concentrate on learning photography.

    His current job requires him to work long hrs and normally by the time he is home he would be too tired, thus does not really have much time to pursue his interests.

    He has a DSLR but didnt utilize it much . Most of the times he use it to photograph cats ard the neighbourhood when he is free.

    As i am not much of a risk taker, I actually advised him against doing so.

    Just like to seek the opinion of fellow clubsnappers here.

    Have u guys ever taken such a risk ?
    Last edited by kultchris; 5th March 2010 at 11:48 AM.

  2. #2
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Risk - Quiting your current job to pursue photography

    Quote Originally Posted by kultchris View Post
    My younger bro have always had a keen interest in photography.

    He is currently 25 yrs old and working.

    Just last week while we were chatting, he asked me if he shld quit his job, get a part-time job and concentrate on learning photography.

    His current job requires him to work long hrs and normally by the time he is home he would be too tired, thus does not really have much time to pursue his interests.

    He has a DSLR but didnt utilize it much . Most of the times he use it to photograph cats ard the neighbourhood when he is free.

    As i am not much of a risk taker, I actually advised him against doing so.

    Just like to seek the opinion of fellow clubsnappers here.

    Have u guys ever taken such a risk ?
    what is your brother real intention?
    just learning photography?
    need to change a job just for that?
    he really has a passion about it.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  3. #3

    Default Re: The Risk - Quiting your current job to pursue photography

    He can always pursue his passions by working in related industry in photography...

  4. #4

    Default Re: The Risk - Quiting your current job to pursue photography

    A photographer's job is also not nine to five too.

    It is... not until everybody has left, kind of scenario and that is not the end.
    After the shoot, it is the beginning of the end, so to say...until the pictures is handed over to your client, boss, editor or whatsoever.

    Sometimes..maybe it is not the end too..it might be the beginning of a ..

    Most beginners, enthusiast or hobbysist usually sees only the glamorous side of being a full time ( professional - paid/self employed ) photographer.

  5. #5

    Default Re: The Risk - Quiting your current job to pursue photography

    I think you should find out more about your brother's interest and his plans for the future. How serious is he?

    It's very easy to find an easy outlet or excuse to escape from the realities of life. But does he have a backup plan?

    Living in Singapore ain't easy anymore. In terms of lifestyle, a poly grad back in the early 90's probably had it a lot better than even a uni graduate today. Today, we work hard long hours just to pay off lots of bills and loans in Singapore where things are not cheap. Think of the crazy prices for cars and housing. The majority of low to middle class Singaporeans have to slog hard here like a slave. So your bro is no exception. Ok I've digressed...

    Anyway, you said your bro wants to quit his job and LEARN photography. I am assuming his skills are still at a beginner stage. Can he support himself financially or have someone else to do so? It's not like he can quit his job now and start earning from photography right?

    Also, you need to understand that photography as a hobby and photography as a main job that earns you $ are quite different.

    Let's face it. Anyone can do photography these days. I have friends who are not photographers but they can take good shots that rival that of professionals. (Don't we have lots of such people here in CS also?) But they don't simply say, I want to quit whatever I am doing now to be a full-time photographer.

    I have heard one or 2 full-time photographers who tell me they no longer enjoy photography like in the past because unlike a hobby, as a photographer, life can be tough too. You are answerable to your clients, you've got deadlines to meet, etc. It's just like any other job.

    And to cut the myth, photographers don't necessarily earn a lot of money. It's not always fun, fun fun although I know many tend to sound like that. You still have to worry about many other things to make ends meet.
    Last edited by kiwi2; 5th March 2010 at 12:20 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: The Risk - Quiting your current job to pursue photography

    Ask or refers him to read the photo biz section of ClubSnap not just the portrait section only.

  7. #7
    Senior Member phoakm's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Risk - Quiting your current job to pursue photography

    This is my personal experience. Used to be a freelance few years back. My situation is similar to what your brother is thinking. Decided to quit my job and go into photography. After been freelance for 1/2 year, can't survive from tough competition and eventually go into fianacial crisis.

    Lesson learnt and decided to go back to full time working. Now taking occasion weekend assignments to earn additional cash to fund my new toys.

    A word of advise build a strong profolio and had a good marketing background if your brother really want to go into freelance.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member sinned79's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Risk - Quiting your current job to pursue photography

    he is young, should give it a try. no harm trying. life is all about risks. you will never know how far you can go unless you start to do it.

  9. #9

    Default Re: The Risk - Quiting your current job to pursue photography

    Thanks for all the replies/advice.

    I can say he is still very much a beginner but he has a strong interest.

    Of cos, he is not going to go without a job.

    He knows very well that at this age, he definately need to work to support himself.

    He is thinking of getting a part-time job or switching job.

    I actually strongly advised him against taking the risk as I know that this is not an easy field.

    Working hrs are long & inflexible and yes there r really too many photographers out there.

    However, the other side of me is telling me that i shld give him my full support since he is still young and if all esle fails he can juts look for another job.

  10. #10
    Senior Member phoakm's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Risk - Quiting your current job to pursue photography

    Quote Originally Posted by kultchris View Post
    Thanks for all the replies/advice.

    I can say he is still very much a beginner but he has a strong interest.

    Of cos, he is not going to go without a job.

    He knows very well that at this age, he definately need to work to support himself.

    He is thinking of getting a part-time job or switching job.

    I actually strongly advised him against taking the risk as I know that this is not an easy field.

    Working hrs are long & inflexible and yes there r really too many photographers out there.

    However, the other side of me is telling me that i shld give him my full support since he is still young and if all esle fails he can juts look for another job.

    Your small brother should be happy to have a supportive brother.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: The Risk - Quiting your current job to pursue photography

    Well he should still have time during weekend. Also ask him if he does it as a job will it kill his love for it?

    It's very, very competitive. All the best, anyway.

  12. #12

    Default Re: The Risk - Quiting your current job to pursue photography

    He should get a job as press photographer: the pay might not be great but lots of learning opportunities. Many of the top shooters started out as press photogs.

  13. #13

    Default Re: The Risk - Quiting your current job to pursue photography

    Quote Originally Posted by sinned79 View Post
    he is young, should give it a try. no harm trying. life is all about risks. you will never know how far you can go unless you start to do it.
    25 years of age is definitely no risk factor unless he got to support his parent and/or his own family ,if married.

  14. #14

    Default Re: The Risk - Quiting your current job to pursue photography

    50 years ago, everybody can afford to write, only that fraction of a percent became writers.
    now everybody can afford a camera, only 0.0n% can make a living out of it.
    so what's the chance?

  15. #15

    Default Re: The Risk - Quiting your current job to pursue photography

    Btw, what is your score of his works ?

    And if, he is just having the interest of learning photography...it will be a long and winding road. Not that he will not succeed, but there are plenty of people out there having a head start.
    Should there be a job opportunity arise... who would get it ?

  16. #16
    Senior Member Sion's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Risk - Quiting your current job to pursue photography

    Quote Originally Posted by kultchris View Post

    His current job requires him to work long hrs and normally by the time he is home he would be too tired, thus does not really have much time to pursue his interests.
    Maybe he should choose a less demanding job with lesser pay so that he can have the time to take up photography seriously.

  17. #17

    Default Re: The Risk - Quiting your current job to pursue photography

    he should go for it. try for at least a year.

  18. #18

    Default Re: The Risk - Quiting your current job to pursue photography

    Quote Originally Posted by kultchris View Post


    His current job requires him to work long hrs and normally by the time he is home he would be too tired, thus does not really have much time to pursue his interests.
    how long is long?

    what about the weekends?

    someone once told me when i said that sometimes i got too busy to shoot - he said "there is always time to shoot, it's just whether you choose to squeeze it out or not."

    i do not know what job your brother does, but other than the really long hour jobs like investment banking, certain accountancy jobs, law... based on the standard office job in singapore, there *is* time.
    Last edited by night86mare; 5th March 2010 at 11:13 PM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: The Risk - Quiting your current job to pursue photography

    if he is really keen to become a photographer

    the best is to quit his job and become a PA
    only by doing so, u know everything about being a photographer

  20. #20

    Default Re: The Risk - Quiting your current job to pursue photography

    no guts no glory.

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