Portrait and wedding photographer Jerry Ghionis once asked a photographer to describe her perfect day. What would it be like? Would she still wake up at 6 in the morning? What would she do? When was the last time she actually experienced her perfect day?
You can listen to her answer in this short film:
Buried within the somewhat overly sentimental and broad ruminations on love and happiness sits an interesting story about an up-and-coming photographer’s rise to fame. He would wake up at 3 in the morning as a teenager and just wander the streets, looking for things to shoot. Eventually he offered to apprentice for free at a major studio, and after two years they began trusting him with solo wedding shoots, which led to more independent bookings and 7-day work weeks.
“And you know what was lost? My innocence. In the sense that my beautiful hobby turned into this business, so I didn’t have that joy that I actually once had.”
At the four-minute mark, Ghionis reveals the real golden nugget of information—a fascinating paradox that every professional photographer struggles with:
“This is the problem with us photographers. You know what we do? We get obsessed with this business. We get obsessed with creating. We get obsessed with blogging. We click that mouse a few thousand times a day. We work all night and we forget why we’re working. We spend our time immortalizing moments for other families, and we don’t actually appreciate our own.
I think what’s missing in today’s generation of photographers is that they may be obsessed, but I think for some reason they’re obsessed with notoriety. They want everyone to know who they are: Twitter, and Facebook, and Instagram, and they think that success is getting 200 likes on an image. And I looked back over all the years and I said to myself, ‘You know what? Putting my business first is not really always putting my family first.'”
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