“I have a passion to do what you do.” This is a typical comment I get often in so many emails asking me how I do what I do. On the heels of that question often comes another. “Can you really make ends meet shooting freelance for only non-profits?’ While it may be possible for a handful of photographers, I don’t see it as the norm with most of my fellow workers in this field. Several years ago I did three blog posts on how other photographers weave a tapestry of commercial shooting, teaching and writing to enable them to focus on stories of NGO’s and non-profits providing help throughout the world. See that PART 1, PART 2, PART3.
As for me, I continue to shoot stock for Getty Images and do commercial assignments. Some shoots are conceptual in nature and others are like these travel images from a recent stock shoot in Maine. For more than 20 years stock has provided me the freedom to pursue intimate stories of relief aid and development throughout more than 65 countries. But, the “How to do it” answer is going to be different for each individual. There’s no well-worn path to follow.
For me, photography is both a passion and a business. If you feel the same, too much focus on one or the other and your business might fizzle or your passion wane. If you really want to do THIS, nurture your passion by involving yourself in the needs of the hurting and poor, as well as devoting yourself to creating a viable business.
All Photographs ©Copyright Gary S. Chapman
(Nikon D4, 14-24mm @22mm, 1/1600 sec, f9, ISO 400)
(Nikon D4, 28-300mm@ 135mm, 1/800 sec, f8, ISO 400)
(Nikon D4, 28-300mm@ 300mm, 1/800 sec, f5.6, ISO 320)
(Nikon D4, 28-300mm@ 116mm, 1/200 sec, f5.6, ISO 2000)