Following up on my post, "Is photography as a profession dying?", photographer Stephen Richert released this great video explaining why he's walking away from being a professional photographer. After putting in years of hard work, listening to advice and doing most things the proper way, he finds it's still not enough to earn enough to sustain both him and his family. It's a very revealing video with Richert putting his pride aside to admit things just aren't working out as he hoped. I particularly like the part when he discusses how being an artist when you're young, single with no responsibility differs from being one with a family and a child to take care of.
Selecting the career path of photography is a sexy idea when you're young and want to do hip, cool work and be around pretty girls or travel the world. But when life gets real, meaning real responsibilities whether it be health, family, or just your own financial growth, it no longer looks as attractive as it once did. That's not to say it can't be done, but the market is becoming oversaturated while money-making opportunities are drying up. Sure, there are photographers out there who earn a living from photography alone, but it's becoming increasingly hard nonetheless. There are a ton of reasons for this. Richert outlines a few of them that affects him directly, but I'm sure it's affecting many others as well.
Big props to Stephen Richert for doing this video and I sincerely hope things look up for him and he can continue doing the type of work he loves AND get compensated well enough to take care of his family. Show him some love and give a like on his video and follow him on social media. You can visit his website at: http://livingvertical.org
To the photographers still trying to get a sense of financial stability with this beautiful craft, keep fighting the good fight! But if you decide to call it quits, there's no shame as long as you've tried your best! Godspeed.