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For PhotographersLifeMusingsRunning a Business

Reflections: Photography as a Lifestyle and Business

By 14/06/20164 Comments

It’s 2am and I lie awake in bed, one of those nights where my thoughts lead me to my work, life and my general state of happiness as a person. It’s been 10 years since I started this journey as a photographer, and in these past 10 years, I’ve explored many areas of photography – from travel to documentary, posed portraits vs candid photography, learnt about studio and natural light, thought about diversifying my work to get various sources of income, and then thought about finding my niche so that I can get the type of clients that I really like.. Lately, I’ve been thinking about how to grow my team, spending more time with my family yet running this business that I love and thinking about my retirement plan when my body is too weak to shoot.

These past 10 years, I’ve also felt insecurities as a photographer – not knowing if I am on the right path, feeling envy when others are successful, worried about how to move forward in this business.

How I wish there was a blueprint in running a successful photography business.

Many of the lessons I learnt while running this business was built on trial and error. I have swayed to the left and to the right over the years, and now, I think it’s time to go back to the start.

What drew me to photography in the first place?

I just love capturing life. 

People intrigue me. Everyone is so different and yet, the human emotions of love, joy or sadness connect us. I love photographing human connections – that moment when a child looks trustingly at his mother, when the father of the bride cries as his little daughter is finally getting married, that laughter shared between life-long friends.

This thought comes through again and again – keep doing what you love and you’ll excel in it. But it also takes a lot of work. On days when I am not shooting, I am trying to learn something new – reading about ways to improve my business, looking at Pinterest to find new inspiration, signing up for workshops  and trying out different genres of photography just to upskill myself.

So 10 years on, I am still learning and doing what I love. It’s what keeps me going.

GT1_916120160501 - Steamboat Makan-21

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Crystal Phang says:

    You are doing great Grace.. Keep it up and hope you gain more inspiration along the way..

  • Jacqueline says:

    I love your photos capturing life Grace :) thank you for sharing about the insecurities and the constant search for directions while pursuing what you love doing. It takes a lot of faith and perseverance in this journey full of uncertainties. God is guiding step by step. I am going through the beginning stage now of pursuing what I love doing and am grateful and feel assured after reading about this similar experience you shared at 2am.

    • Grace Tan says:

      Hi Jacqueline, Thanks for sharing your thoughts and encouragement! I am glad that I can help anyone going through a similar process. May you find joy and success in all you put your hands to!

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