Today it’s been a year since I decided to make a change in my life and pursue my dream of making a living as a mountain photographer.
Wait a minute! Making a living out of your passion? Let me explain!
Before this decision I had been making my main income from leading photo tours, which I enjoyed very much, but there was something lacking.
While it was a great feeling helping other people fulfilling their dreams I had this gut feeling that grew stronger and stronger. I had my own dream to follow.
For 15 years I had been working on my mountain photography on my spare-time. Each year logging around 100 nights in the tent out there seeking the light. I was working hard in the field but I didn’t share much of what I was doing with the rest of the world.
While this was all good for many years I reached a point when I felt that I was holding myself back. I came to the conclusion that the way forward as an artist was to do my mountain photography full-time. To make it my job.
That would not only give me the opportunity to keep doing the work out there, portraying the Swedish mountains through my camera. I would also have the time and energy needed to share my work with you.
Here are some of the successes I’ve had during my first year:
- I’ve sold more Art Prints this year than I’ve done in the last 15 years combined.
- I’ve grown a solid community of 56 Supporters. You’re awesome folks!
- I’ve got a number of requests for image licensing.
- I’ve produced new films including In Search of The Light which I’m very proud of.
- I’ve had the opportunity to learn new skills and push myself out of my comfort zone.
But of course there’s been some challenges along the way as well.
Once I began to share work that was important to me I felt vulnerable. I don’t think this will go away over time it’s simply what its like to be an artist. However, I’m handling it better now than before.
Another challenge is of course the economics. I do have a long way to go until I have a sustainable business but no one said it would be easy taking this path. I’m doing what I love and try to focus on creating great things. With hard work, passion and perseverance I think the income will follow.
It’s a new mountain to climb. One step at a time, I’m going to get there.
For other photographers / artists looking to follow the same path I have some advice to share:
- Learn from the people that are already doing what you want to do. If your dream is to sell prints – learn from people selling prints.
- Think long-term. Be careful with people offering quick fixes. They are a great way to make money – for them, not for you.
- Listen to your inner-voice – create things that you want to create.
- Don’t listen to the nay-sayers (that includes yourself).
- Don’t rely completely on social media – build a website to show your work.
- Believe it!
I hope you found this post inspiring. I’ll be back with an update next year!