To my unsupportive husband,
I know you work so hard every day to support our family and I want you to know that I appreciate it. I respect you, and your job, but sometimes I feel like I don’t get that same respect back. I know that society has taught us to believe that photography is not a “real job”, so I’m not blaming you for thinking that way.
But I am asking you to change the way you think. My love of photography may have started out as a hobby, but I’m a professional photographer now. And even though my job doesn’t require me to put on a suit and go to an office every day, it is a real job. I value your opinion and as my husband, I need your support. I need you to believe in me.
Running a photography business isn’t easy. I need to invest in equipment and invest in training. I need to shoot in the evenings and on weekends sometimes. I won’t make a lot of money in the beginning. And I know it feels risky to invest our money in my photography, but I want you to know this isn’t just an expensive hobby that I’m going to get bored with in 6 months. This is a business.
I know you see me working hard to grow my business. I’ve learned how to create a website and I’ve learned how to shoot manual and how to pose and work with all sorts of clients, even newborns. I have set up an efficient workflow, made a business plan and customized legal contracts and policies for my business. I’m getting paid for my work and even though it’s not a lot of money just yet, I know I’m on the right track.
But when you make sarcastic comments about how I’m better at spending money on photography than making money doing photography, I feel irresponsible. When you use air quotes when you talk about my “photography business”, I feel humiliated. When you tell me we shouldn’t spend $700 for me to go to a workshop, I feel ashamed for mentioning it. When you tell me I should “just cancel that session” so we can make other plans, I feel disrespected.
I work just as hard as you do every day. Just because my job does not bring home a steady paycheck does not mean that it is any less important than yours. I know that’s not easy to hear. But it’s true. And it’s the root of all our problems involving my new business. I need your respect. I need your trust. I need your support. Without it, my business will never succeed.
Your Wife, the professional photographer
Letters From a Photographer is an original series by Design Aglow. Articles are meant to spark thought and conversation and be shared within our industry.
Perhaps your anxieties are internal? The fear of failing at that which is most dear to you? Or the terror of living with regrets that can never be remedied?