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.
When I was in college, I had a friend who was a professional photographer. The first time I went to her home, I walked in to find stunning photographs of her children on the walls.
There was a huge canvas in their living room and a creative photo display in the main hallway. I remember being so moved by the beauty of those images, thinking to myself, “I want to create images like this!” I bought myself a DSLR as a graduation present, learned photography from online courses and started my photography business about a year later.