I am enjoying interviewing professionals about their line of work or their side hustles. Today I am sharing an interview with a professional photographer! Photography is super vital not just in the world of blogging, but in our general lives! We love to have snapshots of important moments in our lives – weddings, babies, and lately even the food we eat for dinner. Read on to learn more about photographer Matthew David Parker and a business in photography.
Behind The Scenes with Matthew David Parker
Tell us a little about yourself and your business. Why did you select it and how did you get started?
I feel that I’ve always been a photographer. I’ve always had an eye for beautiful and peculiar things. Professionally, I’ve been a photographer for the last 10 years. Although, I feel that I’ve been a photographer since I was a child. I actually have a few shots that I’ve taken when I was young. I started taking photos because I was really fascinated with the photos my mother collected and kept all over the house. I wanted to see if I could make something just as beautiful to impress her.
What are some of your favorite things about what you do?
I love that I get to be abstract and almost strange in my creativity. I have fun discovering new perspectives to take photos from. At first, it makes me think that I am learning something about the world, but really I am discovering more about myself. Photography does a lot for me. It’s my primary creative expression but also a way for me to grow personally. Taking photos allows me to transform the intangible into the tangible, which can be appreciated by others. Basically, I can’t share the images in my mind, but if I can capture a photo, then I can certainly share that.
What are some challenges of this business?
One challenge with photography Is that you have to decide whether you’re making art for the galleries or for people. You have to decide if you’re going to go the route of pop culture or be more avant-garde and run the risk of being less understood by society. As a photographer, you have to be very strong-willed to maintain your own vision and stay true to that, no matter how odd someone else thinks your methods are. I might dare to say that the greatest challenge of photographers is being appreciated by the masses. There’s plenty of excellent work out there that is lesser-known.
Ironically many creative people such as artists, painters, writers, and photographers attained their notoriety after death because their ideas were not popular at the time. Nietzsche and Picasso great examples of this. Then, on the other hand, you have artists that are so well-known that their work is mass-produced and is no longer touched by the original artist. The glass artist Chihuly is a great example of someone who no longer creates the art branded with his name.
For someone interested in what you do, can you share what to expect as far as earning potential and effort?
When it comes to earnings I have to go back to who do you want to create your art for? Are you making your art for the galleries? In this case, you’ll have to price your work accordingly, this way the sale of a few pieces each year is your salary. Alternatively, you can sell directly to the public and open your own location such as a store or gallery. You can become a commissioned artist and make it your goal to complete one or two large commissions each year. You could go the teaching route but I personally can’t do that, I’m too busy being an artist myself.
What does it take for someone to get started with their own side hustle in your line of work?
To be a photographer, you simply need to begin honing your craft and taking photos. Share your work with other people and see how it affects them and how they appreciate it. If you know that people are already familiar with your creative side, you could start commissioning pieces and basically take orders for your work. The good part is there is no right or wrong way to be creative. You just need to start being creative and figure out how to make it valuable to others. By getting other people what they want you will get what you want in the process.
Anything else you would like to tell us about your business?
I think it’s important for me to say that I really love what I do and that I put a lot of time, effort, blood, sweat, tears, happiness, and joy into this. Just like anything else in life, whatever you put into photography is what photography will give you back.
Matthew David Parker is a photographer based out of Las Vegas. You can check out his blog on matthewdparker.com or catch him on Twitter.
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