One of the most free-spirited career moves is becoming a photographer. Taking the leap is the first step to being your boss, then you must be able to support yourself through a client base. You choose what stories you get to create. You can expand into different genres and different editing styles. However, there is a lot that goes into supporting this venture financially and mentally. Onside Media spoke with Erica Thompson, a published photographer Kayla has known for a little while. Erica is based out of Durham, Ontario, and is known for her creative style and hard work.
Where and when did your passion for photography started?
My passion for photography started at a very young age. I always loved taking photos of my friends and family. Around a year ago, I decided to invest in my first professional camera. Interestingly enough, I did so with one of those exact friends from childhood. What started as a hobby and peace of mind, grew far beyond that! This is confidently the best place to start out as a photographer, experimenting with people you know instead of paying models before choosing to go forward with your proofs.
Photographers will generally focus on a single niche, so their work is consistent and looks great for their portfolio. What would be your favourite genre to shoot?
Ah darn, that’s honestly such a tricky question! I have been taking a dabble at astrophotograph. I guess If I would have to choose it would be Nature, Landscape or Wildlife. All photography is my passion, but there is nothing like the freedom of capturing the beauty and peacefulness of nature and its surroundings.
I’m sure many of you would like an idea on how to strive for such an inspiring career, Thompson explains, “I achieved my skills as a photographer through perseverance, determination, and a strong love for photography. I challenged myself through trial and error and hours of hours of being behind the camera. Seeking helpful advice from photographer friends was also very helpful for me. Having a career network is a supportive move, do not make enemies in the photographic field. It’s better to have people who will support you rather than work against you for competition.
“I still am working on my skills every single day, which is one of the best things about it, the never-ending challenge of learning!” Make your work stand out from the rest; that will be the defining reason your clients choose your work.
When it comes to making the decision to go from a hobbyist photographer to making it a business, it’s making sure you don’t kill your passion for what you love. Depending on whether you work for an organization or are self-employed, it can ruin the fun, so the best advice we can give is to keep a healthy work-life balance and take time to go back to your roots. Shoot the things you love in your free time. “I chose from being a hobbyist photographer to making it a business due to health complications that forced me out of my job position. To make ends meet, I pushed myself to do what I needed to, to help meet my goals in life and wellness.” Now Thompson is successfully running her business with a more significant client basis.
One thing is for sure it’s hard at any time to start a business, but starting during a pandemic can be terrifying. To keep one’s ideas flowing, it’s good practice to give your mind a break and train it to do something else. It’s always a good idea to pick up a new hobby when things are running at a slower pace. Thompson unwinds with strategy, “One hobby I have picked up (again) since the pandemic began would be playing board games and cards. It’s always a great time and a great stress reliever!
Covid-19 had effects on most businesses; most people would like to know how you rose above it?
Covid-19 had many negative effects on so many businesses. For myself, I am just so grateful to still have grown my business as far as I have during this troubling time. I appreciate my success in goals daily and try my best to maintain a positive and motivating attitude towards my achievements.” With a positive mindset and the time to create a business, you can do anything.
What is the best piece of advice you could give to someone starting their business that you wish you knew?
To have still of advice to someone starting their business would be to do what makes you happy and never give up! Always push yourself 100% of the time and believe in yourself and what you’re capable of. You will get to where you need to be. The only thing that stops us in life is ourselves; be the ‘impossible’.” On that note, having complete confidence in yourself as a creator is one of the most challenging mountains to get over. We are our worst critique most of the time.
There is depth and warm colors with a touch of dark moodiness with Thompson’s nature/landscape photography. It’s exactly what a photographer strives to achieve, a dramatic image for an impactful story that transports you inside the narrative. She tells an intricate story with each image keeping viewers transfixed.
Erica Thompson’s portfolio and connect, visit the links below.
Author: Kayla Stephens, Content Writer, Toronto, Canada. If you have any stories or comments, kindly email: – [email protected]