I love photographing. I love creating visual stories and documenting what is happening around me. Having said that, there are other career aspects that I also enjoy. While I can’t see myself giving up photographing, I do recognize that with my professional background, there are other, very interesting career paths that can also prove to be fulfilling on a professional level.
My professional background is very broad. When I lived in Poland (where I was born), I pursued German language and literature field and teaching. My dream was to work with children. When I moved to Canada, I opted for education in business administration and human resources, then detoured to marketing project management. I was lucky enough to work in almost all aspects of business management. Photography was always in the background. Few years ago I began to think about my photography business (joannakphotos) to have alongside my full time job in corporate management.
It was sports photography that immediately grabbed my interest thanks to my son who used to play American football and asked me one day to take some pictures at one of his games. This activity escalated into working with two local football teams and resulted in becoming an official team photographer for our London Beefeaters football team.
The idea of having my own business seemed easy; however, there was a lot to take into consideration: what work I want to make, availability (I had to consider work on top of my typical 9-5 Monday – Friday hours), image editing, sales, marketing and promotion, social media.
I also had to educate myself on the copyright rules and privacy laws in Ontario Canada where I currently reside. This was extremely important and prompted me also to research laws of other countries that I planned to visit in the near future. This is the homework that every photographer should do. This is just a common sense to be familiar with.
While doing my research about photography business, I came across this graph showing how much time photographers spend on each aspect of their business. I didn’t give the business that much thought about overall business operations until I started working on my business plan and realized that as much as I wanted to photograph, there were some business functions I was not prepared to deal with.
I didn’t have an option to pursue photography as a full time career (not yet anyways) and continue to balance my sports and events photography projects with my full time job as a human resources manager. I enjoy both and can see clearly how each career path benefits the other. I also had an opportunity to give photography lessons and enjoyed coaching a group of teenagers taking their first steps into the world of photography. Once I complete my MA program, I will consider working with educational institutions as I work with people well and enjoy not only practical side of photography but also the academic one.
I had couple opportunities to work on commercial projects in collaboration with another photographer and found it to be a very valuable experience. We worked well together and are currently in talks about a community focused project involving commercial and non for profit work. While I am passionate about sports photography and documenting events, certain projects in commercial sector are also of interests to me especially as I can use my marketing and project management experience. As our group continues working on the brief for the CityID, the team collaboration and creation of the story for the agency allows me to recognize the variety of experiences and the value of differences each of us brings to the table and how that shapes a very unique outcome.