How to measure success as a Photographer

After the soccer game last night and uploading all the pictures I started to wonder how I should measure my success .

Should it be by:Revenue,Number of picture views,Amount of pleasure I get from it,Progress in my overall image taking, Request for work I get, Praises I get for the pictures

This reflection started out after looking at my website stats. I have had +100% growth on pretty much all the metrics of my web site year by year for the last 3 years.

I always loved to take pictures and all that changed less than 2 years ago when my best friends bought me a pro like camera. From that day I was hooked. I walked out there taking many pictures. Reading books and the real chance happened when I read Scott Kelby’s Digital photography Vol 1-3 series.

My pictures got better, I did win 1st prize in a photo contest and was hired for a paid assignment all that in just over 12 month.

I got out there and tried many different things and enjoy it very much. Trying new things and improving my skills. Lately however I tend to shoot the same things with less variety. I would agree that one requires focus and can’t do everything. I kind of miss the freedom to try new things with no required results.

Am I successfully ?

Financially ? Yes and No. I did make a lot more money from Photography than I thought I would ever make. Today it pay’s for a big part of the gear, but I could not afford it to make a living. Given that this was never the objective at the start I am very happy to be ahead of my 3year business plan

Picture Views ? YES, YES, No, I need to do some explaining here shooting the games I get anywhere from 300 to 1,700 picture views for every game. This is highly rewarding and I love to see what pictures are liked most. Then again the audience is very easy to please, they love to be able to share the pictures on FB. So why am I not happy with this ? The average number of view per picture is very low (3-5). I upload way more pictures than what I would consider acceptable pictures, knowing that the player will love then anyway.

My Pleasure ? YES, there is no denying here. I love taking pictures processing them, learning about photography.

Progress in my skills and vision ? YES, but a long way to go. I am very happy with my progress, I know more and more how to focus, settings, lighting, …. But I am also conscious that there is still a lot of luck in many of my best shots. I am working on this

Request for work ? Yes somewhat, Like everybody I would love to get more work assignments for high paying interesting work. Well there is a reason my pseudonym is RealistGVA, I am very realistic about the fact that living in Geneva I won’t get too many requests to shoot amazing fashion and that we have a very high density of very good photographers around here. But I get enough requests to encourage me continue to pursue in this venture. Looking forward for a few very interesting projects in the future.

Praise from others ? Yes and No , This is a tough one. So far I am very happy by the very positive feedback from my clients, this also counts the most since they will pay for my work or refer me to somebody else.

I like the attention I get on Google+ and my website. I take the +1 and comments with some caution. The person who comments is more important to me than the actual comment.

Overall I would say that I am successful so far, I am on track with my plan. But beyond all the considerations about success ,I have met so many new people. For me personally the great Photographer community at Google+ has been the most rewarding, supportive and humbling group anywhere.

Every day I get inspiration, a reminder about how far I still have to go. Meeting so many people to talk or shoot together really mean a lot more than success to me. Going out there to take shots I would never do on my own and getting to know new people is the icing and cherry on the cake

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