It baffles me when I hear other photographers complaining about things they have to shoot, whether it’s commercial work, weddings, portraits, nudes, etc. Ok, well scratch that last one. I’ve never heard anyone complain about shooting nudes.
So why do people shoot what they don’t like to shoot? Is it because of money? None of us got into photography to get rich. There are plenty of other ways to do that. For instance, real estate investment and derivatives trading are both profitable jobs. No, we got into photography because we love it, and we have something to express. That isn’t to say you can’t make money doing photography. In fact, there are plenty of photographers who do quite well in this regard. Look at my heroes Liebowitz, Platon, D’Orazio, Karsh. They succeeded because they live and breathe and love what they shoot.
I sometimes hear the argument that people shoot the stuff they don’t like to shoot because it brings in cash so they can sustain themselves long enough to shoot the things they love to shoot. That doesn’t work. Shooting something you don’t enjoy saps your energy, and you’ll have none left over for what matters to you. This fact is borne out by the hordes of frustrated photographers who claim they don’t do creative work any more because the paid work sucks up all their time.
The fact is, there are different strokes for different folks. If you don’t like shooting a particular type of photography, you can be sure that someone else absolutely loves it. That person is going to get the work, and feel quite satisfied doing it. They are the ones who will create creative, thought-provoking and evocative images in that style. Meanwhile, you’re going to be scrambling for scraps, feeling resentful, and producing dull and uninspired photos. A better strategy is to do the kind of photography you love to do. Check in with yourself while you’re shooting. Do you feel elated or annoyed? Do you feel free or frustrated? Do you feel alive or dead? Discover what you love doing. Focus on it. Promote it. Revel in it. If you can do this, your passion will show through your images. You will get the work, and here’s a bonus: you will get paid well to do it.