“What Do You Do?” Wednesday

Joanne McCurry, Professional Photographer

What led you into this profession?

I always had an interest in photography; I studied it in high school and college. I seemed to get a lot of compliments about my photos. I had sold an existing business and decided to pursue my passion in photography.

What appealed to you?

I like the problem solving, seeing things that others don’t, the storytelling aspect, and meeting new people.

What did it take to get into this position?

I had previous experience; when I wanted to pursue this further, I went back to college for digital photography. You need money for equipment and other start-up costs.

What is the best part of your day?

I like preparing for a shoot and planning, as well as taking the photos and editing to complete the finished look.

What is the worst part of your day?

Choosing the favorite photos and editing the ones I’m not keen on! Not knowing if I’m going to be working that day.

What is the average salary and perks of the job?

This differs from taking personal photos versus those for business. I take photos for realtors so it averages around $75/per property to $150 per hour for events (in addition to editing time).

How would someone get started in this profession?

A lot of people try but fail – it takes a lot of perseverance, a good eye, patience, and work. I took a local business start-up course, too to learn about how to run a business.

What words of advice and/or recommendations would you give to someone thinking of this profession as a career?

It is a very competitive profession. Make good connections, build a client base and portfolio. It takes several years to become established.

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