Whether you are just starting out in photography or have a few years of experience under your belt, building your career around your passion is more possible than ever. Henry Marsh transitioned from a 9-to-5 job to a full-time career as a photographer after teaching on Skillshare and you can too.
At first glance, Henry’s story may sound all too familiar. He was working a traditional 9-to-5, but knew that pursuing photography was his real dream. “I was actually a qualified Industrial Engineer, so being a full-time photographer is probably a little counter intuitive. But photography became my outlet, creative and otherwise, for so many different reasons, that it just seemed to be the right choice to follow my passion as my job!”
What sparked this shift? “I’ve been a ‘photographer’ since I was really young. I remember being one of the only kids on school outings who took disposable cameras with me just to document everything we were doing at any given moment. But I was going through some health issues and was temporarily kicked out of university, and it was almost life’s little way of saying ‘You should be doing something more interesting with your life.’”
While Henry was always drawn to photography, he didn’t consider himself a professional by any means. “I had been using a small point and shoot camera to take photos at music events and had started writing about my adventures. A friend of mine came across my work and asked if I’d like to take photos and write for her blog. It really just snowballed from there. I used photography to get me through my studies, and it was then that I bought my first DSLR and quality lens.”
As Henry began dedicating more time to photography and growing his craft, his Instagram following grew and took notice. “I got into teaching because I had a lot of friends, and people on Instagram, ask me how I was achieving a certain look. Mostly, though, I wanted to share how big brand photographers were getting their photographs to look so good. I feel that kind of information should be easily available to everyone.”
Ultimately teaching on Skillshare was what drove Henry to make the transition to a full-time photography career. “Skillshare earnings were the rationale that I gave myself in order to go into photography full-time. Earnings, and the methodology behind Skillshare, allowed me to see that I could create a stable monthly income through photography.” Even though he just began teaching on Skillshare, with two classes under his belt, Henry has reached 800+ followers and earned $1,000 to date.
Teaching has not only provided Henry with a passive income stream to support his photography business, but has enhanced his own skills and talents as a photographer. “They say that ‘those who cannot do, teach’, but I think that’s all backwards. I think you learn so much more when you teach others. I see photography differently now compared to before I was teaching. It has made me a better photographer.”
Ready to invest more time in your passion for photography? Henry has a few words of wisdom. “Just keep shooting. Take your camera, get some friends/ your dog/ your favourite flower, and take photos. The best way to learn is by doing.”
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