Why Become a Photography Entrepreneur?

Dear friend, if you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a photography entrepreneur– this letter is for you.

VIDEO: Why Become a Photography Entrepreneur?

Below is a 5-minute video on my personal views on why become a photography entrepreneur, and why I chose this life for myself:

My definition of entrepreneurship

First of all, what is an ‘entrepreneur’?

To me, an entrepreneur is a risk-taker. An entrepreneur is someone who pursues their passion and is willing to take risks to realize their dreams.

To become an entrepreneur is to have a vision, and to have the guts, drive, and motivation to accomplish it.

Entrepreneurship as a mindset

I also believe entrepreneurship is a mindset. You can still be an entrepreneur while holding down a 9-5 job. You don’t need to make a full-time living from your passion in photography to call yourself an entrepreneur.

The great thing about being an entrepreneur in photography: you can make extra side-income from your photography on the side, or you can seek to pursue to make a full-time living from your photography.

So the question is, why become a photography entrepreneur?

For myself, here are some reasons I love being a photography entrepreneur:

1. Flexibility

I like how I can wake up whenever I want, and sleep whenever I want. I like how I can work hard, and also work from wherever I want to work. Sometimes I like to work at home, and other times I prefer working at a coffee shop.

There were a lot of things I enjoyed about my 9-5 job at the office (teamwork, socializing, structure), but I hated that I always had to put in my 40-hour workweeks, and I didn’t have the flexibility of taking time off, traveling when I wanted to, and dictating my own schedule.

The myth of entrepreneurship is that once you pursue your passion for a full-time living, you can always be at the beach. To be frank, being at the beach is boring. It is much more fun to pursue your passion everyday with zest, and to put in those 12-hour days (for fun). Even now, I have a lot more fun as an entrepreneur by doing ACTIVE things– building things, coming up with new ideas, and sharing them

2. Building equity in yourself

The problem of working for someone else: you don’t build “equity”. For example, my mom used to work as a waitress at a sushi restaurant for 10+ years, and she devoted a lot of her effort, labor, and skills to train the staff, improve the ratings of the restaurant, and increased the profits of the restaurant. However one day they decided she was too old, and she wasn’t necessary anymore. She essentially got pushed out of her job, and when she left the job, she had no “equity” or anything to show for all of her labor.

This taught me an important lesson:

You only have so many hours in your life; make them count towards yourself.

That means, invest in yourself. All the labor you create– does that go to the owner/your boss/your company, or does it go into yourself?

For example, every blog post I write, every ebook I make, or every time I do anything as an entrepreneur — I am steadily and slowly building value in myself and the ‘ERIC KIM’ brand.

If you feel frustrated that your efforts and labor is going towards building the empire of someone else (instead of building your own empire), entrepreneurship is for you.

3. Fun

Being self-employed is more fun. I can explore ideas that I find personally interesting, challenging, and fun. I find myself to be a lot more productive in making stuff, creating new things, and innovating when I am having fun.

I also personally hate working in an office-environment or company, where there are ‘office politics’. I prefer being able to be an entrepreneur and focus on myself, rather than trying to throw other people under the bus in order to get a promotion at my job.

Reasons NOT to become a photography entrepreneur

If you want to make a full-time living from your passion in photography, realize that you will never feel ‘secure’. You won’t get a steady paycheck, and you will have more stress/anxiety in your everyday life.

However for me, I prefer having flexibility, freedom, control, and fun in my life. I value these things in my life far more than comfort, security, stability, and money.

Yes you can.

Having a mindset for entrepreneurship isn’t something you’re born with. I think of it like a muscle — it is something that you can train through mental training (Stoicism to not be afraid of failure), and also through taking calculated risks to achieve your personal dreams.

So if you have a crazy idea for your photography, pursue it with all of your heart and soul. Like Steve Jobs once said,

“Stay hungry, stay foolish.”


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MODERN PHOTOGRAPHER is your new philosophical and practical primer to succeed as a modern photographer in today’s digital world.

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Why Become a Photography Entrepeneur?

ERIC KIM x HENRI NECK STRAP  by HAPTIC INDUSTRIES // Portrait by Benjamin Thompson

Take control of your own photographic destiny:

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  3. On Risk Taking and Entrepreneurship


Photography Entrepreneurship Articles

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Table of Contents

Learn how to make a living from your passion:

Photography Business 101

How to Make Money with Photography


Photography Marketing 101


How to Hustle.

Entrepreneurial Principles

How to be a Full-time Photographer

Photography Blogging

How to Teach Photography

Social Media

How to Save Money