Important reading material over on The Online Photographer today. Take a read and, if you want to, report back.

Yesterday on The Online Photographer I read a short piece about the horrifying pitfalls and endless travails of being a professional photographer. 

I found humor in some of the hyperbolic responses to the post and when I read all the comments (most about how difficult the life of a professional photographer is....) I thought I would provide a counterpoint by writing a comment about how much fun I've had in the business and stating that I'm not yet resigned to eating dog food in my "autumn" years, nor am I begging on street corners.

Michael Johnston liked my comment and called me to ask if he could use it as a counterpoint post to the original post. I was delighted. Even more delighted to be able to chat with M.J. on the phone for a while...

Here's how The Online Photographer presented my comment this morning:

If you are not a daily reader of "The Online Photographer" I highly recommend it. Michael is one of a tiny handful of photography-oriented bloggers that I read, religiously, almost every morning. I don't even mind his off-topic forays into the sport of pool...

Here's the index:


  1. Hey Kirk, I was delighted to see your writing on Mike's site this morning. Y'all's are the only two photo blogs that I read anymore.

    I think one reason you have been so successful as a professional photographer is that you realize how much more to it their is than just the photography. You are a consistent marketer and provide great customer service. If you weren't willing to do those things you would probably not have lasted thirty years.

    A lot of people seem to want to be professional photographers so they can "take pictures all the time". You know that it is a business and devote ample time to running it as such. I have no doubt that you could be very successful at operating many different types of businesses.

  2. Thanks David, I think that taking photos is the smallest percentage of the time I spend doing the actual business. So much of it is about connecting with clients and potential clients...But that's fun too.

  3. Like I said on MJ's blog, successful people can be successful at anything they put themselves to. Like you said, the mechanics of being a "photo maker" is the least of what you do. People skills and good business sense amounts to most of what it takes.

  4. I disagree, you are obsessed with photography and the art of creating the photo 😉 therefore, you are successful!

  5. I think your comment was spot on.

    I said something similar but far less amusing and nuanced.
    But then you are also an obsessive and skilled writer.

    Keep enjoying the wonderful life you have making our days a little more sparkly.

  6. Every morning for years it's been VSL and TOP for me. Got worried a few weeks ago when both were in danger of closing. Thank you Kirk and Mike (and your followers) for great reading across many topics.

  7. When I left rural Nevada for the Air-Force I had zero idea about what I would actually do for the next 36 years. Turns out it was a number of things, and I both loved and hated each of them but had a passion for them. When I picked up a digital camera it was like a tear emerged in the space/time continuum. Loved it. Once I learned how that love was only 20% or so of the game I decided it would stay in the hobby pile. Not that don't still love making photos and videos, I do. But I figured out my obsession was selfish in the respect that I was only interested in doing what I want when I want to do it. Still love to read your and Mike's blogs though. If I ever decided to be a multimedia grown up, my hope would become a cross between you and Bob Krist.

  8. I really dig The Online Photographer. It's one of my main go to sites for photography.

  9. When I read Mike's post, I thought, "I wonder what Kirk Tuck would have to say about this?" So, thank you for commenting, and MCJ for featuring your comments.

    One thing, though. Your closing comment, "Retirement is only for people who didn't like their careers." You're about 60 or so, right? So, when I was 60, I thought/said pretty much the same thing. I'm 76 now, and doing my IT gigs part-time, while waiting for my wife to retire. Two more years. I just hope that I won't be "too old" by then.

  10. Mike, you know, of course, that I am often given to hyperbole. I think retiring is a fine thing as long as I never have to give up photographing. Thanks!

  11. I think your readers might be interested in knowing what other blogs make up your "tiny handful" that you check each morning. Like many things in life, good photo blogs are hard to find, and your insight and experience would be appreciated by all. (As usual !)


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