Advance warning and disclaimer: I do not by any means claim to be an expert or old hand here, just offering my two cents (severely depreciated after foreign exchange fees and post-subprime recession currency devaluation) for those aspiring professional photographers. And by professional, I mean ‘makes most or all of their income for photography or photography related activities’.
Rather, I speak from the point of view of somebody whose professional aspirations started years ago, went through a series of abrupt attempts, starts and stops and encountered much frustration along the way. My regular readers will know that I’ve only managed to make this work since about a year ago; my position in the industry still feels rather tenuous at times, and I’ll be the first to admit that there are still occasional moments of doubt where I wonder if a) this is sustainable, and b) where it’s going in the long term. Perhaps the definition of success is when one stops having self-doubt (or perhaps that’s a sign of losing touch with reality and running the risk of losing it altogether).