If you follow me on Instagram you know it's no secret that I love photography. I don't consider myself a professional photographer, yet I'm fairly serious about this passion of mine.
Over the years, multiple opportunities came across my desk from potential clients asking me about my photography services. Many of them were an appealing brand, aligned with my style, offered complete freedom and generally, presented a nice opportunity. Yet I've always declined.
I believe that some hobbies are sacred. I enjoy photography because it's a creative outlet for me, where I can do whatever I please. It's the closest to art I can get. Even if clients promised me complete freedom, it just wouldn't feel the same.
There is a certain purity to these kinds of hobbies. No outside opinions or motives, no creative briefs, just the simple pleasure of doing it for yourself. Some hobbies are just not meant to be monetized. Otherwise, we risk losing the enjoyment we get from them.
"To be really happy and really safe, one ought to have at least two or three hobbies, and they must all be real." Winston Churchill
Of course, it’s not uncommon for a hobby to become a source of income or even a career. A homebrewer opening a brewery. A writer turned best-selling novelist. A skateboarder going pro. Some might strive to pay the bills doing what they love. It’s their dream job. But making jewelry for fun is much different than making it to fulfill customer orders. Taking photos for a campaign brings pressure and structure I don’t have while wandering the city alone with my camera.
If you have that one special hobby — the one where hours go by without you noticing, the one that brings peace or joy in the way that nothing else does, the one that feels almost therapeutic — consider its value before accepting money for it. For me (and I realize this may not be the case for everyone), the personal value of these hobbies far outweigh the monetary value. My photography hobby, at least right now, is priceless.
Hi, I'm Tobias, a German designer living in New York. I'm the author of this blog, nice to meet you!