The article is a little bit negative, but then the reality is, too.
In fact, the first thing that came to mind when reading the article was the famous Terence Donovan quotation:
The most difficult thing for the amateur is finding a reason to take a photograph.
It gets no more true than that. I find it to be my own current experience as well. When I was working as a photographer the work that I picked up was the raison d’être, purpose and justification of all the effort, time and money involved in its creation. Remove the business factor and there’s a huge void that screams to be filled. And it can’t be filled. The difference between shooting a photograph of a girl for ‘fun’ and doing it for reward is immeasurable. On the one hand there’s the buzz of the assignment, the need to outdo what one (or more importantly one’s predecessor) did before as well as the suppressed fear that something might have gone wrong unnoticed and that it will all turn to dust or, at best, a reshoot. It’s a helluva nervous high.
When a professional shoot is for self, then two things happen (to me): I get doubts about the marketability of the product; I worry about the financial investment if the first doubt proves correct. That was the main problem with stock, and why I preferred to use surplus material from commissioned shoots. The work was created on a high and so it was better and more successful in its secondary role as stock.
So there you are – remove the pro element and I’m where I find myself today: wandering about aimlessly with a cellpix machine or an expensive dslr, and in the end, it’s all the bloody same. Photography is, of itself, an amazing experience, but it can’t stand alone. Spend your life in it and it’s impossible to let go when your time is up, and you end up trying to continue doing what you used to do because you love it so, But that is impossible; desire is but a tiny part of the circle.
Photography needs real purpose. That has to come first and from it, given the ability, all else follows.