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out of these many photographers that you know of that learned the foundations of photography while being in business, how many are in business only selling their photography?  How many sell to photographers?  How many would give the advice or encourage “be in business while you learn the basics”?

Your friend.  Is she a good enough friend that you don’t just get her highlight reel, and you both can talk freely about her business?  How much she makes?  How she would advice a new tog aspiring to go pro?  Mistakes she has made and learned from?

I know of several togs that went into business before becoming a photographer as well.  Minus the ones who make money selling to photographers, They all are out of business, or on their way out.  Only one is still in business and is thriving.  She had to take a hiatus to spend more time on her photography, and when she came back she was full on, with a new business plan that works, and with the skills she needs to insure her business keeps growing.  Only i knew of her financial struggles as she kept her appearances up until the hiatus.  And by just watching/looking it seemed to be that she was doing quite well.  Lots pretend like this and you don’t even know of the struggle. She now  advises anyone who listens “learn first!  Invest the time into being a student first.  Don’t do this the way I did.  Don’t buy into the dream that they are selling.  It doesn’t work like that.”  She went into debt being in business before she was a good photographer.  She bought into what was being sold to her, hook line and sinker.  She almost didn’t make it.  And let me tell you, it would have been so very sad if she hadn’t helped herself by taking time off business and getting back to the basics instead of trying to learn while shooting for hire, because her photography is wonderful.  The thought of her talent being waisted all because she jumped in too quickly and listened to bad advice from both well meaning people and those who sold to her… It breaks my heart when I see it happen.