Commercial work hones your skills in different ways

Commercial work — corporate brochures, annual reports, catalog images — may seem boring compared to chasing a big news story, but ultimately the work pays off by honing your photography skills in different ways. I’m currently shooting an annual report for the YMCA in metropolitan north Boston that at first mention sounds dull, but in actuality involves a variety of settings. I’m shooting Zumba exercise classes, elderly Russian immigrants learning to swim in an Olympic-size pool, senior citizens taking a Thai boxing class, Cambodian kids in an after-school activities group and pre-schoolers getting into whatever creative endeavor the teacher has in mind. Point is, the work is all good. You have a camera and a laptop and are earning a living with those tools. Go for it.