I’m Pete.

 In case you weren’t yet sure what I’m all about, this is a great place to start. I’m a commercial photographer living in Portland, Maine.

 Many people associate the phrase “commercial” photographer with advertising, or large businesses. I shoot for groups that fit this bill, sure, but it’s far from all I do. I am a commercial photographer because it’s what I do for income – how I pay the bills. Literally, my form of commerce. More on the specifics of what I do later though, for now, let me tell you a little bit about myself and what led me here.

I graduated from the University of Maine in 2006. Like so many others I know, I had a blast at school; I worked hard and played hard, but after I got out I had no clue what to do next, and I didn’t feel very confident about the real-world skills I was supposed to have acquired during my education.

 I knew I wanted to pursue photography, but I needed to get a job first. I wanted to make some money, and just live a little in the real world after spending all of my life in school. Mass-emailing my resume out to dozens of cubile-based “entry-level” jobs didn’t seem very appealing, so I fell into waiting tables.

 For anyone that’s been there, they know the feeling. At first, I loved the money and the lifestyle. But after a few years and a handful of restaurants, it began to take its toll. I looked at people who were older than me and still slogging away, and I made the decision to get out of waitering as soon as possible, and start doing something that was more meaningful and important to me, while providing a great service to others at the same time.

 That time came last September, after the end of a seasonal restaurant gig. No more waiting tables. My focus shifted to building my photography business, and I kept a few side income streams going for as long as I had the time for. This transition is outlined in How I Became a Professional Photographer.

These days, I am focusing entirely on building my business.

One of the quickest things I learned when I began my quest to make what many people consider a hobby into my full-time job is that providing quality images are super important, yes, but that’s far from the only crucial point in becoming a professional photographer. When you set out to do this, you are building a business around yourself as well as your craft, and that requires developing an entirely different skill set than the ones necessary to take mind-blowing photographs.

 And, more than that, I have realized it’s about creating the ideal LIFE for myself, not just the ideal JOB.

It’s much more than the act of taking photos for others for money. I want to live the best life possible, doing quality work that I am proud of, that benefits others, and that allows me to experience things in new and exciting ways.

 For those of you who are embarking on similar adventures, whether photography-related or not, this blog is designed to share my experiences on the narrow road of entrepreneurship in a creative field- the ups and downs, trials and tribulations, and lessons learned. Over the last year, I have had the opportunity to meet many like-minded people, both photographers and others involved in different entrepreneurial ventures. The inspiration I receive from this “network” has been tremendous, and is all the incentive I need to share my own experiences from this journey.

 For those of you interested in hiring me, or those of you wanting to know a little bit more about the work that I do, you’ve also come to the right place! You can browse my portfolios, and also learn more about my business philosophy. Whether you’re interested in my wedding work, portraiture, or hiring me to help showcase what your business has to offer, you can find examples here.

To start, try following me on Facebook and Twitter to see what I’m up to at the moment. You can also e-mail me at Peter@peterjensenbissell.com.

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