When I first began back in '05, photography was my passion and something I did everyday without really thinking about why I was shooting or if the shots would even be good. I took every opportunity I had to go out and take as many photos as possible. My camera was permanently attached to my right hand. At this time, I dreamed of one day seeing just one of my photos published in Powder magazine, or even in the local newspaper.
This passion and drive has brought me to where I am today with many publications. It's because of this that I know how to work my camera, what makes for a good shot, and how to have fun shooting. Over the last year I became a bit more money driven. This is not necessarily a bad thing because I do need the money to continue shooting all the time. However, I sometimes find that I'm sitting at home trying to market and make money, when I should probably be outside shooting. This realization has led me to shoot much more in the last few weeks. Because of this I can honestly say that I'm happier, and feel like I'm making more progress as a photographer then ever. Money keeps me in business, but being in the field shooting is why I am a photographer. These are my roots.
Don't let yourself over-think an opportunity to go shoot. Just head out and do it. So what if the images aren't salable (they probably will end up being salable because your doing what you love). Who cares if the images just sit on your hard drive? It's about having fun. Photographer's have the best job in the world.
Even if you are in a dry spell and not making any money, try not to sit inside waiting on e-mails to bring more work. Get out and shoot with some friends. It will help you stabilize and calm down about the fact that the money is not coming in. Keep marketing, but shoot for fun as well. Allowing your camera to become your work, and not using it for enjoyment will lead to an unhappy career. Don't follow the 9-5er's out there who complain about their jobs. Love what you do, and do it every chance you get.
If you've ever had a time where you didn't shoot for fun simply because the photos might not be salable, please share your story below in the comments.