Remember, you are the boss of YOU! You control where you volunteer. You control the amount of work you do. You control the time you give. Don't ever forget that. Don't get me wrong, it can feel GREAT to volunteer, to assist others, to help change people's lives, but if it starts to affect your personal life in negative ways, you may come to resent volunteering.
The health of our business correlates with our physical health. If we are having a hard time making it through life’s day-to-day routines, then chances are we are having a difficult go in business as well. The most major times of growth in my business have been directly tied to self-development. There is no question. And if we ignore the health of our bodies and minds, we are capping the potential of our business success. Here are some of the best ways to begin to better yourself to better your business.
Photography is a career field that carries with it incredible pride and requires an unstoppable love for the human spirit and even the puppy world now and then. If you think of your photography as just a job, then it’s time to find a new career.
People who are willing to work for cheap are taking away jobs from the rest of us, goes the common wisdom. By offering their services for very little, they are hindering professional photographers from booking jobs. But are they really? The short answer is no, cheap photographers aren’t cheapening the field. They aren’t taking your job. Why? Because they don’t know how to do your job.
Just like writers or painters, photographers can run into creative blocks and get stuck in a rut. These creative ruts can last days or even weeks, and in extreme cases of creative drought can also lead to loss of interest in photography altogether. But even if you are always busy with photography, new sources of inspiration can energize and invigorate your spirit and take your work in a new and unexpected direction.
Shutter and ShutterFest do something really well: They stand out from the crowd. They are different. They are in your face. They make you stand up and take notice. The question you should be asking is: How do I apply some of these guiding principles to my own business?
Along with writing your own book someday, many of you aspire to be a speaker. But being on the road as a speaker and educator falls under the umbrella of “be careful what you wish for.” To begin with, let’s define speaker as the word applies to the speaking industry. Anybody with enough confidence can get up and speak about a topic, but in professional photography, you need to be an educator. You need to provide people with relevant content that attempts to elevate photographers’ game.
If you’ve been around long enough in this industry, you know how we’ve fought to build community instead of competition. Thankfully, it has gotten a lot better lately. It is nothing like when I walked into my first local photography meeting 18 years ago. It was like walking into a boys’ club where they measured themselves by sharing how many weddings they were booked for that year. Whoever had the most won, even if he wasn’t charging very much for them.
I have been at this for 10 years, and in that time, I have watched my work continue to improve. We never stop growing. But that improvement was not haphazard in its execution. The things I know today as second nature, I vividly remember struggling with eight years ago. So that leads us to the next questions. How do I become better? How do I prevent burnout? How do I chart my career? Let’s dive into some ideas that will help you no matter where you are in your career.
This time of year has represented an incredible struggle for me for as long as I can remember. The days are shorter, the temperature is colder, motivation is often nonexistent and hibernation mode is on full power.