In the past few years questions to me from photographers who have decided to start business or maybe they’ve been in it for a while has increased. Questions ranging from how certain shots were done, or business tips to gain cliental, so I thought why not make a post on my blog? This way I can get a feel for popular questions to me, and post my thoughts on a place where everyone can see. Now let me preface by saying, I am not the teacher type by any means. My style is not traditional by any means, so for certain shots, I may not take the same approach as another photographer. But that’s the beauty of photography, as long as you get the shot you want, it doesn’t matter how you got it. 🙂 So instead this will more be a post of ideas or thoughts in response to questions that may have been asked, or just random thoughts I might have that might be of help to someone. And remember, photography is an art, so it’s subjective, so what works for me might not work for you. Or an idea I might have may not be your cup of tea, and that’s totally fine. I do not plan to update this on a certain day, just whenever something comes up, I’ll post thoughts about it, so be sure and stay tuned.
Anyway, for my first post, I thought I would simply start with where you get your inspiration from. For this example, I’m going to say you are just now starting your business as a photographer, you’re looking around at other photographers, and it’s no secret that there are PLENTY to look at for inspiration. And when I say inspiration, I do not mean you should copy another photographer’s work, come up with your own style, but inspiration can range from style of photography to the type of business you want to run. So who should you look at for inspiration? Well, for example, if you are a high school basketball player, who should you look at for inspiration? A hard working NBA/College player with good work ethic or another high school basketball player that might be slightly better than you? I think it’s pretty obvious that the hard working college/nba player would probably do more good for you. Because you’ve set your sights to the very top. By setting your sights to the slightly better high school player, you’ve not set your bar very high, and what will end up happening is as you progress, the player you are watching is progressing, so you’ll never quite get better than that player because you’ll always be one step behind. However, if you set your sights to the top, you no longer care how that high school player is progressing because like a race horse with blinders on, you’ve got your sights on the top.
Hopefully that makes sense. The same thing goes for photography. If you are a wedding photographer, who should you watch for inspiration? Someone who might be slightly better than you, or slightly more expensive, or do you set your sights on the top and follow the best of the best in wedding photography. Not that following photographers in your area who are slightly better than you is a bad thing, but being so focused on what they are doing, how much they are charging, their progress as a photographer, etc will only drag you down, because just like the basketball player, you’ll always be one step behind them. But by following the top dog, and putting those blinders on to keep your sights on the top, you’ll advance your work and business much more quickly.
Does this mean that you do everything the top photographer is doing? Not at all, you’ve got to do your own thing because no one can be you. So by incorporating YOU into your business, it will be like any other. I’ll expand on this thought in my next photo 101 post. Enjoy this beautiful Sunday!!