Image by Kay Eskridge. All rights reserved.
"Why?" is all about the stories behind the favorite images of some of the most respected artists in photography. With each episode of "Why?" I've been amazed at each guest's willingness to share a piece of the passion they have for the craft.
Kay Eskridge joins me on this new episode. She's a photographer, educator and has been a good friend for many years. This is a different kind of back-story today and relates to the legacy of each photographer. Her backstory is about insight into the why photography is so important, not just in the lives of our clients, but our own as well.
Kay's specialty is family portraiture. She never compromises on the quality of an image, customer service or her relationship with each client. She combines her passion for photography with her love for people. Check out more of Kay's work with a visit to her website by clicking on the photograph above.
Once you find that box or album of old images, there's no telling where things will go!
The picture on the left is me in my grandmother's back yard around age 3. The picture on the right, with the little kid down front, is my Dad at about the same age. For me, the most fun is the hair. Dad had an almost full head of hair right up until he passed away at 93, and I've still got all of mine.
Joe Buissink, in a discussion about health challenges, once said to me, "You can't hide from bad genes!" Well, you apparently can't hide from the good ones either.
Sixty years later Bambi Cantrell got the shot to the right of my Dad and me. It's one of my most favorite prints and is framed on the wall of my office. I know we look like father and son, but until I saw the images above, next to each other, I didn't realize how far back the resemblance went.
The seasonality of the fourth quarter is right around the corner! Now is the perfect time for you to remind your target audience they're long overdue for a portrait session. The only way to stop time and savor those memories is with photographs. And, you're their very best resource to create that magic!
Happy Throwback Thursday!
"What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal."
Like so many of you, I sat and watched the news tonight in complete horror as Hurricane Harvey continues to have an impact on so many lives. Over and again I felt overwhelmed by being too far away to help directly. Posts I have scheduled for later tomorrow will eventually get posted, but right now this post has priority.
I pulled the five organizations below from a story earlier this afternoon in The Washington Post. Each was listed as having programs immediately in place to help families caught in Harvey's destruction. Whatever you can do to help, now is the time! Just click on the banners.
Whether you have friends in the storm area or not; all of us have a responsibility to each other.
Give whatever you can, but equally important, please share this post or the links below.
"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give."
Images copyright Bob Davis. All rights reserved.
Last week during the "Great American Eclipse," which we didn't see much of in Southwest Florida, I shared a post with images from my good buddy, Bob Davis. Although we weren't going to get full vision of the eclipse, I still wanted to make a point. Even if I had a perfect view, why would I bother to attempt the capture when some of the most talented artists in the industry, Bob being one of them, had spent days getting ready, were poised and waiting?
The following day, Bob posted a series of great images and the day after that, his "partner in crime," posted the composite below. The fun of imaging isn't always in being the one who got the shot, but enjoying the friendships with those who did!
The last full solar eclipse that crossed the entire United States was in 1918 - ninety years ago and the next one, visible in the U.S. is in 2024, but you don't have to wait seven years to see more of Bob's images or attend one of his workshops. Bob and Dawn Davis need to be on your radar, and they're only a click away!
Three years ago I shared the post below, but it's obvious too many photographers still don't get the point!
I visit dozens of websites every day and I don't understand why as business owners so many of you continue to share images Uncle Harry could get.
Think about Starbucks for just a second. My wife Sheila loves their Iced Cafe Mocha. No matter where we are, she knows it's going to be made exactly the way she likes it. But, just suppose Starbucks lost their consistency and suddenly every Iced Cafe Mocha was different - no two ever being the same. What if one Starbucks had that homey cafe feeling while another was a bug infested filthy dive?
I don't need to waste more blog space on the analogy - I know you get it, but here's what some consumers might think. They're looking through your galleries and they see some images that are stunning and reflect the skill set of an artist. However, other images are poor to mediocre at best. Don't you think they wonder which photographer they're going to hire?
Stop compromising on the quality of your images - it's that simple. Only show your very best work. You don't need to show any more than 8-10 images in a category, unless you're showing full albums and even then, make sure it's your most stunning book!
Take a look at your galleries right now. As you look at each image, ask yourself one question, "If this was the only picture I could show, is it good enough, all by itself, to get hired?" Everyone's goal is to create "wow" prints. And to Scott's point below, if you can create that one image that stops people in their tracks - it truly becomes the great equalizer!
Quality in business isn't hit or miss whenever you feel like putting in the effort - it's a way of life, dedication and commitment!
by Scott Bourne
No shocker here – I love photography. But why? There are 100 reasons. But one stands out above the rest. Surprisingly, it’s not something I hear many people talking about. Ready? Photography is the great equalizer.
If you have a moving, shocking, thought-provoking, arresting, important, serious photograph that causes people to react, think, feel, etc., it doesn’t matter whether you are old or young, female or male, what race you are, what religion you are, what your history is or what your future holds, what country you live in, how much money you have, how pretty you are, how strong you are, how powerful you are, how important you are, how cool you are – all that matters and I do mean ALL that matters – is the picture.
If people are honestly moved by your work – not by your fame or your position or your status – but simply by your work, in today’s culture that is a marvelous and rare thing.
In a world where young people want to be famous for being famous, to find something as meaningful as a photographic image and to know that it doesn’t matter who made it – just that it was made – well, that is a terrific thing.
Photography is the great equalizer. When I see an arresting image the maker, no matter who they are or their station in life – the maker has the ability to rise with their image. Photos hang on the wall of the gallery or the museum or in the pages of a book or magazine or on the screen of a computer or television, not because the person who made the images was important – but because the image itself was important.
Going through my notifications on Facebook this morning I had somebody comment on a post. One person felt it necessary to write, "Unfollowed." I smiled, shook my head, mentioned it to Molly the Wonder Dog and started writing this post. I couldn't help but think about one of those early lessons many of us got as kids, "If you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all!"
I started this blog to build content to help photographers build a stronger business. After almost five years there are thousands of original and guest posts all related to some aspect of building a photography business. There are also posts about products, applications and companies I believe in - not because of what they do, make or might be SCU partners, but because I personally know the people involved. I know if I suggest you guys check them out, you're not going to be disappointed.
Here's a more creative way to make my point.
Yesterday afternoon I headed over to Nokomis Beach. I wanted to check out the impact of the storm and get a few photographs. I took two cameras with me, an FZ300 and a GH4 with the 100-300mm zoom.
As I walked onto the beach, the first thing that hit me was the shredded red warning flag on the lifeguard stand. I love the ocean and playing in the waves, but when the red flag is up, and there are riptide warnings everywhere, it's sound advice to stay out of the water.
Down the beach was the second thing I noticed. Well beyond a reasonable distance from the lifeguard, at least 300 yards were two teenagers swimming in the surf! That little black spot in the image above is one of them. The ocean was violent enough that I stopped shooting. It wasn't fun wondering if I was about to witness a weekend drowning.
So, here's the point. Wouldn't it be nice if a red flag went up warning us of toxic people? Or maybe it should just be a detour sign so that we can go around them. I shared a quote last week that's going to become one of my favorites:
"It's so nice when toxic people stop talking to you.
It's like the trash took out itself!"
Wishing all of you a wonderful Sunday. Prayers for everyone in the worst part of the storm. Most important of all, wishing you a day of no toxicity, peace, and lots of love from the people in your life meaningful to you. Take the time for those long hugs and give yourself a big pat on the back for taking the time to remember what's most important in your life.
Image Copyright Greg Gorman. All rights reserved.
"Why?" is all about the favorite images of some of photography's most respected artists. We see hundreds of images every day, but rarely do we hear the stories behind them. Greg Gorman is in the "Why?" spotlight today talking about one of his most iconic images, his portrait of Andy Warhol. Actually, it's one of the most recognized portraits in the world!
I first met Greg back in the 90's when one of his images was featured in Hasselblad's "Hot Stuff" campaign. Back then, working together with Eastman Kodak, we were one of the first companies to set up "Speakers Corner" and bridge the aisle between the two booths. We had a different speaker every hour. Greg was one of our speakers at PhotoWest in San Francisco, then the sister show to PPE in NYC in October. He's an artist, educator, writer and today has added winemaker to his credentials.
From celebrity portraits and advertising campaigns to magazine layouts and fine art, spanning over four decades, he never compromises on the quality of an image or the relationships with his clients. Click on the picture above to visit his website and his galleries - you'll never be disappointed.
For me a photograph is most successful
when it doesn't answer all the questions and it leaves something to be desired.
I like each picture that I take to be a testament to the individual character of my subject.
I know I shared the print above once before, but this week I stumbled across the gem at the right. In addition to being very timely with events going on in the world, some incredible memories came bubbling to the surface.
The flag itself, along with any color, is painted on the back side of the glass. There is a small cutout to put the name of the retailer on the bottom. Over the years it chipped a little, but it's still a classic. It's in a wood frame with a paper easel back and my grandfather probably handed these out in the 1940's.
My grandparents had a little hardware store for fifty-two years in Fairport Harbor, Ohio. They bought the store in 1921 and retired in 1973. The store is long since gone, but not the memories.
As a kid, especially at Christmas time, I'd help out in the store. This is back in the days before the big retailers; there was no Internet and in fact, looking at the framed picture of the flag, even phone numbers were different - only four digits!
The fun of Throwback Thursday is in taking the time to look for those old classics and then enjoying the memories they bring back. It's more than just the photograph itself.
Take a few minutes today and find yourself one old photograph from your childhood and then just kick back and think about the memories that bubble to the surface. Then, share a part of the story on your blog and use it to remind "Mom" how quickly the kids grow up and life changes. When was the last time she had a family portrait done?
Happy Throwback Thursday.
Oops!....If you saw this post yesterday, I gave Bob Coates the credit for the image below belonging to Bob Davis. Both of these guys have been good friends of mine for years. I can only apologize, but blame it on lost brain cells from too many concerts in the 70's and 80's!
Image Copyright Bob Davis. All rights reserved.
About twelve hours ago one of my most favorite people in photography posted this image and it's too much fun not to share beyond her Facebook page. It's Bob Davis one day ahead of the eclipse and Dawn Davis shared the image. She wrote:
Bob prepping for the Eclipse tomorrow. He & Rob Lapporte have staked their spot and they've been practicing for days!
Bob also posted several images on Facebook and wrote:
It's a clear night a top a sandstone rock formation in The Garden of the Gods, Shawnee National Forest at 11:30pm at night. I've staked my spot to shoot the eclipse. Comfortably I relax in my reclining folding chair gazing into the universe while downloading the days shoot into the Westerndigital #MyPassportWirelessPro. I'm able to access my images wirelessly and share them to the world. Technology is amazeballs.
I've shared a number of images over the years from Bob they're always outstanding, but here's my point. Great images don't happen by accident. While here and there you might capture an unplanned emotional moment, the quality of an image is the result of passion, dedication, practice and simply knowing every aspect of your gear and the environment you're shooting in.
The eclipse is going to happen here in Florida in approximately 30 minutes, but I don't need a camera to capture the memory as long as the moment is in the hands of one of the best photographers in the industry, Bob Davis.
Okay buddy, no pressure - let's see what you got!
by Skip Cohen
While the topic and even a few parts of this post are out of the archives from many years ago, the concept is even more relevant today. With all the noise in our lives you have to work even harder to reach your audience, and with the growth of social media especially, you can add Pinterest and Instagram to the mix below. You need to be working to build brand awareness every day and literally with just about everything you do.
Years ago key members of the marketing community started talking about the importance of creating top of mind awareness. In other words, whenever a potential client thought about your area of expertise, your goal was to have a strong enough reputation/brand they'd think of you first! Obviously, my readership is primarily photographers, and the category I most often write about is photography, but the concept applies to EVERY business.
So, how are you going to get your target audience to remember your name? No one blog post can cover the topic thoroughly, but here's the short version. You need to weave a web around your target consumers. You need to be in front of your target audience at every opportunity.
Here are some things to think about, but this isn't about any particular seasonality in business. These are things you should be doing all year-long so that you're regularly using several different vehicles to reach your target audience.
1) Direct mail puts you in their mailbox.
2) Advertising gets you into the local papers, magazines and other websites.
3) Email blasts and newsletters get you into their computer.
4) Links from everything bring them to your website.
5) Community involvement gets you physically next to them on various projects. This is about you getting to know the people in your community and your neighbors getting to know you. You're looking for the community to be good to you - then make sure you're being good to your community.
6) Publicity releases get you into the local paper, magazines, Internet and the mailboxes of opinion leaders in your data base and community.
7) A great image on a holiday card brings you into their homes at holiday time.
8) Your business card and stationery remind them of your expertise in business.
9) Cross-promoting with other non-competing vendors gets you into their heads via association with other business entities in the community. It's also the perfect way to expand the effectiveness of direct mail and share the cost to expand your reach.
10) Being active in social media gets you into their cyber world and makes you more accessible.
11) Writing your own blog and keeping it fresh with a consistent presence gives you an opportunity to show off your work, personality and your heart. Don't forget, your website is about what you sell, but your blog is about what's in your heart - the two work together to build your brand.
12) Editorial gives you an incredible level of exposure and gives your publicity and advertising credibility, but it doesn't happen by accident. This is where working to build a strong network is so important.
13) Personal contact and simply getting out and introducing yourself to vendors and key people in your community puts you on their radar. As my buddy Scott Bourne has repeatedly written, "Own your zipcode!"
There are thirteen different vehicles to help you stay recognized in your community, and while "13" is supposed to be an unlucky number - stay focused on the points above and you won't need luck. Remember, nothing happens overnight and it takes patience along with consistency and an unwavering dedication to delivering a quality product.
For EVERY business owner - Exceed client expectations and make your work habit-forming so that word of mouth advertising becomes the mortar between the thirteen "bricks" above!
And, for all of you in the business of photography - You have to shoot with your heart to create images that tug at people's heart strings.
Image copyright Charleton Churchill. All rights reserved.
"Why?" started out a year ago as a great way to introduce you to the movers and shakers in professional photography. However, I completely underestimated the variety of images, the passion of each artist and the power of the backstories behind each photograph.
Charleton Churchill joins me on this new episode with a remarkable story. I'll let you hear it directly from him, but there is one point I want to share. Social media keeps making the world a much smaller place!
I recently "met" Charleton thanks to the Internet and Profoto USA, an SCU partner. While we probably share many common friends in the industry we had never actually met in person. On August 8 I shared his "Tiny Talks" video in the Profoto Showcase. After watching the video and reading his blog, I was blown away by the niche he's chosen for a part of his expertise in imaging - adventure weddings. One phone call later we had this episode of "Why?" scheduled.
We're part of an industry built on a solid foundation of passion. As I've written and talked about in the past, the best thing about this industry has very little to do with photography, but the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft!
Interested in seeing more of Charleton's work? Visit his website and blog with a click on the image above. And, if you're interested in finding out more about Profoto's Off-Camera Flash System, which Charleton talks about in his backstory, just click on the Profoto banner below.
We just returned home after a week in Ohio, which included a high school reunion and staying with great friends who have become family. The week was jam-packed with trips down Memory Lane as we drove past places Sheila and I had lived; spent time in old neighborhoods and then had time with friends at the reunion itself.
But this morning isn't about friendships, but a surprising sense of patriotism I found during the trip. To clarify, it's not so much I was surprised, but about the stimulus that brought out the feelings.
Every morning Sheila and I walk for half an hour. When we're home, it's just around our neighborhood, but being out of town it was a little harder to do. Well, in our home town, we'd drive over to Riverside Cemetery each morning. It's an odd feeling walking in a cemetery where you grew up because the first thing you notice is the familiar names of so many families from your childhood. Often they're the parents or grandparents of old friends, but here and there we'd be surprised by the grave of a classmate.
The second thing was the number of flags as a tribute to past members in the military. They were everywhere. They created a sense of pride and respect, first for the deceased having served and second for the members of the local community who have maintained the memories by placing a flag on each grave of a soldier.
I grew up in the Viet Nam era and had a college deferment to start, later followed by the first lottery, but that doesn't change the respect I have for all my friends who served, my Dad who served or our son who serves now. From the Civil War right through to today's losses, a flag had been placed wherever appropriate.
It wasn't morbid or even eerie to be walking in a cemetery each day. In fact, it was calming, but it leaves me thinking that I have no point to this morning's Sunday Morning Reflections. In spite of the chaos in Washington on both sides who behave like kids fighting on a playground, the flags in the cemetery represent soldiers who fought for the freedom for so many politicians to behave badly.
I'm reminded of a slogan used by HonorFlight.org. I took my Dad on their trip to D.C. a few years back.
"We can't all be heroes, because somebody has to sit on the curb and applaud when they go by."
If you've got a veteran of the US military in the family, check out HonorFlight.org with a click on the banner below. It's a pretty remarkable non-profit providing a wonderful service for veterans.
In the mean time, wishing all of you a wonderful Sunday and a day of peace, smiles, eleven-second hugs and time with those people most important to you. In a world that at times has gone mad, take the time today to appreciate everybody around you.
I don't know how many times I've shared this in past blog posts and workshops, but after looking at a few hundred photographer's websites over the last few months, it's time to post this again.
This video by Justin and Mary Marantz at this point is at least seven years old. I consider it the best marketing video I've ever watched. I'm hoping it plants a seed with many of you who still don't get it. With or without a video you have an opportunity to take future clients on a journey of who you are and why you're the best choice for whatever photographic needs they have.
Stop talking about your gear - they don't care what you shoot with. Stop talking about your awards from WPPI and PPA, etc. - most clients don't know anything about the associations. Stop talking about how you got started - they don't care that your grandfather gave you that first camera.
What they do care about is your passion. They want to know why you're a photographer not what you do or how you do it. Here's your chance to show your romantic side and talk about your love for people, memories, and relationships. This is where you demonstrate how much you love being a photographer and the importance of making time stand still with each image.
I post this video every year or so because it's one of the best that's ever been done targeting bridal clients. If Just in and Mary hadn't done a video, their "About" section would have followed the same theme and still been effective.
So, kick back and just enjoy this piece. Then, think about your own message. You don't have to do a video, but you do have to tell the right story!
Check out the most recent podcast with Justin and Mary, which just aired on August 11. Just click on the banner to the right.
In this new podcast they share a lot of terrific insight into their business, their love for photography and working together.
And, if you're looking for some great educational opportunities, visit their blog.
"The dream is free. The hustle is sold separately!"
If we put a hundred photographers from 100 different cities in a room together and asked how business was, we'd get two basic answers. Half the room would say it's been great, while the other half would be doom and gloom. This isn't exclusive to artists, but any business owners.
I've written about this many times in the past, but owning a business is hard work. Nothing comes easy and building your brand is a never-ending process. Sadly there are too many photographers out there who got the gear, developed their skill set and then put it all on cruise-control! They wake up every morning thinking today's the day the Success Fairy or at the very least FedEx is going to leave them a box of success!
Well, I'm back again with the same topic and a reminder to get your business out of the "P" mode and start mixing things up. Success is relative, and the only person who matters is YOU!
Here's the bottom line - your success is about feeling good about what you're doing. If you're not, then nothing you're doing has to be forever. Take the time to think about what's missing in your life and business. Make the adjustments you need to appreciate the face looking back at you in the mirror each morning.
"Success is a journey, not a destination.
The doing is often more important than the outcome."
I've written a lot over the years about the important role photography plays in helping us savor the past. I've shared just about every poignant quote I can find about memories, old photographs, and even friendships. Well, this morning I'm stuck finding the words to describe everything I feel after Sheila and I attended a high school reunion last night.
It started with a little get together on Friday night, followed by an alumni picnic and ending with the grand finale, the actual reunion. There's an art form I have yet to discover when bombarded with people you haven't seen in years. The plethora of feelings compares to a little kid on Christmas morning not knowing which package to open first.
I went to sleep last night thinking about the people I missed saying goodbye to. Then came the ones I never had a chance to talk to, followed by a list of wondering what's going on with old friends who didn't attend the event. But here's the fun of it all - it just doesn't matter. It's a time when superficial conversations reign as King, and it's okay because the clock is ticking. You're caught in a super market sweep game show, fighting to see how many old stories you can pack into your cart!
So, here's the point this morning - every year each one of you gets an invitation to a high school reunion. You'll wrestle with the idea of going. The older you get, the more you'll wish you had stayed in shape. You'll use whatever excuses you have to measure your success or lack of it, as a reason to go or not. In the end, many of you will rationalize you weren't that friendly with that many kids back then anyway.
Well, take it from this old fart - put all your insecurities away and just go. You'll be surprised to find the number of new friends who come into your life and how kids you never hung out with become friends years later. The common denominator is simply living life and surviving the challenges that randomly come our way.
One of my favorite quotes is from Tennyson, "I am a part of all that I have met!"
I've got a big smile on my face thinking about all the people who were in my life so many years ago. Each of us are one brick in the foundation of everyone who's been in our life. So, the next time you're trying to decide whether or not to go to your high school reunion, follow Nike's slogan and JUST DO IT!
Wishing everybody a terrific Sunday and a day of peace and here and there fun reflection. Go for those eleven-second hugs and cherish those people most special in your life. And to Terry, Denny, Don, Mike, Bill, Adolph, Ed, Dave, Jim, "Sam," Neal, Karyn, Linda, John, MaryLou, and Greg, along with everybody I'm forgetting this morning- what a kick to get together - even if it was just for a few minutes!
Happy Sunday everybody!
A storm followed by some serious rip currents combined with the number of people in the ocean is an obvious link to stupidity. However, the benefit is that it got me thinking about the signs in sales/marketing so many of you ignore.
"If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got."
From Tony Robbins to Mark Twain, there's a list of people who get credit for that line, but the importance is how it's translated. So many of you want to grow your business, but you don't want to change the process. You keep doing the same old things, but anticipating different results!
Let's start with your website and blog.
Relationship building is your strongest marketing tool!
What good is working to create the greatest images of your life if nobody knows who you are?
There's a lot more to building brand-awareness. This is just one "seed-planting" post to get many of you thinking about things you've been ignoring. You might not have a sign on your desk suggesting your complacency is creating a marketing rip tide, but if you're disappointed in your business that might just be your warning.
But here's the best thing about being an artist - everything is fixable!
A few weeks ago I shared a Throwback Thursday post from "A Day in the Life of WPPI 2008." Kenny Kim was in the spotlight. Well, it's time to bring back more images from that Graphistudio album and put one of my favorite photography couples in the spotlight, Alisha and Brook Todd.
What better place to start than with the shot they did of Kenny Kim? It was in the 2008 album following his section of "Young Guns."
Alisha and Brook's business and reputation have grown along with their family since then. I remember one WPPI where I took the baby off their hands for a little while. Seeing me walking around the show with a baby definitely raised a few eyebrows. LOL
The only thing more impressive than their work is their passion for the industry, friends, family and each other. I'm sure they have difficult days, like we all do, but I don't remember a single time where I've seen Brook not smiling.
They caught a great silhouette shot of one of my favorite speakers as she was setting up for a shot. Two minutes later she was on the floor. That's Vicki Taufer in action during one of her 2008 programs.
I loved the collages they did on some of the pages, further telling the story of WPPI. (My apologies for the cutoff on the scans, but it's an oversized album being scanned on a standard size Epson flatbed.)
These images and the album bring back so many wonderful memories. Bill Hurter, bottom left corner of the image on the left, above, passed away a couple years ago. He was always behind the scenes with every awards program. He might no longer be with us, but that incredible spirit of his will always be watching over the industry, especially at WPPI awards programs.
I've shared this before, but Author Jodi Picoult is responsible for what's become my favorite quote about photography...
"This is what I like about photographs.
They're proof that once, even if just for a heartbeat, everything was perfect."
One of the wonderful things about social media is the way it expands what we experience.
The video below is a perfect example. Shared in the ShutterFest Forum on Facebook by Connie Mason Etter, I never would have known about it had I not run across her post. I ran across this in May, but it got buried on my desktop and was never shared. Even though it's had almost a million views on YouTube, I'm betting most of you have never seen it.
I was under the impression the life expectancy of a latent image was at best 10-20 years. Obviously my information was wrong, since these are over seventy years old. Now, think about everything from the mystery of who the original photographer was, to finding the rolls and seeing the images for the very first time. It's an exciting project.
Go one step further - think about the power of your own images. You're each client's personal historian documenting a moment in their lives. It's a heavy responsibility, but an incredible opportunity to leave a mark on your world.
Being a photographer isn't about taking pictures, it's about capturing memories and NEVER compromising on the quality and effort that goes along with each click of the shutter. Paraphrasing my good buddy Scott Bourne from a presentation years ago:
"Photograph like each image is the last piece of your work anybody is ever going to see."
Intro by Skip Cohen
It would be so easy if we just had a gauge to monitor our self-esteem, and a dial to turn, like setting the temperature on a thermostat!
Sadly there are negative things that happen in our lives we barely catch. We weather little storms every day and never notice the accumulation of damage. Then one day we get an overwhelming concern for not achieving a goal and start worrying about failure.
My good buddy Scott Bourne shares some terrific insight into things to do to build your confidence and in turn your self-esteem. This post may be out of the archives, but the topic is so relevant for many of you.
We're coming up to the fourth quarter and some terrific seasonality in photography, but you won't be ready for it if you're not confident and comfortable trusting what you feel in your heart. You can't create images that tug at people's heartstrings if your own heart isn't in it!
by Scott Bourne
One Of The Things Pro Photographers Need, But Cannot Buy Is Self-Esteem!
When we are starting out as professional photographers, we believe that buying the right camera, lens and lighting kit, will make us a hit. Oh if only it were that easy. There are so many things we need to succeed that we cannot buy. One of them is self-esteem.
In my travels to various photo workshops, conferences and conventions, I am often struck by just how low the self-esteem of some emerging professional photographers has gone. They listen to great teaching and advice and then go out of their way to describe why that won't work in their case.
Self-esteem is very important in ANY business, let alone one where you are the boss and it's a creative endeavor.
It's easy to build your self esteem. Start by removing negative influences from your life. For instance, never, ever, ever read YouTube/Facebook comments. There - you're already on the road to a better life. While I am of course kidding, you get the drift. Negative people, places, things, habits, etc will drag you down so remove yourself from them NOW. Not next week. Today!
Another step toward building self-esteem is taking stock of your positive attributes. Make a list and read it aloud to yourself every day. Replace the negative stuff with positive stuff. Believe it or not this will improve your photography dramatically. It will also improve your business.
And if me saying this doesn't influence you, maybe Ghandi will. He understood that self-esteem is valuable.
"Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn’t have it in the beginning.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Be like Gandhi. Expect good things to happen. Or as my dad used to put it. . ."Be too stupid to know you can fail."
Go ahead. I'm rooting for you!
Recently we received an exclusive invitation to an Industry Elite Mastermind hosted by Arnold Clark Photography in Omaha. Unfortunately, Sheila and I already had airline tickets for a trip to Ohio for a very special reunion and vacation, which couldn't be changed.
I’m bummed we will be missing the event, but the Clark’s have graciously allowed me to give our two invitations away to one of my readers! Here's a chance to take your spouse or an associate to a very unique program and celebration of photography.
This event will be something the photography community has not seen before - full of the “who’s-who” of the portrait photography world! There will be a lavish party on Saturday night, and on Sunday there will be an Influencer Mastermind and then 10 speakers who will be broadcasted live from the Clark’s studio.
Note: If you aren’t attending the event, you’ll be able to watch live on Gary Box’s “Inside the Box” Facebook group! (Head over there now and request to join if you haven’t yet so that you can stay in the loop!)
To win our seats, go to the Inside the Box group, search for #winourseats and find the link to this blogpost. Comment or post a video there and let us know why you should be chosen! I’ll be helping to select our winners this Friday, August 11! Good luck!
This is an event you don’t want to miss! A big THANKS to the Clark's for their help in letting me share an amazing experience with my readers.
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.