It's a great podcast for this time of year and a holiday weekend. Tamara Lackey was the perfect guest to talk about the challenges of establishing priorities between your business and everything else in your life. While "balance" is such an over-used word, it's still the one everybody understands.
For most of us the difficulty comes into play when we start to become our business. We let our careers over-shadow family, friends and our personal lives. I know for me personally, one of the toughest things to learn was shutting things off at the end of the day as well as taking a break, regardless of whether I really thought I needed one. Like so many of you, I wouldn't take that important break until I was right on the edge of burning out!
While no one podcast, book or presentation will have all the answers, Tamara does an exceptionally good job of planting some important seeds to help you establish better priorities and definitely a stronger sense of time management.
As always, a big thanks to Bryan Caporicci and Rob Nowell of Sprouting Photographer for creating Weekend Wisdom and especially Tamara for taking the time to share some terrific insight. You'll find some excellent links in the show notes to follow other things Tamara is working on. She's definitely somebody who should be on your radar!
Just click the banner below to listen to the podcast.
by Skip Cohen
Besides making great products, I'm a Breathing Color fan because of the help they provide across the board in so many different ways. Their site is loaded with product reviews, "how-to" features and terrific content to help you raise the bar on your work.
Well, it's holiday time and many of you are thinking about new gear, new papers and canvas etc. Take a trip to Breathing Color's website, but start with their blog (under "Support) and some incredibly in-depth reviews. One of the things I love is their comment about not using Google...Why? - Because they've pulled all information into one location for you already.
Here's a great example with their review of the Epson Stylus Pro 9890/7890. Just click on the image below, so if Santa puts one of these under your tree this year you'll be set to go!
I went to bed last night trying to figure out what I wanted to post this morning. It's Thanksgiving Day, most companies are closed and hopefully most of you have the day off. Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays, but as I've gotten older I've grown to be thankful for so many more things in my life.
One of those "things" is all of you who have supported the growth of SCU and so many different industry projects I'm involved with. For example, I've written a lot about giving back and the importance of being involved in your community. I had no idea of the level of interest on the topic until a couple of guest posts from Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep went over 10,000 reads this year.
Well, just in time for Thanksgiving, Gina Harris, president of NILMDTS, sent out the video below. I can't think of a better thing to add to this morning's post, than a message about an organization I couldn't be more proud of. When they asked me to be an "Ambassador" last year, I had no idea what it would mean to me, until all of you started to react and add to the support.
With help from so many different photographers, together we made September's recruitment month program one of the biggest and most successful in NILMDTS history. Now we've got another chance to help strengthen the organization.
There's nothing I could say or write that would have as much impact as this video, especially the section about the role we all play as a piece of the "puzzle". Please share this post with as many people as you can or just post the video or the link to donate on your own blog and let's help NILMDTS expand their reach even further.
Thank you for your support, your feedback and even your criticism when I go off track. I'm so proud to be a part of the photographic industry and as sappy as that might sound, those of you who know me personally, already understand there's no career field I'd rather be a part of.
Wishing all of you a safe, happy and healthy Thanksgiving! Appreciate everything you have, cherish your ability to make memories, but for today, just enjoy being in them yourself! And as always - make it a day to hug somebody you love!
Sadly, this time of year we're all feeling bombarded with "Black Friday" special offers, but every now and then, there's one that comes across my desk that's worth paying attention to. Here's the link to a holiday special with a very short window from Joe McNally and your ability to add "The Language of Light" volumes 1 & 2 to your collection of educational material.
If you've ever taken one of Joe's classes then there's no reason for me to explain anything further. However, if you haven't, then pay attention to this offer along with any place Joe is speaking. He's an amazing photographer, but more impressive than his work is his passion for the craft and his love for education and helping artists raise the bar on the quality of their work.
Here are two examples...
And, check out Joe's first ebook! Just click on the cover to the left and you'll be on the Amazon page with more information and images.
Joe's got two more workshops left in 2014. He's in London on November 29 and San Diego on December 4. So, if you're in either of those two places, run, don't walk to get yourself registered.
Here's the link for all of Joe's workshops on the calendar so far.
It's Marketing Monday, plus we're doing a new episode today of "Mind Your Own Business." Our guest is one of the leading educators in photography, Lori Nordstrom. I was reading the advice Lori gave new photographers on her SCU faculty page and found one of her points perfect to kick off this week's blog posts. She wrote:
DON"T BE TOO EAGER FOR A STUDIO SPACE - So many photographers go through this whole idea of "I'll finally be 'for real' when I get a retail location!" Instead, really look at the value of what you have to offer right now! Find your value and then learn to communicate it to your client.
I know it's the dream of every photographer to have their own studio/office, but here's the point you need to remember - a retail location adds instant costs and pressure to your revenue stream. Your philosophy for business real estate needs to be the same as your philosophy about going full time versus part time. You don't want to do it until you can't afford not to!
Today, you've got a great advantage photographers didn't have twenty years ago - you've got the Internet and social media. You've got your website and blog to help you establish credibility when years ago, so often you really needed a full time studio location.
Over and over again I've seen photographers get obsessed with the need for physical space before they're really ready to handle the cost. Even the best of deals on retail space isn't to your advantage if you don't have the revenue coming in to support it. Instead, build your skill set, your reputation and your brand first. You don't have to let go of your dream for your own studio - just keep it in perspective so it doesn't become the kiss of death for building a strong business model!
Looking for inspiration on how to fulfill your dream of a studio? Read Cindy Harter Sims' guest post on how she turned her dream into a reality. She also joined me a few weeks ago on Weekend Wisdom. Then, join us today at 4:00 PM EST for "Mind Your Own Business" with Lori Nordstrom!
We're coming down to the wire on 2014 and a new year is just around the corner. That means every business is about to get a clean slate. You're going to have an opportunity to raise the bar on your products, services, presentation, customer service and just about anything else to do with your business.
We're very excited about today's guest, Lori Nordstrom. A long time ago Lori created her own niche in education, built on a foundation of helping photographers with marketing and business support. Today's Google+ Hangout is going to focus on some of the best things you can do to build a stronger business with solid ideas you can implement immediately.
Lori's business website for photographers, PhotoTalk.biz provides ongoing support for artists needing help with profitability, pricing, marketing and planning, just to name a few. It's loaded with great content, but nothing beats talking with Lori directly!
See you at 4:00 PM EST....Just click the banner above and you'll be there when we start!
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.
It's not a new topic, but you can blame Picasso for the quote that got me thinking about it and Scott Kelby, who I heard speak recently about the importance of constant practice.
While this is sort of a mini-rant, it's not without substance and suggestions for those of you who think you can "fake it 'till you make it!" The reality is that any photographer can get their first client, but it's the second, third and fourth who are the most important. It's having clients who not only tell their friends about you, but insist they meet you.
A few years ago Sheila and I were privileged to be guests at a book-signing party for Michele Celentano. Her new book had just come out and in fact, I referenced it in a post earlier this week. There were about forty people at a private dinner for Michele. A fun little exercise, suggested by my wife, Sheila, was to go around the table and each guest talk about how they knew Michele.
Over the half the group were past clients. They were people who had hired Michele for a family portrait and over the years became friends, close friends. Over and over again people joked about how much Michele had cost them in the past, but at the same time you could see how much they were looking forward to their next portrait session. Michele made herself habit-forming through a combination of two primary qualities - being the best portrait artist she could be and building relationships with her clients.
There are no shortcuts in understanding all the various aspects of photography and business, but once you understand all the rules, then you've got the opportunity and the right to break them...
"Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.
Accordingly a genius is often merely a talented person who has done all of his or her homework."
It's really pretty simple - just do your homework!
It's Throwback Thursday and there are so many old grab shots that bring back a story about Don Blair. This was taken around 2002 at the MGM on restaurant row on the way to the convention center. It was just one of those evenings, starting with a great dinner at Emeril's and a quick shot to remember the dinner.
As a photograph, it will never win an award, but it does get the prize for capturing a great memory and triggering one more Don Blair story.
I first met Don in 1987. We were at a convention some place on the planet and I was in awe of finally meeting the legend. This is back in the days when we all wore suits and I had on one of my favorite and probably most expensive ties. Don and I were introduced while he was sitting at a table with a half dozen of his "nieces". He stood up, shook my hand and said,
" My man - That's a great looking suit and tie you have on."
I was flattered, trying my best to look as professional as possible. I'd only been in the job as president of Hasselblad for a few months. I smiled and thanked him for the compliment. His response, caught me totally off guard, but set the stage for one of my most cherished friendships...
"Keep wearing it. Maybe one of these days it'll come back in style!"
Every Thursday I make the same point. Don't miss an opportunity to capture those memories you're making at every workshop, convention, lunch meeting - whatever it is, document the moment, print it and file it away. Those moments you're enjoying with associates and new friends today are going to be your most cherished memories tomorrow!
Last weekend, with the help of Bryan Caporicci and Rob Nowell, we launched the sixth podcast in the Weekend Wisdom series...while I'd love to take credit for the wisdom shared, the truth is, it has nothing to do with me, but some incredibly talented artists in the photographic community.
In this new episode, Kristen Jensen, who started out her career in front of the camera as a Ford Super Model, shares some terrific insight for photographers behind the camera. Success in working with your subjects, especially models, is all about building the relationship and, as Kristen points out, some of the best images come out of photographers who simply know what they're doing and include the model in understanding the concept.
If you've missed the other podcasts, they're just a click away...
A few months ago, with some of the most talented artists/educators in photography, I started a new forum on Facebook called "GoingPro". The number of members is already approaching 3000.
The purpose of "GoingPro" is to give photographers help from some of the very best. Like all of the forums, no one group can give you all the help you need, but just like having different places you like to shop, this was meant to give you one more level of support in your quest to build a stronger business and skill set.
Right in the first pinned post I wrote:
"Here's where we'd like to start - right here in the comment section to this post share one of the most favorite of your personal images and then give us an idea of what you feel you need the most help with."
Once a week or so, I've been using comments to that request as the subject for a blog post. The majority of comments have all been directed towards needing help with marketing and business, but this morning I read a few that have to do with posing. While I can't help you directly, we've got several admins in the GoingPro group who represent some of the very best in the industry.
I'm going to list a few of them, but suggest you start with a visit to their website. Look at their galleries and check out some of their blog posts. Then, if you want more information, the December holidays are right around the corner and nothing beats their books as a great gift idea - even if you're buying it for yourself!
Just click on any of the book covers to get to Amazon's page and more information.
Roberto Valenzuela has two great books out. Both are going to help you immensely. Check out his website and YouTube for even more help.
Michele Celentano's book covers a lot of different ground and there's a new book in the pipeline, not yet published. This is a great place to start, but just like Roberto, start with her website. You'll also find a classic webcast with Michele on "Mind Your Own Business" where she talks in great detail about the importance of printed work.
Kevin Kubota's Lighting Notebook, published just a couple of years back, is loaded with information about lighting and posing. It's an outstanding resource and Kevin is another educator who is constantly supporting efforts to help you raise the bar on the quality of your images.
Kevin also did a terrific webcast with us on "Mind Your Own Business" where he talked a lot about business work flow, another common request in the GoingPro forum. You'll find plenty of support on YouTube and looking at his website.
Next week I'll pull together a post of more resources to help you raise the bar, but these three educators are a great start. As you check out their work, don't forget to start following their blogs. Get yourself into their RSS feeds so you automatically get the most recently published material. Plus, you'll find all of them speaking at IUSA, WPPI, Shutterfest or many of the regional conventions during the first few months of convention season in 2015!
We're all at many of the same conventions each year - and there's nothing that beats the fun of networking face to face with somebody who you've only met on line!
I'm looking forward to catching up to so many of you on the road next year!
It's Marketing Monday and I can't think of a better topic than social media. All of you recognize the importance of it, as well as the potential to expand your reach, but so many of you are missing opportunities every day that could help you raise the bar on your marketing efforts. I've written a lot about this in the past, but today I'm just going to hit three easy to remember highlights, then I want to share one of the best posts my good buddy, Scott Bourne, wrote a few years ago.
There they are, three easy points to remember, but check out Scott's ten points to making what you publish in social media more effective. This was written approximately five years ago and is still right on point!
1. Remember that blogs, podcasts and social media sites WHEN COMBINED are 10 times more effective than when used alone. When I JUST blogged, I had a good audience. When I started podcasting and blogging, my audience grew much larger. When I added social networking (Twitter) my audience grew tremendously. If you do just one of these things, you'll see benefit. Do all three and you'll see that benefit multiplied by more than three.
2. Blogging, podcasting and Tweeting are all about communicating. As photographers, we all feel the need to communicate. Otherwise we wouldn't make and share photos. Remember that you need to be accessible to communicate. I put my telephone number, email address and snail mail address out there on almost everything I do. I want to be reachable. What's the point of sharing a photo that moves someone if they don't have a way to respond?
3. Respond to your audience when they ask for help or ask a sincere question.
4. Ignore your audience when they are complaining due to their false belief that they are ENTITLED to something from you other than the free gift you give them of your time. Also ignore trolls. No good can ever, ever, ever come of responding to them.
5. Try to use your blog, podcast and Twitter sites to solve problems. Everyone likes a problem solver.
6. Be consistent. Blog or podcast once every hour, or every day or every other day or every other week, but be consistent. This applies less to Twitter but you should try to Tweet at least once per day to keep your followers interested.
7. Don't spend too much time worrying about SEO and search marketing. If you offer targeted, niche content of high quality on a regular basis, you'll outscore the best SEO-driven site every time.
8. When you first start out in blogs, podcasting and social media, listen first, talk second. Listen more than you talk. Only talk when you REALLY have something to say.
9. When you launch, you'll have few in your audience. Be patient. Don't start counting followers on Twitter until you hit 1000. Then you have real traction. Until then, you're just ramping up and still learning. Don't be discouraged. Keep at it. It took me one year to get my first 4000 Twitter followers. It's taken me 10 months to add 31,000
10. Be generous. Be generous with your time, your knowledge and your gifts. Yes, prizes and giveaways are a form of generosity. It's a form I use well and often. But you need to also be generous in human ways in order to gain real traction.
And, one last point to remember that ties into Scott's last point...
“A blog is only as interesting as the interest shown in others.”
It's been two weeks since I was at PPE in New York and I'm still going through my notes from various meetings during the show. At the same time, I'm still energized as a result of the various conversations that took place with so many different people. It's "Networking Energy" and the number one reason it's so important to get out of your studio/office/home and spend time with people in this industry. Even something as simple as just having lunch or dinner with friends has the potential to be inspirational.
Okay, so it's a grab shot "selfie" while out to dinner with friends at PPE. It'll never win any awards for composition, exposure or creativity, but it's perfect to make a point about why everyone needs to go to every possible convention. Inspiration comes from a lot of different sources - for me the greatest source comes from hanging out with people who love what they're doing - and the crew above is a prime example.
They're a mix of skills, time in the industry and photographic specialties, but the common denominator is the passion we all have for imaging and the friendships. We managed to all get out to dinner one night, while at the convention. The evening became one of the funniest I've ever had, but in between the laughs there were discussions about so many of the different challenges we're all facing, some personal, others dealing with technology, the economy - anything was fair game as a topic.
Plus, an evening like this becomes a building block for new friendships and a confirmation of old ones that simply never die. Great friendships are, as sappy as this sounds, comfort food for the soul. I'm still laughing over things we talked about over dinner and smiling because I feel so lucky to be a part of this industry and have friends like this.
In less than two months we're going to officially hit trade show season and for the first four months of 2015 you're going to have one opportunity after another to spend time with new friends and old. Don't waste these amazing opportunities on excuses over why you can't take the time off or afford to attend.
The truth is, with every convention, be it a national show or a local/state event, you can't afford NOT to be there!
I'm not even sure of the year, but best guess puts this around '96. It's the Hasselblad sales force after they won a trip to Sweden. This was taken somewhere up north as we headed to Lapland. The trip included some incredible memory makers, including white-water rafting just north of the Arctic Circle.
However, like every Throwback Thursday post, there's always a story that goes beyond the image. I've written a lot about my good buddy, commercial photographer, Nick Vedros, over the years. Well, Nick has his very own super hero pose and somewhere along the trip we all posed for a Vedros moment.
Sixteen years later, Sheila captured me, Tony Corbell and Nick in that same pose at PPE in New York and there's another reason why Vedros is a legend, beyond his amazing skill set. The guy just keeps making us laugh!
This is also one more example of the importance of printing images. Had this been on a disk somewhere, it would have long been gone. The top image was shot on film, while the bottom is digital - but either way, do you know where all your best memories are stored?
I simply love this book and found a quote that gave me an idea for an entire blog post last week. (Click on the book and you'll find it on Amazon.) It's loaded with an almost endless stream of inspirational quotes.
Well, here's another one today by Maurice Sendak:
"Herman Melville said that artists have to take a dive and either you hit your head on a rock and you split your skull and you die, or that blow to the head is so inspiring that you come back up and do the best work you ever did. But you have to take the dive, and you do not know what the result will be."
Well, the other day I had a photographer criticize something I wrote saying, "That's easy for you to say, you've got everything going your way all the time!"
Okay, let's dispel the myth...I've had plenty of disappointments and even wrote about this particular one in the past.
I had an amazing job, president of Hasselblad USA from 1987 - 1999. One day two guys with incredible marketing backgrounds came into my office and made me an offer to be president of an Internet company, PhotoAlley.com.
The concept seemed to scream my name - an educational site about photography with its revenue stream anchored in an online camera store. Because it was a start-up, I was getting in on the ground floor and in the deal I also had equity in the company. I accepted the job and off I went to the Internet for the next two and a half years.
Even though we broke thirty million in sales, we still weren't in the black. The Internet imploded and that old business model of "we'll lose money and then go public and make millions" took down a lot of different companies, including PhotoAlley. A few weeks later I found myself standing in the unemployment line picking up my check with no job prospects in site.
Looking back on the whole thing, PhotoAlley was one of the many "dives" that Melville talks about. While it almost killed me, the inspiration was amazing and what I learned about business, marketing, the Internet and my own skill set gave me and even stronger foundation for my next adventure, president of WPPI/Rangefinder.
Take a look around the industry and listen to some of the stories about photographers you admire the most. Virtually every time you'll hear about the "dives" they've taken, some good and some terrible, but they've never allowed them to kill their spirit. Each new dive or challenge has only made them stronger.
Great new directions along with disappointments happen all the time, but if you're not taking those "dives" then you're not growing in your business or as an artist. Don't worry about making mistakes - each one is a stepping stone to making you stronger.
Success does not consist in never making mistakes,
but in never making the same one a second time.
George Bernard Shaw
Every now and then there's an educational program that comes along and embodies so much of what I believe in! It's time for you to meet SproutingPhotographer and a FREE 3-week program.
The goal of 80/20 is to help photographers get back the 80% of their lives that should be focused on creativity. So many of you stumble through your own trial and error methods of running your business. I know that sounds critical, but while your heart is in building your business, it's taking time away from the passion of your creativity and the reason you got into photography in the first place.
I've spent a good portion of the last year working on other projects with Bryan Caporicci and Rob Nowell. In fact, we spent a lot of time in NYC two weeks ago for PPE. They're the new dynamic duo in education, especially when it comes to helping photographers raise the bar on their business.
Here's the deal - the program is free and all it takes is your email address to register. They've even got a fun promotional offer - they're giving away their Pricing for Profit eBook FREE when any registrant sends 5 people to sign up. Here's your chance to start building a foundation for 2015 with new ideas and the help you need to get a huge part of your life back - more time to develop your creative skills.
A line from their promotional page says it all...What if you could spend more time on the creative side? What if you could flip the split and take back your 80%?
Interested in finding out more? Just click on the banner!
It's Marketing Monday and I'm going to go just a hair off track...the challenge this time of year is how you find the balance between the business and your personal life, yet still stay focused on the simplistic concept of just being happy. Then comes the challenge of building a solid core business, so you have the flexibility to try something new here and there and keep building revenue.
A couple of weeks ago Sheila and I got into the TV series, Blue Bloods. On a rainy evening the other night we must have watched three past episodes in a row. What I love about the series is their consistency to stay with core family values, while still managing to create one of the network's best cop shows. Anyway, last night there was a line from Tom Selleck's character that just hit home,
" Life should be a series of daring adventures launched from a secure base."
Let's twist it around just a little and instead of "life" let's put in the word "marketing". Your secure base is your business. It needs to be consistent and in order to create at least one daring adventure each quarter, you've got to even out the peaks and valleys. That means you need to find some components to create a consistent flow of revenue that runs simultaneously with each promotion you do and in turn each "adventure".
Look, I recognize that it's a great quote all on its own, but I'm not violating Shakespeare here, just some talented writers in Hollywood, so work with me...LOL
Your core consistent business should be drawn off your existing data base. These are past clients who know you, trust you and appreciate your skill set. You need to keep in touch with them. They need to be on your holiday card list for this December. They need to be reminded of your skill set all year long, along with your ability to diversify and expand what you're offering.
A few weeks ago I wrote a post about head shots, because it's such a great concept in creating solid "bread and butter" income. A day-in-the-life portrait session might be the same kind of concept, especially with kids. Pet photography is always solid as well. Remember the hierarchy of why people hire a professional photographer - BRIDES, BABIES and PETS!
It's an easy point to make this morning...build strength in your core business first. Focus on building a strong relationship with every client. Then, once you have some consistency in a little cash flow, it's time to step out into those adventures in marketing.
It's a typical Sunday morning and as always, I go off track a little...okay, sometimes a lot! LOL Well, with Veteran's Day on Tuesday, I can't help but think about those Americans serving in the military.
Last night on the news there was a story about three thousand more troops headed to Iran. I don't disagree with the need to challenge the growing grip of ISIS on the world, but we all need to stay focused on our appreciation and support for our military.
But, the purpose of this post this morning isn't to get into politics. I want to express appreciation for the thousands of men and women who protect so much we take for granted...our freedoms.
During Viet Nam. I was in that first lottery and with a number of 297 in Lake County, Ohio, my number was never going to be called. I never served in the military. However, that doesn't change the respect I have for everyone who did and is serving in the military today.
A month ago I wrote about taking my Dad, now 92, on Honor Flight. It was an amazing experience, as we shared a unique level of respect for what "the greatest generation" did to preserve our way of life today. Honor flight has two outstanding tag lines that say it all...
"We can't all be heroes. Some of us have to stand on the curb and clap as they go by!"
And my favorite...
"If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you can read this in English, thank a veteran."
On this November Sunday morning before Veteran's a day it's an opportunity to express a big thank you to all of you who are veterans, those of you have sons and daughters in the military now, my Dad who served in WWII, our son Bryan who serves today and my brother-in-law, Randy, who probably sleeps in his Marine baseball hat every night. Thank you all for the sacrifices you've made to give us the ability to take so much for granted.
As I write today's post, I'm having a hard time trying to figure out what I'm even going to use for the title and you'll understand in a second. The issue is people who want to challenge all the imperfections in what's simply an imperfect world.
Like the jeweler on the left, too often we get off on a tangent and over-analyze. We see it all the time, especially on Facebook with image critiques. I remember Bambi Cantrell talking about one of her images in a workshop once that was far from perfect, but the expression on the subject's face was priceless...she simply said, "Expression over perfection!"
Yesterday I wanted to share what's become a growing series of ideas to help photographers sell more prints. Michele Celentano started the thought process for me over a year ago when I first heard her read, "I Believe". She added to it in her webcast on "Mind Your Own Business". Bryan Caporicci added to it, telling me his story about using floppy disks to make his point about the importance of printed images. Like Michele, he added to it with a one minute video that does an outstanding job of making the point. Then I added my own twist with a beautifully framed jump drive.
In one of the forums the response I got was a rant; then accusations of suggesting to people they use scare tactics; an argument over the likelihood that technology would ever change so much that digital image storage would be a problem and the list went on and on. I apologize for taking things out of context here, but it's only to make the point.
My post was never meant to be anything but give photographers some new ideas on how to sell prints in our digital world. It was just a few creative ideas to help you remind clients of the importance of an album and prints.
It's the perfect time to bring back my annual sharing of "Live Forever." For those of you who want to criticize the quality of the piece, you're really missing the point. It's on YouTube and it's my favorite video of all time about photography. It's a classic and makes an amazing point about photography. This is the best copy I've been able to find.
Here's the point I think photographers should be thinking about. As an industry we've done a terrible job educating consumers on the importance of BOTH digital files and prints. There's plenty of room for both and they serve totally different purposes.
First, technology does change. As I responded in one of my comments yesterday...
"Tell me what to do with my 8 track tapes...then tell me what to do with my tape cassettes - we have two cars and neither support all the cassettes I recorded making my own mixes in the 90's. In fact, the other day I found a cassette recording of my daughter, now almost 40, singing a solo at a concert in high school, but I have nothing to play it on...and what would you do with a floppy disk?"
Second, photographs, when printed, create an experience for the viewer. I used my own Dad as an example...
"My dad is 92...my mother died over a year ago and his most prized possessions are his albums. He'll look at images from 75 years ago with the same joy as prints of our family last year. His fridge is covered with images of his grandchildren and family events. His computer is five years old and he hasn't been able to find his images since his first laptop 15 years ago."
This isn't meant to sound like a rant, nor is it intended to be accusatory or an apology...it's just a statement about the frustration of things being over-analyzed here and there. Everybody has a right to their opinion, but I'm amazed at the extent to which some people want to keep going to make their point.
Wishing everybody a wonderful weekend and the kind of days you can just kick back and enjoy your family and friends and a few good hugs here and there!
The year is 1993 and Hasselblad won a Mobius Award for print advertising. Even though it's normally an ad agency event, off I went to Chicago for the dinner and evening presentations. Just to say we were proud of the recognition would be a huge understatement.
However, God forbid I should have to go to a rubber chicken dinner solo, so I talked my good buddy and Chicago resident, Tom Danielson, into joining me along with Jim Ritter, the Hasselblad sales rep for Chicago.
Here's what I didn't know...the appropriate attire. So, I called and spoke with one of the more senior people at the Mobius Awards and I was told it was usually a mix of black tie and business attire. I think all three of us owned a tux, so why not represent Hasselblad as upscale as possible?
Here's the second thing I didn't know...that we'd be the only three in black tie out of a couple hundred people that evening! Seriously, three times I was given a drink order by somebody who thought I was a waiter! Had we been smarter, Tom, Jim and I should have taken their money and split the evening's profit.
There really is no moral of the story here, just a fun twenty-one year old flashback and a lesson learned: Always check with at least two sources when it comes to attire at any industry function.
Oh, and one more, print your images. Had this been digital at the time it would have been on a floppy disc and long since lost. I'd be missing all the fun of Throwback Thursday!
While I often have something in the pipeline to write about, most often whatever I post is the result of issues being discussed in the various forums, at conventions and in conversations with other photographers. Well, this morning is one of those days where I really wanted to hit the topic of risk-taking, which has come up a lot lately.
A month or so ago I mentioned an amazing little book I picked up, "It always seems impossible until it's done." It's a classic at inspiration-building and well worth having on your book shelf or giving it as a gift this holiday season. Just click the cover and it'll link to the Amazon page.
There was a great quote from Denzel Washington that I ran across:
I've found that nothing in life is worthwhile unless you take risks...Fall forward.
Every failed experiment is one step closer to success. You've got to take risks...
You will fail at some point in your life. Accept it. You will lose.
You will embarrass yourself. You will suck at something.
There is no doubt about it...Never be discouraged.
Never-hold back. Give everything you've got.
And when you fall throughout life...fall forward.
A month ago I wrote a post about not using the word "fail" and justifiably got beat up by a couple of people. I was wrong in my approach. It's not about the word, but how you think about it. The reality is that failures are just speed bumps. Obviously some are bigger than others, but each project or event in your life, that doesn't get the results you wanted, is another stepping stone. As Denzel Washington wrote, brings you one step closer to success.
In a number of forums lately questions have come up about marketing material, redesigns of websites and blogs and promotional questions. Over and over again there's this hesitancy being expressed by the authors and it's always about taking risks. Everyone seems to want the formula for the "sure thing" and in all honesty, nothing is without risk.
Most of you need to take more risks, even if business is solid. Risk-taking can be as simple as just changing your exposure, lighting or composition on an image. It can be as complex as your pricing structure or branching out into a new specialty of expertise.
The bottom line is there's no such thing as a "sure thing", but if you have confidence in yourself and trust what's in your heart, each new step you take will you bring you that much closer to the success you're looking for.
"If you wait until all the lights are " green" before you leave home,
you'll never get started on your trip to the top."
The new year is just around the corner and as you start planning 2015, don't be afraid of taking a few risks. I'm not suggesting you take random shots at new directions...just analyze your skills. Figure out what you need to make your business stronger and then start planning the steps you need to take to grow.
...and if you need help, you know where to find me.
Photo Credit: © Gino Santa Maria - Fotolia
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.