Scott Bourne and I met over twenty years ago when he submitted some work to Hasselblad, but it wasn't until 2009 the friendship kicked into high gear when he spoke at the first Skip's Summer School.
Catching up on my reading I ran across this post from way back when and it just hit home. In one short blog, Scott summed up at least a dozen points I've tried to make over the past few months. The point I'm having the most fun with is simply that we're all still going to school. Having just launched SCU, a commencement speech is pretty much on target! Technology, the economy, new concepts and new friends are constantly pushing us to keep learning, to be patient and to continue to experiment and push the envelope. Skip Cohen
Commencements are coming up all over the country in the next couple months. As someone with gray hair, I can’t help but have a very different perspective on photography than someone of college age. I am often asked what advice I’d give someone just breaking into professional photography. The usual response goes something like this…
“Be prepared for lots of hard work – sales and marketing should dominate your day – show the work every chance you get – network like crazy – shoot what you love – repeat.”
But while that’s all good advice, there’s more I would say if I were speaking at a commencement.
I’d talk about understanding the high degree of importance graduates should place in each and every relationship they engage in during their career. Whether it’s the mailman or the recent client, these relationships are really all that matters. I didn’t know this when I was young and it hurt me…both personally and professionally.
So obsess over gear and f/stops if you must, but if you really want to succeed, pay attention to the people in your professional life. Build solid, long-term relationships with them. Care about them. Help them. Put them and their interests ahead of your own. You never know where that will lead. You might be dealing with that person 30 years later. They’ll remember how you valued (or didn’t) the relationship when you were young. And so will you.
Check out Scott's faculty page and you'll see his advice is still right on target!
Photo Credit: © Andrew Kazmierski | Dreamstime.com