If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.
by Skip Cohen
A couple of months ago I was determined to sleep a just little later than usual. I was rousted out of a sound sleep by a delivery truck and the annoying “beep – beep – beep” as he backed up across the street. It took me a second to get over the disappointment of my interrupted plans to sleep, but once I accepted dealing with the change and not requiring years of therapy it got me thinking…
Wouldn’t it be great if the human body was equipped with a back-up signal? All we need is a simple device that just lets people know we’re “backing up”. The more I thought about it, the more I realized the problem. It isn’t letting people know we’re backing up, it’s accepting that we should back up in the first place.
We’re all stubborn. I’ve seen so many photographers determined to stay on a path they’ve chosen who are miserable. They’re determined to prove a point and stay true to the road they’ve chosen to travel when a slight turn or even starting the journey over would put a smile back on their face.
I’ve met wedding photographers who admit they hate weddings and “would have loved to be shooting commercial work, but the money just wasn’t there!” I’ve talked with studio photographers doing portraits who wish they had “the variety of situations wedding photographers get to enjoy!” Then there are thousands of photographers who insist on running EVERY aspect of their business, never considering outsourcing tasks that take them away from what should be their core, most time-consuming activities - shooting and marketing themselves.
Here’s the point:
Don’t be afraid to change paths. Stop feeling like you have to not only inform the world, but get everyone’s opinion too. You need to believe in yourself! Carey Schumacher in her podcast on GoingPro two years ago talked about the challenge when she first started. She’d look at other websites and simply cry, because her work “would never be that good!” She called it “I-suck-itis”.
Good buddy, Matthew Jordan Smith, when I asked him for a quote for new photographers just starting out said, “You’ve got to find your own voice!” I guess I want to change that slightly – yes, you have to find your own voice, but then you have to listen to it!
Think about it for a second. You can’t please everybody and you’re only one person. The only person you really have to keep happy is the one looking back at you every morning in the mirror. So, if along the way you have to change your path to increase your personal satisfaction, then go for it!
After you’ve done a thing the same way for two years, look it over carefully. After five years, look at it with suspicion. And after ten years, throw it away and start all over.
Alfred Edward Perlman
Illustration Credit: © JPS - Fotolia.com