by Skip Cohen
I spend a lot of time talking with other photographers online as well as time at every convention. Lately, it seems like everybody has gotten so serious. I'm not saying you should take the challenges of business lightly, but there are too many people in this industry who need to loosen up a little.
I have no idea how my brain works when it comes to my "archives," but the expression "that's so funny, I forgot to laugh" popped into my head. It sent me on a quest to YouTube looking for of one of my favorite old SNL skits with Gilda Radner and Bill Murray. The SNL channel on YouTube is jam-packed with the classics and well worth your time whenever you need a chuckle.
Here's my point today - a lot of you need to loosen up. Stop being so serious about your quest for success. Seriously, what good is working to become a great artist if you're not stopping to smell the roses along the way? What good is working this hard if you're missing time with family and friends?
Thinking of photographers I admire, Tony Corbell immediately comes to mind. You'll never see him without a smile. He deals with the same stress in his life we all do, but it's rare anyone has ever heard him say "NO" to helping another photographer because he's too busy. He couldn't be more focused as an artist, but we love him because he's never let the craft overshadow his love for life.
So, lighten up today! Focus on your business, your clients, but don't forget to focus on yourself, your family, and your friends. Don't let your sense of humor get buried under the stress of business. In my Sunday Morning Reflections series, I always write about giving the people you love most one of those eleven-second therapeutic hugs...well, maybe it's time I suggested you give a friend a "noogie!"
And speaking of people in the industry who make us smile: At PPE a couple of years ago, I gave my buddy "Vanelli' a series of noogies, and I'm still laughing! Fortunately for me, as a past Triple Crown Karate Champion who could take me out with a blink, he's still laughing too. (Thanks Andrew Darlow for capturing the moment!)
Here's a recipe for success: Laugh more than you worry. Don't lose sight of your goals. Recognize that success isn't just about the bottom line, but being happy. Stay in touch with good friends. Accept that you're only one person and can only do so much. Know that everyone makes mistakes. And like Tim McGraw's lyrics, always stay humble and kind!
Happy Hump Day! I hope Todd and Lisa make you smile as they did me this morning!
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.