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!
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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.