I first wrote about this topic five years ago, but after following a thread in Facebook Wedding Photographers recently, it's time to bring it back. Yes, things have changed a lot over the years, but usually, when somebody makes a statement about how much things have changed, it's negative. It's made out of the frustration of things not being as easy as they used to be, and they always sound like the sky is falling!
Yes, things have changed in different areas: You have to work harder today to get through the noise, build brand awareness and establish your reputation. Technology, the Internet, social media have changed the way we market ourselves. New gear, pushing you to expand our skill set, is being introduced regularly. But at the same time, your reach is the strongest it's ever been and you have the most creative tools in the history of photography!
While certain aspects of photography have changed, the principles behind a successful business haven't moved an inch! A new photographer starting out today has the same challenges as if they started twenty years ago. The questions are the same...How do I close the sale? Should I advertise my prices? How do I get people to know I'm here? Then there are questions on insurance, promotions and the importance of never compromising on quality.
My point is, the foundation of a strong business as a photographer NEVER changes:
Last but no least, your work still requires a passionate eye, a great heart and a quest to always look for that decisive moment. Ansel Adams once said,
"Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter."
And that's one more thing that hasn't changed - as a professional photographer you're still part of an incredible legacy of creative spirits like Ansel, Avedon, Scavullo, Karsh, Eddie Adams, Herb Ritts, Mary Ellen Mark, Arnold Newman, Dean Collins, Don Blair and Monte Zucker, just to name a few. They may have passed away, but the legacy they left behind hasn't changed. It might sometimes be challenged by technology, and even the economy, but it remains a powerful tribute to pride, quality, creativity and art.
So, that old quote still applies...as much as things change, some things never change!
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.