by Skip Cohen
Over the next few days many of you will be headed to WPPI and if not, you've got state and regional conventions still coming up. All along the way you're going to have a chance to attend workshops and programs designed to help you raise the bar on your skill set. The quality of your work is the most important ingredient to your success.
Marketing is important, but remember: Anybody can get their first customer. The key is to get your second, third and fourth and have that first customer come back because they loved your work. Being a great photographer carries with it an incredible responsibility to your clients.
Lisa Jane, one of the country's leading children's photographers was speaking at a workshop I was attending many years ago. She told a story about a portrait she did of her best friend and his little boy fishing in her studio pond. A day or two after the shoot, they were both killed in a tragic car accident. The last photograph ever taken of this father and son was taken by Lisa.
She printed a 16x20, matted and framed it to personally deliver to her friend's mother. Boarding the plane to fly to the funeral, the flight attendant would not allow Lisa to bring the print on board, since it was too big to fit in the overhead and violated FAA regulations. The pilot, over-hearing the entire story, took the print from Lisa and said, "I thought I had an important job flying all these people around, but my job is nothing in comparison to the importance of yours!" He took the print and put it behind his own seat in the cockpit.
I've never forgotten that story. That was at least ten years ago and there wasn't a dry eye in the room when Lisa finished. All she wanted to do was make one point...NEVER compromise on the quality of your images.
I know we're living in the digital age. We're all into shortcuts, compromises to get things done quicker. We're into instant fulfillment and too often driven by the I-want-it-now generation. So today's blog is a simple reminder for all of us...slow it down guys...don't compromise on the quality of your images, your hardware, your software or your marketing efforts.
Lisa said it best, "Never compromise on the quality and effort you put into every image. You never know how important it might become later on."
A quick sidebar...
This was posted yesterday and last night I received an email from Lisa New that brings home the point even more.
"I think everyone needs to be reminded of this. I still talk to my friend's mom, and she said the portrait of them is what still gets her through. The day we had scheduled to shoot was raining he said," we can just take something inside", I said, no we can reschedule, this is your mom's Christmas present, not a good thing to compromise on!"
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.