I can tell you right now, I am not. I am NOT a photographer for photographers. Let me explain.
The other day a friend of mine sent over a questionnaire inquiring about our creative industry and how other creatives make you feel…what you wish they did more of, less of…whom inspires you….what is said that makes you feel like you are not worthy…like you are not doing JUST FINE how and the way you are? What can creatives do to lift you up?
I only planned to spend about 5 minutes answering these questions, but after 15 minutes and only 50% through, I was really surprised with myself. I didn’t think I had that strong of a stance on the matter, until I put my fingers to the key board. After furiously typing for a few moments, I literally had to pull myself away and read the words that I saw before me. It was like a verbal vent FILLED with so many different emotions I NEVER KNEW I was even feeling.
Frustration. Anger. Jealously. Passion. Sadness.
Being a creative is not this land of rainbows, unicorns and glitter. Its tough.
The creatives I have come to know and love are thinkers. Feelers. Doers. They work hard and then work harder. They have incredibly thick skin but wear their heart on their sleeve for all to see. They are vulnerable, sincere and kind. No is not an answer. Failure is not an option. Success is not a destination.
LATELY, however, photography is becoming more focused on being loved and accepted and adored by OTHER photographers THAN whom we are actually photographing. What about our clients?!!?!?
Sooooo much energy is focused on blogging to share ALL of your ideas in hopes someone else will share it and hoping it will send your idea and name into a viral tail spin. So many are focused on doing exacttttly what their peers are to stay on point, ahead of the game, to stay with the pack. Some are blogging, just to blog. Some are teaching workshops when they have NOTHING to teach other than what was JUST taught to them a few months ago. Some are signing up for every class they can because thats what the “cool kids” are doing. Thats what they “HAVE” to do to be on the “cool kids” level.
Forgive me here, but a leader….the good ones at least….are the ones that are on the same level as everyone else pushing them, challenging them, bettering them by telling them to BE who they are, DO what they WANT to do….NOT pushing them to do what THEY did and HOW they did it. Thats not creative.
A creative leader is one that can creatively inspire and guide those to the greatness they already possess. A unique gift lives within us all and the leader we should all want to follow is one that tells you to create your own mold…not follow theirs.
I am not a photographers, photographer. My job first and foremost is to capture the most gorgeous images I can for my clients, my family. My second job, that is in a tie with my first job, is to make those clients feel loved. Appreciated. Unique, special, important. It is my job to spoil them and GIFT them with respect, kindness and gratitude for them CHOOSING me to be the one to capture their precious life moments.
Serving and leading other photographers is a privilege. An honor. A duty NOT to be taken lightly. It takes a lot of grace to be in a spot in your life where building someone up is more important than tearing them down. A spot where another’s success is YOUR success. This is a sign of great maturity and respect.
With that said.. PHOTOGRAPHERS in this creative industry need to get back to roots. No more showing off to other photographers. No begging for more likes and follows from them in the form of like ladder. Keep it organic. No more taking risks and shooting new things just because a peer in the industry is. DO IT FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR CLIENT. Don’t go buy an ice light or a new camera set up just because your peer did. Don’t invest in gear you have no use for just to say you own it. What sense does that make!!?!?
Other photographers are NOT REALLY your market. I know for a fact that when I go to hire a photographer for my family portraits every year or even for my wedding, they are the photographers that are investing MORE energy, time and love into me and their other clients than making sure the mass of creatives think they are a “cool kid” or not.
Can you say the same? Are you a photographers, photographer? Tell us the truth.
I know this post is on the heavy side, but like I mentioned, Im a no nonsense kind of girl when it comes to business. And friends, we are IN business. We OWN businesses. Its time to dump the popularity contests, the cool kids clubs and whatever else is deterring you from being the BEST you…and being the best photographer to your clients.
With this being said, over the next few months I will be working with a special team to get a very special workshop together that will be putting the focus back on wooing our clients…spoiling them rotten, bettering ourselves for them, showing off EXCLUSIVELY to them, and building friendships with them. My methods will save you from ever spending another dime on marketing….from investing in gear you don’t even need or want….and creating a game plan EXCLUSIVE to you to stay on your own personal track. Not mine. Not other peers. Yours!
Stay tuned, it will be as real as its going to get; thats a promise! : )