This great advice from creative consultant Allegra Wilde came to us by way of a Photo Editor and we just had to share. It’s food for thought whether you’re a photographer, graphic designer, or writer. Here goes:
“Yeah, But I Have To Make Money….”
(And other ways to ignore the reason you became a professional photographer)
When you are in the business of selling something subjective like photography, there is no standard formula which will tell you who is going to connect with what you do, any more than it is possible to predict who is likely to fall in love with you.
Following what’s hot right now; doing what you have been seeing out there already – imitating the same content, styles, or processes as everybody else is going to be futile in the end.
If you make and show images with the intention of speaking the language of potential clients (and that is what most people do)…you will just end up looking like most people. You will wind up moving away from yourself.
“Yeah but I have to make money”.
And you may, for a while. However, your career will ultimately suffer.
And so will your heart.
The answer: Make work that is made entirely of… You.
Your life, and your passions.
The things that no one else can appropriate.
If you do that, (and get past your fears about whether it will work), you will have less, or even no competition. And that is always safer and more profitable than being part of the crowd.
The strongest part of you, is the honest you, and that remains true regardless of the economy, technology, or the weather report.
The connection between a photographer and a person who is in a position to hire them and collaborate with them, begins with chemistry. And chemistry begins with honesty.
But that is not the whole story.
You will never have a career being the best-kept secret in photography.
The formula for success? It starts here:
Show yourself in your images, and stand by them no matter what. Show your work to people who can hire you. All of them. EVERYWHERE. Mass market and send your photographs far and wide.
Those who see your pictures and are moved by them will understand you. Will want to be around you. Work with you.
Isn’t that your ultimate goal? Isn’t that why you chose this career in the first place?