Cameras. Creativity. More Creativity. Finding work.
My last post hinted at and lightly explored changes in my own processes that I need to make and continue to make, so that I could make an attempt at summiting those many creative peaks surrounding my photography and business aspirations. I touched on how much I have learned and started to touch upon the considerable amount of knowledge and creative thought yet to be breached. In a way, some might say I'm living the dream already. I'm working where I want to, I'm more or less my own boss, I'm controlling my growth, my path and my direction. I am having fun. and best of all, I'm meeting some amazing people. but I'm not making a living yet. I'm making money, yes. There is a difference. I admit though, I do feel like I am living the dream. Fortune is smirking on me, not smiling, not yet, but fortune seems to be amused by me.
Dreams can become nightmares, and I certainly don't want to live a nightmare (been there done that in a past life) so it's important that I keep trying to find my way and build my offering into a business. I'm told I do pretty good work. I do get paid for it. So maybe. Its an uncomfortable part of the process but just like you have to have thick skin for those nastier comments about your work, you also need to be able to deal with glowing comments as well. I have a hard time hearing praise. I think most artists might. While I am producing good work then, which provides a product as well as a service, how do I make that into a sustaining business? Last post, I mentioned the internet and all the trappings within which are designed to help you build your brand, awareness and business. I also mentioned that no matter whom I listened to or what I have done it hasn't at this particular time been overly helpful to the bottom line. I have good internet stats, I have the required social media entry, I have a website. But work is slow in coming for the most part. I made mention of one other thing though...time. I'm not vested as a photographer yet. I don't have years of work experience to help lead me down a path of success. I have possibly more years behind a camera and lens than most photographers do or at least as much, and more time in darkrooms past, working on countless images but I have not traversed the business world of agencies, photo directors, marketing teams, and other departments responsible for using photographs. For buying photographs or creative services. Learning those ins and outs is hard. Where do I start? I've had some recent exposure to the music business through the graces of a friend who happened to be in need of some creative imaging. I have sold photos to a few magazines as well and in doing so have learned a bit about the business. So knowledge comes, but it comes incrementally. I think this is how it works, the only way. There aren't any shortcuts, just persistence. You have to take all the steps, pay the dues, and rely on friends and your brain but you do have to put in the time. If you are lazy about it, then you will be long in getting more business. If you network, push everyday, get creative on self projects and then pitch projects based on those, well if you do these things, I think you can make time work with you because you aren't wasting any of it. Procrastination isn't welcomed in this business, not from where I am. So I think maybe I am doing the right things, I just need to stay the course, use the time available to do as much as possible and with a little luck...yeah luck and time....four letters each....both very important to success. With a bit of luck and the help...another key four letter word...of friends and contacts, then this thing should sprout wings and instead of merely getting off the ground, hopefully it will soar. Wait though, what about getting a "break"? Methinks that one falls under "luck". Or maybe its a subset of time? I mean with time you can make your own breaks, er......whatever. I just need to keep on keeping on. Thanks for listening.