Hey photographer are you keeping a score card?
Oh, Photographer are you over there with your camera hanging by your hip…a new fancy bag to throw that new lens in along with a few extra memory cards? In reality you’re staring at a million different websites trying to make heads or tails of what it means to find your niche or how in the world you actually like the edit you just created in lightroom…photoshop or elements… on your image.
It’s life-impacting decisions…you think anyway.
Yet you have sleepless nights as you get caught up in staying on pinterest going from board to board and article to article trying to figure out what in the world you’re supposed to do with a layer in photoshop. Every other photographer you comment on…follow or read about, understands it perfectly..so you think. So you’re staring at the screen feeling like you’re being mocked.
Then you decided to buy a certain action set out of thousands…because it’s screaming.. “Pick me! Pick me!” while you’re grabbing a bite of chocolate and sipping on your coffee trying to figure this whole “photography business” thing out. You’re crossing your fingers that this action set will be the magic to your success and attracting more clients.
Well what I’d really like to do is be sitting right next to you and both yell and sweetly whisper–all at the same time: It doesn’t matter. None of that stuff matters. It doesn’t matter that you have no clue what you’re doing or buying…it doesn’t matter that you have a cute-sy camera strap…or that you really don’t understand all of this photography lingo… because I’m going to let you in on a little top-notch secret: we’ve all been there…if we’re truthful with ourselves. You aren’t alone.
Yet you continue to keep a score-card and you need to stop that NOW.
We’re all equally terrified when we start out that we’re going to do something so damaging and wrong to an image…in our minds then our entire world will come crashing down and we will never be able to take another image. Stop believing those lies and start doing.
Yet you’re still sitting there…googling everything that comes to mind…every word you read about and trying to make heads or tails of it. The worry in your face and the anxiety in your heart…it’s ok it’s part of the process. Yet it’s scary.
I am only a few measly years ahead of you in this trek of business, but rest-assured I have learned more about photography and business in these last few years than I did the first 23 years of my life leading up to the first purchase of my camera. I have so much I could tell you…so much advice to offer…some encouragement for you to keep going and follow your dreams and passions…yet you’ll never fully comprehend what I’d have to say until you’re in it and doing it…Yet I still want to tell you.
Stop keeping a score card.
You will be different.
You will see images differently than me and that’s ok. You will create art in a whole different way than I will. That’s ok… that’s what makes you you and me me. You will look back and laugh at your silly edits…of what you thought was so amazing. You will look back and think…why? Why did I use that prop? What was I thinking…oh and that pose how on earth did my clients even go along with that? You think it’s so “you” as a business right now…but you’ll grow…you’ll look back and be appreciative of those silly images you cringe over. You will be different than every other photographer out there…don’t’ copy them…be you. Stop keeping score of what the other photographer is doing…and be you.
Your clients will be different.
Stop keeping a score card of how many clients so-and-so has. Be you. Let them be them. Stop comparing your clients to other photographers clients…let your clients ring out who they are and be themselves. Embrace your clients and use your passion of art and photography to capture those clients to the best of your ability. Stop keeping score.
Your whole life will be different.
You’ll start seeing light in a whole new way. You’ll stop the car just to take an extra 5 minutes out of your day…that you really don’t have to give away but you do… to turn back around and scope out that spot you just saw…because guess what- that perfect client will come knocking on your door one day and you’ll have the perfect location picked out for them. Stop keeping a score card on where other photographers are shooting…stop going the exact same spots and be you. You will see a tree in a whole new artsy way than the guy that drives by the same tree everyday to work is going to see it. Some days seeing all of this will annoy you…but bank it. Keep it… because the day is coming you’ll want that amazing tree and field. What about that 3’x3′ bright yellow wall you just saw in town- yep your mind went straight to oh- I can’t wait for a senior session…yeh you won’t be thinking the same…the longer you are in this business…your whole life will be different. Yet remember stop keeping a score card with all of the other photographers out there. Stop.
So photographer…keep browsing pinterest for your pose ideas…but stop keeping a score-card of how amazing those clients look and that light and that location. Get inspired.
So photographer…keep learning all you can about those big words you keep googling and not understanding like aperture, niche, white balance and whatever other foreign words you’ve come across…keep on googling it. But don’t keep a score card on what other photographers know…because that “other photographer” wasn’t born with all of this photography foreign language lingo in their brains…they were where you are at and they learned it too…so remember stop keeping score.
Stop keeping score on how many clients and sessions so and so has…just stop and let me tell you just be you and enjoy every session and client that comes your way…and put that camera on your hip and work that new lens you just got to the fullest capacity you can.
Stop keeping a score card this isn’t a game…
and follow your dreams and passions. You’ve got this…and we’ve all been there.
Have you been keeping a score card? Will you stop?