How do I make it as a Photographer?
A lot of you guys have asked me how to make a living as a professional photographer. I wish there was a magic formula, but there isn’t. However there are steps you can take to ensure you’ll have a better chance of achieving your professional goals and today I’m going to elaborate on them.
One of my favorite quotes comes from Abraham Lincoln when he said “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” This philosophy can be applied to anything you approach in life as well as photography.
PRACTICE: Sharpening your skills will help you to get better, more predictable results. You can’t expect to shoot for 6 months and suddenly get hired to shoot a spread for Vogue. Sure there are exceptions, but most of those photographers have put the time into practicing their craft. Sharpening your Ax aka Practice will also help to make your projects easier because when you’re on a job, you’re not thinking about how to shoot, you’re focused on your performance. Taking all of your skills and applying them to the job at hand.
PERSEVERANCE: Shooting once a week or a couple times a month isn’t going to cut it. You need to be out there shooting all the time. Experimenting and looking at your results. Analyze your results, study them. Figure out what you could have done better. Then go out and shoot more. Take what you’ve learned and keep at it.
POINT OF VIEW: Sharpen your mind. Educate yourself. Sure it’s cool to have influences to your work, but be careful about trying to emulate. However look at other photographer’s work. Look at who influenced them and keep going back. Take those stylistic cues and absorb them but don’t let them set you too deep in a groove. Developing a unique POV and style will differentiate you from the pack.
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