Thursday, October 10, 2013

10 WAYS TO NOT BECOME A SUCCESSFUL PHOTOGRAPHER by Luke Copping

Original article posted by Author Luke Copping.

10 WAYS TO NOT BECOME A SUCCESSFUL PHOTOGRAPHER

Last week, Atlanta-based music photographer and noted blogger Zack Arias posted a partly sobering and partially hilarious blog post that has received a great deal of attention (all of Zack’s posts should receive a great deal of attention). Zack described a moment of apprehension and anxiety similar to those that we all deal with as small business people, that moment when a day job sounds like a good idea and the stresses of running our own businesses can really creep up on us. Thankfully, Zack also made it very clear that he had no intention of leaving photography and that this was merely a momentary reaction to stress. We all have that little voice somewhere in the back of our head  that wants to undermine our desires and prevent us from taking chances. That unevolved chunk of animal brain cells that craves survival and an absence of risks is always telling us to play it safe. We need to make a conscious effort to stifle this ingrained self-sabotage impulse and push ourselves to be more than a mere creature concerned with nothing besides its immediate survival. The second and more entertaining part of Zack’s post was a rather comical but poignant rant about the abject pointlessness of generic “Top Ten Ways to Become a Pro Photographer” lists. Zack’s primary complaint, and agreeably so, is that these lists tend to offer advice that is so below the “should not need to be said” as to be insulting and useless. Tips like “breath”, “get a portfolio” and “think about getting some business cards” don’t really provide any benefit and are, as Zack says, an exercise in making more noise than signal.
It is true that some things do go without saying. Sadly, it is also true that some thing should go without saying. These lists of very obvious and very trite suggestions on how to better your career leave a lot to be desired in terms of usable content, but what about a list of common behaviors that can hurt you? It goes without saying that these ideas are just as basic and simple as their counterparts that angered Zack Arias so much last week, and they too should go without saying, but sadly these patterns of behavior are still exhibited by so many that they call for their own top ten list.
10. Fear Technology, Dread Change
“Once a new technology rolls over you, if you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road.” -Stewart Brand