We’re living in a society that wants everything now. We want our content now, our news now and most notably our success now! You only have to be an observant social media user to know this is the truth with our world in 2017 and it’s only going to get worse.
Many moons ago I was DJ (hmmm it really has been many moons ago now), and there was a sense among all DJ’s that you had to put in your work before you could reach each respective level of success. DJ’s put in the work at home to hone their skills, then house parties for friends, then you’d put out your mixtapes locally, eventually landing yourself in the clubs showing off your skills for the “world” to hear. It is years later and now I see that willingness to perfect one’s craft is a thing of the past.
What brought this topic to mind is, lately I have been speaking to a lot of photographers of different experience levels. The amateur and aspiring photographers, like anyone else has someone they aspire to be in their field and boy do they shoot for the stars. I hear it all…. “I wanna shoot like LHGFX” or “I wanna be the next Dave Laus” and my personal favourite, “now that Paul Buceta is calling it quits on fitness photography there is room for me” and “If George Kontaxis can do it so can I”. Ok I’m paraphrasing but I really have heard these types of things during our conversations.
Hey! I love it. Aim for the stars and become the next big thing in photography, but slow down. As with any profession there is a lot of work to do before you can even consider yourself as one of the top dogs. I can’t speak for everyone but I have watched some people rise (and fall) in the photography business and long before their success there was a lot of hard work to do.
The success they may be enjoying now likely didn’t happen overnight – in fact I know it didn’t. They likely learned, absorbing every piece of information they could from the successful people before them. Worked on their skills, developed their own styles and most importantly – and I can’t stress this one enough…. They treat it like a business! and once business is booming, the real work has just begun. It takes just as much if not more work to stay relevant and successful. You have to always be evolving and willing to learn from your own experiences and the experiences of others. If you think getting to the top is difficult – trying staying there, especially in an industry where everyone with a DSLR or smartphone is a photographer now (note: that was sarcasm).