(Im sorry that the format on this text today is a little bit wonky. I have no idea why….le sigh)
I know that a lot of the professional photographers who read this blog are going to WPPI in Vegas (as are we),
and we are so excited to be meeting up with as many of you as possible
(and do a little consulting in our free time)!
We are so excited to be going to WPPI! We feel that no matter what field of work you are in, growing & learning is something that should always be a part of your “job”. It feeds your passion & creativity & teaches you improved skills.
Something that comes up in our consulting, is photographers who feel “second rate” or that they
are doing “everything wrong” after attending a workshop or a seminar. They seem to disregard all
of the wonderful things that they do! As such, I wanted to toss out one suggestion to all of the
photographers who are going to WPPI.
Be true to yourselves. True to your gut.
In settings like WPPI, it is so easy to idolize the speakers to the point where you take everything that they say as “gospel” and lose your “gut” and
your critical thinking skills (do I sound nerdy?).
I challenge you to listen critically to ideas/tips/suggestions and ask yourself
“would that further my career/goals”?. NOT EVERYTHING WILL. There is more then 1
way to skin a cat (what a gross description). But the fact is true. One of the industry leaders,
Jasmine Star, uses “auto white balance”, much to the aghast of some of her peers. She bucks against
the norm and does what WORKS FOR HER. She listens to her gut & runs with that. I think that is key.
Learn, but stay true to yourself, and listen to your gut. If everyone is saying that you MUST offer
boudour photography to your brides, but you do not want to, you don’t HAVE to. It is your business.
Do what you love & only that! I promise
you that then, and only then (when you are doing what you love) will it show in your images.
If a company is telling you that their album is “the best” & it is very, very popular, but you honestly
don’t care for the look of it; don’t carry it for your clients! Only offer/carry/do/process what feels right for you.
What fits for you. If you don’t love it & see the value in it, your clients will not either. (this goes for anything
not just products)
Here is a quick example of what I mean. I have a colleague that went to a workshop where the gentlemen
teaching the workshop said that “hands down you would never get anywhere unless you exclusively
used prime lenses”. That is certainly his opinion, but it is just that. An opinion based on what FEELS
right with him (and that is totally valid!). I love me my primes…. but I also had a very sucessful business before I shot with mainly just primes. Do not feel the need to jump on every trendy suggestion or question everything that you are doing. Leave WPPI with some
great solid suggestions, tips & ideas; but dont check who you are at the door & do not leave feeling like
you do not do anything right. Realise all that you do amazingly (a word?) and BUILD on that.
Just remember, even though you may not be on the stage, you are amazing in your own way and
your thoughts & insights & ideas are just as valuable as anyone elses. Honor them. Hold on to that.
Learn all you can, but be true to your gut.