Exposed! :: Patience in the Photography World ::

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"I want to learn everything about photography in the next three weeks," declared a mom who wanted to start a maternity and young family photo business before her kids finished school for the summer. That's a tall request!

With digital photography and camera manufacturers selling "easy!" to attract buyers, more people are expecting to produce award-winning photos right away.

But camera companies don't promote the patience needed to produce stunning imagery.

In this month's edition of Exposed! we look at intangible concepts that will help your photography blossom.

Starting a business is like having a baby
Patience + Knowledge + Practice + Mistakes + Confidence = Success

Taking better photos

Money can buy you the finest camera gear and lenses available but the following necessary elements are harder to acquire:

  • Patience
    Anything worthwhile takes patience. To become an expert at anything requires time, and plenty of it. Malcolm Gladwell suggests 10,000 hours to become excellent.

  • Knowledge
    Learning is the key to success. Whether you are a book learner, experiential learner or an investigative learner find a way to consume photo knowledge and put it to good use.

  • Practice
    Becoming excellent (or even pretty good) demands practice, experimentation and proficiency.

  • Mistakes
    Mistakes are perceived as bad but they can be your best ally as you learn any new skill. Affording the luxury to make mistakes at appropriate times allows you to grow more quickly and gain confidence

  • Confidence
    Confidence is an expensive element. You develop confidence through patience, knowledge acquisition and practice. Allow yourself to make mistakes and have patience as you go.
  • Homework

    Sit down with a sheet of paper and start dreaming of where you would like to be in 10 years, then 5 years. Now start working backwards -- to get where you want to be, what do you need to do in 3 years? in 1 year? 6 months? 3 months? 1 month? tomorrow?

    Put your tangible, quantifiable goals somewhere that will remind you to track your progress.

    If you do decide to go for it pursue success with the tenacity of someone with no alternatives!

    Pro Perspective

    I taught myself photography to the point that I now provide solid work to clients, big and small. My learning curve was long, bumpy and painful! I had little money for courses and little patience to learn the broad skills.

    Hindsight taught me that some education would have saved me years of photo hardship.

    Many new photo businesses don't survive because of unrealistic expectations. I made it through dogged determination and perseverance.

    Many people say, "An overnight success takes 20 years."

    Pierre St Jacques (veteran commercial photog ) told me, "It was five years before I earned a penny"

    J. David Andrews confirmed, "it was years after a 4 year college program before I was happy with the photo work I was producing."

    Final Frame

    Take photos.

    Be patient - photography takes more than a few weeks to master!

    Have fun.