Running a business is tough, running a business where the final product is your art can be tortuous. Throw in social media perceptions, unknown tones of the typed word and lack of self understanding and you have a perfect storm of self doubt and perceived failure. Here is what I think I have always known, but 2015 really put in perspective for me:
Make your art how you want, not how you think it is supposed to be done and run your business in a way that allows you to sustain it. If you can’t sustain it, ask yourself, “Am I okay with this?” If you are okay with it- great, if not make changes so you are.
It is no secret that there are a lot of photographers out there, but there is only one of you. Only you can see the world from your perspective. Stop trying to make your work look like So and So, stop looking for that action that will be your “style”, stop thinking that a new camera or lens will suddenly make your work better/popular/sell, & stop comparing yourself to others.
Make choices that you are comfortable with that also make sense for your life.
Want to specialize in birth photography? Wonderful!
Don’t want to only shoot one thing? Great!
Want to take as many clients on as there are days in the year? Good for you!
Want to take on a select few clients because that is what works best for you and them? Hip hip hooray!
The amazing thing about running your own business is that we get to decide those things and there is no wrong answer. You can even try it one way and then decide tomorrow that it doesn’t work and make changes as you go and learn. How great is that!
Here is the tough love part. You get to make all these decisions and hopefully find a happy place with your art and your business but you can’t control other people. In marketing, product differentiation is used to help make your product/service stand out. Business are going to sell their way as the way because hopefully they do believe it and they are trying to convince customers to their way of thinking and make a sale. THIS IS NOT A PERSONAL ATTACK ON YOU OR YOUR BUSINESS. When you know your own voice and intentions it all becomes background noise.
There can only be one you, find your voice and your path and get to work!