Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dare to be Different; What Kind of Business Owner Are You?

There are lots of photography forums out there; between Facebook groups and privately run sites, it's pretty tough to say that there are no places to go for "inspiration". Many of these sites encourage participants to share their images, along with the techniques used to create them, so that others may learn from what they have done. Photographers of all skill levels participate in these groups, some actively sharing while others are more comfortable "lurking" in the shadows. Of course, there are always one or two who just vie for attention, practically screaming "come on, dig me!" in their efforts to be the "most liked".

In addition to the online education, there are also dozens of opportunities such as seminars, conventions and privately run classes, again offering tips, tricks and formulas for success in the photographic world.

Inevitably, after taking the same classes, joining the same groups and using the same tips, actions and templates, suddenly some photographers' work begins to look "the same". Sure, there are a few folks who will copy an idea down to the last detail, but what is it that you do to set yourself apart? Too many new photographers find an image they like and repeat it over and over, or prowl through the websites of established photographers in hopes of finding an image or pose that their limited technical skill set will allow them to copy.

If running that new action to over-saturate the colors is your idea of "being different", maybe it's time for another look at the bigger picture.

            - After you find an inspiring image or a new pose, do you try to copy it exactly or do you take the idea and execute it in a unique way by adding your own style or twist?

            - Do you spend time looking at images of other photographers for inspiration, or are you "stalking their websites" in hope of stealing ideas?

            - Do you find yourself using the same actions on every image? Do your images stand alone without running actions, or have they become a crutch that keeps you from having to be technically "perfect"?

And finally, my personal favorite:

            - Do you find yourself constantly visiting the sites of other photographers in your area "just to see what they are doing?"

Recently, an individual new to the photographic industry, but no stranger to the business world shared this quote:

"The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time." - Henry Ford

So think about this; are you so stressed over what your competitors might be doing that you can barely find enough time to be creative in your own studio? Or, are you the owner that sets focus on your own brand and business, always creating new items, striving to be better and offering products of high value to your own clients without visible regard for what those around you are doing?

Which one would you rather be . . . and which one would you rather do business with?

- David Grupa

No comments:

Post a Comment