I was chatting with a retired RCMP and his wife, who recently got back from 7 days in Las Vegas.
They recounted the shows, the casinos, the usual chaos that makes Las Vegas, well, Las Vegas.
He pipes up and says: “Rob, you should go there. There were photographers everywhere, taking pictures that we buy on spec. Everywhere…”
(Same idea as when you go for a ride at some amusement park and the
camera snaps a photo of you and your ride mates at the most horrifying
time of the ride.)
I told him: “Without trying to sound like a blow-hard..” (I talk like that to retired folks)….“that would be like sending in a 5 star chef to run a chip stand on the beach.”
They got it. Point made.
“However,…” I continued. “I’m not above running a chip stand, especially if I were starting out. When I started in photography, I took EVERY job I could. I was ambitious. I was hungry and I wanted to grow.”
They told me how their niece graduated from a reputable photography course
and could NOT find any work.
Of course not. There ain’t no “work”. I explained that photography is not a career path.
It’s a business.
And it’s only for the ambitious and eager. Unless one does it for pure passion and enjoyment. Then it’s a hobby.
They looked at each other, and agreed their niece was not in that category of the overly ambitious.
She treated it like a job. And because she went to college, someone, somewhere “owed” her a job.
I continued painting my picture of hard cold reality:
“About 98% who graduate from college programs end up doing something else. She should have taken a business course and learned everything she could about running her own business.”
Maybe she could move to Las Vegas and photograph people, on spec, at shows, for peanut wages I’m sure.
It’s all about perspective. Starting out, working at a chip stand with ambitions of becoming a 5 star chef is not a bad thing.
When you take on every single job you can, you treat it like an opportunity.
And you’re grateful!
Because you have bigger plans to move on from the beach.
Photography is not for the job-seekers. It’s for the dreamers, the believers, the ambitious and those who know they have the skills, the passion to create their own reality.
Their own business.
Because that my friend, is where the gold is. In business.
Two nights ago we had our monthly mastermind and two members shared their success stories. Both from real, in the trenches marketing and networking stories, including some strategies from yours truly, revealing what it takes to grow a photography business.
Join us….and hundreds of ambitious, hard working photographers not too proud to run a chip stand on the beach.
Some are now 5 star chefs, some are still slogging it out on the beach.
But one thing for sure, we’re all in the same boat.
Robert N. Provencher – Your Master Coach Marketer
“If you want to be a profitable and successful photographer, then study profitable and successful photographers.”
Sandra strangemore says
Rob… I love to read your perspective. Such words of wisdom from someone who’s been around the block.
I also started out in the “Chip Truck” and have managed to cobble a 30+ year career out of it.
Your post reminded me of two things… When in the late 80″s I was getting advise from a veteran photog… he too told me to nail down my business skills. Which I did and it was incredibly sage advise.
When folks who want to be photo pro these days ask me advice… I also tell them to hone in their business skills… or marry well : )
There is still $ to be made out there… I think you offer great perspective and guidance people… very realistic.
Robert Provencher says
thanks Sandra…nice to hear from you