Thursday, August 18, 2011
It’s A Jungle Out There
As any photographer knows, particularly stock photographers, it’s a jungle out there! The world of professional photography is filled with peril. There are evil stock agencies wanting to gorge on you. Other photographers are stalking your clients. Internet vultures hungrily eye your images. And yet yesterday, as I was creating my own “jungle” image replete with dangerous wild animals, I realized how happy I am.
Image Demand, Technology Advances, And The Internet
Despite all the challenges and adversity that we photographers have to confront on almost a daily basis, we still have it pretty nice. Images are in demand like never before. Technology is on a relentless march to make things easier and easier for us. The Internet lets us send our products nearly instantly anywhere in the world at the touch of a button, and if you need to know something…just ask Google (or one of the countless forums out there). And we are free to choose the agencies that work for us and/or pursue other avenues of photo-generated revenue. Photography is a giant playground and we get paid to play in it!
Playing By The Rules
Of course, if we want continued access to that playground we do have to play by the rules. What are the rules? One, be creative. What could be more playful than being creative? And to keep your playground privileges you have to create images that aren’t like the ones already there. Two, have fun. If your not having fun you will never be able to keep up the pace necessary to earn a living, a decent living anyway, in photography. Finally, you have to produce. If you don’t finish your images and get them in front of potential licensors, some other playground bully is going to take your place.
Dedication, Work, Disappointments And A Wonderful Life
Okay, realistically it isn’t all fun and games. It does take an enormous amount of dedication and work to succeed in this business. You have to put up with constant disappointments. But if you can make it work, what a wonderful life it can be! I remind myself every day to be grateful and to enjoy my process. Recently I started reminding myself to even enjoy the failures, the times when my images don’t work and get rejected, when models don’t show and when sales reports come in low. It may be a jungle out there, but it is full of life and adventure and shouldn’t be missed!