Monday, April 22, 2013

A Question For Photographers

Photo of a woman facing a sunset and melding into a star field symbolizing the journey of looking withn.
For photographers the search for ideas is a never ending journey and one that is often best served by moving into unexplored territory.

The Search For Ideas
As a stock photographer I am always searching for ideas. The search for ideas is endless and can be a real challenge. There is a tendency, at least for me, to go back over my existing work and checking my sales database for what is selling and for which images and ideas have been more successful than others. But it is vitally important for my long-term success to ask myself just what ideas have I not done yet.  More than that, what techniques and styles have I neglected to explore?

Images You Haven’t Created
Of course, ideas that I haven’t done have no track record and no sales to peruse to judge their success. But what that question might do is enable me to push beyond my current boundaries and come up with something that might well be very successful and that won’t “cannibalize” sales from my existing image base. It only makes sense that expanding your library of images into new areas and categories, categories that don’t compete with your existing images, are a primary method of growing your overall income. But the exercise of determining what image areas that you haven’t yet created has other benefits as well that accrue even if the images don’t turn into best sellers.

Creating Images And Expanding Skills
By creating images that are different than what you have already created you will expand your photography (and other skills), learn more about what is valued in the marketplace, and hopefully put a little more distance between you and burn out. This is often referred to as moving outside your comfort zone. I know that pushing myself out of my own comfort zone has brought some huge, and unexpected, rewards. Creating new kinds of work keeps the creative fires burning and promotes the growth that is necessary to avoid becoming irrelevant.

Diversity And Investment
Additionally, by broadening your offering, you will help insure that if a given style or
Approach goes out of style the impact on your own revenue will be minimized. Diversity, after all, is a cornerstone of investing whether it is in the stock market or the market of stock photography.

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