Sunday, September 29, 2013

Photographers are either like Cruise Ships or Battleships

I have been extremely blessed this year and was able to go on two different cruises. Both were with the Royal Caribbean Cruise line.

The first cruise was on the largest cruise ship in the world, the Allure of the Seas and the second on the Seven Seas. You could spend a whole week on this ship doing so much and still not see it allwhich is exactly what happened to me.

Two things stand out about cruising: 1) entertainment and the 2) food. Maybe I should reverse that order.

The Cruise Ship primary purpose is to serve those on the ship with hospitality. If you are on a cruise ship then the odds are pretty good you are being served.

Contrast this to the battleship whose purpose is to serve their country by being strategic and focusing their energy outward.

Hobbyist are inward focused for the most part. They do something more for their enjoyment. When you are doing this primarily for other's enjoyment you are working more as a professional.

This Saturday night I went to the local high school play. The students did a great job. The ones that are in touch with how they come across to the audience are the ones who will be able to do this professionally. Becoming more aware of the audiences' perspective helps them to know how to tap into the audiences emotions.

Many professional artists get caught up in doing their art for their enjoyment alone. Some are just such naturals that they thrive performing and may even have an outstanding career and the entire time be doing this primarily for themselves.

This seems to be the exception and not the rule for most professionals in the arts.

The hobbyist [enjoying cruises] will put out a lot of money to be entertained. To be a professional [shipmate on a battleship] performs well enough that others pay them.

Here are four keys to being sure you become a working professional and not just a hobbyist
  1. Knowing your core values and knowing how to use those core values to meet the needs of a community
  2. Creating an experience with photography unlike any other photographer. You need to stand out. This can be in more ways than just the photos. Consider your presentation, your attitude and your customer service.
  3. Every good brand has a mission or a story that's worth talking about—Find out what is worth talking about. As Seth Godin says be remarkable.
  4. Deliver a repeat performance. This is why certain brands like Apple can introduce something so new and no one has ever used it in their circle of friends, but they will camp out to be the first to get the new product. The last thing they got was a hit and so was the product before that, so the customer believes in the brand.
Today with the digital space we live in it is quite possible for you to create an awesome brand in a very short time. The key is a series of smart moves. The first move is to know what you have to offer to your community. Then you perfect it. If you have something that will solve another persons problems then you have the beginnings of a possible career.

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