I just finished Linchpin by Seth Godin. After reading several of the chapters multiple times, I’ve been thinking about what’s truly wrong with many of the industries today, including the photography industry.
I talk on this blog all the time about becoming better at business, and thinking of ways to reach out to your specific customers. But the one thing that ultimately is wrong with the industry isn’t the desire to be a photographer. It’s the desire to be an artist.
In Linchpin, Godin says:
“Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. An artist is an individual who creates art. The more people you change, the more you change them, the more effective your art is.”
If you like snapping a few pictures, and making a little extra money to take the family out to dinner, you aren’t an artist. You are simply doing the job of picture-taker.
You’ll never find a picture taker that brings out the emotions in his client.
You’ll never find people referring a picture taker again and again.
You’ll never find a picture taker with a successful business model that allows them to make a full time income within the photography industry.
Why? Because they simply take pictures. There is no emotion in them – they simply record what pops up in front of the camera.
In order to change people, you have to evoke emotion. They have to burst into tears when they view your albums. They have to stop and stare when they come across a large portrait. They have to recognize your work instantly because it’s so unique; so different from anything they’ve ever seen before.
To be an artist, it’s not about copying what everyone else is doing. Its about finding your own path.
Its about discovering a way to make your own photography truly stand out from the competition, and give your prospects and clients a reason to invest in what you have to offer.
Is it possible? Definitely. Can you still be a successful photographer today and make a VERY good living at it? Definitely. If you are willing to put the time into stretching yourself beyond the picture taker mentality, and stepping into the role of artist.
And a good place to start is by reading Linchpin – I highly recommend it.