If you’re a professional photographer, ask yourself this: “How is my photography used to make something?”
Your photographs might be used to make a newspaper. They might be used to make a magazine advertisement. Or they might be used to make a Web site. But if your images aren’t used to make something, then they’re purposeless. See the hundreds of thousands of images online at Flickr. Great to look at, but unless they’re used to make something — purposeless.
In my wedding business, I tell my prospective clients that the photography is only half of the equation. I explain that we use the photographs to make something for them — specifically, their wedding book.
And if you’re a professional photographer today, it seems to me, you have a choice. You can look to others to make THEIR something using your photography. Or you can make YOUR OWN something using your photography.
If you think about this for a second, there’s a big difference between the two. Especially so if you’re interested in finding autonomy in your creative life. And who isn’t?
The other option is for me to make my own product, using my own images, and to sell that. Now I have the power to dictate how, when and under what circumstances I create my pictures.
Admittedly, there’s a little more to it than this. But in an era when the man on the street can document a news event, create a fine art image or take a family portrait, isn’t it better to think first about what you will make for yourself — instead of what you can create for someone else?
[tags]photography advice, photography business[/tags]