I’m Better Than A “Pro” (and you probably are too)
Posted on 22 February 2010
One of the things that keeps people from selling their (design/photography/freelance) services, is a lack of confidence. If you think you have a reason to lack confidence as a photographer, try working at my office. I’m surrounded by people who teach the pros how to be better photographers. Our designers set the bar for designers around the world. How could I possibly sell my photography when I’m not on par with Scott Kelby or Joe McNally or Moose Peterson or Vincent Versace? Truth is, there will always be someone better than you. That doesn’t mean that you’re no good. And it doesn’t mean people won’t appreciate and pay for your work. It’s very likely that they will. You just have to give them a chance to. Get out there and sell yourself!
I received a local color, glossy coupon book in the mail at my house (seems like we get a couple of these every week or two) and among the restaurant coupons and carpet cleaning specials, there was a local photographer advertising services there with a half dozen color images in the ad. I had done color magazine production years ago when I used to own an ad agency, and I know that the process of mass produced, inexpensive color printing can make images look bad, but the sample images this photographer used were bad on their own. Composition was weak. Depth of field control was unremarkable. Essentially the pictures were less than compelling, but… they were getting business. They were selling photographic services and they have clients. And after all, that’s the definition of a “professional.” So here’s a case where I can review the best a local shooter has to offer and I know that I can produce images that are far better than theirs.
Don’t wait until you produce “flawless” or “perfect” images. You’ll never get there. I’ve spoken with my photography heroes and not one of them thinks of themselves as perfect. They’ll all accept compliments for images they’ve shot, but in talking informally with them as friends, they’ll all tell you things they could have done better too. They’ll tell you about shots they missed. They know they aren’t perfect and they all are still learning. Every one of them sits in on classes taught by other experts, when I see them at Photoshop World. They all know that they don’t know everything.
So keep learning and keep practicing. Keep getting better. But don’t wait to start trying to ‘go pro’ if that’s part of your plan. Heck, even doctors “practice” medicine. Get started today!