A few months ago PDNedu approached ten professional photographers with a question, “What is the most important action you’ve taken in support of your photography business?” It is a big question. My answer was the following:
“It’s hard to pinpoint one specific action that is (or was) most important. Throughout my career I’ve always pursued personal projects that allow me to create the type of images I want to make. Because I’m not on assignment when I shoot these images I have complete creative control with little or no pressure, and this allows me to experiment a lot. Hence, I’m able to create images that do very well in the marketplace. And because my portfolio is full of this selfassigned work I end up getting paid commissions to shoot similar subjects, which is perfect because that’s what I want to be shooting. It’s the inspiration and experimentation from those self-assignments that helps me out on major projects when the pressure is on. Of course there’s a lot that has gone into my career to make it what it is – much more than just shooting personal projects – but that is the foundation of my business. The rest is built on hard work, perseverance, passion, dumb luck and a lot of trial and error on the business side of things. Making top-notch images is just the first step of the process.”
The editors also included soundbites from nine other photographers including Stefan Chow, Matt & Agnes Hage, Leesha Quigg , Mark Humphrey, Steve Simon, Doug Menuez, Ami Vitale, Manjari Sharma and fellow adventure photographer Corey Rich. If you would like to read all of their responses go to PDNedu or click here to download a high res PDF of the article. My thanks to PDNedu for including me in the mix.