How I got my PhD in the “How-To-Business” of Photography

***New series every Monday for the next 5 weeks*** Part 3 of 5
read part 1 & 2 (HERE)
(without getting into debt or going to school and how you can do it to)

If you are working in photography be it commercial, wedding, event, stock, journalism, or sports you are working for someone.

Photography is a service. A camera is a tool (no better or worse than a hammer or a saw). Art’s only purpose is to serve. Serve your purpose well with effort and passion.

Insanely useful photography tip #3: You can be a working artist and earn a living doing something you’re passionate about. No, you do not have to be the child of famous parents. Using a camera is akin to being a craftsman. When you need a carpenter, plumber or musician you hire one to do the job that you need to have done. When the job is completed all you care about is that it was done to your satisfaction and that the tradesman was nice to have around.


Sitting on a beach I looked into the sun and saw my future…

I was getting off a plane after spending a week in Los Angles on a working retreat. I was on an all-inclusive paid vacation as a reward from my company to the individuals who earned the most profit that year.

Sitting on the beach I had an old-wise-tale of a conversation with an older colleague who had been with the franchise through many different phases of its existence.

He told me about is home in South Carolina with a library and in-ground pool. He told me about how his children who, went to private schools, were now getting advanced post-graduate degrees. He told me about all the good his wife was doing through her many charities and foundations. He told me about club memberships and organizations that he has belonged to throughout his career. He told me about having a million-dollar back account and no memories of his own. “I am successful at work, not life and I live with regrets”, he said to me.

We were sitting on a beach in Maui, his wife back in SC and my girlfriend back in PA. The gentleman I was talking with was good company, but not that good.

The view from where I was sitting was not looking that great.

Time for a change – Was I working the perfect job filling all my hope and dreams? No. It was a good job with a business culture that empowered me to grow but I needed to move on.

Insanely useful photography tip #4: Live your perfect day, everyday. Photography is about perspective. The life of an artist is about discipline, focus, purpose and raw skills. These are all “must haves” to succeed. Be authentic in your work. If you cannot be that move on. I had to reevaluate.

To be continued…

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Part 4 of 5 next Monday…