Such an interesting topic. One of the greatest things I have been taught is to love and respect my craft. Sounds weird, doesn’t it?
Since early on in my decision to become a professional photographer (truly having no idea what that was) I have been blessed beyond measure with great mentors and different folks who have taken an interest and lots of their time to help me find myself, my vision, for my craft and what it is all about regarding me. Dick Robertson, who has taught me so much about light and posing but mostly about the emotion and history we as photographers are able to preserve, told me not long ago that what drew him to me was an earnest desire to learn to do it best. I have a lot to learn, but I have learned a lot! Not sure what best is still but it is still my on going desire to be that.
For now best is striving for excellence not just in my work, customer service and business but also in being generous with those in our community who have a sincere desire to do good work and are hungry for someone to teach them what it is to be a professional photographer. to do it well, and despite this buy a camera and hang your “pro photos” shingle out, society of ours, invest time and money in becoming educated.
Those in my intern program start by learning and fulfilling the requirements of the law, to practice what we do. Ahh, you didn’t know that was even a step either?? … I bet. Many “pro photographers” in our community still don’t. That is the first step, the rest is a never ending process called learning and as my mentor is quick to remind me “Everyday in every way we get better and better.” Not just learning about your equipment, the light, posing, post processing and retouching but about having a real business and growing it strong. Sorry, I wish it could be done with $50 sessions and discs, but it can’t… say the pros. I listen to them. I respect my craft, I hope to raise the standards of professional photography in Vero Beach and surrounding areas by education and camaraderie. Inquire within to learn more.
This afternoon I have the pleasure of beginning another journey with a “new photographer”, I am so excited about learning more together.
I am not afraid of building up colleagues to compete with at a professional standard. We all start somewhere, I am afraid of the damage caused to our industry by those who are complacent. Allowing where they are and what they know to be “good enough” to make that quick $50 vs learning to grow a true photography business by pro organizations standards. Grant it anyone can get lucky and take a good snapshot, and I there is a time and place for those snapshots. But I like to think that I, like those I invest my time and knowledge in, will be the choice when the moments of documenting “emotion and history” matter. -Nellie