Trust; human civilizations have survived for millennia with it. Societies without trust have disintegrated. Trust is the glue which holds humankind together.
How can you use trust to help you succeed as a photographer?
Well to start off, you need trust to have people decide to pay you for your services. When your client decides to pay you X amount of money for you to photograph something, they are putting a dollar-value of trust on how good you are— and that you will deliver.
The reason that photography bloggers and YouTubers succeed is because they have trust from their audience. Their audience trusts that they will produce useful, empowering, or valuable content. When you have lost your trust with your audience, that is when your walls start to crumble.
When we decide to follow someone on social media, we do it because we trust that they will entertain us, inform us, or share interesting things with us. If suddenly they start spamming us on social media with things we’re not interested in or don’t like, we lose trust in them, and perhaps end up unfollowing them.
Know that trust is one of the most important things you need to succeed as a photographer in today’s world. Trust was important thousands of years ago, and will still be incredibly important into the future.
How are other ways you can build trust as a photographer?
a) If you are a professional photographer who shoots weddings or commercial work for a living, build the trust with your client by timely communication, by having a strong portfolio, and by over-delivering what you promise them.
b) If you are a photography blogger, build trust by creating and publishing on a consistent basis, and also by focusing on creating information that is timely, empowering, and useful.
c) If you are a fine art photographer, build trust by staying true to your voice, by creating art works that will bring joy and happiness to your buyers, and if you say your prints are limited— keep true to your word.
As for me, I know that I have built up (and also lost) trust with my audience over the years. I (like many others) am an imperfect human being— with my own wants and desires. I try my best to stay true to my mission (focusing on empowering others through education, information, and the “open source” approach). However there are times that I get distracted by other things— trying to earn more money, gain more influence, or get sponsorships.
I will continue to waver, and never have the trust of 100% of people out there. But the trust that I have with my few and loyal followers— that is what I value the most. And I promise to you that I will work hard to defend that trust, and never betray you.
So friend, how are ways you can better integrate trust— and improve your trust with others? Focus on this one thing— and I can guarantee that you will continue to succeed far into the future.