Practical advice: let your market find you, don’t find your market.
For example, everyone told me that it was impossible to make a living from street photography. That assertion was false.
In fact, I have made a very good living from teaching street photography workshops.
The thing with doubt： of course people are gonna say that “X” is impossible, if it has never been done before.
It was impossible to build an electric car that was cool, sexy, and affordable. Elon Musk did it with the Model 3. Now it seems so obvious.
Therefore, whatever your photographic passion is… there is probably a market for it. Better yet, if nobody else is doing that type of photography workshop you’re interested in, it is probably a pregnant opportunity.
Let the world conform to you
My philosophical belief,
Let the world conform to you, don’t conform to the world.
This is called being a “non-conformist”— something that people praise in principle, but in reality, people HATE non-conformists.
Lesson: Don’t be ashamed of how you are different, or how you see the world differently. Rather, revel in it, and promote it.
The world is your oyster
Ok, let’s do a fishing analogy.
The world is made of a lot of lakes, with lots of fish. You don’t want to “over-fish” a certain lake, or there will be no fish to catch.
If you want to make a sustainable, long-term business from teaching photography workshops, or curating experiences— you need to become international.
As an American, my world view was very small and limited. When I teach workshops, they are very popular abroad. In Asia (Tokyo, Kyoto, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Hanoi, Saigon, ), in the Middle East (Dubai, Istanbul), in Europe (Berlin, London, Zurich, Prague, Stockholm, Amsterdam).
In Northern America, popular cities include (San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Toronto, Vancouver.
Don’t limit yourself to one geographical area.
Think big, and international.
Expand or die
A theory, in our capitalist pursuits, we need to EXPAND MARKETS to survive and thrive.
For example, Japan’s economy is slumping because their views on the international market were small. Japanese businesses thrive inside Japan. Sony, once a dominant force, has lost their market share. Samsung and South Korea is taking over, because they are aggressively expanding internationally.
Even big tech companies like Apple are trying to penetrate China with iPhone sales.
Thrive or die.
It isn’t enough to just “survive” in today’s economic climate. Rather, we need to THRIVE. Because the more you thrive in your business, the more you can help others with your profits.
I go with the Apple philosophy— teach fewer workshops and experiences, and have higher profit margins.
To have a higher profit margin,
- I keep expenses low (I bundle my travels to certain geographic areas, don’t stay in fancy hotels but Airbnb or staying with friends).
- I charge more money for my workshops.
The secret formula to profitability：
Low expenses, high income.
Most of us try to seek high income, but we keep our expenses high. It doesn’t matter if you earn $1,000,000 a year. If your expenses are $1,000,001 a year, you’re poor.
For myself, I always fly economy, or what’s cheapest via Kayak.com
For accommodation, hotels.com (for cheap hotels) or Airbnb, or sleeping on the couch of my friends.
When renting out a venue, keep the costs low.
I am grateful I get a LOT of help from friends and family.
For example, my manager Neil Ta does all the heavy lifting for me in terms of logistics and planning the workshop. Cindy helps with logistical details too. And if I’m teaching a workshop in a foreign city that I’m new to, we usually have a person “on the ground” who is local to help us out… with location scouting, with venues, and on the ground logistics.
I have in my experience, the secret to a good workshop is 80% logistics. Where to shoot, the schedule and timing of activities, as well as where to eat lunch and dinner, and where to get coffee.
So I suggest when you do workshops, don’t do it all yourself. Try to seek help from others.
My strength is teaching, sharing my passion, and writing. I’m very bad at planning workshops, or almost anything. So once again, huge thanks to Neil, Cindy, and all my countless friends all around the globe who have helped me. Much love.
And for you friend, if you seek to make a living from teaching workshops, over a long period of time, don’t think small…think biggie.
If you want to make a living (or a killing) from photography, download:
PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS 101
KEYS TO SUCCESS
- Impatience is a Virtue
- Create Your Own Category
- HOW TO DREAM BIG.
- Will Not or Cannot?
- Why Not?
- How to Think BIG
- How to Stay Ahead of the Curve
- How to Invest in Yourself
- The Two Camera Rule
- MEANINGFUL DIFFERENTIATION
- Advice For College Students
- How to Thrive in Uncertain Times
- CANNIBALIZE YOURSELF.
- DO AND GROW RICH
- Does Fear of Punishment Hold You Back?
- HOW TO GET MORE FOLLOWERS
- How to Innovate
- How to Build Your Own Empire
- YOU ARE ENTITLED TO HARD WORK.
- PICK YOURSELF.
- OWN YOUR PLATFORM
- 10 KEYS TO SUCCESS
Table of Contents
Learn how to make a living from your passion:
- Preface. BRAVE NEW WORLD OF PHOTOGRAPHY
- Chapter 1. How to Create Value
- Chapter 2. ZEN CAPITALISM
- Chapter 3. Scarcity
- Chapter 4. How to Brand Yourself
- Chapter 5. How to Build a True Following
- Chapter 6. The Blueprint to Success in Photography
- Chapter 7. HOW TO BE BOLD
- Chapter 8. How to Sell Out
- Chapter 9. GO AGAINST THE GRAIN
- Chapter 10. EXTREME ABUNDANCE
- Chapter 11. Photography Experience Economy
- Chapter 12. Why You Should Make Money for Your Photography
- Chapter 13. How to Become a Famous Photographer
Photography Business 101
How to Make Money with Photography
- How to Charge More Money in Your Photography
- Why You Should Not Pursue Photography as Career
- Can Photography Make You Rich?
- How I Earn $200,000+ a Year From Photography
- How to earn $10,000 a month as a photographer
- Why you must be an expensive photographer
Photography Marketing 101
- Why You Should Do Photography Work For Free
- How I Became an Internet Famous Photographer
- Photography Blogging Ideas
- Why You Should Promote Your Own Name
- How to Build a Following
- How to Stand Out as a Photographer.
- HOW TO GO VIRAL AS A PHOTOGRAPHER.
- How to Master Marketing
- How to Sell Yourself
How to Hustle.
- Entrepreneurial Advice to My 18 Year Old Self
- How to Become Insanely Productive.
- 5 Lessons From Hesiod on Hustling
- It is Better to Beg For Forgiveness Than Ask For Permission
- The Free Way to Become Rich
- JUST DO IT.
- 7 Steps: How to Make a Living From Your Passion
- How to Do What You Love for a Living
- How to Create an MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
- How to Fail Big
- How to Invest in Yourself
- How to Be Bold in Photography and Life
- Mission: Cover Your Rent and Food
- 1,000 True Fans
- The “10x Principle”: The Only Difference Between “Success” and “Failure”
- Make More Value Not Money
- We Live in a Photo Utopia
How to be a Full-time Photographer
- How to Make a Living From Photography
- The 3 Principles of Making Money With Photography
- Advice for Aspiring Full-Time Photographers
- Don’t Go Into Debt For Your Photography
- How to Brand Yourself as a Photographer
- Trust: The Most Important Thing You Need to Succeed as a Photographer
- How to become rich from photography blogging
- How to Make a Living with Blogging
- 50 Blogging Tips For Beginners
- How to Start Your Own Photography Blog
- A Photographer’s Guide to SEO, Blogging, and Social Media
How to Teach Photography
- How to Become a Photography Teacher
- How to Teach a Street Photography Class
- Why I Teach Street Photography Workshops
- Why I Deleted My Instagram
- The Social Media Blackbook for Photographers
- Why Do You Need More Likes or Followers?
- Instagram is Going to Be the Next Facebook
- Don’t Trust “Free” Photography Social Networks