Do you value yourself as a photographer? Do you value your photos? Do you value yourself?
Problem: many photographers talk down on themselves.
For example, I’ve heard:
- Oh, I’m not a real photographer. Just a hobbyist.
- I’m not an artist, I’m just a photographer.
- I wish I started photography when I was younger.
- I’m not talented.
- My camera isn’t good enough.
Okay friend, never talk down on yourself. If your passion is photography and you desire to improve, that is all you need.
All you need is strength, courage, and self motivation in your artistic value and self.
It is gonna be hard.
So first of all, know you’re fighting an uphill battle.
Today, everyone is a photographer. Anyone can make good photos on their iPhone. Anyone can buy a full frame DSLR and become a wedding photographer.
The photography market is saturated. We’re drowning in images.
Yet despite that, you can still stand out. How?
Be the purple cow
I read a book a long time ago called the purple cow by Seth Godin. The basic idea: if you saw a purple cow, you would be shocked, and pay attention. You ignore boring black and white cows.
So if you want to stand out as a photographer you need to be different.
Ways to be different:
1. Brand yourself with a unique color
When I started street photography, I branded myself with the turquoise, Tiffany blue color. I liked it. It was more unique than the boring black and white everyone else was using.
Now, I’ve changed and evoked as a photographer. I made my blog bright, crimson red. It is actually a little pink. It’s a very distinctive color. And people remember colors.
Some bold colors you can brand yourself as a photographer which aren’t commonly used:
- Black and Gold
If you make business cards, make them a bold color that pops out. Design your website to be that bold color. Or make your profile picture that bold color. I for example, made my face that same bold red color of my visual identity– so it pops out in the news feed of people on my Facebook fan page or Twitter.
Assignment: choose a bold color for yourself, and write down the “hex code”– and use that same color for yourself for at least 5 years.
2. Don’t share boring photos.
It is hard to say what makes a good photo. But most people can agree what a boring photo is.
A boring photo: is a photograph without emotion. Without soul. With no sex. That doesn’t excite us, scare us, or offend us.
The worst photos to make: “IKEA PHOTOS” as my friend Charlie Kirk says. An IKEA photo is a “pretty” photo that won’t offend anyone. Aka, the photo prints you see selling at IKEA.
As a photographer, it is better to make photos that offends your viewers than makes them feel luke-warm.
I’m famous online, because I ruffle feathers. I say things which are “politically incorrect” in the photography world, like:
Also I’m hated in most photography circles for my aggressive way I shoot street photography– close, with a flash. And wide angle 28mm lens.
Also, I piss off some street photographers because I talk to my subjects. I shoot “STREET PORTRAITS” with permission. For some reason, some internet folks think that street photography must be shot candidly. But these are just assholes who are thing to superimpose their view and opinion on you, rather than being open-minded.
Lesson: If you have controversial views, share them. Also, don’t make or share boring photos.
It doesn’t mean just piss people off. It means, don’t let your different perspective paralyze you into fear. Just follow your heart.
3. Acknowledge that you’re different.
The biggest thing: know that you are different. There is no creature on earth that is built like you, shoots like you, or thinks like you.
You have a unique artistic taste and vision. That is valuable. Share that vision with others and never compromise. That’s true art.
Like Steve Jobs said,
What I think,
Revel in your uniqueness, and if you want to stand out, you must be narcissistic, egotistical and self-centered.
If anyone criticizes you it’s okay, just blame ERIC KIM ;)
Learn how to make a living from your passion:
How to Make Money with Photography
- Why You Should Make Money With Your Photography
- Photography Experience Economy
- 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