In modern-day times, we are more consumers than producers.
What are you really buying?
Consider, we try to “Buy” a lifestyle, an image, or an attitude.
For example, I’ll drive a Porsche car to show that I’m suave, rich, and cool. I’ll wear an Hermès scarf to denote that I’m elegant (also rich).
With photography, we try to show our style and individuality via the camera we shoot with.
We use a Sony camera to show that we love technology, and more megapixels.
We use a Leica camera to show that we love heritage, we are sophisticated, and prefer the old-school and classics.
We use a Fujifilm camera to show that we’re a value-minded photographer, with an eye for aesthetics.
How to profit from the capitalist machine.
Anyways, the way that modern-day capitalism is setup, we NEED to be consumers and we NEED to consume to keep the whole machine running.
For example, if all these goods were produced, and nobody would purchase or consume them… how could the clockwork of the economy keep ticking?
Always be skeptical
So I don’t think we can change how the economy works, but YOU have the power to choose whether to be a consumer or not. You also have the control over the goods to purchase.
I’m not anti-consumerist per-se. I love buying shit. I love making stuff. And of course, in order to make a living, I need to sell things— whether I sell experiences, workshops, photography tools, or products.
But my encouragement is this:
Be realistic with the stuff you buy, and don’t think that buying a certain… something… will make you “happy” or “cool”.
The only truly way to be happy or cool is to be a PRODUCER, not a consumer.
PRODUCERISM vs CONSUMERISM
I have made up a new concept, I call it “PRODUCERISM”. You create value for yourself and for society by PRODUCING.
For example, in my case, I produce blog posts. I produce videos. I produce pictures. I produce poems. I produce ideas and theories. I produce books, products, and experiences.
By producing something, you are creating VALUE. Value in terms of a physical product that can be used or consumed, or you cam create value in an experience.
Not all producers will become rich, “successful”, or well-regarded or respected.
You can produce good stuff all your life, but without a bit of luck and marketing savvy… you might fail. But the more you produce, and the more you increase the quality of your ideas, foods, Pictures, and art… the higher your chances for success.
And I can tell you this：nobody who is only a consumer will succeed in life. For example, just by watching and consuming Netflix, video games, or any passive forms of entertainment will create value. Unless, perhaps you can make your own YouTube channel for gaming, start your own life-stream Twitch channel, or perhaps create guides or something valuable to others.
Still, you must consume.
We all need to consume to survive and to create.
As humans, we consume resources. We consume food, air, water, electricity, coffee, and internet bandwidth. If we stopped consuming, we would die, just like any living organism.
The same with art— we must consume art and inspiration (from other humans or nature) in order to CREATE and PRODUCE.
My suggestion is this：
To become more successful, seek to produce 80% of the time, and consume 20% of the time.
An 80/20 split (in favor of creation) will increase your value as an artist and individual, in today’s capitalist society.
You’re not a machine
The difference between machines and humans：
Machines don’t need to “rest”. Humans need to rest.
Machines are not biological, complex, living things. Humans are.
Machines can be measured by “productivity”, whereas humans cannot (and should not).
Produce what brings you joy.
I know this is a bit confusing, because I’m encouraging you to become a PRODUCER, not a consumer. But don’t be focused too much on “production for the sake of production”. Produce things which you enjoy to produce. Whether that be pictures, words, videos, ideas, or something else.
Produce what brings you joy. Mihalay C calls the sensation of being in a state of “flow” as the optimal experience of a creative human being. We’re happiest when we are being challenged, when we are exploring, when we are developing our skills, producing, or overcoming difficulties. We are LEAST happy when passively consuming mindless entertainment.
Make like a child
Makers and producers shall inherit the earth. Take whatever life has given you, and increase it. Like Steve Jobs said, try to add a little dent in the universe.
Children prefer to make things, instead of buying stuff. They have pride in their own creations.
So friend, make make make! Build, build, build! Produce art, and never stop, until the day you die.
My hero is my grandfather, who kept painting Chinese calligraphy until he died at age 92. Literally, he was making a painting on the day he died.
If you want to make a living (or a killing) from photography, download:
PHOTOGRAPHY ECONOMICS 101
PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS 101
- Chapter 1. How to Make a Photography Blog
- Chapter 2. How to Price Yourself
- Chapter 3. How to Find Your Market
- Chapter 4. Why Teach Workshops?
- Chapter 5. How to Build Trust
- Chapter 6. How to Market Yourself
- Chapter 7: Why Should Someone Attend Your Workshop?
KEYS TO SUCCESS
- THRIVE OR DIE.
- 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
How to Save Money
Take your street photography to the next level:
- August 27 (Friday): SEATTLE MASTER STREET PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP - [NOW LIVE!]
- September 11 (Saturday): DOWNTOWN LA ADVANCED STREET PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP - [NEW!]
Be notified of when new workshops are live here.