I haven’t landed on the perfect word for this core business value but I’m hoping you can feel the gist. After almost 20 years of professional shooting its easy to take the same approach, the safe shot, to pick up the favorite lens, to assume I know what’s coming next. Sometimes I have done what comes easy. Sometimes I have needed or wanted validation from other photographers. Its time to push again and here’s how I’m going to do to make it work:
- Always go in with a plan because plans keep me sane and feeling in control: just be willing to break from the plan. Stay present and open to the opportunity of the moment, its always better than the plan.
- Take at least one risk per shoot, whether that means taking a shot from an unfamiliar position, choosing difficult lighting, or choosing a less loved lens even if it means sacrificing what is safe/known. I do this often but its time to be consistent.
- Leave judgement and assumptions about the people or businesses I am photographing at my front door. Especially with clients I know very well. Its impossible to be a blank slate but….refer back to #1.
- Showcase work that reveals people, even if its imperfect (focus is off, something distracting in the background, composition isn’t quite right). In other words, show where I’m headed instead of what I have mastered. And this is going to be haaaaard….
The rub: I could alienate the great, consistent client who likes the ubiquitous/safe image. (Or is this just a limiting belief?) If I can stick to these four commitments I know I could transform this biz from what I feel obligated to capture to what I want to give.
Speaking of which its almost time to hop in the car to visit this family again for a shoot – I’ve known them a long time and they, too, are looking to do some new things this year. We’re well matched, let’s see how it goes. Cheers to transformation on a Friday afternoon!