Change is Relentless
Markets change, trends change, buying and selling opportunities change. That means if your business model (be it formal or in your head) is the same as it was three years ago it’s likely you’re working with a competitive handicap. It also means if your goal is continued success as a photographer you must (you guessed it) change.
The very real and financial bottom line need for continued evolution applies to both commercial and fine art photographers. Regardless of your prominence, there are always other very creative people actively seeking to take away your business.
Let’s be specific about changing and evolving versus merely adapting. If you only adapt to change created by others, you are reacting rather than being proactive. You are missing the potential business growth and success that comes with real change.
One way to respond to change is to initiate change in yourself and in your work. And one of the easiest, quickest and most fun ways to initiate change is to take a workshop.
Remember that “change” often implies “different.” So, don’t choose a workshop about what you already know. No! You want a workshop that introduces you to a new style, technique or philosophical approach to your creativity.
Example: Still life photographer
A fine art photographer whose core style incorporates still life considers what may come from a workshop on street photography. Quite a stretch. Yet, as I discovered during my workshop in Cuba, street photography offered numerous still life photo opportunities once I started training myself to look for them. They were all around me. It just took several days before I began to see them because they appeared in a different form of still life than I had previously worked with. The workshop really changed the way I viewed still-life opportunities.
Example: Commercial Photographer
If you are a successful food photographer you might take a workshop on landscape photography. Two seemingly unrelated subjects. Yet, here’s where the potential for meaningful change comes in. In the process you, the food photographer, discover little gems in the landscape workshop that you can directly apply to your “bread and butter” work. Perhaps you are inspired to incorporate landscapes into your food layouts, and this new approach and style refresh the interest of your clients.
Five Advantages of Using Workshops as Catalysts for Change
Now that I’ve introduced you to the broad value of using workshops to explore new areas in your photography, let me briefly point out other less obvious but equally important advantages.
First: workshops are structured. Someone has already figured how to get from A to Z.
Second: workshops force a commitment on your part. Once you pay the fee you have financially and mentally made a commitment to explore new opportunities.
Third: workshops offer immediate, power-packed, focused learning.
Fourth: an instructor in a well-led workshop will help you fine-tune the learning experience so that it may better complement your existing work.
Fifth: there is a great and intangible value in the synergy you experience with fellow attendees; this synergy often leads to unexpected and change-rich “Aha!” moments.
My Challenge for You
So here is your “Change Challenge”—make a commitment. Within the next 10 days sign up for a workshop that takes place within the next six months. DO IT NOW! You will effect a change in your marketing opportunities, expand your creative vision, and have great fun while you’re at it.