“When The Fat Lady Sings”

Ok…I didn’t make the expression and curse those politically incorrect persons that came up with it, but it does make the point in American Cult, “it ain’t over until the Fat Lady Sings”.   In business, any kind of business, there is a fine line between determination to achieve success and ignoring when the Fat lady is singing.  None of us want to quit something we love doing, but when pursuing a career is a hardship on one’s self or especially ones family, you have to know when to say when and get on with your life.

I see so many young photographers swimming a sea of young, untrained photographers all struggling to make a buck.  Because of their lack of skill and training they spend all their time at home (many having family and children) photoshoping snapshots into better looking snapshots.  Most of the time they end up working at a job to support their photography which takes money away from their family.  This is “the fat lady singing”!  With no skills or training the path to professional photography in these competitive times isn’t just a struggle, it is like play the Lotto as a career choice and typically it is the spouse and children that have to suffer.

The path to successful professional photography really hasn’t changed.  You learn and study, not days or weeks, but months and years.  Once you have a solid foundation in photography then you start to learn about business.  Once you have a complete understanding of photography and business, then you are getting ready to start to become a full-time professional photographer.  You can’t build a career without a foundation of knowledge.  You couldn’t expect to open a small restaurant with no idea of how to cook or run a business and yet that is what young photographers do everyday and wonder why sooner or later they “hear the fat lady sing”!

To those of you younger photographers, I am not being negative.  Know when to say when is something many established photographers are having to come to grips with in this economy.  When you can live a better life, make more money and spend more time with your family as a grocery or Costco clerk or UPS driver then trying to hang on in the hopes the economy will turn around in enough time to save your business is crazy.  Although the “fat lady might have sung” on your current business endeavor, it doesn’t mean that has to be the end.  Figure out why your business failed, which is typically you didn’t know something you should have.  Learn it and try again!  Maybe you are a great photographer with no business skills, take some business courses, read some books, start out small and try again!  Maybe you are experienced at business, but you tried to start working with clients and simply got a bad reputation that no one trusts!  Go back to school, read some books (mine are always excellent choices) and learn from the experience of the fat lady singing!

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~ by jeffsmithbooks on March 4, 2011.

One Response to ““When The Fat Lady Sings””

  1. Jeff—as a working PRO( i am 58 years old) for over 15 years now—YOU ARE RIGHT ON!.

    All folks need now are a camera, a web site and photoshop( assuming they know how to use it).

    I wouldn’t want to be starting out now.
    Jack Graham http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com

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