You Quit Learning When You Die!

You quit learning when you die and/or your business starts dying the minute you decide you have learned enough.  My father had a great expression when he was training new staff, he said, “as long as a person considers themselves green, they are growing, it is only when they consider themselves grown they begin to die”.    I see the passion in so many young photographers as they struggle to find the answers to all the questions they have about how to get where they want to be in this profession, but there is always a point when the passion to learn more subsides in most.  They have found a successful way of dealing with their clients and they stop looking for anything better.

I think this is one of the problems within our profession.  Different segments of the photography market change, what is hot, dies out and photographers are slow to develop new markets to replace them with.  In the twenty-five years that I have been in business I have seen the rise, fall and rise again of boudoir photography and pregnant women’s photography as the two new categories of photography offered to clients on a large-scale.

Learning is the key to stay successful in this profession.  Learn how to photograph and deal with your clients to make more money from the clients you have, as well as learning how to get more new clients.  Think of untapped areas where people really want photos taken but there is no one serving those markets.  Growing up my neighbor was a photographers that did photos at horse shows.  This was back in the days of film so he had a darkroom in his travel trailer and made a very good living filling a niche that needed to be filled.  Another photographer I know saw the relationship that men had with their motorcycles and capitalized on photographing bikes and the owners wives and girlfriends (combining the two loves of their lives if you will).   I just heard a local photographer taking motorcycle and custom car photos and he had swimsuit models he would provide to accent the car and make it appear as like the cover of the car magazines.  While these ideas are not for me and maybe not for you, you have to applaud these photographers who aren’t afraid of learning and trying something new.

Don’t just read this blog and say, “good idea” and go back to what you are always doing.  Register for a seminar or conference, order a book or DVD, go to the damn library, but do something to make your tomorrows better than today!

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~ by jeffsmithbooks on May 10, 2012.

One Response to “You Quit Learning When You Die!”

  1. Well I must say, reading your new book, “Step by Step Posing for Portrait Photography” has certainly made my tomorrow better than today. Simply amazing! You really left no stone unturned in that book. Even after reading all your other books and watching all your DVD’s multiple times, this book still managed to tie up loose ends. Wow! You taught me a lesson: I might as well just accept the fact that I will be forever green. The trick is learning to love it!. Thanks again.

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