Friday, January 15, 2010

Surprise! It's NOT All About The Pictures!

Over at Rob Haggart's A Photo Editor, his article - Good News In Photography - Points out something quite interesting, which I've re-arranged for the sake of discussion:

Here are other key points to why my business is growing:
NON-Photo/Creative Related:
  1. Easy To Work With
  2. Flexible
  3. Honesty
  4. Be Polite
  5. Marketing
  6. Surround Yourself With Good People
  1. People are really responding to my vision
  2. Being a true part of the creative process
  3. Personal projects

There's a lot more insight into each of those points in Rob's piece, but I want to make sure you understand that succeeding is often not about great photos, but about all manner of other things!
(Comments, if any, after the Jump)

Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.


Mark Harmel said...


Wonderful post and great follow. I loved hearing some good news.

The intangibles are always important. I know great talented people that could never deliver a project on time.

I socialize with them, but will never rely on them for a job.

Anonymous said...

Heck yeah, John. I agree with you whole-heartedly. Many people can make good photos, so in the end, it's NOT the photos that can get you hired. It's the attitude, the professionalism, the experience, the PERSON that gets the hire.

Doug Pruden said...

I completely agree. The number of photographers can be overwhelming and trying to decide on a particular style, while desirable, probably doesn't go beyond a "that is a nice photo" comment by the client doing a search. Reputation is often the best advertiser in any business. This is true in any industry. If you have a reputation for making the client's life easier and being efficient and fun to work with, it will always trump the image, unless the client requires something really specialized.

Andre Friedmann said...

"Easy to work with" means, for some photographers, not charging enough money to profit and thrive in the business. Instead, I wish more young and old photographers understood that "easy to work with" means professionalism, on-time performance, high-quality work, and finding solutions to customers' problems that don't involve delivering work and licensing at dirt cheap prices.

Jason Lindsey said...


When I talked about being easy to work with in the article on aPhotoEditor I mean exactly what you say. It is not about cheap prices.

Anonymous said...

People have to remember this is a buyer's business. Everything is negotiable. Reputation is king.
Here is where we get into the mud, if everyone is equally talented and the new people know that they have to do something to get a job, to build the experience, what's the first choice they make? Cut their prices.
I can see Jason's points about the reputation, service, attitude being crucial, they are, just from a simple respect for other people kind of thing, however, with the sheer volume of newbies using the lower cost vehicle to get past the experience hurdle or to help build their reputation stage, they have created an endless road to cheap prices. I admire any good business providing exceptional service, but value can only go so far for an ubiquitous product such as photography.
The people in my mind that will rise to the top are the Howard Schatzs of the world. Wealthy people who are interested in investing boatloads, possibly, exponentially higher amounts of money for training, hardware and projects used as client bait, decisions based on their extensive and expensive research and promotion pieces.
The scrappy folks will have to give it away and the rich folks will get the big jobs and probably never recognize the loss of capital as quickly as the poor newbies do, who will have to get desperate and lower their prices more just to help cut their losses. Did someone ask Jason how much money he has to carry for ad jobs and how long it takes to get paid and what kind of advances he gets?
All clients are different of course but don't kid yourselves folks, what ever you think it takes to make it, quadruple that amount and double the time you take it will take to get there.
The pies are a whole lot smaller, the slices even thinner and the number of hungry willing vendors to get a nibble are starving. Photography is still a wonderful hobby, but a slow nickel, with a waaaay to dynamic overhead profile, when it comes to making a buck.

Debra Weiss said...

Oh - so you mean nothing's changed!

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