Sounds easy enough right? Like, you've always wanted to take photos and you had the revelation that you could be a real pro photographer, earn loads of money and choose your own hours.
Actually, it's about way WAY more than that. You know the phrase "the tip of the iceberg"? Yeah, that.
The secret to being a successful photographer is to understand yourself and your journey to get here.
This is called your 'Reason Why' and it's utterly unique to you... yet, this is something a lot of photographers have no clue about. If you don't understand yourself and your life journey to this point, then how can you run your business with integrity? How can you see how far you've come from that first click? How can you see any progress you've made as an achievement rather than a happy coincidence?
When times are tough, your 'Reason Why' gives you something to lean on, enough juice to move forward and the scrap of self-belief you need to get back on that horse and keep going. When times are great you can sip something ice cold and delicious whilst marveling at your journey and basking in your own awesomeness.
YOUR 'REASON WHY' GIVES YOU YOUR EDGE, COURAGE AND UNIQUENESS IN AN INDUSTRY OF COOKIE-CUTTER BUSINESSES AND STIFF COMPETITION
If I were to ask you the dreaded question "So, what made you become a photographer?" what would you say?
Maybe something blah like "I first picked up a camera when I was 16 but I got back into photography after the birth of my second child and wanted to turn my hobby into a career."
I'm sure a few people skim-reading the generic paragraph you put out on your About Me page (you know, the one you wrote in a hurry when designing your website and keep meaning to polish up) might buy it, then forget it... but I don't.
And neither do you.
Generic doesn’t tell a story, boring doesn't hold any weight, safe is forgettable.
Keeping your descriptions standard doesn't let you into the faintest insight to explain why you are a photographer.
Your 'Reason Why' carries the weight of your life until this point, a seemingly random series of events that have unfolded to get you to this point.
It's time you figured it out. All of it.
In an ideal world, you'd discover your 'Reason Why' on a desert island retreat, relaxing by sitting in the lotus position and meditating whilst the visions and meaning of life come to you in peaceful clarity.
But in reality, you'll have to make do with half a cold coffee and 3 minutes peace when the kids are playing legos to think about this.
All the opportunities you didn't expect, difficult decisions you've had to make, the times when life was pretty shitty, the incredible things that made your heart dance with joy.... Nothing is ever quite as random as we think it is, when you can look back and see how your character was shaped and molded into who you are now.
Don't ever stop thinking about your reason why, looking back through your life to see why you are at this point. You need to understand why you have become a photographer, because (if you haven't realised already) you and your business are one and the same. If you see your business as a separate life force to yourself, it will not survive.
YOU give life to your business and your 'Reason Why' is what drives you.
So I'll ask you again: "What made you become a photographer?"
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