This afternoon I purchased “The Real Business of Photography”, by Richard Weisgrau. This book was copublished by Allworth Press and the American Society of Media Photographers. I plan on digging deep into this book tonight. However, while sitting in a booth waiting for my dinner to arrive I did read the first few pages. The first chapter deals with developing a strategic vision. This is the process of developing a strategy of getting from the fantasy stage of owning a business (in this case we are talking about a photography business) to the planning of concrete steps of turning the fantasy into a successful reality.
I guess I am lucky here. Because, I have spent a lot of the past few months in an evaluation mode. I am fairly comfortable in stating that I can define what success means to me. I am also fairly comfortable in stating what kind of photography I want to do. And, I am almost comfortable stating that I have most of the basic tools I need to do the type of work that I want to do. I also know what I am up against as far as my personality versus my ambitions go. And, I know what I will need to do to overcome my shortcomings. So,----- what is my major drawback.
I have three major drawbacks. Time, experience and confidence. But, I know that I can overcome all of these drawbacks. And, here is the way I will overcome them:
Time: It is simple. I know I will never be able to continue my current job and spend enough time in photography related activities. I am taking the necessary steps to make it possible for me to spend more time with camera in hand, and on the business side of my art.
Experience: This not only includes more education, and time with camera in hand, but networking business wise and socially. There was a time when I had a social life, and knew how to act and react to the people around me. I can do that again. It will just take some rekindling of the desires to mingle with people.
Confidence: That will come automatically with the improvement of my social life, and with the experience of negotiating with photography clients.
Like I said, I will get busy reading this book tonight. However, I want to state at this time what my vision of my successful photography business is. It is simply to be able to work for myself (although at times I hope I will work as part of a team on larger productions) producing the photography that I want to produce. And, I hope to be able to do this while maintaining the ability to be flexible in where I live, and where I travel. I know myself well enough to know that I will never loose the desire to travel. I may want more home time, but I will always want to be able to travel and learn. I believe I can accomplish these desires by practicing the kinds of photography I like most. Event, portfolio, travel, assignment, stock, and small location and studio portraiture work should enable me to accomplish my goals.
I will consider my photography business successful when the tools of my trade enable me to earn a decent living while doing the work that I love to do, enable me to have a social life, and enable me to continue the learning experience.