There is no secret to success! It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure. As Steve Jobs said "If you look closely , most overnight successes took a long time". And that my little achievement seekers is the truth!
When I first started my business I won't lie, I thought "Money, Money, Money" and I also thought "Everyone in my town is going to want to book me for their wedding as their photographer soon enough!" Did this happen? No, rookie mistake. And does this happen now after a little over a year of being in business and run off my feet? No and nor do I expect it I mean come on I literally started this thing a little over a year ago. And that my friends is REALITY. The truth is sure! I am busy booking clients for weddings, engagement sessions and collaborating with local businesses but I am still not busy enough to take this gig full time. And I am not ready either! I have just been to see my accountant to wrap my head around what I am doing in terms of running a business and if I am even doing this whole business owner thing right. It turns out I am but there are still areas of improvement for example, remembering to keep receipts instead of letting them fade away in the back of my car. So for me I believe I need some more time to understand a few key factors of how the elves work together to record and document all of Santa's tax, income, expenses etc. before I can really bite the bullet and take this full time.
For me, I personally am a very passionate human being and I wear my heart on my sleeve! So when it comes to running this business I give it 110% most of the time. I say most because there are other important contributions to being successful in life such family, study oh and the full time job I have for example. But when I am working on building my photography business I really give it a red hot crack! Hence my blogs always being uploaded at around 10pm on a week night. I finish work at 5pm, come home, cook and clean, and then finally sit down to edit some photos on one computer, study on the other and somewhere in between write a blog here and there. I like a billion images on instagram, comment on another billion and follow people constantly. I make sure my facebook is updated regularly and same with my website. I message clients and future clients about sessions and answer all enquiries.
Now it is time for some wise wisdom from this 21 going on 5 year old. And here it is... We are all human. And what are we best at? The answer is Trial and Error. Your old aunt Fanny might tell you that eating all of those chocolates will give you a belly ache but you shrug your shoulders and say "No it won't" and sure enough you eat those chocolates like Augustus Gloop and then... next thing you know its coming back out to say hello from either one of your ends and your left all alone with a belly ache and no chocolates left in you because they just came out. So now when ever I fail miserably I think back to the situation and wonder "what is this trying to teach me?" rather than "F**k! I wish I didn't do that!" and I strongly suggest everyone else try this too as it would make everyone a little more happier and successful in their own minds.
So in light of failure I am going to list for you 3 of my fails of the past 12 months, they may seem embarrassing or they may seem small to some but they each a important in helping me to be successful.
1. The time I forgot to charge my camera batteries...
Yep.... I had a session booked in at Maitland for an early morning family session. The night before I plugged my batteries into their chargers and went to bed without a worry in the world. I even slept in giving myself only just enough time to get to my site. Living about 30 minutes from where I needed to be I left myself 1 Hour prior to the session to gather my things and go. I grabbed my batteries and off I went. I met with the family and got things moving.
My battery light started to flash on my camera and it was RED. I changed my batteries.... Bare in mind I have 4 with me at the time. And not a single f**king one was charged!!! They all flashed red and with ever flash of red I saw beam from my camera another tear came from my eye in panic. I kept swapping batteries and drained every last bit of life out of those little suckers and manage to finish my session. While I got my images completed thanks to what ever devine being was watching over me at the time I learnt from this that I need to double check my chargers and make sure I turn the power switch ON because I didn't.... Simple little error could have cost me big time especially when travelling from Singleton to Maitland!!!
2. That day I took some friends on a bear hunt...
As many of my closest friends would know I am not the best driver. Now combine my terrible driving skills with the unsure knowledge of Newcastle and we've got ourselves a doosie! I met with a couple that I have photographed before to come and have a session with me in Newcastle while I have someone video a behind the scenes... if you have seen the video you'll be able to picture the couple. After hanging out at Glenrock I decide to take them into the Newcastle City for some cute urban shots. I drive to Newcastle and don't ask me what these streets are because I have no clue but I drove in circles around the train station, around parks and around one way streets to find a park to stop and take images. Finally I found what I thought was a car space only to realise I was parallel parking in front of a driveway. After much time the sun started to disappear. And with every minute passing my frustration and panic grew more. I finally find a paid parking space and we headed over to a park. Got some cute shots and not enough time to really utilise the location. I now know I really need to scout and gain knowledge about my locations before my sessions otherwise I will be running around like a headless chook looking for a park or even have to face trying to parallel park again.
3. Overexposed settings...
You know it people. I sometimes still have this issue. I changed my settings on my camera according to the natural light source that is infront of me. How did I manage to somewhat tackle this triangle of Apeture, ISO and Shutter speed? I worked as a second photographer where I learnt a lot from experience, I youtube for days on end figuring out the triangle aannndddd big surprise I used the trial and error concept within my sessions. I experimented with light and sources that impact and image and allow me to make art as a photographer. I failed with really horrible images. But with practice I learnt what is needed and what is not needed in various situations of lighting throughout a day and/pr a night.
As well as the trial and error concept there is also the short term goal factor. Instead of starting a blog or a youtube channel and expecting to be the next Jana Williams overnight, set a goal to make a blog and get that blog noticed. You can be successful in doing this by simply writing the damn thing and sharing it until your heart stops. Eventually you will get those likes, shares and comments. And use word of mouth. Get people talking about your business or your art what ever it may be. Stand out and allow people to form opinions wether it be good or bad which I am going to talk about next.
Even if someone if hating what you are trying to achieve wether it be start a business, make art, make a blog or get noticed at all those haters are still using their own time and energy to get to you. You have made such an impact on those people that they are going out of their way to get to you. And the biggest revenge to that is giving those haters the biggest bird they have ever seen and I mean not even literally flipping them off, just being silent is enough to really piss someone off because when you ignore those nasty messages and comments you allow that hater to sit there in their chair behind that keyboard and ponder what your going to say and they'll wait and wait and wait and then be pissed even more because they didn't get a bite so they'll eventually move on but still theres nothing more satisfactory then knowing that person is sitting there waiting for you and your just sitting there smiling and waving. Literally go Amanda Sings on them and say to yourself "Haters Back Off". But also take the time to appreciate the fact that you mean that much to them that they burnt like 10000 calories just typing those nasty messages out. Because even when someone is hating on you, they are still talking about you because in reality you can never make someone stop talking about you. Annndddd so your success story is being built because word about you is getting out and your becoming noticed while Wendy over in the back is texting her friend complaining about the efforts your putting in actually deeply inside jealous that you have the drive in you to keep trying to be successful.
There you have it... there is but no secret to the long awaited success. There is only one thing we people can do and that is Trial and Error. Make those mistakes I beg you just make those mistakes and learn from them. Go on have that 7th shot! You'll regret it in the morning because you ended up getting with creepy ol' Timothy but that next morning you'll say I now know my shot limit.
Hope my wonderfully wacky words have inspired you all to keep trying!
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