Marketing Monday: A Message So Relevant for Photographers

Last April I published a post that my buddy, Scott Bourne wrote a long time ago. I ran across it this morning when trying to think about today’s post.

We’re officially in the slow season, although for many of us, with the barrage of trade shows and conventions, it’s anything but slow. With each convention we’ve got a chance to grow as artists, communicators and friends. Our networks will expand with every convention. Our expertise will grow with each workshop or program we attend. Our style may change as we meet new people, look at new images and see the newest round of technical advances.

Scott’s words were directed towards what he might say at the time in terms of a commencement speech, but they’re dead on for what we all need to be thinking about for 2014.

“Be prepared for lots of hard work – sales and marketing should dominate your day – show the work every chance you get – network like crazy – shoot what you love – repeat.”

But while that’s all good advice, there’s more I would say if I were speaking at a commencement.

I’d talk about understanding the high degree of importance graduates should place in each and every relationship they engage in during their career. Whether it’s the mailman or the recent client, these relationships are really all that matters. I didn’t know this when I was young and it hurt me…both personally and professionally.

So obsess over gear and f/stops if you must, but if you really want to succeed, pay attention to the people in your professional life. Build solid, long-term relationships with them. Care about them. Help them. Put them and their interests ahead of your own. You never know where that will lead. You might be dealing with that person 30 years later. They’ll remember how you valued (or didn’t) the relationship when you were young. And so will you.

Illustration Credit: © mybaitshop –


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