When asked about new year resolutions, I usually throw out the old standbys. Lose some weight, eat better, be more organized, save more money…. the same ones I make every year and half-heartedly attempt them, if I actually attempt them at all. This year I want to really focus on this one resolution, one simple thing that would make me a lot happier… to mind my own gosh-darn business.
I know I’m not the only photographer that invests too much time in finding out what everyone else is doing. Instead of focusing on making myself better as a business woman and photographer, I look to other photographers and see where I measure up. And besides myself, nobody else cares! No one wants to hear me bellyache about the latest shoot-n-burn or how So-and-So Photography has more clients then me. Besides Katie Smith Photography is not about anyone else… it’s about my clients and me. It’s about capturing families the way that I see them and in doing so, running a profitable business that fulfills me as a person.
There will always be cheap shoot-and-burn photographers. New ones are building their free blogs and fan pages as I type this. The clients they receive are not the clients I want. I know I’ve invested too much time learning good technique and too much money on quality products and gear to give away the farm for free. So I need to brush off their attitude of “same thing at cheaper prices” because their work is not the same as mine. Along this line, I have to quit getting on the “quality photography isn’t cheap” soapbox whenever a consumer accuses quality photographers of charging too much. I don’t like to debate and it’s not worth arguing over. I know my prices are where they need to be and if someone values my skill and style, they will be willing to pay my prices. End of discussion.
Quit coveting other’s gear. There will always be a new peice of technology with the promise of better photographs or better online presence. There will always be someone who gets that cool peice of gear before they really understand how to use their old equipment. I might lust after all those new toys in the photo store catalogs but it is beyond pointless to covet another photographer’s gear.
Get over the client envy and the facebook like envy. Okay, they have a bigger circle of friends, better online presence, and because of that, more word of mouth. They might be booked until the end of time but unless they want to spill their secrets, quit worrying about it! Focus on what I can do to get more clients and facebook likes. And if I know the secret to their facebook likes is by having a business profile and hosting contests against Facebook’s Terms of Service, get over it! I know it’s wrong and if I want people to respect my terms of service and copyrights, I have to respect those of the businesses that allow me to advertise my business on their site. This also goes for not using copyrighted music even though a certain song would be perfect for a slideshow.
So my resolution is to stop wasting my energy on the blog/facebook stalking, the whining, the reading of other blog’s whines about “fauxtographers,” and the general negativity that comes with having competition. It’s all pointless! My energy and time is better spent learning new techniques, reading about how to better myself as a business woman, or even better than that… PLAYING WITH MY KIDS!!! After all, they are the source of my inspiration and the whole reason why I got into the craziness of the photography industry.