Before you either agree that I suck, or try to tell me that I don’t, realize that we all suck at something. Cheered up yet? Read on.
While sitting in my car yesterday, I came across this article on PetaPixel that really got me thinking about where Firelance Media sits in the industry and the reasons why. I have seen some great success and some miserable failures and all of them can be attributed to one of the 10 items in this article.
The gist of the article is that the journey to professional photographer is a long, hard road and something that I have been aware of ever since I started. It is what motivates me to work non-stop: to read, to learn, to treat my clients as I would like to be treated, to try to help other photographers in any way I can including giving away how I do business. My goal? Suck less every day.
I was floored by the fact that out of the 10 things (according to the author) that aspiring professional photographers do to suck (such as marketing, not shooting enough pictures, having a poor brand, playing victim, buying gear to mask a lack of talent, etc), I am guilty of all 10 at one time or another, and there are some with which I continue to struggle. Based on my own self-awareness, I’m sure there are some that I will never feel like I have nailed, but the goal, and my definition of success, isn’t about supreme confidence. It’s about remaining humble enough to know that there is always room to improve, and never taking for granted all of the experience that has gotten me to this point. Good or bad.
In fact, in helping small businesses either through project management, consulting, or creative idea development over the last 15 years I realize that EVERY small business can have a list exactly like this written for them. I see it every day in the firearms industry, but also see the same themes in large companies which really are nothing more than a lot of small companies lumped together under an umbrella.
In fact, I am aware that I STILL suck at a lot of things outlined here, but that’s OK. By doing what I do today, tomorrow I will suck less. That’s cool with me.
Matt Stagliano is a photographer first, and firearms / outdoors enthusiast second. His work has appeared in countless magazines and online outlets such as RECOIL, SKILLSET, Guns & Ammo, Concealment, Breach Bang Clear, Ammoland, and others. He spends most of his time running Stonetree Creative, a full service portrait studio in Maine when he is not on assignment as Firelance Media. Learn more about Stonetree online or follow him on Instagram (@stonetreecreative). On Facebook here.