One of my guilty pleasures, when it comes to TV watching, is the show "The Shark Tank". Is this really the secret to becoming a better photographer? Possibly! I enjoy watching people that invented a product or are developing a business, try to get funding from some of the best business people in the world. A lot of the lessons learned from the show is basically about numbers. In business numbers are everything. From sales, to income, to profit, and cost margin. In terms of the business side, some of these lessons alone has guided me to becoming a better photographer. As I was watching the most recent episode, a guy was making a pitch for a product and in his proposal he was requesting money for a yearly income. For example he wanted 500k but 300k of that money was for a salary for 3 years. Two of the sharks seemed somewhat offended by this request. Daymond and Robert. These two men are multimillionaires, but when they first started out with their business, both of them stated they didn't make any money for about 9 years. Robert shared a story that once he was offered one million for his current product, but he had such belief in his work that he turned it down. It wasn't an easy decision because his family was financially strapped, and good thing he turned it down because some years later he sold his company for hundreds of millions.
The point I am trying to make is that becoming a better photographer, and improving your business takes time. Believing in the value of your work is also very important. Many photographers these days devalue their work to make a quick buck. Are you willing to work hard with little recognition or money for nearly a decade? Obviously this is different for everyone, but the common denominator is hard work and perseverance. There is a saying I've heard numerous times over the years, it states that you will become an expert at 10,000 hours. It's the 10,000 hour rule. So if you worked 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, it will take you nearly 5 years to become an expert at your field of study.
So if you desire a successful business, it may take 10,000 hours. If you want outstanding photographs it may take 10,000 hours behind the camera. There is no shortcut to becoming a better photographer with a successful business. My advice to becoming a better photographer is to take photographs everyday, even if you have no intention to showing them. Try to learn something new everyday. This may be reading through your camera manual or a book by one of your favorite photogs. Whatever you do keep moving forward. Keep trying to improve. Value your work and put in the effort to become better.
This weeks post image was taken at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Winter has set in causing lakes and water to freeze. This icy landscape was caused by the water of lake Michigan running up shore and freezing.