As photographers, we all have dreams, but whatever these are, they ain't going to work until you do! Let me explain something I've discovered time and time again, it all starts with $3.84.
Makes you wonder, right? What did I do to get $3.84 and why are they the hardest? Well a few years ago I setup my Stock Photographer account, threw in like 8 random images and a few days ago one of my images was brought by a travel guidebook and I get 3.84$ as my fee.
Nothing to write home about, right? Yes and No. Yes because three bucks is not much but No because the amount is irrelevant, but shows something very important: Potential. Let's rewind to a few years back.
Your first $300 is the hardest
Here's the story, I went to shoot a friend cooking at a cooking school….for free. But it wasn't all altruistic though, I wanted to get some nice food shots and sell those to the owner. The week after I was hired for my very first job as a photographer, for $300.
Here's my point: Before you even take the first step there is an avalanche of emotions that run trough your veins, fear, self doubt, anxiety, all of these tend to disappear once you start taking the first step. All of these first sales are not about the money, they show you the potential of everything.
Granted, I am not going to make a career of stock photography but it shows what could happen if I was diligent in uploading my travel shots, or if I shot popular topics. But quite frankly just because I made my first sale, I already went trough my catalog and spotted 2 images and uploaded them. Fact is, once you start, it's like a ball going down hill, you want to continue.
So while I might not go all Stock photo, I did follow troughs with my professional photography, I made thousands from that starting point at the cooking school. Now granted, not everyone is interested to shoot jobs, but the same principle still apply: Take the first step and see it trough.
If you want to sell prints, print, put up a matte and frame it, put it up online and do everything you can to get that first sale.
If you want to leave a legacy for your family, print the first few pages of the family album.
If you want to make a website, start by editing the first images you are going to put up, so on and so forth
Nothing will ever happen if you don't do anything, hence your first step is the hardest. But the good news is, once you take the first step, you'll be motivated to take the second, third and so on. And at some point you will ask yourself why you didn't start earlier.
I wish to tell you I bravely start everything I intend to do, but fact is, I'm still prone to avoiding the start. I delayed redesigning my website for months, and then I decided to take the first step….I pretty much finished it in ONE DAY. It's been my experience in everything I ever did as a photographer, that the scariest part was always the start……for the brain somehow makes you believe that the bogey man hides right after it. To this day I never cease to be amazed how everything seems to be scary until you start.
And trust me, if you see how a little 3.84 makes me motivated to publish more images….wait until you successfully complete your first step in selling your services, finally making prints or publishing that website! Be yourself, stay focused and keep on shooting.
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