On Eating Frogs
It’s late, the early hours of the morning. Once again, I cannot sleep. I am not sure if it just the erratic sleep pattern I have developed over the past year or the unnerving horror flick I have watched with the weird creepy woman killing everyone. Let’s go with the former.
Let’s make a cup of tea, then I flip through a book called “Eat That Frog”. This is a book that belonged to my son and left here when he left home. It’s about time management, not eating frogs and, like most books of its type comes self-help gems. This one does it slightly differently though.
“When faced with 2 frogs eat the ugly one first”
“Define the most important goal in your life right now”…. Right now, at this moment, is to get some sleep!
Aside from this, I have a defined goal. I want to be a respected Landscape Photographer that makes a living by doing what I love….. Escaping into the countryside and recording the ever-changing beauty and detail. Hopefully in world-class images. (No eating frogs as a goal)
A prerequisite to this is getting noticed. This is not easy, and I want to draw a parallel to roads. The M1 is a very busy road. Getting your voice to be heard in all this noise is very difficult and so it is with photography. Your images are lost in all the noise that surrounds them. All the other hopefuls are also shouting adding to the noise. You need to move away from the noise in some way to get heard. How this is achieved remains a mystery to me, but I need to get onto a quiet B road to be seen. So that’s where I am aiming.
I want to say that this is a single-minded effort it’s not though. I still have to pay bills and eat. That last one is particularly important. So I have a day job to pay these bills and this means time away from what I want to do. Time away from working towards my goal.
The second issue I have is when I get heard and noticed do I have anything that anyone else wants to see or hear.
I have said that you produce work for yourself and I stand by that. But stick the goal in front of you and suddenly you have to produce something that other people are
a) interested in. b) They want to see and c) Pay you to do it
Suddenly a trip to take images I want becomes this trio and I make images that others may(?) want to see and hope that it does not suck the life out of my pastime.
A lot of photographers, particularly landscape photographers have a youtube channel, in fact, it seems to be a requirement these days. I can think of 10 without any trouble. Depending on who you listen to they either make loads of money or none at all. I think, however, that given the time it takes to film and edit these videos there must be some return or it would not be worth doing. Save of course for getting your name out there.
Teaching is another string to the bow to making some money. Teaching people how to use their cameras. I think what they really want is a guide to take them to places so they can get that special shot with a tip or 2 thrown in.
The issue with both of these is the level of noise. Loads of photographers do an OK job teaching or you tubing, but to be heard requires something special. Something that sets you apart.
Setting aside the work of getting heard you have the work of being a photographer. This is not all taking images. I run a website, this needs tending, Images put on and taken off, new products on the shop writing this blog. Then I have social media, Instagram, and Facebook. Both need work to them keeping them up to date and relevant. Compiling accounts to see how much I have spent with no tangible income. Post-processing. Developing workshops along with making cups of tea.
Suddenly I am not a photographer, but a bookkeeper, teacher, webmaster, accountant, marketing expert, product development manager, business development manager, salesman, and somewhere in amongst all of this I am a photographer. Did I mention the day job to pay the bills?
It would be easy not to do any of this but, where is the fun in that. Better to try and fail than not to try at all. Perhaps eating frogs would be easier.
If you have made it this far thank you for reading please feel free to comment good, bad or indifferent
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The book mentioned, “Eat That Frog” is available from Amazon HERE and other book shops. This is not an affiliate link I don’t get any money from Amazon or the author of the book.