Guest Posting

Heather Elder, the wonderful rep who offers so much helpful information for photographers on her blog, asked me to guest post. The result reveals 5 common legal myths debunked for photographers.

By the way, if you are not following Heather, you should.
Well, not in a scary stalker kind of way, of course. I mean follow her work.  Your business will thank you.

Quit Now.

Are you playing it safe? Are you making the work you have been told you ought to make, that clients want to see, that won’t scare off potential clients? Then do us all a favor and quit now.

No one will pay more for your art than the next guy’s unless you believe in its value and make something original. If you feel like “anyone could have done this” about your work, you are probably right and it’s not worth anything. Why are you wasting your time? Worse, why are you wasting mine? Stop pretending to be a creative professional and whining about the state of the industry while what you do directly causes its downfall.

Harsh? Maybe, but I’m not done yet. Look, if you feel like your work could be made by anyone, then you aren’t working hard enough to make your art. I don’t know what you are doing, but it’s not being an artist.

Quit now, because that “play it safe” attitude is bullshit in today’s market. You are only contributing to the illusion that anyone can be a creative. You are lowering the perceived value of creativity by flooding the market with shit work. Those creative pros who are making really creative work are having to fight harder than ever to get dollars for their efforts because people like you make it look like artists are lazy, don’t work hard, and simply luck out when they actually make something more.

Making art is hard work. Art requires more. More effort. More bravery. More of you. You need to put yourself out there to make the work. You should be spent, having given a part of you in the making. If it really is that easy for you, you aren’t trying hard enough.

But you are sure whining about how no one wants to hire you now.

Put the two pieces together and the equation is simple: you won’t get work playing it safe because safe work is shit and no one wants to hire someone who makes shit, no matter how nice you are. So you might as well make the stuff you have in your soul, the stuff you hide from everyone, even quite probably yourself, the stuff that lots of people might actively hate or at least not understand, the stuff that is real.

You don’t need everyone’s approval.
You don’t need to be liked.
You just need to make the work, your work, your real work, and to get paid for your creative (and economic) value.

So, either quit now or get off your ass and make art.