Adam Senatori has always followed his passion, but it wasn’t always to his benefit. Since he was a child, he wanted to become a pilot, so that’s what he did. After seven years as a commercial airline pilot however, he realized that he wasn’t happy, even though he was pursuing his dream. There was a tremendous amounts of stress and volatility within the industry, and it took a toll on his wellbeing.
That’s when he decided that he need to make a change, he needed to make a transition to his other passion, photography. And while it wouldn’t happen overnight, Adam’s unique approach and stunning visual eye has enabled him to grow his Instagram audience to over 840 thousand followers!
Here are some of Adam’s inspirational tips from his awesome In Focus talk for following your passion and finding success.
Achieving this level of success is a major challenge. It takes time, patience, and there will very likely be a long period of time where you will struggle. But perseverance is key.
It was always his goal to be a pilot, ever since he was young, but “when you’re living the dream, sometimes you have blinders on.” Even though flying planes was what he always wanted, it wasn’t making him happy. It was really hard to leave this job that had been a dream since he was a child.
Recognize and leverage the things you have now, and apply them to things down the road. On following what drives you and makes you happy, Adam says, “you can’t time these things, and you need to take risks.” There will never feel like a “right” time to quit your job, but you have to take the steps necessary to make it happen.
It was years after leaving his job as a pilot that Adam was able to hone in on his niche, aerial and aviation photography. He notes that it was only then, when he was able to combine his two passions in a creative and unique way, that his exposure and following began to take off. It wasn’t enough to simply be a commercial photographer, he had to focus on an area where he was really able to make himself stand apart.
Get focused, stay focused, and become a master of that niche.
As an early adopter of Instagram, Adam definitely had a leg-up on anyone starting out today. He was able to make his aerial images stand out (in a time before wide-spread use of drones), as he was able to offer a perspective that most photographers on Instagram were not able to touch.
The advent of Instagram Stories helps Adam be spontaneous in a way that he was previously unable. The fact that he already has an engaged audience is super helpful, but this has allowed him to be more actionable and less thoughtful about what he posts.
Although Adam has amassed over 840K followers, he has only posted a total of 633 images during the six years that he has been on Instagram. Why? Because he understands the value of posting only things that he knows will resonate with his audience.
It’s good to try and be consistent in the frequency that you post, but Adam argues that it’s more valuable to develop a sense of trust with your audience. It’s one thing to gain followers, but they remain followers because of the quality of what you post. They know that every time you show up in their feed, it’s going to be a compelling image that draws them in.
You will attract and hold value by making a promise, that you’ll provide value every time you post. If you do that, you’ll gain trust and they’ll want to stay engaged.