“Starting out we used to have this saying, that we were three months from being rich or three months from being broke..” enters Joel Grimes. I had just asked him to share with me, the moment when he felt he “finally made it” as a professional photographer.
He continues, “I don’t think you can really ever say you have made it. Defining success is very subjective. But I can say that my photography has afforded me the opportunity to raise a family. I would say that is success in my book.”
Joel, a successful commercial photographer for the past 27 years, is now an author, educator, and still owns a studio of his own in Denver, Colorado. He’s worked with Hyatt, Goldman Sachs, Sony, RedBull, Visa, and many more over the years.
To help get ready for our huge upcoming annual event, Photo Week 2015, we’re highlighting some of our favorite instructors who are part of the event.
We’re going to be sharing with you, everything from their tips and advice on how to make it in the photography business, how to frame perfect shots within their domains, how to create your unique style, and much more over the coming weeks.
Let’s hear some more from Joel.
Q. Can you tell me how you developed your unique photographic style?
Joel: “It’s following your intuition and repeating the process more than 99% of the people on this planet.”
“I normally put in around 12 to 13 hours a day, seven days a week. Put in that amount of time, and you can be successful at anything.”
Joel feels very passionately about photographers needing to develop their own unique style, and learn how to emphasize those strengths in any project they take on. As a photographer, the success of your business, depends solely upon how effectively you can illicit desired emotions and create an experience for the people viewing your works.
If you want to build a community around your images, start with being different and by providing value to the people you’re targeting. Do your images warm someone’s heart? Do they get people excited to go and explore the outdoors? Pick your target and work hard until you make it happen.
Q. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received in the photography business?
Joel: “That I had did’t have a chance in hell to make it. So I set out to prove them wrong. For some, being told you can’t achieve something is the greatest motivation in the world.”
Q. What final advice would you give to the CreativeLive audience?
Joel: “With hard work and perseverance, it is possible to live your dream. But it won’t come easy. It comes down to how bad to you want it.”