Where do You Go Next?
We're gonna kinda get down to the end of this here, and we wanna talk about what's next for everyone. So we've hopefully armed you with all sorts of different pieces of information that will help you kind of structure yourself as a business person, outside of being already artists who can do the picture. The idea is that there are so many people that I've experienced in this career that are brilliant artists and just god-awful business people. Because they don't have the patience for it, because they want the easy fix or the magic bullet, because they can't wrap their head around the idea of doing business rather than just creating art, they are afraid of "selling out." There's a whole lots of things and excuses and other parts that people make when they don't want to deal with that part of becoming a working artist. And the idea for me to share with you is that you have to be both in order to be successful and continue to keep doing it. But you also have to continually educate yoursel...
f. And a lot of the stuff that I'm gonna show you in the next segment is things that I continue to do, as a person who has to continue to learn. I can't stop learning, either. Just because I'm here talking to you, as the current expert at the moment, right here in the room, that doesn't mean that I have all the answers, and it doesn't mean that I can't continue to learn. Because, as we've spoken about on a number of occasions, I've continued to learn things that I've plugged into this presentation as it was happening. Because you're forced to think about things, when you're forced to unpack certain ideas and concepts, and have to share them, other things pop into your mind. Other occurrences kind of start to become clearer in your mind. And you're able to convey them in a way that hopefully people can learn from. I also want to be a bit of a cheerleader for you, too, and I want you to be able to understand that it's pretty obvious that the people that I have taught in my life have stuck around me in a way. Or have come to see me speak again and again, or have become part of my life. My oldest and most trusted, I don't want to call him an employee, 'cause that's not really a fair designation, but member of my crew, is my first assistant. His name is Devon. I met Devon when he was nine years old. He's now in his 30s, and he's been working for me for over a decade, and now has formed his own company. He's got his own business, working in video more than stills, and he's kind of become an ancillary piece of what we joked about as the coaching tree. And now he's got people that he's teaching, and he's moving through. And I want that for anyone who wants it in return. And that's the last point of that, right before I move through this, is that you have to have the desire to keep pushing, and scratching, and clawing to get to the next level. Because nobody's gonna hand it to you. You gotta do the work. You gotta do the homework, you gotta do the research. You gotta live it and breathe it every day. And it doesn't mean that you want to live it and breathe it every day to become me. Because I may not be what you want to be. You have to become what it is that you see as something that's comfortable and enriches your life. Becoming a highest-level commercial food photographer isn't necessarily something that everybody can achieve, but it's also not something that everybody wants to achieve. That may not be the part of the business where you want to be. Maybe you wanna be the best cookbook, and I know some of these guys, they didn't want to do commercial work, they want to do cookbooks, and they want to do one after the other, after the other, after the other, and they're really good at it, and they love it, and they love interacting with chefs. I don't know why, but. (laughter) Just kidding! But they love it. They love it, and they form businesses around it, and they've got a great system, and that works in lots of venues. Because, like I said, from the first slide in this thing, food visuals are everywhere. And there are so many different ways to capitalize on all the information that we've been talking about. And beyond that, this doesn't just apply to food photography. It applies to other parts of business. It applies to other parts of life. And I want you to understand that it's all intertwined, because in order to be a good boss, or a good businessperson, it kinda helps to be a good person, too. And think that way. So, how do we keep going? I recommend things like continuing education, which is something that we're all participating in. I also would like you to continue to do research. All the time. And each of these, we will go unpack them a little bit deeper. I want you to participate in workshops. And at a certain point, even not just participate them as people on that side. Think about doing what I'm doing. Teach other people. Because there's always an opportunity when you become proficient in something to teach other people what you know. And there is nothing more powerful than understanding that, and conveying information to other people and watching them put it into action. That's what this whole thing is built on, here at Creative Live, and all around other situations. When you have the ability to teach other people, you're continuing to learn, yourself. You're continuing to grow, and it's really important. Taking classes is in the same vein. Entering contests. Putting yourself out there on the line, and understanding being critiqued, and what that means, and learning from it. Because it's important to get feedback. We talked about that, we're gonna over it a little bit more. Portfolio reviews and showcases, and what those things mean. Your personal channels, better known as social media. And the resources that are available out there for you, as photographers and business people. And treatments, which I left for the end. Because I wanna discuss what they actually are, in practice, because I said, jokingly, yesterday, I was gonna get 35 million emails overnight asking me for a copy of a treatment. And I wouldn't call it 35 million, maybe like five, but I did get a few emails. And I thought about it, and I found a little research on it, and I also provide, in the last few slides here today, pieces from some of mine. And I want to talk about what they mean, and spend a little time discussing them.