In the photography industry, 2006 – 2013 were the years of the the rockstar photographer. 2014 is the year that everyone comes clean. Owning a business is hard effing work.
There are business people who understand what it takes to do photography, artists just barely making it and compulsive liars (when you see a photographer who claims they made $12k on their last shoot, make sure they back it up with their tax return before taking their workshop).
In 2014 to make it you have to be a business person first, photographer 2nd. You can be the most epic photographer in the world and be a total business failure (*cough* did you know Annie Leibovitz is broke?).
There are no rockstars anymore. In fact there never really were. Everyone is just trying to provide for themselves and their family. If you don’t get that feeling, most likely you have been lied to.
2014. No bullshit. No hype. No rockstars. Doing what you love is hard work. I’m not gonna lie, some days owning a photography business is the hardest worst paying job I’ve ever had. But it’s the job I love the most.
Things are really changing
My friend Brian Calabrese of Brian Joseph Photography got the ball rolling on this. He wrote an incredible article on Jan 30, 2013…calling the end to the rockstar era of photography.
“I have stopped thinking of any photographer as a “Rock Star,” to me they are more like Superheroes. After all sometimes we kinda need to have super powers to make it through some of the work we do as photographersI know, I know, ridiculous term, but no more ridiculous than the term “Rock Star.” So lets start of 2014 by ditching the term “Rock Star.” Have some fun, stop being so angry at the industry, and welcome the Superhero Photographer.” – Brian Joseph
On the BrandsmashTV show about the future of photography our panel really talked about the importance of business. We have reached a point of saturation in the industry and only people who are willing to develop strong business skills will survive. What you will see over the next year is photography teachers giving you an honest look at what photographers are up against. Photographers will also be more open to sharing their struggles. This was very evident when I heard Carla Ten Eyck keynote at Inspire Photo Retreats. She received a standing ovation for her honesty.
So welcome to the age of superhero photographers and honest educators who share their photography struggles openly. My friend Amanda says it best:
“ Being a superhero isn’t about just being invested in your own success. It’s about the greater good. Going above and beyond for your clients, working around the clock to gain knowledge and meet deadlines, constantly striving for better, and just kicking ass in general. It’s about creating killer experiences, unforgettable images, and saving the world…to your memory card.”
Mike Allebach: Founded Brandsmash as a marketing resource for small business owners with his mantra “Your story changes everything.” Communications & Marketing Director turned Business owner he hosts BrandsmashTV. Hailed by a Rock n Roll Bride as “the Original Tattooed Bride Photographer” Mike Allebach crafted one of the most distinct niches in photography. Mike’s Brandsmash Stories & Wedding Photos have been featured in over 100 blogs, newspapers & magazines.
He will be talking about failure & interviewing Jaleel King live on stage at the WPPI Expo in Las Vegas on March 6.