Last Wednesday I was invited by premier and long time photographer Frank Peele to attend the Inland Empire Professional Photographers and Videographers monthly meeting as a guest. Wow, what a group! Not only are they very friendly and welcoming to visitors, they are all so supportive of each other and the professions of photography and videography!
Not only was I impressed with the group as a whole, but we were all privileged to get a lecture on “Standing Out from the Crowd” from internationally famous wedding photographer, Mike Colon!
Mike had a lot of good points and I will go over a few of them here, but worth mentioning is his dedication to a Cause. Supporting a Cause is a big part of his formula of success. He has picked several, one of the foremost of which is Thirst Relief International.
Mike spent the better part of two hours going over marketing, creating relationships, priorities, pricing, taking risks, and many other startling revelations about becoming successful! His insights were so very basic to life and success that they could be used to handle almost any business!
Mike stresses the importance of making your presence known by, surprisingly not just referrals from happy brides (short term) but by helping and referring other good photographers! (long term) He says never forget the importance of helping someone out, giving away things for free and in so doing, creating long-lasting relationships with people that you help. It will come back to you in uncountable ways.
One more BIG point that Mike made that turned my approach to success around 180 degrees was this:
TAKE RISKS, throw yourself out of your comfort zone, say YES for a whole week, do things just because you are afraid of them to become fearless and force yourself to do things you have never done before. Do something different than anybody else – these things are what sets someone apart from the crowd. Just DO IT! I love this philosophy and can think of times in my life when I have ventured out of my “zone” and it worked!
Last but not least is to get educated, volunteer, go to classes, read books, go to lectures, get trained! Get out there and immerse yourself in new things to learn about your profession. Its all part of the formula!