Quick and Easy Will Not Make Your Photography or Filmmaking Business Sustainable

Quick and Easy Will Not Make Your Photography or Filmmaking Business Sustainable

We live in a time where quick and easy are the ultimate goals of the many. That kind of mentality is bad for business unless you make a living off clients who'd like to buy quick and easy products.

Society Today

People are getting more and more used to the fact they can have everything here and now. They need money, they go into debt, but have the money now. They need information, they search the internet. They need to talk to someone, they call them on their cell phone. They want to become a professional photographer, they order a camera. Well, not so fast with that "professional" thing.

Quick and Easy Tutorials

We all love them. Let's say to be a professional photographer or filmmaker, you have to follow 10 simple steps and learn the craft from 10 simple tutorials. Of course, they are not only simple, but quick as well. What's the probability of other camera owners becoming professional artists? Quite high, I would say, because it is a very low-hanging fruit. What happens when there are many professional artists? Competition. How do they gain clients? Their craft being learned the quick and easy way will result in work that will be far from sophisticated. It will be made of quick and easy methods. This means almost all of them will probably do the same type of imagery or imagery that requires the same effort. They will become sellers of commodities rather than craftsmen. They will start competing at price level, and many of their clients will decide to become DIY artists, because it's so easy. At the end, that "quick and easy" business society will collapse. This is true for any saturated group of businesses. Those that don't stand out sooner or later will have to close their doors.

The Myth of Quick and Simple

Of course, quick and easy is not the same for everyone. When I mention these, I mean things that are quickly obtainable without considerable effort. There's a saying that the beautiful things are the simple things. I don't agree with that at all. I look around myself and I see a beautiful sunset. Is it simple? How come that violet, blue, yellow, orange, red, and white combine in such a combination that it looks gorgeous? Look at any flower. Do you know its petals follow a spiral shape? Have you seen the eyes of a "simple" fly? Why are they so complex? Have you tried to draw a realistic rock? Yes, a "simple" rock. It's very hard, because it's not simple at all, and it takes time to draw it so it looks believable. Nothing that is good-looking in nature is simple or quick. Nothing that stands the test of time is quick and simple. Everything that is sustainable has been built upon time, effort, knowledge, and patience.

How to Be Sustainable?

I can think of two ways. One of them is to use "quick and easy" advice and tutorials to get clients if you are a teacher or an instructor of some kind. These are usually "the bait." Most of the free lessons on the internet are actually pointing to more complex paid ones. Nothing wrong with that approach.

The other way is to create work (personal and commissioned) that is complex and, at the same time, eye-catching. The advantages of that approach are many. Your work will not be easily copied, which means you will stand out. You won't be bored anymore. Your problem-solving skills will be elevated to a new level, and you will be able to solve clients' problems easily. There are "disadvantages" as well. I put it in quotes, because in today's thinking, these are disadvantages. The new work you publish will be less frequent, which means your social network activity may not be that high (unless you post tons of personal and behind-the-scenes information). Making a complex project will take you more time, and it will be all because of a few images or a single video. It will take you more time to build a portfolio. These "disadvantages" were the normal path in the past. Today, these are assumed to be negatives. The truth is, that's the natural way. You either walk the "negative" path, or enjoy simplicity.

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

Tihomir Lazarov is a commercial portrait photographer and filmmaker based in Sofia, Bulgaria. He is the best photographer and filmmaker in his house, and thinks the best tool of a visual artist is not in their gear bag but between their ears.

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I can only agree

Unfortunately when they all want it right now and free, or as close to free as they can get, there is little time and no budget for anything but cheap, dipped in ugly sauce.
People get what they ask for....

There are three choices in business Fast, Good, and Cheep but you only get to pick two. Good + Cheap = NOT Fast. Good + Fast = NOT Cheap. Cheap + Fast = NOT Good.