As the end of the year looms, we begin to look back and reflect on the previous year and think about aspirations for 2014. What will make this coming year successful for you? Getting paid to live and work as a photographer? Producing creative, fulfilling work? Being published? Teaching and helping other photographers? One photographer I've worked with this year did all of these and in this interview, she shares her insights on what success is for her - and importantly, what this could mean for you and your career in 2014.
What does it mean to have a successful career in photography? I’m sure we could all produce different definitions of this. Regardless of how we define it, success can be as simple as “having a goal in mind, and working to realize it”. This definition will keep it broad enough for the purposes of the article to make it applicable to anyone, for whatever type of photo or video work you find yourself in today, or aspire to be doing tomorrow.
We don’t need to set goals, but if we want to experience consistent success rates with our work and careers, it certainly doesn’t hurt to think about what we want to achieve, and how we plan on getting there.
So how does this broad definition apply to this article? I worked on a shoot a few months back that resulted in a brilliant successful outcome for the photographer, Lindsay Adler, and thought it would be a great example to look at how what she does and the success she achieves can apply to any one of us.
Lindsay is a New York fashion photographer and director and is the sort of person you could write a book on if you wanted to look at case studies for establishing a successful photographic career.
While Lindsay has been a professional photographer for many years, she likes to remind us that she has only been shooting fashion photography for the last 4 or 5 years or so. When she first started out, she used to reference a particular fashion magazine, NOISE, for inspiration. She has just been published twice in the latest edition (you can see the BTS video I put together of one of the shoots below).
For a fashion photographer, being published once in a highly regarded magazine for the first time is great; being published twice in the same issue is an amazing achievement and it got me thinking that it would be interesting to look at how some photographers achieve “success” in their field - and importantly, how what they do can apply to us so we might be able to also become more successful in our own endeavors.
I used Lindsay's recent publication as a "case study" to look at how she organizes herself, what she thinks about and how she looks to provide advice and insight into how we all can achieve our own versions of success, however we wish to define it.
While you listen to the interview,think about how you too can achieve your own levels of success for your photographic career in 2014. Whatever type of photographer you are, there are a number of insights we can all apply here to our own work and business to hopefully lead to more success in our own photographic careers.
Here is the short video interview that I put together that I hope gives you an insight into the success story of the shoot, and the wider look at how she set out to achieve a key milestone goal and measure of personal success. (The audio is a lower volume than the first video above, so please turn up headphones/speakers).
Please feel free to share what goals and aspirations you have for 2014 in the comments. Whether it's simply to take more photographs, or to shoot a major commercial campaign, I would love to hear what you are striving for in the coming year.