Photographer unknown (but I love it) image via
Learning to say ‘no’ was one of the greatest lessons of my life.
For the first part of my life I was a ‘yes’ girl. Not sure why, maybe I just wanted to please everybody. I ran myself ragged racing from one thing to the next and most of the time collapsed exhausted on the couch every night.
Not long before I left my life I learnt to say ‘no’. I had to be told by someone else when I was on the verge of nervous collapse that it was ok to say ‘no’. I had never thought it was an option (drrrrrrr)..
I learnt that everything in life wasn’t right for me and this applies also to the photography we choose to do.
When you become a photographer many people will ask you to take photos for them. Someone in the family or a friend is getting married, the guy across the road is starting a door company and needs some photos of his products and the lady at the bread shop is organising her child’s christening.
But you want to be a fashion photographer?
Why should you say no to these jobs?
Just because you can take great fashion pics doesn’t mean you have the right lens or the right eye for taking creative pictures of doors. Wedding photography is a particular game, most pro wedding photographers work in pairs and know exactly how a wedding works, what the crucial moments are and not to missed, they know not to overlook anyone as they maybe an important family member even if they are giving you dirty looks and they will spend days editing, retouching, printing and managing the files. That’s why they ask BIG $$$$$. Because it is a BIG job.
So if you role up most of the time for free you are bound to lose a week on the job, get paid nothing and lose focus for creating your fashion photos, seeing clients or doing a job.
Likewise if you shoot doors for the guy across the road, the couple of doors will become days of work, taking photos of a product you don’t understand, trying to figure out how to straighten the lines afterwards because they are all wonky and maybe your neighbour won’t even be happy. Nothing I can assure you in photography takes 30 mins that’s why magazines have only half-day or full-day rates.
The power of no:
1. You save time and don’t get involved with things you don’t know or want to know about
2. You don’t create an additional problem by having an unhappy neighbour!
3. You can concentrate on what it is you really want to do in life
4. Recommend someone who would be good at that and you are helping both of you out.
5. Everyday of your working life you will face situations that aren’t right for you, politely saying no isn’t a bad thing for you or them.
Remember every client isn’t the right client for you!
Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.
Henry David Thoreau