Whatever You Put into Your Photography Career You Will Get It Back

 Simply You on location at the George V Hotel Paris Copyright Carla Coulson

You may recall on Monday I discussed the process of putting together a portfolio/body of work before launching your career.

My advice is not only to prepare your portfolio/body of work but also to have in place your  websites, business cards, composite cards and social media before launching anything. This way you tell two stories, one of your work and the other that you are professional and organised.

I want to tell you what happened to me when I went on one of my first forays into the magazine world. I had prepared approx 6 different photographic travel stories that at the time I was using as my portfolio hoping to have the stories published. I had been fortunate enough to have one of the stories published in Australia and on my return to Italy I planned a trip to London to try and connect with as many English magazines as possible. It seemed to make sense, we were on the same time zone and they spoke English!

I started researching all the fabulous English magazines with whom I wanted to work and then slowly started to call them and make appointments. All of them were fabulous, all of them allowed me to come and see them and when I told them I had travel stories on Italy including Conde de Nast Traveller.

Simply You on location at the George V Hotel in Paris Copyright Carla Coulson

So off I trotted to London with kilo’s of my worked tucked into my luggage. I went to see approx 15 different magazines in the space of four days, each art director was divine, each complimentary about my work but no promises to publish anything.

I remember flying home lugging my suitcase, it felt like it weighed a thousand kilos and so did my heart. I felt as though I had wasted all that time, money and energy and I started to ask myself if I knew what I was doing.

Though I was despondent I continued on my path to becoming a photographer by continuing to shoot. Approx 3 months after my return from London I received a call whilst riding across the Ponte Vecchio. I couldn’t answer it quick enough. It was an English number. A magazine that I had seen months earlier had a two day job for me in Tuscany the following week. Yippee.. I was doing cartwheels on the Ponte Vecchio and the locals thought I had lost it!

After I returned from my job in Tuscany I received another thrilling call. An Australian magazine whom I had seen almost 7 months earlier had a four day job for me in the north of Italy.

This has happened to me over and over and over again through the years. Whatever I have sown no matter how long ago, all seems to flower sooner or later. What you put into your photography career you will reap, even if it takes a little time.

Chi va piano, va sano e va lontano ( I adore this Italian proverb, he who goes softly, goes safely and goes a long way)!

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Jean Wethmar
9 years ago

Yes, Carla.. I vouch for that statement ..We just have to remain hopeful, and confident, and go in the direction of our dreams.. I go on to say ‘whatsoever you put into life, you’ll get a just reward’.. kindness begets kindness, etc.. Well done on maintaining your vision, no matter what!.. Love your photography!

Gabriella Pirisi
Gabriella Pirisi
9 years ago

Wonderful story. Great advice. Reassuring words. Thank you Carla.

This is Belgium
9 years ago

anch’io adoro questo proverbio italiano, sono tanti ‘wise’ gli italiani!

9 years ago

Oh ,yes, being positive and optimist and kind and hard working pays!
It’s only my son who has difficulties in understanding …. he will grow up …eventually.
Lovely photos and lovely story too , Rosanna

Lisa DeNunzio
9 years ago

Love the Italian quote. I love to think that if you try hard enough at anything (blogging, in this case) that you will one day reap the rewards. Thanks for the reminder. Best, Lisa

Rachel Vogeleisen
9 years ago

Thank you Carla for those helpful posts it makes me
even more determined to launch my career as
a professional photographer.
I have a question regarding lighting kits,
would you recommend investing in a lighting kit?
If yes do you have any recommandation for light to carry
travel lighting kit?
Thank you

Rachel Vogeleisen
9 years ago

Hi Carla,
I have another question about this post. When you
approach magazines, who is the person to
contact? The editor?
Thank you for your help.