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Destination Wedding Photographers Share Advice on Careers and Life

Posted February 6, 2011

 

 

I sat in the back row of a room filled with Kendall photography students recently and listened to two young professional photographers give advice, thinking the wisdom they were sharing could apply to almost any field and to life itself.

 

In fact, as I walked out the room, I chatted with Dennis Grantz, a seasoned and accomplished photographer who teaches at Kendall.  We both agreed that we came away with some ideas we could apply to our own lives. 

 

Before I get into their main points, I want to share that Ben and Laura Harrison, who are married and have multiple photography related businesses, shared a compelling message but they did it in such a way that they held the audience’s attention for almost two hours.  Tough to do in this day and age.

 

How?  Their power point included an interactive component—name the famous photographer. They showed the work of both living and deceased photogs who have influenced them.  The first person to name each one got a piece of candy.  Their selections ranged from Ansel Adams and Henry Cartier Besson to several young and lesser-known photographers.   While the guessing game sounds gimmicky, it was fun and kept everyone engaged. 

 

 

Here are some highlights of the presentation.

 

  1. Define your style and then edit out any work, messages or marketing that doesn’t fit this style.  Laura and Ben suggested picking three words to define your work and filter all choices through them.  Their words are authentic, creative and beautiful.
  2. Remember: an imitation is always an imitation.
  3. Find photographers you do like and then figure out why. This will help define your own style.
  4. Buy computer software while you are in school and can get the student rate. 
  5. Look outside of your industry for inspiration when you are developing a brand.  The Harrisons particularly looked to the fashion industry. 
  6. Always act confident.  No matter what.
  7. Never put anything on Facebook or other social media that could haunt you later.  And never rant.  Somebody is always watching.  Be careful.
  8.  Get a web presence now and start putting your best work on it.  Then learn all about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) so that your work can be found.  

~Susan J. Smith 

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