You know what? You suck.

by Outlaw Photographer James Michael Taylor on June 25, 2015

in This is Life

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You know what?

You suck.

Your art sucks.

Your web site an amateur piece of crap that would embarrass a real photographer.

Which you’re not.

Your dream is silly, naive, and will only end in you failinglike you’ve done so many times before.

You’re not even capable of learning how to make art, make clients happy, or how to act and market and shoot and sell like a professional.

You’re an imposter. An immature, self-absorbed, selfish wannabe who’s getting laughed at right now by the cool kids – the ones with real cameras, real clients, and real talent.

Unlike you.

I think you’d best listen to a real professional and quit playing ‘photography business‘ before you really embarrass yourself.

Let me ask you:

Would you ever…

ever…

EVER…

allow someone to talk to you this way?

Then why do you say these things to yourself?

Think about it.

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Light the fire

by Outlaw Photographer James Michael Taylor on June 25, 2015

in This is Life

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Admit it:

Your problem isn’t that you’re spending too much time doing the second best thing (or the third, or fourth, or fifth…) – your problem is that you’re not doing anything at all because you’re a perfectionist and scared to paralysis of doing the wrong thing.

Which deep in your ego, is anything that isn’t the best thing.

And let’s divorce ‘reading‘ from ‘doing‘ – let’s say here that ‘doing‘ is what you’re supposed to be in the act of after you’re done ‘reading‘ something.

Blog posts. Tutorials. Books. Magazines. Forums. Facebook groups. Twitter.

Every one of them invaluable sources of wisdom, perspective, and ideas.

But reading them doesn’t get anything done.

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Letting go of expectations

by Outlaw Photographer James Michael Taylor on June 18, 2015

in This is Life

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If you’re unhappy with your business, you have a problem my dad has a solution to:

“Don’t let your alligator mouth overload your butterfly butt.” – Mickey Taylor

Now, this quote is more applicable to my bravado as a teenager, but it also speaks to the expectations we create for our businesses – most destructively about things over which we have no control.

Can you learn, practice, and improve your art? Absolutely.

Can you Show Up, F8 and Be There, and make your ideal clients say they see you everywhere? Doubtless.

But can you make them call? Can you make them buy?

No.

No, you can’t.

Whether you’re a day or a year or 10 years post-launch, you can’t make potential clients pick up the phone.

This can be hard to accept.

You’re wildly excited about engaging and serving your clients, but they don’t feel the same way…yet.

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Do you even lift (your camera), bro?

June 11, 2015
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Know how to grow your muscles?

Feed them. Use them.

Know how to grow your art?

Feed it. Use it.

If you’re not doing practice shoots, if you’re not doing paid shoots, if you’re not going click once a day…

What are you doing?

When’s the last time you took a photo of another human being?

Well, partner, that’s too long.

I dare you:

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How to overcome limiting beliefs about sales and marketing

June 3, 2015
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“God didn’t equip us with unique talents, insights, drives, and ambitions for us to be ashamed of them. He meant us to use those to serve others in the marketplace. And people are waiting for what you have to offer.” – Michael Hyatt

Many artists just starting their photography business have the Betamax dilemma: a superior product saddled with inferior marketing.

Don’t worry – you’re not alone.

I totally understand the distaste you have for the business side of art; I think it’s shared by every artist who has suffered the trip outside their comfort zone to ask for business, or ask for the sale.

Good news, mates:

Marketing is a blessing to your community.

And sales is a blessing to your clientele.

There are limiting beliefs artists get saddled with from a lifetime of cultural experience:

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The After Action Report (how to get better faster)

June 2, 2015
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The power of journaling is earning its rightful place up there with vegetables and meditation in the pantheon of things that are scientifically and undeniably good for you.

Addicts and alcoholics in AA often put journaling one notch below God Himself on the list of influences that have changed their lives.

The reflection and clarity that comes with journaling is every bit as valuable in art and business as in bettering your personal life.

As a professional photographer, the two primary ways you create value are through the art and the experience you craft for your clients.

They say to become a better writer, write more.

So in photography: to become a better photographer, photograph more.

But just as I promote for reading, absorbing, and taking action on books, you can multiply your earned wisdom from every photo shoot by sitting down and breaking down the shoot in an After Action Report.

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The Selfish Part Time Photographer

June 2, 2015
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“No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.”
– Luke 11:33, King James Bible

That little light of yours?

You oughta let it shine.

I hear you – you’re worried that there’s a perfect “right time” to take the leap and hang your shingle officially as a professional photographer, but you have no idea when that time is, or even how you’ll know when that right time comes.

The problem of course is that there’s no way to know when that time is. We are absolutely the worst people to judge for ourselves when we are “ready” to go pro.

And if I had to bet, the “right time” lies in your past, not your future.

You’re already there.

Truth: Way more often than not, when a PTP reader asks me to review their work, I’m blown away by the talent on display. Photo after photo of great lighting, subtle and tasteful processing, clean backgrounds, personality, expression, warmth, uniqueness, real value, a real blessing for the subject and their family.

You are way more talented and artistic and capable than you give yourself credit for.

That you’re reading these words shows you are deeply invested of your time and heart toward the goal of becoming a successful part time professional photographer.

But – here’s the gut check – at some point you risk crossing the line from sponge to vacuum… From enthusiastic student to selfish daydreamer.

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