Thursday, September 6, 2012

Other Skills are Necessary to Succeed

Over the past three to six months, I've been researching how to get myself out of the damn office slaving away for the man and how to get myself back home or out in the field doing what I love to do best. Unfortunately, it seems that photography alone won't be able to get me there all the way. I have to develop other useful skills to push me to 100%. No, I'm not talking about my nun-chuck or bo staff skills, But I will go through some other skills that are helpful to people in this industry, like:

Graphic Design
Video Editing

All four of these fit hand in hand and use many of the skills necessary for a professional photographer. Some of them are a bit beyond on the charts, like programming and graphic design. They take some real skills and dedication to pull off. But that's not to say you can learn a bit of it that would be useful in everyday life. Designing web pages is an example of combining both into an easy and manageable path. You need your own web site? No sweat. Just take some time when you have some available down time.

Video recording and editing matches the photographers skill set almost perfectly. Many of the same techniques used to take a still shot can be used for shooting video and editing it afterwards. If you want an excellent example, check out films made by Stanley Kubrick like A Clockwork Orange and look at how every scene is set up. Many people are starting their own web series and they are just as good, if not better, than what Hollywood is shoving out. Take The Guild for instance. Weddings are another area this skill would be used well. Many couples look for a photographer who shoots both pictures and video of the entire ceremony. It can be used as a tool to upsell, similar to photo albums.

Writing is probably the most important of the secondary skill sets for photographers. Newspapers and magazines are trying to save some cash so they have one person shoot the event and then write it up for publishing. Writing on blogs and sharing information on niche subjects is another way to go. I read an article on Photoprenuer about a lady who maintains multiple blogs about different subjects as part of her business portfolio. I had the same thoughts when I started this blog, except I haven't really managed to pick a niche yet. Writing has other useful uses like getting the creative juices flowing, initiating critical thinking and thinking outside of the box, and giving you another tool to help you relate to other people in the field so you can share ideas and tips.

The whole niche thing works for other people at all. For me, I'm into podcasting, and I'm using my writing and this blog to build up the ol courage and self esteem so I can get myself kickin with that again.

What are some of the projects you are working on to further yourself instead of somebody else?