How about you? How long do prepare?
For more than 25 years I have been apart of the Southwestern Photojournalism Conference and before that I served on the Southern Short Course board.
What I watched each year for speakers was they showed up with multiple trays and would be rearranging until they had a new show ready. Often this was happening just before they went on.
Guess how successful those presentations were for the audience? Not very captivating.
Key to Success
When you find out about something that you will do then start right away. If you get a photo assignment that is next year, then start now researching everything you can.
The more lead time you have before an event the only way you will be more successful is to start as soon as you know about it.
However do you give all your projects the same amount of preparation? Are you the speaker for example waiting till the day of the event to put your presentation together?
Maybe you always wait till the night before.
Be thankful the actors didn’t wait till the day before a performance to learn their lines.
Professional musicians practice every day for six to eight hours even if they do not know what they will be playing tomorrow.
The studio musicians who play on all the movies do not get their music until they walk in the door, but they have been practicing most every day of the week. Sometimes they take a day off, but they are prepared to perform at a moments notice.
Treat your work as competition – Because it is!
Every time you do a job there is another photographer getting a similar job. Clients see your work and their’s as well in many cases. Who will they hire the next time?
They may hire you a second time, but over time they will sooner or later go with the winner. Especially if they can see the difference.
Too many treat assignments like they did classroom work. They assume the client will grade them like a teacher.
One of my friends who teaches in college talked to his class about doing the assignment like the real world. Everyone turns in their assignment and then only one person in the class gets the job. In other words everyone would fail other than the one student.
They let that sink in for a while before saying they couldn’t get away with that in the classroom, but he paused for a while and then said, that is how it will be once you graduate.
Do you maximize your time or do you minimize it?