Be the Hero

I see way too many photographers who play the victim or the villain in their own lives.

They have a client that picks another photographer for a job and this sends them into a tailspin. “Woe is me,” is what you hear them saying in one way or another.

Anyone can see there is a reason to be upset, but you cannot be successful living with this mindset. The problem is you are not addressing the anger you feel.

People get bogged down in feeling victimized tend to view events in their lives as happening to them and feel ineffective and overwhelmed. They also operate on the basic assumption that the world should be fair, which is a child’s way of thinking. You can learn to deal with this in a much more productive way.

You need to understand that anger is a simple, irrational emotional response to frustration.

When we examine the loss of a job to another photographer we often are thinking that the client “should” use us. We believe there is some sense of obligation of them to us.

Oxeye Daisy [NIKON D2X, 24.0-120.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/320, ƒ/6.3, (35mm = 180)]

I started this blog with a picture of the forest, but what we are really seeing is the picture above. Something within the forest. Often it is just a tree or even a flower.

I think it is important for you to give up a sense of entitlement and to recognize that you do not inherently deserve to receive anything in the way of good treatment from others.

Too many photographers will talk badly about other photographers. This is often done by those who feel like a victim and now are acting as a villain. They have turned that anger into putting down others with the hopes of making themselves look better.

Putting those around you down alienates people and drives them away from you. You are now negative energy. Creatives don’t thrive in this environment and they will most likely distance themselves from you.

If you have ever watched professional ice skating competitions, then you have seen failure. It is often just one small mistake, but that means that day they go home without a medal.

Skaters will analyze their performance over and over. They will work with a coach to help them nail it next time.

My first go to after losing a job is to do just like skaters and look for where I failed.

Today I realize that this is often not the only thing we should be doing.

I think we need to think of things from a higher perspective. You need to think of this from the client’s perspective.

Sometimes you may lose the job because:
  • They have a friend who is a photographer
  • They have been asked to try a new approach
  • Someone offered to do it for free
  • They just want to see what someone else can do for them
  • They want some variety
  • A new person is now doing the hiring
    • They hire their friends
    • They have a photographer they worked with in the past
  • A person in the company has someone they recommended they use and that person is someone with political power
Wakeup Call
  • Let this be something to make you try new things
  • Ask yourself on the last job was I listening to the client
  • Go and produce some new work to send to that client
  • Work on updating your portfolio
  • There are seasons with clients and maybe the season has changed
  • Time to market yourself and find more clients

The Hero in a story faces challenges. It is a moving story when the hero must go into a burning building and get someone out. It isn’t interesting as a story if they just take the elevator to the 2nd floor and meet someone and they go to lunch.

Heroes in stories face challenges and overcome them.

Play the Hero. Remind yourself that this is a hiccup and you need to embrace it and learn from it. Find a way that this can make you a better person and not a bitter person.

Be the Hero of your story and not the victim or the villain.