In athletics there is one thing that separates good athletes from great athletes and that is consistency. This is true in business as well.
In order to do this you must have defined what you're going to be about. What do you value and do the companies you partner with, the people you associate with, and the jobs you accept fit within your values?
Specifically one thing I've found is that photographers are tempted to adopt a "Nascar-like" approach. Taking any job they're offered or slapping any sponsorship they can onto their body and "partnering" with every company just to get a little publicity without thought or consideration of what they are about. I've certainly been tempted by this at times and have made mistakes even recently and that's ok. We all make mistakes but what's important is that we fix them asap.
Our reputation is the most valuable thing we have and the people we associate with and the ideas we spread certainly affect that.
This is SOOO true, for example, today speaking in Amsterdam to other photographers, and as a speaker, the more you speak, the more you think about what you say, and ideas develop further. In regards to reputation and our value to others, there are fewer and fewer things that separate us from other photographers as there are constantly more and more of us in this industry. I think it all comes down to character. Who we are separates us from those who know us and a thousand others.
Right on Mike! I hope you're having an amazing time out there!
I have always been aligned with Gary Fong, Inc. as my sponsor and so far, it has been a good relationship.
When Canon and Apple come knocking on my door asking for sponsorship, I'll turn them away. Yeah right! :-) Good points though. I agree. It will be interesting to read about some of those mistakes you made on this blog someday.
that's funny Kenny because I did have to turn down Apple already...and better things are coming as a result.
I'm trying to understand–are you saying its about your values matching the values of the company? Or just a matter of using and believing in the product?
As Kenny said, Canon, Apple, and Adobe aren't going to offer sponsorships to most photographers. In fact, in my experience, its more likely that photographers will shop themselves around to various companies in order to get free PR or products. You'd be surprised how many times I hear the phrase "do you know who I am?"
Likewise, the people you align yourself with are just as important as the companies. Maybe more so.
Like Mike said, "it all comes down to character"
Very proud of you DJ. Those are hard decisions to make...but like the rest of us...you have a reputation to stand by. I've very encouraged that you are willing to stick by who you are and not by what people think you should be. It only shows more of your integrity when you make choices like this. Thanks for setting a good standard!!
Thanks for the hilarious insights into sponsor issues the other day DJ! So true re:consistency. It's tough no doubt. I'm happy to be a reseller for a few companies in particular though ;P
nice post... and I'll say, from the conversations I've had with you, I know you're true to this and I MASSIVELY respect you for this.
There are a lot of "frauds" in the industry and a lot of people who gain sponsorship and people listen to and it's kinda sad/scary to watch...
I'm glad that you're real enough that people can and should trust you.
stoked you are YOU! thanks for the encouragement and reminder...
blessings to you man!
that's so funny-i was just having this conversation yesterday with my mom (who's been in biz for over 20 years)! i get so tempted sometimes and it's nice to have people in the biz (any biz, for that matter!) who will help keep you on the right track:)
DJ your so right. I lost a relationship over such an issue, and your reminder tells me I need to turn down Harley Davidson too.
Thank you! That is the 2nd time I got down on my knees, and stood up to find the answer here.
Hey DJ, this is a great post... it was very difficult, when I was starting out in wedding photography, to figure out who was for real and who wasn't. I'm getting better at weeding them out now.
Here's a quote: "Often times companies and photographers use each other to gain -instant credibility- among clients and peers... on the contrary, if there's no sincerity involved, the only thing they will gain is to get -credible for an instant-."
I whant to contact you by mail, when you are in your house?
do you have a skype adress?
Your french friend
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