What keeps you motivated?
The process of exploring and shooting keeps me motivated and inspired to a high degree. But that’s only on the artistic side. Shooting is easy. When it comes to running a sustainable photography business a whole new set of skills and challenges come into play. And where with photography as an art form I’m motivated by the process of shooting, with photography as a full time gig, a lot of inspiration comes from the end results.
What I mean is, I like taking pictures. The actual activity itself brings me joy. But once you turn that into a gig you force yourself to take on a bunch of tasks which are not exactly enjoyable by themselves. Case in point, I HATE emails. Writing them, sending them, seeing new ones pop up in the inbox…shudder. Every email I receive I view as a little gremlin biting at my feet annoying and harassing me until I can kick its ass back into mogwai form. If all of the internet collapsed and took email with it I wouldn’t complain (of course ignoring for the moment that my business simply couldn’t exist without the internet or email). Of course I’m exaggerating but basically I’m trying to make the point that I find email to be a drag.
BUT! There’s a part of me that actually loves answering emails. And that’s because I know the end result is worth it. Whether it’s booking a new client, helping another photographer with some feedback, or connecting with business opportunities, I know that almost every email I receive or send has a net positive value for me, my business, and hopefully for the person on the other end as well. And knowing those end results are out there really does keep me inspired to continue working hard and chugging away at tasks which in and of themselves are not super fun.
In other words, I love the idea of achievement, of building a business. And the desire to look back and say, “yup, I did that” helps me stay motivated with photography as my full time gig.