If you want to have your photography stand out from the millions of picture takers flooding the internet, Levar Burton has a message for you.
You will have to do more than be the artist and creator. You will have to be your own advocate. You will have to learn how to promote and distribute your work. You will have to hustle.
And only when you are willing to hustle, will you demonstrate your commitment to getting the job done. That's what Levar says. What will that mean for you? We unpack the quote in this episode.
Listen to the podcast
Let's push back on the premise for a moment. What’s wrong with just being the artist and creator?
- We got into photography to take pictures.
- That's what we love to do.
- Why wouldn’t that be enough?
The world is swarmed with millions of people who only take pictures.
- If you are happy taking pictures for just yourself and don’t aspire to stand out beyond that, there's nothing wrong with that approach.
- If you aspire to rise above the millions of people just taking pictures, you will have to do more than the millions.
How photographers really spend their time
The International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers conducted a study on how photographers spend their time. ISPWP published this chart showing the difference between how photographers actually spend their time and the public's perception of the way photographers spend their time.
This is the hustle that Levar Burton is talking about.
Hustle through the three stages
Last week, I talked about the three stages of photography and what you should be doing at each stage.
It was an easy way to think about how you go beyond taking pictures to becoming your own advocate.
Stage 1 - Emerging photographer. Take pictures. Do the work.
Stage 2 - Enthusiast photographer. Tell those stories that only you can tell. Do good work.
Stage 3 - Impactful photographer. Create your opportunities. Do work that matters.
Within these stages and steps, you can become your own advocate and start to do the things that get you beyond the masses. It’s called hustle.
Your willingness to hustle — or do those things — is a sign of the degree to which you are really passionate about getting it done.
So where is your hustle game?
Learn more in this free photo webinar
If you want to know what exactly the hustle game looks like for an enthusiast photographer, join my free webinar this Thursday, Sept. 8.
I will lay out how you can go from a beginner to a brand. Let’s talk about what specifically needs to be done.
I will lay out a step-by-step guide and share some downloadable resources to help you with your planning.
Join us on Thursday, Sept. 8.
Helpful & related links
- Thanks to CreativeLive for granting permission to use the Levar Burton interview. Find more great interviews like this in the 30 Days of Genius series.
- Episode 069 - You can't just create. You have to hustle.
- Episode 070 - Which of these three photography stages are you in now?