Pay what you think it's worth.

A year long social pricing study to understand the value people place on photography.

Be your own superhero, take two

Way back in April 2020, I wrote a post about being your own superhero. It’s hard to believe it was such a different world back then. So it was interesting to re-read it and I thought I might do a follow-up post.

You don't have to pretend to be someone else - unless you want to
You don’t have to pretend to be someone else — unless you want to

Impostor syndrome

It’s funny, I used to deal with impostor syndrome — a LOT. I have done a lot of work internally on just that. I rarely have to deal with that itty bitty voice in my head as much. It’s still there, but way, way in the back, just out of earshot (mostly).

I believe in my talent and ability and frankly … I’m just here to have fun anyway. Fun can be a serious business too! Life has a funny way of sometimes giving you what you need, even if perhaps it’s not what you think you want.

The last two years have thought me to trust my instincts and to work way outside the box. As I couldn’t do traditional portrait sittings and workshops in person, I completely went online. I met so many people and expanded my tribe, my network and my clients. I also took the time to work on myself and my business. That certainly helped my confidence.

Dealing with reality

One thing I learned, now this might seem daft, but I am a unique individual. I mean we all are, so what works for someone else, probably isn’t going to work for you. Pre-COVID, I was trying to run a portrait business like any other out there. These days people just don’t seem to want boring family photos and headshots. To be honest I was getting a little bored with it myself. I also learned, that people want an experience, to have fun. They want something uniquely THEM.

So I stepped outside my own boundaries and started my latest project. Offering and empowering women over 40 to jump in front of the camera playing dress-ups. Fairies, evil queens, witches, Hollywood actors, movies and TV stars. It’s a LOT of fun for everyone, it has certainly got me excited again and people coming back through the studio door. But hey, that’s just my jam.

I’m still unimportant and so are you

Sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s still true. People may like your images and then move on. They may buy a portrait sitting, rave about your images for five minutes and then move on. People may even buy a print and then move on. But THAT can be a superpower if you use it right.

I once wrote, “So use your anonymity to quietly pursue your dreams, do the work you love and push yourself a little further every day.” I have been doing exactly that. Quietly and assuredly building my own little business back up. But this time, my way. I can offer what no one else can a creative session with me!

So if it’s true, that at the end of the day no one really cares what you do, then that must mean you need to do whatever it is that inspires YOU and gets YOU out of bed, for yourself. I’ll repeat that last bit — you should create for yourself. Not what you think everyone else wants. There is real freedom in that thought. This doesn’t mean you’ll get rich overnight, but you will have fun.

Create what inspires you
Create what inspires you

If you try, you might just succeed

Granted if you are shooting to put a roof over your head and food on the table, then this may be wishful thinking. Some days you have to do what it takes to make the $$. But this doesn’t mean you can’t implement some of these thoughts. Bring joy into your life, have fun and earn a living. If you try you might just succeed.

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Rafael Jones

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