If I may be brutally honest with a touch of cynicism..

Chris Lonsberry Media Chris Lonsberry Media

The CLM Blog: Photography, Business and Meanderings

Since I love photography, like to write and am actively engaged in growing a business, a blog seems like it should be a thing.

Everyone (else) Is Doing It! - Feb 21, 2023
Everyone (else) Is Doing It!  - Feb 21, 2023

If I may be brutally honest with a touch of cynicism..

I once heard (and have seen it in my experience) that people are happy to use your product.. whether it's photography or t-shirts or music... and tell you how great they think it is as long as they're getting it for free. Now that's not to say that creators should be driven solely by money. But it's important to have a realistic view of things.

The proof is in the pudding when it costs them something and they pay you for your time, hard work, study, creativity and effort... your product. That's a statement of support. That's when you know they really think it has value.

I see a lot of hype for models and photographers from "magazine publishers" about getting published. (Refer to the above.) Sure, it's a lot of emotional fun to "get published". Everyone should do it. Nearly everyone CAN do it. With digital publishing, there's an endless supply of pop up "magazines". But if it's not hard and you do it for free, where's the victory? And why is that some big "win"?

Another thing I've noticed is that many of these "magazines" are just collections of models and photographers working for free. There are no insightful articles. No ads. No reviews. Usually no particularly memorable work. Is anyone even looking at these besides other models and photographers? In some ways, it's as useful as "likes" on the internet. The pay is about the same.

All of this is easy to say for someone who's been pusblished in paper magazines as well as digital media. Wait until you get your first cover! That'll make you feel self-impressed for a week or so! But I'm over it. For me, it's more of an accomplishment to become an ever better photographer and create standout photos. It's more important to build a business (which usually involves payment or it's not really a business) than to feel good about myself. It sounds a bit mercenary. But one of the very definitions of professional is "participating for gain or livelihood in an activity or field of endeavor often engaged in by amateurs". I don't care about "likes". Can't put food on the table with "likes". And if I shoot for free (and sometimes I do), it'll be because I decide I want to and not because I need someone to stroke my ego while they make money.

I'm too serious about being a professional for that distraction. I'll let everyone else chase that shiney thing.

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