What kind of photographer are you?

I know it's a bit of a silly question and I ask it form the perspective of my own genre of photography. What kind of photographer are you? I think the answer to that question lies within the realm of "what motivates you to be a photographer" We all do it for many different reasons but there is alway one underlaying reason that is more prominent than all the rest. There are some who do it because they want to meet hot women. There are some true artists who do it for the love of art. Some people are drawn to the technical side of photography. Some have the intrinsic desire to create. Others do it for the money. So what kind of photographer are you?

After 10 years in the industry watching and observing other photographers one quote holds true. I can't remember which photographer first told me this but he said: "Shit always rolls down hill" What he meant was successful photographers rise to the top and unsuccessful photographers naturally roll to the bottom. I've seen this play out so many times over the years. Now you're forced to ask yourself what is a successful photographer? I know, I know this post is going on tangents but follow me there is a point to all this. 

What is a successful photographer? This is an interesting question because the answer may not be what you expected. Does a successful photographer shoot great photos? nope. In fact I've seen a lot of so called successful photographers with boring photography skills. On the flip side I've seen a lot of fantastic photographers with great skills never achieve much success. Why? What's the deal there? This industry is strange in the way that talent with a camera doesn't necessarily lead to success. Lots of great artists start rolling down hill while mediocre talent finds success. Why is that? 

In order to achieve success in this industry you have to have longevity. Camera equipment is expensive. Programs and computers need to be updated constantly. There is a sizeable expense behind photography. A lot of the glam photographers who do it for the girls shoot for free, don't make much money, can't keep up with the expense of it all, and start rolling down hill. The photographers who are great artists and do it for the love soon learn that the love doesn't pay the bills and they too start rolling down hill, unless they get discovered by an agency and then they are given success. The photographers who love the technical side usually end up becoming hobbyists and weekend worriers. The ones that do it for the money, those are the ones that find success and stick around the longest. I know crazy right? But it's true.

If you want to have success in this industry you HAVE TO approach your photography form a business minded perspective. Most people don't realize how important that is until it's too late. No bucks, no Buck Rogers. Forget the quality of your work that takes second seat to your business plan. How do you make money? How do you market your business? How do you create brand loyalty? How to you cultivate your clients? What are you doing to grow your brand? How strong is your business model? 

Now I ask you again. What kind of photographer are you?