For the past 3 years, I’ve been going to WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International), and there’s usually something as a photographer and a web developer that I find some inspiration in. Whether it’s a talk given by a photographer or some cool new product another company is offering.
This year, it was Gary Fong.
I’ve known of Gary since I was a Pictage member way back in 2003. He seemed like an interesting guy with is FongDong and being very vocal and opinionated anytime I heard something from him. I love people like that (I just relate to them), and he seemed like a pretty cool guy.
Then one day I wrote this article about someone using another person’s artwork for their own and I noticed a comment from Gary. It really surprised and shocked me.
Since then, we’ve become Facebook friends and I’ve got to see further into his passion for the wedding photography industry. He loves photography and photographers profoundly. And he has defended many by publicly calling out even the highest profile “Rockstar Photographers” for copying or claiming work for their own, which has become quite an epidemic.
So it was fitting that the main topic of his talk was copying. However, it was much deeper than the act of purely ripping off people’s photos and using them as their own.
He really addressed how photographers will never set themselves apart from each other if they continue to copy and follow the trends that tend to circulate; e.g. Selective Color, Couch in a field, Baby in a sling, etc.
The question that was posed was, if you want to be charging more than the other guy down the block, how are you going to do so when you’re delivering a very similar product? If you want to make significantly more, shouldn’t you be doing something that significantly sets you apart?
Here’s the question I have for you: What are you doing because it’s what everyone else is doing, and you’re just playing safe? It could be with your website, with your photography, with your products…
But what are you doing now, that if you broke free from, might just make you different enough to be attractive to a different audience?
That one thing might just be the thing that creates a whole new momentum in your business.