It is not the quantity of work put out by a creative that will make the phone ring, but rather the quality. Less is more ! i want to take that even further. sometimes simplicity and putting out less stuff is actually better in the long run than mixing the crap with the good. I know a lot of creatives make the mistake of putting out great stuff with the crap. This can have the result of devaluing the great stuff and becomes counter productive.
I recently organised and directed a shoot.I came up with a concept, that took 6-7 weeks of planning. The reason i highlight this fact, is because a lot of newcomers,schedule shoots 2-3 times a week, while shooting clients work also. I can relate to this because I think in the beginning you want to do as much as possible until you develop a certain style. it’s more about the art rather than the end product or the process rather than product.
There’s this misconception that if you don’t post photos everyday it means that you don’t have clients and you’re not successful. How do you handle this dilemma?
I’d like to answer that with the following. time is the currency of every creatives’ life; to maximize benefit, we want the most quality for the least amount of time. If you can get quality things from life in short order, do so. That’s much more valuable in the grand scheme of things than spending your life accumulating crappy things.
There are many successful photographers who really turn this theory on its head. Kirsty Mitchell Photography is a great example. Her shoots take months of planning but everyone still wants to see her work and there is much demand for her..
There are even some fashion photographers who are not yet at the top of their game and post 1 or 2 shoots a month or even every couple of months and still get booked solid because of the high quality of their work. Joanna Kustra is an example of this.
Many creatives try to get as many shoots in as possible, this can eventually lead to disinterest. Perhaps you might begin to lose enthusiasm for what you used to love. But once you cut back the amount you shoot and plan thoroughly to the T , it can be more energizing and refreshing going out and shooting. Being able to express yourself more and put passion into what you’re producing. This is what separates the success of the Famous vs The Hobbyists . The hobbyist shoots as often as he or she likes where as, the more famous creative knows their work is being judged by the public. Therefore, there’s an emphasis to put more effort into the process of the shoot and have a well planned concept rather than shoot tons of editorials only to end up with a vanilla type of shoot.
Let’s look at it from a different angle in terms of Quality Vs Quantity.
Would you be happiest having only one perfect meal per month or one average meal whenever you were hungry.? You need a degree of quantity to experience quality.
Chuck Close says it perfectly.
“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.”
I think what chuck meant by this there has to be a balance between quality and quantity. In my honest opinion I think balance is key. To keep posting content regularly enough to remain visible, but to sum up what Chuck is trying to get across , really try to make every shot or project count. So that your skills and experience are really being enhanced. That way, you will attract a better audience who really appreciate what you do. whilst it is nice to have lots of followers and fans for recognition, it is actually better to have fewer followers who will engage and connect with your work more and look forward to seeing it. They are the ones who will really help promote you. I believe this is how many other talented artists started who now have a successful brand. By speaking to people who really connected with them.
Like Ira Glass Previously stated in his tastes video, you can watch it here
There are pros and cons of shooting randomly, but mostly for beginners. If you are guilty of doing way too many shoots, you’d find many lacking in quality when you look back at them.. but the experience and knowledge you’ve gained are invaluable as you would have tried so many different things… But you’d find that what you were missing out on are important techniques and attention to details. I would have to end this post with saying definitely quality content is better , as I’ve learned the hard way. As my mentor taught me let your work speak for itself. what better way to do that than a quality portfolio.