How To decide your Artistic Identity and Business Focus | Part 2
Artistic Identity | Follow-up
Thank you for all of your questions and suggestions from Part 1 of this story series. The majority of questions related to how and why I came up with 50 weeks (1 year) as the suggested time for the development of your Artistic Identity.
In the world of Editorial and Commercial photoshoots, the time it takes to go from the concept to pressing the shutter button on your camera is 6 weeks of planning. It can be longer with a complicated project but, through experience, 6 weeks has become the minimum our team takes to prepare. Most of this time is devoted to concept development, research, the intricacies of location scouting/securing the location, and actor/model casting.
In Part 1, our goal was to develop your Artistic Identity, not to create photographs that were ready for publication.
With a small, multi-disciplined team, and a very focused concept, I put together a timeline of two weeks per photoshoot–from concept to photo. If you’re really motivated, you can do it in one week which is part of the reason for a 50 week duration.
The other part of the 50 week duration came from the need for 300 good photographs–100 for each of your 3 categories. It sounds like a lot of photos, but realistically you’ll end up with 20 to 25 photos per category that give you meaningful results and in turn help you to achieve your Artistic Identity.
During the first three months of 2019 I completed two video shoots. One took two weeks to complete and the other took one week to complete. The reason why we were able to compress the schedule is because of three things:
- The team consisted of myself and one other artist, so we were able to reduce scheduling related issues because there were just two people working on each project.
- Together, the two of us were able to handle much of the range of specialties that would normally require additional artists (hair, makeup artists, wardrobe/costume)
- We agreed on a very simple concept that reduced the time for concept development as well as location scouting.
We successfully achieved our end goals, but our days were much longer than the normally long days with a full team.
Artistic Identity | Faster
Can the development of your Artistic Identity be reduced even further? Yes.
If you’re a one-person team and your concept is ultra-focused, then a 100 Day Challenge might be for you.
During 2018 I completed my 100 Day Challenge by writing the beginning of a new story every day.
Business Focus | Learning to Fly
Editorial or Commercial? Or is there something else?
If you’re truly an entrepreneur, then there’s always something else.
Start by asking yourself these questions |
- Based on your Artistic Identity, who or what is your number one inspiration?
- In an ideal world, what do you want to achieve?
- Wear the shoes of a potential client of your endeavor: what are the “must haves” that need to be in place to keep you coming back?
- Who do you want your clients to be–what are the characteristics of the people and businesses who you enjoy working with?
- Do you understand the difference between a customer and a client?
- Do you have competitors? If “yes” who are they and what do they do?
It should take you a minimum of one to two weeks of thinking and research to answer these questions, after which you’ll be able to answer: I want to work on |
- editorial photoshoots
- commercial photoshoots
- something new (entrepreneur)
There’s an element of being an entrepreneur in all of these choices. But, if you’re interested in creating a new space that’s out-of-the-cube, it requires the dual commitment of being both a unique artist and a full-fledged entrepreneur.
In Part 3, we’ll look at creating a Strategy Canvas to compare where you are today vs. where you want to be in the future.
This story is an excerpt from Concept, my upcoming photography book. To learn more about my books and classes and to receive a discount, you’re invited to subscribe to my List by clicking HERE.