Tag Archives: Resource Magazine 2014

Photography Steve Giralt

Steve Giralt Remindes Us To Live by Passion & Perserverene

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Passion, Persistence and Perseverance in Professional Photography

I originally wrote this article for Resource Magazine and it was published in their Spring 2014 issue. I feel this is a great read for all artists. 

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines persistence as: “a quality that allows someone to continue doing something or trying to do something even though it is difficult or opposed by other people.” They define passion as: “a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.”

If we replace the word “something” with “photography” in both definitions and add them together we end up with the perfect definition of what it takes to be a successful professional photographer. This photographer would be enthusiastic, excited, and willing to continue doing photography no matter how hard it was or how many people might be opposed to his or her photographs.

It’s common to think that the most successful professional photographers are the most talented photographers artistically. In my experience it’s more often the most passionate and persistent photographer, not necessarily the most talented photographer, who will have a long and successful career. There are a lot of people out there that can take beautiful pictures, but not nearly as many who are good at starting and running a photography business and passionate enough to stay the course.

Think about the hundreds of photography students who graduate every year from colleges and universities across the country and enter the real world trying to figure out how to turn their passion for photography into a business. Quite often in the years following graduation, real life sets in, passions fade, and these graduates start doubting if they should continue on or maybe switch to a more “reasonable” profession. This is quite unfortunate since many photographers with incredible artistic potential end of giving up on their dream because they couldn’t persevere and figure out the business of photography.

I remember back when I moved to NYC fresh out of photography school and started looking for work as a photo assistant. My first week in NYC I mailed out about a hundred resumes and promotional cards to different photographers. Of those hundred photographers, not a single one of them contacted me back about working for them. So what did I do? I sent out another hundred resumes the next week, started cold calling those who I had sent resumes to, and kept doing so over and over until I was working almost everyday as a photo assistant.

The lesson I learned from that experience was that it was my persistence, not how pretty my resume was or what my day-rate was, that got me hired as a photo assistant. Sure, those small details may have had a small impact, but not nearly as much as the fact that I was persistent and showed that I was passionate about wanting to work for them. This same lesson has carried over into my professional photography career. I don’t take it personally when I contact twenty magazine photo editors and none of them respond or ever hire me; I just keep contacting them with new work I’m excited about and hope that some day they will hire me.

Young photographers aren’t the only one’s who have a hard time maintaining their passion and perseverance. I’ve been shooting professionally for twelve years now; have shot over a thousand jobs for different clients around the world, yet occasionally times still get slow. When this happens, I, like many photographers, have way too much time for nervousness and self-doubt. The best solution I have come up with is to go out and do something new to keep my mind occupied.

As Dale Carnegie says, “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” 

In my past slow periods I’ve started new personal projects, reached out to clients I haven’t talked to in a while, or tried something totally new like shooting video. Some of the slowest periods of my career have brought on the biggest advancements in my career.  Things always work out as long as I stay passionate about my craft and persevere; taking pictures is the easy part.

To check out more from Steve Giralt you can head to the ANYWAY REPS website, or for Resource Magazine, head HERE!