A strange title… I know.  But I’ll get to the point quickly.

I was recently having breakfast with a professional colleague who I respect. He asked me about how I view my relationships with my clients.  I got a few of my ideas out, and I think they might help some of you.

The burden of the Creative Pro

Everyday I encounter people who are more talented than me.  Some of them work for me, some of them take classes from me, some of them read this blog.  Everything I’m good at, I know someone who’s better than me. A quick look on the many websites that feature creative work and I can find someone who’s work touches a jealous nerve.

The Internet is really good at showing you the best talent in the world.  It’s also pretty good and giving people a platform to anonymously criticize your work.  People are far more likely to criticize than praise… and it’s easy to let that doubt creep into the dark parts of your brain.

Why do people come back?

My greatest skills have always been to find the story to tell.  To craft a visual presentation that gets results and creates an emotional connection. I’m a journalist and a historian.  I seek out the story and try to create a record of important messages and moments.

I’m also a teacher.  I try to take my successes and pass them on.  I’m also comfortable failing and letting others learn from it.  This means I try new things… I put my work out there… I routinely find new ways to do things.

But, why do clients come back?  Why do people want to work with me again?

I realized a long time ago that there would always be more talented button pushers.  People who could execute a technically perfect photo or create a better motion graphic.  That there would always be someone more “amazing” than me.

But they aren’t me.

This isn’t about me, it’s about you

No one sees things exactly the way you do.  No one has the exact some combination of skills and experiences. No one is you… and that’s a good thing for you to take advantage of.

What truly matters is the ideas you have and the passions that drives you.  Own your creative spirit.  Use it to make images that matter.  Use it to tell stories that need to be told. Your creativity and your passion is what truly matters and will bring you success.

Be passionate and focus your thoughts on your work and creativity.  Don’t be jealous of gear, don’t be focussed on those you perceive to be “better.” This leads me to another core believe that I’ll leave you with.

When given the choice, people will work with others that they like and respect.

Remember that as you pursue your personal quest to make great photos.  I know you can succeed.


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Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. Nice explanation of your blog. No wonder I like it! :D

  2. Well written! You have created your column in such a manner that I had to make sure Mr. Bourne hadn’t written it. His last few columns were enthusiastically encouraging us “wannabes” to get out there and “get er done”! Following this line of advice has endowed me with the beliefs and courage that I too can be a professional photographer in the fields I have chosen. Thank you for all of the encouragement and the strength to allow someone else to enter the field of play!

  3. Very true and very inspiring!


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About Richard Harrington

Richard Harrington is the founder of RHED Pixel, a visual communications company based in Washington, D.C. He is the Publisher of Photofocus and Creative Cloud User as well as an author on Lynda.com. Rich has authored several books including From Still to Motion, Understanding Photoshop, Professional Web Video, and Creating DSLR Video.


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